The term “minimalist” has developed both a positive and negative reputation. On one end of the spectrum, minimalism is seen as extreme and unrealistic for the modern world. On the other end, minimalism is described as a way to rid oneself of excess items and create a lifestyle centered around living free from the stresses of everyday life. Instead of placing the term on either end of the spectrum, how do we take the practices of minimalism and fit those ideals into the modern world?
- Reduce the Size and/or Amount of Furniture
Living a clutter-free life plays a key role in a minimalist lifestyle. The questions is: how does minimalism define “clutter”? Extreme minimalists assign the word clutter to items such as couches, TVs, and even a bed for some. For the modern minimalist, getting rid of these items is out of the question. Instead of removing these items, try opting for smaller designs that allow for more space in the home.
For example, get rid of bulky bed frames and headboards that consume 90 percent of your bedroom. Also, don’t follow the traditional bedroom set up of needing two large night stands, a dresser, bench for the end of the bed, etc. Follow this same ideology for other areas of the home. Opt for pieces that don’t take up unnecessary space and don’t feel pressured to follow traditional housing decor.
- Clean Up Financial Clutter
Living a minimalist lifestyle can also seep over into finances. How can minimalism help with this? In the modern world, there’s a price tag attached to practically everything.
There’s monthly dues to access a gym, an itch to order item after item off of Amazon, and a never-ending list of video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Starz, HBO, Youtube TV, and most recently, Disney Plus.
A modern minimalist understands that indulging in all of these services at once isn’t good for their well-being or their pockets. Clean up this financial clutter by limiting yourself to two or three of these services, or by not paying such a high amount for one.
For example, don’t overpay for a gym membership, especially if you’re not consistent with your schedule. Don’t be fooled by the glitz and glamor one gym might offer, when there is a gym with a lower membership fee that only offers only what you really need. Having 4+ video streaming services is extremely unnecessary.
People opt for these services because they believe it is cheaper than having traditional cable, but having a large number of streaming services can add up the the very bill you were trying to avoid.
- Create an Environment Fit for Creativity & Productivity
A quote from Zaha Hadid reads, “Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space”. Minimalist or not, this “well-being” is what everyone strives for in their life; everyone wants to feel good in a space.
Following the rules of modern minimalism can easily help achieve this balance. By ridding a space of clutter and giving everything a place through organization, you can create an environment fit for true well-being. We’ve already discussed what is defined as clutter and the steps you can take to reduce it, but what about organization?
First, let’s talk about why organization is even needed. Imagine you are at a party. There’s drinks, music, and you seem to be having a great time. Suddenly, out of nowhere, you space out from the party, your stomach drops, and think to yourself, “Where’s my birth certificate?”. Why these sporadic thoughts pop up at the most unconventional times, who knows.
However, through proper organization you can help alleviate these random bits of stress and anxiety. Organization does not have to be an extreme sport. The first step is to shred that mountain of mail that grows in strength every day and the last step is to find a place for what needs to stay.
Purchase some inexpensive clear draws to store items, but be sure to not shove excessive items in. By having a space clear of clutter and giving needed items a home, you have created a space fit for productivity and well-being.
- Develop a Better Understanding of True Value
One of the biggest lessons minimalism has to offer is understanding what holds true value in your life. The things that clutter our mind and home takes a toll on our overall well-being. Through minimalism, you can help discover what brings you happiness, then rid yourself of the things that don’t. With this, you reduce the items that clutter both your physical and mental space. Though modern minimalism, you can create a space fit for balance, well-being, and an environment free from the stress of the modern world.