Should we all be Minimalists?

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Clutter. It’s everywhere, you really can’t escape it unless you find your way to Mars. But what if I were to tell you, there’s a way you can mentally go to Mars Interested? 

The answer is Minimalism.

Kind of ironic isn’t, especially when you’re about to read my long article. I’ll try keep things minimal.  

It’s not only an art movement as we know it, but indeed a lifestyle choice. I know what you’re thinking, you don’t need another person persuading you how to live your best modern life. And you’re right, ‘you do you’. But I do know a way you can make it 100x easier on yourself, buy more time (our most precious asset), and live a more meaningful life and I’ve discovered it is through adopting a more minimalist lifestyle.

Minimalism as we know it is an Art movement that started in the 60s and 70s, now it’s more a lifestyle. People want to have less things which goes hand-in-hand with less responsibility and clutter in that chaotic world we are living in. There is ‘stuff’ everywhere you look, and mostly billboards, cars, rubbish and general city sights are far from calming to endure. 

Ideally minimalism is stripping back to basics and consuming less through it’s necessary elements;

  • Function and Purpose
  • Quality
  • Design simplicity in aesthetic 

Minimalism is any design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect” – Courtney Carver. 

You’re in a busy street, perhaps you’ve got one headphone in, holding a coffee, you’re doing all these things, checking your phone every so often, walking, looking; constantly we are around noise and chaos without even realising it, it’s become the norm.

So why do we make it harder on ourselves by having ‘eye pollution’ when we come home to our space at the end of the day? 

  • Change your space

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the importance of place. Imagine waking up in a calm space around only the things you really love. Being appreciative and doing your best with what you have, through creating an enjoyable more meaningful space in which you occupy your time. As a result your subconscious mind will shift and become clearer as you are surrounded by less clutter and alternatively you are seeing and interacting with things in your life that are meaningful. Getting dressed is easy. You already know what you’re going to wear. You have a refined style, because you’ve cut out the junk from your former life so you are left with with little decision. Everything you own is something wonderful that you cherish. You’re a modern day minimalist and now you have more time to sip your coffee. S l o w l y

  • Change your mind through decluttering tangible items around you

Out of sight, out of mind literally means you are clearing your mental space through your physical space. 

  • Don’t be a hoarder

Just don’t. You’re better than that.  

  • Less really is more 

Having less means you can appreciate more. Mindfulness is enjoying what you have in the present moment.

  • Have the best of the least

Quality is so undervalued in modern society and it’s incredibly destructive from an environmental aspect. Waste is truly embarrassing, I can’t think of another adjective to use, because it is.

Dutch born Jeanne De Kroon 24 former model and yoga instructor recently did a TED TALK about waste in the global fashion industry. Now founder of ethical luxury store Zazi Vintage living in Berlin told me,

“while questioning everything around me being a ‘fashion’ girl losing myself in ideas of conditioned luxury with Celine bags and high heels. Life has always pushed me back in to the basic foundation of simply being.”

Jeanne selling her wardrobe / photo used with permission

‘Simply being’ and surrounding yourself with the things you love that bring you joy is key, and don’t necessarily have to be Celine bags. Training your mind to lose attachment to tangible physical objects, regardless of its value is something worth practising for it creates space for you to connect with what’s important in life, like your relationships and everyday experiences.

We don’t have to go drastic, making small changes to declutter your life will have a butterfly effect once you start. 

I’m only just starting my journey in the minimalism movement, already it has felt so freeing to rid myself of objects (mostly clothing through donation or selling) that don’t serve a strong enough purpose in my life to keep, as my tastes continue to change and I realise the power of simplicity and taste.

I am trying to look at items objectively and critically without attachment – acquiring basic quality pieces from designers I admire or I believe are somewhat ethical. I’m getting there, slowly. Any item I see is ‘fast-fashion’ I’m letting go of and donating. I believe if the piece came out of a factory in a negative kind of energy it’s not beautiful anyway or in alignment with my core values, so since it’s in existence the piece may as well go in to rotation. 

I put out a poll to my Instagram followers (@emilyccody). I found it interesting that women were generally the hoarders compared to men with 61% of men saying they somewhat identified as a minimalist. 30 year old French financier Pierre Gueneron told me,

“my home is free of anything unnecessary. It makes me very anxious when I see clutter. i hate it”

Pierre’s home / photo by Emily Cody

And that’s how we should all be. Clutter free of anything unnecessary allows you to be full of life’s simple joys. I’m on a minimalist mission to de-clutter my life and surround myself with only things I really love. That painting hanging on my wall that no longer pleases me, it’s time to go. The sweater you wore once but promise yourself you’ll wear again yet it’s been sitting in your closet for three months, it’s time to find a new home and be enjoyed by someone else.

Ask yourself, do the things around you carry purpose, function and aesthetic pleasure in your life?

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