Ok, let’s be clear from the start, I’m not anti-minimalism. I think whatever makes you feel happy is right for you, but I am not a minimalist.
I love my stuff
I am intentional about everything I bring into my home. Everything serves a purpose; it’s just that sometimes that purpose is to make life beautiful.
Minimalism is about only having what you need, and strictly speaking, I do not need fresh flowers, or plants in every room, or pictures of Frida Kahlo everywhere. But fresh flowers make me feel happy and remind me that I’m an abundant woman. And plants are good for my mental health and create a connection to nature that allows me to feel comfortable in my inner-city apartment.
As for my pictures of Frida Kahlo – well – it’s FRIDA.
Minimalism is a bit anti-social.
I read something once from one of the minimalists about only having enough chairs for his family. I get the principles of only having what you need – but what happens if people come to visit? What if you invite your friend Jamie over for nibbles and he brings a friend he bumped into while buying you a bunch of flowers? Do you ask your guests to sit on the floor?
What if your neighbour calls around to check on you because they haven’t seen you for a while?
I’ve always had more chairs than household occupants, and I have scatter cushions and a stool or two – just in case. I love being hospitable; in fact, entertaining people at home has long been one of my favourite things to do. If I aspire to become a minimalist, then I can no longer be as hospitable as I wish.
How Do You Get Inspired?
I have far too many books to be a minimalist. I look to books for more than education; they serve as an inspiration to grow and create new things.
Most minimalists would frown at the amount of art I have hanging on my walls. But art is life! What can a blank white wall offer me other than boredom?
Passion is good
How do you express your passion when you’re a minimalist? Think about this:
If you have a passion for pottery, then you will need all of the potter’s tools, some clay and glazes. You will need books and courses to help you learn, and you will probably invest in beautiful pottery to decorate your home. That’s a lot of stuff.
If you love to write, you will have a pen or two, or even three. You will have notebooks, writing paper and a computer. And find me a writer who doesn’t love to read! A writer always has books.
How can you have passions if you don’t own things? How can you enjoy your life if you’re living at home with three chairs, three bowls and cups and only the bare minimum of what you need?
Life should be abundant.
Maybe I am a little anti-minimalism; however, I am 100% anti-consumerism. As I mentioned earlier in my post, everything I bring into my home is intentional and serves a purpose. But I don’t think it’s the stuff we own that is the problem. I believe that the problem lies in the status we give to our possessions. When our possessions enhance our lives and make it brighter, more comfortable and enjoyable, then I have to ask – what’s the problem with having stuff? But if your possessions own you, if you are working so you can have the latest gadget or shiny new thing, then you have a problem.
Make Your Own Choices
I choose to live with more books, plants, clothes and art than I need, but that is my choice. As always, it is up to you how you live your life. If minimalism is something you would like to investigate further, then I suggest you start here. My choice is to live a simple life, a life that has meaning and purpose and allows me to be fully engaged in it. A life that values people and authentic experiences over possessions, but I do love my stuff.