Minimalism: One size fits none

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Minimalism: One size fits none
Design the life you want to live, no more and no less.

‘I’m a minimalist’ is not often something that gets a big response.  The follow up is usually along the lines of: Why? Doesn’t it get boring? Or just simply, oh!  As a commonly misunderstood concept, it’s easy to categorise minimalists as one of the many fringe, hipster or alternative groups, perched on the periphery of mainstream society.

The power of less though, can run deep into the core of our everyday lives.  There is no number of items or style of furniture that makes us minimal, in fact the concept can be applied to each individual.  Prioritising, focussing and organising around what’s important to us, is the first rule of the game, and this can be applied on any scale, to anyone.  Perhaps then, the word is misleading, for it’s not the minimum that we might seek, but the essential.

Essentialism

What’s important to each of our lives is unique.  Therefore, there are no specific items or categories of things that we can rule out as unnecessary for everyone.  We all have our own hobbies and interests that require certain essential equipment to enjoy.

Let’s take sailing, an activity that for the enthusiast, requires a heck of a lot of stuff to take part.  The avid mariner may well own all the clothing, safety gear, and day trip supplies for their regular sunset sails.  Not to mention the endless equipment list that comes with owning your own boat, with maintenance, cleaning, storage and transport all to consider.  The point here is, for a sailor, this list of things is what’s important to them. If they’ve prioritised these by cutting back on unnecessary items in other parts of their life, then that’s minimalism.

We don’t have to have 1 pair of shoes, 2 sets of cutlery, and 3 packs of socks to be minimalist, unless that’s what’s essential to us of course.  We can all achieve greater balance in life through less, applying minimalist thinking to help avoid excess.

Apply minimalist thinking to help avoid excess.

Shades

Search for minimal images on any website, and the clean white spaces and well organised rooms come flooding in.  To some this is beauty, to others boring.  There are, however, so many shades of minimalism.  If vibrant colours are your thing, there’s plenty of delightful viewing to be had and ideas to be stirred over on Instagram.  We’ve curated some of the finest minimal shots from all areas of life and nature,  over on our delightful viewing section.

Colour is just one of many physical ways of dividing up minimalism, but a common theme connecting all shades, from a family of five to a single student, is an appreciation of space.  Whether it’s physical space at home, work and our environment, or mental space with our relationships, health and wellbeing.  Appreciating how the power of less can help create that space, is part of the minimalist mindset.  We can all relate to the lust for more in our individual lives, but that desire will never be met without an understanding of less, of the need for balance.

Balance

In series one, we’ve already discussed the rise of the experiential movement, and how society might be moving away from materialistic consumption.  This means it’s not just a small collection of empty wardrobe and white furniture bearing liberals that are the minimalists.  The principles of less can be applied to all our lives, prioritising and focussing on the essentials, assisting our pursuit for a state of delight.

For more minimalist thinking, exploring the power of less through topics like lifestyle, economy, travel and more, sign up for future series and exclusive content. Join the journey.

Delight – Small is beautiful