I wanted to post a bit more about minimalism. It’s been on my mind all week as I have been trying to figure out my stance on minimalism whilst reading other bloggers views and perspectives.
I have already explained here what drove me to frantically search Google in my drive for a cleaner, clutter free lifestyle. But there’s a difference between the initial need for a declutter and the decision to actively pursue a minimalist lifestyle.
I have thought it through and minimalism definitely feels right for me – but as with everything I think it’s a lifestyle choice that you have to make your own and there’s no one way to be a minimalist.
I thought it would be nice to share with you up front the type of minimalism that I think fits me.
My version of minimalism is about:
- Making informed and deliberate purchases and taking time to consider before hitting ‘Pay Now’
- Opting for quality over quantity, whether it’s clothing, furniture, food or cosmetics
- Removing things from my home if they don’t have real meaning, beauty or purpose
- Scaling back my wardrobe until there are only high quality items that I wear and love
- Shopping ethically and considering my own consumption from an environmental perspective
- Trying to reduce the amount I spend and consume (thinking wider than just possessions – i.e. world resources, petrol, water, gas, electricity, food) in small ways – I’m not ready to become too militant about it yet though…
At the moment my version of minimalism is not about:
- Becoming a zero waste household – I hope to reduce but I don’t think I’ll ever get to zero
- Stopping purchasing upgrades – we’re part way through a kitchen remodel and at an age where we’re starting to be able to afford to switch out family donations for furniture we’ve bought ourselves – things might not need replacing but sometimes you want to from a quality perspective (essentially I want a beautiful, minimalist home with a high quality, select amount of items)
- Reducing the amount we eat out – yes it’s more expensive but it’s sociable and a nice treat and I for one would like to keep up our weekly curry night (I’m not there yet on using every morsel, freezing ahead and getting inventive on our leftovers)
- Sticking it to The Man – I’m not pursuing minimalism because I want to be wholly self sustainable or as a rebellion against consumer culture, it’s more personal and more focused on my needs and our home and lifestyle
I hope that gives an insight. I don’t doubt my approach will change as become more comfortable with minimalism and it becomes the norm. One thing I have already noticed is that, I think, as a minimalist you naturally start to take more notice of where you are wasting resources beyond just material possessions. I’ve been walking more for short journeys, saying no to carrier bags, putting items back down during the food shop and being more vigilant on running taps and left on lighting. I think that all stems back to the moment when you look at all your clutter and you realise how excessively you are consuming resources and a few days go by in this mindset and then you realise how widespread that consumption is.
But for me, my main focus (at least for my early days of minimalism) is more about a shift in my own mindset to stop buying mass produced and take the time to save up and make considered, high quality purchases of items made ethically.
It’s all about cutting the excessive spending to have more money left to buy high quality items on a more infrequent basis.
Or to put it another way – if you buy ten low quality t-shirts for £10 you could instead buy one high quality t-shirt for £50. You spend half as much but your one t-shirt outlives the other ten.
Consumption lower + cost higher + quality higher = maximum benefit.
I feel like this is such a brain dump of a post which makes little sense – be great to hear your views on your approach to minimalism and whether my early thoughts are similar to yours, or better yet whether they actually make sense!