The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines minimalism as “a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme sparseness and simplicity’“.
Today, minimalism refers more to a way of life in which consumerism is limited in favour of experiences, connecting with people and free time.
Minimalism is greatly intriguing and I find myself perusing websites that talk about the subject and admiring Scandinavian design that is usually described as simple, modern and functional.
Dive with me into minimalism, as I explore its many facets.
The Different Flavours of Minimalism
There are many different ways to invite minimalism into your life without renouncing all your worldly possessions.
1. Minimalism in Your Closet
Tired of staring at your closet and not knowing what to wear? Courtney, at Be More With Less, has a pretty simple and straight forward experiment for you. Project 333 is “the minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months“.
2. Minimalism in Your Kitchen
How do you select the meals you’re going to eat for the week? My two main criteria are: 1. Do I already have most of the ingredients, and 2. How long does it take to make this meal?
Minimalist Baker promises: “delicious recipes that require 10 ingredients or less, one bowl, or 30 minutes or less to prepare“. Now that’s minimalism I can get excited about.
3. Minimalism with Kids
Some people would argue that you can only be a minimalist if you’re single and in your youth. Not true according to Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. He should know, he and his wife have six kids.
Here are other interesting articles related to that topic:
- A Practical Guide to Minimalism with Kids from Zoë Kim of Minimalist Plate and contributor at No Side Bar
- Dos and Don’ts of Minimalism for Families by Courtney Carver
- How to Become Minimalist with Children by Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist
- Why Kids Need Minimalism by Denaye Barahona of Simple Families
4. Travel Like a Minimalist
This is the area of my life where I’ve experimented the most success with minimalism. I find it easier because I know it’s temporary and also because my lower back is my Achilles’s Heel and I don’t want to hurt myself dragging heavy luggage while on vacation.
Anytime I consider a new travel destination, I always look at Her Packing List and find their advice extremely useful, specifically because it’s targeted towards female travel.
5. So, You Want to Be a Minimalist!
Then make sure you check out Courtney Carver’s Minimalism for Beginners (yes her again, she’s awesome).
Look through Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus’ Journey into Minimalism which started with a feeling of discontent, despite having great jobs and being able to pay for whatever they wanted.
Read about their adventure into minimalism and watch their TedTalk. Recently they launched a great documentary that you might have seen on Netflix. I highly recommend it. It’s also available for purchase on iTunes and other platforms.
Finally, I want to leave you with this article by Patrick Rhone on the privilege of choosing minimalism. He talks about how hard economic times forced him and his family into minimalism and taught him the difference between need and want. May we all get inspired by his trials without having to go through them ourselves.
Are you a minimalist? Do you have tips for the rest of us on how to incorporate minimalist practices?