‘Minimalism’ brings us to think of white walls, neutral-colored clothes, functional and simply designed furniture, clean kitchen surfaces, and floors.
Here, you will find out other meanings and perspectives on this lifestyle.
Among the 3 books and authors I shared below, there’s a common denominator: a simpler life with fewer things is a less complicated life. It’s about living with fewer possessions. 20% of 100% — see Pareto principle. To own and use only the favorites, the best (this is subjective), and the most functional.
Isn’t that what we all strive for?
This has to be one of the best books I’ve read.
If you’ve gotten too attached to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, please read this book!
In this book, Cal Newport, author, and professor at Georgetown University talks about solitude, our human need to be alone. He says that alone time — or ‘me time’ — can make our lives richer.
When we deliberately make time for ourselves, without technology, without any sort of input from our phones or anyone we know and don’t know, we reclaim time for leisure, creating things, and deeper thinking.
With this way of living every day, what we produce — in our relationships, our crafts, our practices — comes a deeper sense of pride. Most of all, it’s not something for people to see online.
He defines digital minimalism as a ‘philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.’
Newport says yes to JOMO — the joy of missing out.
This rivals Kondo’s book when it comes to decluttering. What makes it different? He did not organize his stuff. He got rid of them.
Now he is living in a small apartment with a few items that fit in his backpack and living his version of the best life.
When decluttering, here are some points to remember:
When you discard something, you gain more than you lose. There are limits to the capacity of our brains, energy, and time. If you haven't used it in a year, get rid of it. Organizing is not minimizing. Say goodbye to who you used to be and focus on who you are right now. When selling your old things, let go of the idea of getting your money’s worth.
He also says that our stuff reminds us of who we were in the past.
My diving gear reminds me of the months I spent diving. I have a license but can I call myself a diver when my last dive was in 2018? The only thing that makes a diver a diver is diving, not the gear.
After reading this book, I’ve put my gear for sale.
This book helped me in a big way.
It stopped me from clinging to my things. I went as far as posting photos of 2 unused laptops, an old guitar, boxes of books, and bags of clothes, bags, and shoes on a Facebook group to give them to anyone who needs them.
I also started folding my clothes and organizing my stuff in drawers the Kondo way. It maximized the space in my closet without buying any organizing tool or box. There’s so much space.
Probably the most difficult things to deal with when decluttering are mementos, keepsakes, gifts because there are emotions attached to them.
We think that selling, donating, or giving them away means that we’re throwing away the memories attached to that special vacation or the person who gave it to us.
Kondo says that our things are only symbols and having them used by another person who needs them is a much better way to utilize gifts.
I wrote about other life-changing lessons from Kondo in this article.
If you are serious about leaning into a minimalist lifestyle, I recommend adding these books to your list:
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
It might be a good day to ask what else is there that can be taken away. Perfection is hard, almost impossible, to achieve but there is nothing wrong with working towards that.
A big question to ask is this: What things are worth the space in my home and in my life?
May we spend our lives in simplicity, fullness, and contentment.
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