Minimalism in the 21st Century

For me, minimalism is doing more with less and focusing your energies on the stuff that really matters. It also helps with saving money. πŸ˜‰ A big misconception about minimalism is that it’s something sterile and boring or requires living in the jungle all by yourself. Unless you’re a Zen monk practicing minimalism, you don’t have to live in the jungle. I live in the largest county in one of the largest cities in America, I’m no less of a minimalist.
Disclaimer: This post isn’t intended to imply that minimalism is better than any other lifestyle, my purpose is merely to inform you and perhaps encourage you to consider an alternate way of life.

Just like every lifestyle, minimalism is a spectrum and it doesn’t have any set rules. However, there are some common goals and effects of being a minimalist:

  • Being unhampered by social norms and, thus, leading a more efficient life
    • This drives my dad crazy but I don’t put my pants in one drawer, shirts in the other, socks in another, etc. I believe in putting clothes that belong together together. I put my winter clothes together, summer clothes, undergarments, and jeans/dressy tops. It makes it way easier to put together outfits and I live by it.
    • Living in an apartment/condo truly appeals to me more than buying a home because, especially if it’s just me, I just don’t need that much space. It’s more work to clean, decorate, and so on. Plus, I think it’s more intimate because I get to make a smaller space as impactful as possible rather than gloss over a larger one.
    • I know that a lot of people like to have a thousand apps and/or emails that they don’t use/check. I think that’s a waste of space, data, and sanity. I put all of my apps on the first page either by themselves or in a folder. My largest folder?Β Utilities (the Google Drive Suite, dictionaries,Β RetailMeNot, stuff like that.)
  • Freedom from consumer culture
    • I can count the number of shoes and sweaters/jacket (I only have one jacket) that I own on two hands. I feel no need to buy 30 different sweaters, like every other teenager I know, because they’re good for at least one week and I have better things to do than go shopping every weekend. Also, I’m definitely the type of person that prefers to have a FEW nice things rather than a LOT of average things. Why not make the investment in something that will last so you don’t have to keep replacing it? Less headache and it pays for itself over time.
  • Being able to focus on what really matters
    • While most people my age prefer drinking, partying, Instagram, the beach, concerts, Aeropostale, and so on…I prefer getting my schoolwork done ahead of time so I can meditate/relax, blog to keep my writing skills sharp, and dance by myself in my bedroom. Did I mention that I don’t use any social media other than Pinterest for DIY inspiration? This is another big part of myΒ recipe for inner peace: simplification. Like I said, you don’t have to be a Buddhist monk living in the jungle to be a minimalist. (But if you are one/know one, where can I sign up because I’d really like to have that experience?)
  • More time to yourself
    • As a minimalist, it’s very easy for me to know when I’m committed to too many things. So I drop what isn’t important or I don’t take on an even heavier load. I know that can be tough for a lot of people because in today’s day and age you have to be an athlete, supermodel, the next Albert Einstein, a Good Samaritan, an inspirational speaker, a goofy friend, a rich person, the list goes on. The truth is you don’t have to be all of those things. You just have to be the things that matter to you.
      • I’ll gladly take naps and meditate instead of doing anything else if that’s what my body needs. It’s just as damaging to be over-wired than apathetic.
  • Less clutter
    • Minimalism is notorious for living with less than 100 things. I’d be happy to say I do this too but I’m too minimalist to be bothered with counting the number of things I own. πŸ˜‰ But, in all seriousness, owning less things creates less clutter by default. Maybe it’s just because I’m a neat freak but this massively appeals to me. (That and it makes my bedroom look killer because it’s open and airy instead of cluttered and hard to breathe in. I’m totally not biased because I’m claustrophobic or anything.)
  • I may be biased but minimalist decor is fab, just sayin’
    • I don’t have curtains for my window, my lamp is a nice chrome floor lamp that my uncle didn’t need anymore, my closet is 20% devoted to clothes/shoes and 80% devoted to stuff I own but don’t use on a regular basis (like body towels because I shower every other day. Scandalous I know. XD) Yes, I do have a standing cabinet in my closet. Yes, it’s the best storage container I own.Β Out of sight, out of mind.

