Is Minimalism a Fad? – Commentary Round Up
In my last post, I talked about how a comment left by reader Mason sparked in me the need to respond. I responded because he brought up good points, despite being a bit rude and accusing.
This brought about responses from the Everyday Minimalist, Hasina at Fabulissime, and Charlie over at Charlie’s Blog. It was great reading all these different responses and made me think even more on whether or not minimalism is a fad.
From reading the various discussions, and my own experience, minimalism is personal. Everyone’s minimalist journey is different – you don’t even need to call it a minimalist journey – call it the awareness journey, priority journey, whatever you like. You can have 50 items, you can have 100 items, you can have 500 items – it doesn’t matter. No one is counting. What’s important is that you make a conscious choice to keep the things in your life because they add value to your life.
Yes, there are people who take minimalism to the extreme and live with 50 items, or 100 items, and they write an e-book or book about it. As Everyday Minimalist put it, they live with their backpack and headful of ideas. Good for them. If they create a quality product where there is a demand and need for it, it’s smart marketing. If it can sustain their lifestyle from selling their products, then all the power to them. They deserve it. But they are not the only minimalists out there, and not all minimalists need to follow that path.
Sure, we read about minimalists who have quit their day jobs and are living the carefree lifestyle, jet setting or living out of their backpack. Not everyone can do that. Not everyone wants to do that. This way of a minimalist lifestyle that is most feasible for young, single people. What about the couple who work a little above minimum wage, and are barely making ends meet to feed their family of 5? Do you think them quitting their day job is going to give them freedom? Probably not.
There are plenty of people who work 9 – 5 jobs, own a house, own a car, live with more than 100 things, watch tv, sleep on a bed, and they can also be minimalists. Being a minimalist is having your priorities straight and living in line with your purpose in life. You spend money and time on things that will bring you value, and cut out the rest. It can and should be fun :)
For me, living a more minimalist lifestyle has following positive impacts:
- Spend with a purpose – I really do my research before buying something (i.e.,
noless impulse shopping)
- Spend less
- Save more
- Be more aware of other aspects of my life, such as the chemicals I use (i.e, shampoo, cleansers, etc.)
- Be more aware of the food I eat and eat better (i.e., how processed it is, is it local/organic)
- Give more to charity
- Reflect and re-evaluate life more
- Use the library or swap books more
- Keep my place cleaner and less clutter
- Help my parents plan for early retirement by understanding how they can downsize their lifestyle and achieve financial freedom
I loved that Everyday Minimalist shared how she is a normal individual with a twist. That really resonates with how I see myself, as well!
I’m a just a normal woman who is happy with less stuff, and having more meaning in the stuff I keep. I’m not doing this because I am in debt, or because I need to cut back on spending. I am doing this because it makes me feel lighter, happier, and it gives me financial stability That’s all :)
A few things about me:
- I have a 9-5 job as a young professional
- I drive a car (my parents)
- I live in a city
- I wear make up
- I like fashion and nice clothes
- I love my bed (it’s got box spring and mattress, and bed frame)
- I have a tv and basic cable (a Sharp 1995-ish – good quality ;) )
- I use shampoo on a daily basis, but have tried several times to ween off of it to no avail
- I eat meat, though I aim to eat less red meat and rarely make it at home
- I eat out at restaurants and I enjoy it
- I have watched the following shows religiously at one point or another: The West Wing, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Criminal Minds, Law and Order, Modern Family, The Wire, Sailormoon, Arthur, 30-Minute Meals, Everyday Italian
- I love to travel and will happily spend money and my precious 10 days of annual vacation exploring another city, country or continent
Your life is how you make it, and your style of minimalism is how you make it. Maybe you’ll try it and find it’s not the thing for you, that’s OK. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and as Everyday Minimalist, Charlie and Hasina pointed out, it will probably be a fad for many. But for those of us who are true minimalists, our values are not altered by the state of economy, and therefore, it’s not a fad. It’s a way that we chose to live.
Thanks for all who have shared their thoughts, and thanks to Mason for bringing this discussion to light.