Minimalism. I’ll bet any number of images do a slideshow in your mind when you hear that word. Wardrobes entirely constructed of black and grey materials and sleek lines. Studio apartments decked out entirely in head to toe white. Closets only containing 10 pieces of clothing in the same soft color palette to be mixed in matched with care and ease. The most recent Ikea catalogue. All of these things are associated with minimalism in one way or another for a couple of reasons.
- “Minimalism” is trendy and everyone is
trying to get on board with some aspect of it (art, personal style, décor,
amount of things you own)
- People don’t understand what minimalism
As you may have guessed, today we are investigating number 2.
People don’t know what minimalism really is. Before we go any further, let’s investigate what minimalism isn’t, in order to have a better understanding of what it is.
What Minimalism Is: A way to create a lighter, more peaceful life, minimalism is an individual concept. Maybe for you it is living in the smallest space possible with only a week’s worth of clothes and two pasta bowls for victuals. Maybe you love the aesthetic of clean lines in brightly lit spaces and plenty of room to move. Maybe you just want a clutter free space regardless of any aesthetic leanings. But the fact is, minimalism will be different for everyone, and no one’s definition is necessarily wrong, so long as you are working towards the ultimate goal: simple living, peace of mind, and living a life with minimal excess. What is excess? That’s for you to decide.
You might decide you need 8 little black dresses because you love them and each one brings you joy and a little black dress is your favorite “go to” outfit. That’s wonderful. Alternatively, you may end up only owning a few LBDs, because a different dress for each day of the week is not important to you. You might have an awful lot of beautiful mismatched bowls, mugs, and salad plates because the designs make breakfast just that much more enjoyable, or you may be happy with the same white plate over and over. Heck, maybe you even want to keep the same ingredients around and only make 5 dishes that call for the same components to eliminate kitchen cabinet clutter (not me, I need 5000 spices thanks).Regardless of your chosen emphasis, my point is that only YOU can decide if you have excess.
What Minimalism IS for me: I may have touched on it above, but I will reiterate. For me, minimalism is all about not having excess in the sense that it brings me dread. Nothing sparks joy for me if it requires extra work, such as dusting knick-knacks. For this reason, most of our art serves as dual purpose. Hats hang on the wall to create a boho aesthetic and shoes are lined by the door. Even my jewelry serves as art in a collage on the wall. The art doesn’t get too dusty because it is worn regularly. If it does collect dust, then maybe that item is not as loved as it should be, and therefore needs a new home.
Thus, I have come to the following conclusion: My closet is not minimal compared to some people, but it is minimal for me. Every piece of clothing in my closet is loved. I go through it 1-2 times per year and purge anything that does not spark joy. Nope, as a blogger who loves outfits, I will never have the 30, or even the 40 piece wardrobe coveted by some minimalists, but everything is well loved, well cared for, styled, and curated several different ways. For the first time in my adult life, I feel like I have found me in my clothes. Nothing awkward, nothing out of character.
I wear the clothes – they do not wear me. Surely, this contentment is minimalism in itself. I know exactly what I need to feel joyous, and I happen to have it.
Nonetheless, I do without a good many things other people may find necessary. We don’t have a dryer, I don’t own very many kitchen appliances, and I only have about 5 necklaces. We all use the same bar of soap. I have 3 bottles of perfume, which is honestly still too many for my usage. We no longer own physical media (save roughly 5-10 books and some vinyl records) because it just was not important to us. It’s all about what sparks your own joy, and 3 bookshelves collecting dust didn’t do that for us. However, jewelry displays on the wall or a neat row of shoes in the bedroom do make me feel pretty darn exquisite.Also, I need about 5000 different spices, please and thank you.
Ahem, anyway, you may see me style the same dress multiple times on this blog, or use the same props in photography. I try to keep it fresh but show that everything can still be fresh, even if it has been done a few times. To me, that is part of the point of this blog: to promote a simpler life through expression of personal style, either through clothing or slow living. Overall, I think I have found my version of minimalism. I am content with what I have and have culled anything that doesn’t make me happy. Life is too short to be surrounded by anything but your favorite.
Do you practice minimalism? If so, how do you do it? What is your version, and how does it differ from what others/you think it should be?*all pictures taken with an Android phone and can be found on my Instagram.