Now everything has it ups and downs, including minimalism. For me, these are the disadvantages…

  • Reluctance to buy ANYTHING
    • Do I really need this bag of chips? I’m going home later today anyway.”
    • Do I really need this sweater? I mean, sure all of my sweaters are ugly, but they’re warm.”
    • Do I really need a cabochon to make a pendant? Maybe I can just thrift it at home.” –> In case you lovelies were wondering why half of my DIY tutorials involve creating/salvaging the materials instead of buying them, this is why.
    • Heck, I even hesitate to get stuff that’s free. A few days ago I was debating on whether or not I could hold out until my next appointment with my orthodontist to get more rubber bands for my braces. For reasons of sanitation, I got more.
  • You tend to be out of touch with pop culture/fashion/anything mainstream
    • You guys are gonna laugh at this but I didn’t know what a hashtag was, as in the hashtags that you put before words or phrases on Twitter, until 3 years ago.Β I can’t name any Kardashians other than Kim and…Kylie? I also won’t recognize 90% of American actors by their name. Try me in the comments. No, I don’t know what the fashion trends are right now or 10 years ago orΒ ever.
  • Consumer culture can make you feel like an outsider
    • I’m not going to lie and say that it’s easy to live with less when literally everything and around me preaches “bigger is better.” This is one of many reasons that people think I’m weird. It doesn’t hurt my feelings but it’s probably another reason that I’m not exactly dating material. πŸ˜‰

All in all, minimalism is yet another alternate way of life. It works for some, not so much for others. Some people take it to the extreme and some people take consumerism to the extreme. What about you lovelies? Where do you lie on the spectrum? What did you think of this post? Are you motivated to incorporate some minimalism into your lives? I know it’s pretty rudimentary but I’d like to think it’s a fairly substantial Minimalism 101. Feel free to chime in, fellow minimalists, in the comments if I missed anything though!

~Live boundless.

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21 thoughts on “Minimalism in the 21st Century

  1. I admire your lifestyle and when I stay in a caravan, I see the appeal of having very few belongings and ‘things’ to clutter up my mind. I do believe that less things lead to less stresses and clutter in my mind. My life: Big house full of ‘things,’ an email inbox with tens of thousands of emails sitting there, unopened mail on the table needing filed. I’m your worst nightmare! I buy second hand and don’t fall for brands and stuff though.

    Liked by 2 people

    • πŸ˜„ Emails can get pretty overwhelming at times. I still will never understand why students will create emails and NEVER USE THEM. They’re just stealing the name at that point! It’s a real problem! My dad made Gmail accounts for my brother and I when we were still in grade school so that we could at least use our real names. Well that turned out to be an even better idea than he’d known because now all of my generations has Gmail but doesn’t check it. Anyway that was really off topic lol. You rotate between living in a house and a caravan? That’s so cool!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Its interesting seeing different views on minimalism. I too would consider myself a minimalist, but our approaches (though neither is wrong) are so different! πŸ™‚ For example you’d rather not buy a house because it is more work, etc. I’d rather buy land and a house because I can be away from other people and thus remove the bombardment of noise. Just goes to show that two people can look at something and see two completely different things.

    Good post, a good read πŸ™‚ Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hey another thing you and I have in common. I wouldn’t define my lifestyle as minimalist exactly, because it is very full of family and stuff, all kinds of stuff. But definitely we live modestly within our means and don’t put focus on material wealth. We value quality over quantity and experiences over possessions. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey that’s cool! Like I said, minimalism is a spectrum. Some folks are hardcore minimalist and some just have some minimalist habits and then there’s a lot of people in between. I just think it’s so cool how differently people go about it. Thank you for the taking the time to read and comment and thanks for your support!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Since moving home from a minimalist flat once uni finished, I’ve been longing for the day that I can return to the minimalism I aim for, but cottages aren’t destined for clear surfaces…or clear anything. I badly need clear spaces/etc in order to work and sleep, otherwise I get kinda twitchy, but we’re currently in a state of what I call “Furniture Limbo” because a lot of stuff is due to move into another place once we get the keys – not helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have really been embracing minimalism over the last year or two. I find the fewer things I have, or look at, or need to read, the happier and calmer I am. I would like to pare down my belongings even further and my life style even further. This is a work in progress, but even just reading your post made me feel calmer. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great article! You are damn right about the disadvantages, but I really don’t care about any of the trends anyway, even when I was living in a more consumerist style they didn’t matter to me. But sometimes I feel like my friends& family are not entirely sure what to get me for my birthday, or they feel like I’m disturbed when they talk about trends and buying stuff. I hope it’s just a phase. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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