I never intentionally labeled myself as a minimalist, I’ve always thought I’m just someone who wants to have less and loves simplicity. I named my blog Helsinki Minimalism simply because it’s a nice, compact name and sounds good in my ears. I still like it.
I don’t mind being called a minimalist though. For me it means only positive things like knowing what’s essential in life and moving from the situation where we have so much and still not enough to another one where we have less but still everything we need and want. I read this post from Leo Babauta a couple of days ago and really liked it and think it explains minimalism well and highly recommend reading it if you haven’t seen it yet.
The number of things we have in our homes means nothing. Having only basics can help to create structure and healthy habits when life feels too busy or overwhelming. However, “basics” means different to different people and sometimes the amount of stuff is not the issue at all, it can be much more important to edit other things in life and have less work, commitments or social media.
I have no idea how many things I have but I’ve noticed having fewer item groups leads to a more organized home. The number of shirts or jeans in my piles doesn’t matter but the number of different piles makes a difference. Keeping one collection organized is not a big challenge but trying to store stuff for many irregular purposes is hard and includes emotional baggage. The pressure of actually using the stuff!
The same goes with time management. Go deeper in something and use even an enormous amount of time for what really matters and feels important and you have a passion. Spread your time doing many unimportant, meaningless tasks and you have a stress.
Letting go can lead to a happy, balanced life. There’s no need to make things more complicated being worried of labels or how other people see us. Most of them don’t matter and those who matter will understand and accept our life style choices after seeing the positive effect on us.