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What comes to mind when you hear the word minimalism? Chances are you see the color white and empty space. You look around your home and think, I love to decorate, I can’t be a minimalist.
Minimalism has become synonymous to white sparse walls.
Is this what truly defines minimalism? The answer is absolutely not. Minimalism isn’t a set number of things. It doesn’t require you to paint your home certain colors and only wear black and white stripes. Minimalism is about surrounding yourself with the things you want or need and getting rid of the things that you don’t.
I am not a minimalist. There are still things I do, buy, and have that I don’t love or need. I will hopefully get there but, for now, it’s a work in progress. Why do I even want this? A true minimalist spends less time and resources focused on stuff. Instead they focus on people and experiences. They don’t think about what they can’t have to achieve “minimalism.” Instead, they think about what they want to surround themselves with and keep only those things. Less to clean, maintain, and less desire for the next hot thing. In return they have more time and money to enjoy themselves and the world around them. Yes, please. Sign me up!
Think about it… if you removed all the things you don’t love or don’t actually need from your house, what would it look like?
Truth be told, I have hesitated to use the word minimalist on SimplyOnEden because of the ridiculous extreme to which some take it. I have heard people say they have decided to “be a minimalist and throw everything out.” They then keep an arbitrary number of things because they think that is the “right” amount. Soon after, these same people are fretting about having thrown out all of the toys, clothes and comfort items in their home. They panic when they have done so with no plan for what they’ll wear to work or extra blankets when it is cold come winter. They are back shopping for replacements before they can say ‘whoops’.
I believe some people hear that minimalism leads to happiness and immediately toss everything to achieve those white walls in a desperate attempt to find peace. In today’s consumer driven world, we are working more hours, often in a two income family and there is just never enough. Never enough time, never enough money. Unfortunately, I have met quite a few who realize they are no happier with nothing but a toothbrush than they were stuffed to the gills. Throwing things away to have less won’t automatically make you happy. You need to find your minimal. Assess what you need and love and support your self, support your happiness by simplifying your home and life to just those things.
So what does minimalism look like?
The bottom line is, minimalism looks different for everyone. You can decorate your home with some trinkets and still adopt a minimalist lifestyle. You can own more than 100 things and still find inner peace and happiness as described by The Minimalists. Have enough that you are able to live happily but not too much that you feel like you are suffocating. Wear the clothes that make you feel good within your budget. Decorate your walls the way that works for you, even if that means you pick a bright color.
In full disclosure, my wardrobe is newly minimized and primarily black, white, a nude shade, denim and grey. This is what I love to wear. I don’t choose this look because its “minimalist.” Additionally, I ADORE white in a home. It helps me stay on top of cleaning because it is SO obvious when things need to be wiped down. With children everywhere at our house, I need to see the dirt to actually keep it clean. I felt obligated to throw this out there before I get looped in with the minimalist extremes that I just referenced above. If you like white, as I do, go for it! There is nothing wrong with white walls… just don’t think you can’t go navy and be a minimalist if that is your jam.
Have you thought about becoming a minimalist? I’d love to hear why you’d consider shifting to that lifestyle. Also, what stops you from doing it if you haven’t yet. Comment below!