We have been reading a lot of articles recently about the minimalist lifestyle. It seems like minimalism is catching on as quickly as the tiny house craze. Truth be told, though, minimalism is not new. It is a lifestyle people have been living for hundreds of years, if not longer. It’s just getting attention now because we have the global mass media to give it more exposure.
My Divine Concierge doesn’t take a position one way or the other regarding the minimalist lifestyle. Some people love it; others hate it. But we can say that minimalism is widely misunderstood. Many people think that living a minimalist lifestyle means either having no possessions or so few as to make life uncomfortable. Neither is true.
Here are three hallmarks of minimalism as set forth by minimalist experts Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus:
A Lack of Excess – Minimalists don’t necessarily live bare-bones existences. Some do, but most don’t. What they all have in common is that they believe in avoiding excess. They have what they need and want to make life comfortable without having homes full of possessions that never get used.
Ongoing Evaluations – True minimalists are always evaluating their possessions. They question whether they still need certain things they have. They seriously consider need before buying something new. They are in favor of comfort and convenience, but they don’t buy and keep just for the sake of doing so.
Proper Perspective – The third hallmark is that the minimalist doesn’t give meaning to possessions. In other words, possessions are just objects that make our lives more comfortable, convenient, and enjoyable. But they are just objects. They can be disposed of without any significant impact on life.
Now you know the three hallmarks of true minimalism. Let’s move on to why so many people truly appreciate this kind of lifestyle. You may find it appealing in your own circumstances.
Remaining in Control of Life
The undercurrent of minimalism is remaining in control of your life rather than being controlled by the possessions you own. As an example, let’s assume you own your home. That home controls you for as long as you own it. You make a lot of decisions based on your mortgage payments, your taxes, the location of your home, etc.
Though minimalists do own homes, their lifestyles are less about living for their possessions and more about using their possessions to create a better life. Here are some of the results of thinking this way:
- Minimalists don’t struggle with clutter
- Less living space is required to maintain a comfortable home
- Financial resources can be put toward things other than possessions
- Minimalists tend to be more flexible in terms of jobs, travel, etc.
- Debt management tends to be easier
- Losses due to unemployment, natural disaster, etc. are easier to address
People who love the minimalist lifestyle believe they have far more control over their lives than they would have if they did not live as minimalists. Is the lifestyle right for you? Only you can answer that question. However, it’s never too late to go down that path should you decide you want to give it a try.
My Divine Concierge can help you get the ball rolling by going through your possessions with you to help you downsize and organize. We are organizational experts, so we can help you make the best use of everything you decide to keep. We can help you organize, store, and make the most efficient use of your space.