What minimalism is about?

Minimalism is trendy. I haven’t updated my old minimalism blog (in Finnish) in ages yet surprisingly it has plenty of visitors and people keep asking me for more information. What does minimalism mean to you? Is it mostly about minimalistic esthetics? Isn’t it just another way to make money and sell people things that fit in their new, minimalistic lifestyle? Isn’t it elitist to give away some stuff you might need in the future and trust you can easily buy a new item to replace the one you gave away in case you need it?

I’ve given this issue some thought during the past two weeks and it’s all quite clear in my mind and it’s considerably easy to put in words how I see minimalism and what it means to me.

It’s not just having less clutter at home. It’s finding ways to live my life focusing on essential and being able and having time to do things I find important. It’s making my home a functional, clutter-free place and my everyday life easy and practical. It’s having a rational relationship with material. Respecting objects and avoiding throw-away life style still not letting anything I own to be more important than people around me or to limit my life or stop me doing things I really want to do.

There’s a whole new business building around the minimalistic lifestyle. It’s not all bad, I think. Minimalism will be more and more important in the future and suitable solutions need to be available. I’m also realistic enough to know that if minimalistic esthetics sells someone will sell it and take the money. However, I do wish people would focus on the thought behind the concept. The main idea is to have less, and it’s one the most freeing, life-changing things we can experience.

I can’t recall regretting anything I’ve given away. Most of it was stuff I didn’t even remember owning before I went through it. It’s not necessary to have five similar objects or to store something no one has used in years. Many household items can serve multiple purposes and we don’t need to always own things we use only rarely, those can be borrowed or owned together with friends and relatives.

Minimalism means a possibility to live the kind of life people haven’t yet realized they can live. Everyone is allowed to make minimalism look like what works best for them. It doesn’t need to be about the number of items we own, it can be and often is just giving material things around us less thought we are used to.

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