Minimalism and How it Changes People

May 11, 2012


Wikipedia describes Minimalism as a trend in design and architecture wherein the subject is reduced to its necessary elements.

Minimalism can also be described as a lifestyle – living with only the bare essentials.

Most Filipinos are influenced by the consumerist lifestyle of Americans; acquiring, purchasing, hoarding and holding on to so much stuff that just end up collecting dust and occupy space.

For most people, it is hard to let go of things. It is hard for those who have a delusion that the more things one possesses, the richer or the happier one is. They pride themselves on the accumulation of possessions.

But it is just a delusion.

Having a minimalist lifestyle is not only about having fewer things. It is about opting for quality over quantity.

Minimalism changes people. It changes lives.

When you live a minimalist lifestyle, you let go of relationships that don’t help you grow, commitments that no longer serve you, appointments that drain you, and much more clutter.

To some, being a minimalist may seem very selfish. But if you hold on to things, relationships, and commitments that don’t make you happy, it just clutters your life and your time – leaving little space for things that you love, and for the things that truly matter in life.

Tara Wagner from SustainableBabySteps said it well:

This lifestyle has a way of changing people, making them question and examine their lives and beliefs and focus on what truly matters.

And so did Leo Babauta:

Minimalism is a way of eschewing the non-essential in order to focus on what’s truly important, what gives our lives meaning, what gives us joy and value.

There are many benefits of minimalism.

And it has changed many lives.

Kate Carpenter realized that “much of our clutter is mental and emotional, and that can be even more debilitating than all the physical baggage we drag around.”

Janet “traded a big tract home with all the bells and whistles for a tiny, old cottage that is located in a historical park in our town… Our utility bills are a fraction of what they used to be. We have no credit card debt or car payments.”

Lucent Imagery from Australia shares,
“I desire minimalism for so many reasons. It’s…the power to say no and step away from all the noise. I have no desire for hoarding objects or upsizing to a huge house or an overflowing wardrobe. I want a lifetime of travel, experiences, tastes, smells, feelings, laughter, intellectual stimulation, digital photographs, people and animals around me.

“With my deteriorating vision, I find that minimalism to me also means the ability to derive great joy from the simple things in life rather than lamenting those things that I don’t see… I don’t wish to spend my time going to places or events just because it’s the place to be seen. I embrace a life that is full of experiences and social outings, but only if it means something to us.”

Sherry Ott “eased into a minimalist lifestyle in a way with the idea of ‘out of site, out of mind’. I quit my 14 year corporate IT career, and decided to sublet my apartment for 1 ½ years to travel around the world and find some clarity. I lived out of a suitcase while traveling to 23 countries; never once did I miss anything back in my apartment. I replaced my ‘stuff’ with travel experiences instead.”

And Caroline Garnet McGraw  “came to understand something valuable about having less: it meant sharing more…  Now, I work toward creating a life for myself that is rich and full…and simple. I try to do less, that what I do may have greater meaning. I de-accumulate with the awareness that what is extraneous to me may be essential to someone else.”

Have these stories inspired you to get rid of the clutter in your life?
This post on decluttering will help you get started.

1 Comment

  • Reply Caroline McGraw February 12, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Jen, thank you so much for including me in this post! I appreciate it. 🙂

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