Minimalism is a movement that gained much popularity in the last years. The philosophy behind minimalism is that people are happier by simple owing less, not more, and a minimalist change presumes reinterpreting things in terms of happiness. If they make you happy, keep them, if not, give them away.
Minimalist’s adepts advise you to de-clutter everything: your house, your wardrobe, your room and to remove unnecessary possessions, food, clothes, shoes etc. They say that the problem with contemporary lifestyle is that we own many things we don’t necessary need. The shopping addiction many people suffer may have led to the situation of buying things for the sake of shopping not because they are needed. The urge to achieve more and more is an unhealthy one and that should stop.
The truth is that, regardless of whether we consider ourselves shopaholics or not, at some point in our life we may come to own an amazing amount of possessions of all sorts. Furniture, armchairs, books, computers, phones, tablets, pencils, pens, television, cups, notebooks, mugs, fridge, coffee makers, camera, cleaning equipments, blankets, beauty products, shampoo, clothes, many clothes, shoes, dishes, food, drinks …just to name few of my possessions here.
Minimalists would say all these things don’t make me happy. Now to tell you the truth, I am not a minimalist person. I enjoy owning a lot of things and I am happy being surrounded by my clutters. All of them give me a genuine pleasure and contentment. I don’t mind they are many, on the contrary, I think my house looks warmer with all these items. From time to time I like to explore my own house to find things I forgot about.
I’m looking at my bookshelves and realise that haven’t read many of the books lately, however I like to know they are there and I can access them anytime. I wouldn’t throw or give away none of them. They are already part of my identity, I won’t be the same without them. I hate when people ask me to borrow them a book or more and then forget to bring them back. I usually go to the library and buy the book I borrowed, just because I like to have it there to re-read whenever I want.
For a minimalist, a bookshelf is an eyesore – it does occupy a space that could very well be left open. But I don’t like wide free spaces in my house. It gives me the impression of a hospital or a cold museum. My home is my personality imprint and my personality is complicated, very complicated. Not a simple one. Why then should I listen to minimalists and simplify my home? Isn’t that normal that my house to reflect my complicated personality?
Having my things in my sight – and not hiding them in a cabinet or else – helps me to be more creative, as they trigger my memories and my imagination. A white wall and lot of free space don’t inspire me as they don’t tell me anything.
I agree with minimalists on the fact that some people buy things due to an increase in advertising, not only on TV, but on internet too, on games, emails, apps, social media, on bus or metro station, in the plane, almost everywhere. Even that many people think they are not influenced by advertising, the truth is it has a huge subtle unconscious influence on our shopping habits. They persuade us to buy things we don’t really need. ….but……don’t we? The lifestyle in 21 century supposes many activities, hobbies and chores than never before. We do need a washing machine, a hairdryer, a toaster, a coffee maker, cooker, smoothie blender, car, phone, computer and…and… and so on. Our grand-grand-grandparents didn’t need them. Their house looked more decluttered than ours…but hey, who would like to live like them now?
I absolutely agree with a light decluttering of clothes and things now and then. However, that does not make us minimalists. It’s a necessary act like a spring detoxification.
What do you think about minimalism? Are you a follower of this philosophy or not?