Over the past 30 or so years, several trends in décor have come and gone. Feng Shui had us all rushing around our houses with a compass and hanging mirrors in strategic places. Buddhist prayer flags, infinity swimming pools, reclaimed Oregon Pine floors, Italian marble, glass, steel, art deco. The changing trends change like the seasons. However, there is one trend that has endured over nearly 30 years since its birth in the 1970’s. Minimalism is a concept that covers art, sculpture, architecture and interior/exterior design and takes it influence from Japanese traditional styles.
What is it? How does one go about it?
This intrepid writer must admit that minimalism is not likely to happen in her home. A guest, after regarding the many bookshelves that barely contained the volumes crammed in every which way, asserted that in fact this was a case of hoarding, the complete opposite of minimalism.
If you have ever seen a movie from the 70’s where everyone stands around in a room containing one chair newly acquired from outer space and a groovy looking light bulb, this is not minimalism either. Minimalism is about living a life without stuff that you don’t need. Minimalism is about cutting out all the unnecessary material goods that we buy, keep, fill out houses with and never use. The same stuff that we never throw out because we might use it someday.
Why become a minimalist? This writer definitely has no intention of ever giving up any of those books that overflow their shelves. However, what of all the shelves of clothes that lie there unworn? Here are some reasons why being a minimalist is compelling.
A minimalistic lifestyle can save you money. By living this lifestyle you would have access to a larger disposable income. You would be able to liberate yourself from short term loans, credit cards, or overdrafts. You will be less likely to be in the position of having to take out a quick payday loan.
So throwing a bunch of stuff is going to miraculously produce money. How? Because you won’t be buying half the needless stuff that you buy now because you think you need it. You would be astounded how much money you spend on things you don’t need. This is how minimalism helped these people:
Mary and her husband were thrilled because they saved so much by not purchasing needless stuff that they managed to pay off their mortgage in 7 years. Robert and Jane were able to travel to their dream destinations and Sarah was able to pay all her loans as well as save for her pension.
How does it work? It’s simple, you get rid of all the stuff that you don’t use and that is not useful and necessary. Start with your wardrobe for a start and throw out anything you haven’t worn in the last two years. Then try no to buy more clothes. Your kitchen, how many drawers full of random tupperware and old broken appliances do you have? Why do you have fourteen mugs? You only need two.
Here is how you start. You put a cardboard box in every room in the house and when you come across something that you really don’t need you toss into the box. Now you can trash it, sell it, or donate it. Any which way, it’s not cluttering your life up.
The challenge is not to go out and buy more! For this writer, the result would probably be a chair, 4 bookshelves stuffed to capacity, a sole piece of cheese in the fridge and pair of jeans!