Minimalism is more than just a pleasing aesthetic. It is a way of life, one that yields extraordinary benefits for mental and emotional health.
First and foremost, since the large majority of our perception is rooted in sight, that which we consistently and repeatedly show ourselves develops and conditions us to a particular mindset (and therefore, emotional state). Simply: the less we’re surrounded by clutter and mess, the less stressed we’re going to be.
But more importantly, it’s a psychological stance against the ever-powerful consumerist culture. It is not about living uncomfortably just to say you live with less… rather, it’s about being grounded and grateful, not wanting or wasting. It breaks the cycle of the need for more, more, more.
Because the reality is that we don’t need more. In fact, we don’t want more either. All we want is to be happy with what we have. The narrative behind purchasing one more thing, gaining one more wealth symbol is: “I will be happy when.”
Ultimately, the presence of so many barely used but “necessary” things stresses us out, as it becomes difficult to maintain, and creates chaos that our brains cannot quantify.
But here’s the thing: most people find minimalism impossible (or undesirable) because they don’t want to live with three shirts and in an empty space. That’s understandable. No part of that is appealing or fun. But there is a middle ground.
So here’s your guide through everything from clothing to books to decor to furniture to knick knacks from your grandma. What you need, what you don’t, and how to deal with wanting more once it’s gone.
Some people will suggest investing in a “staple” wardrobe – a collection of classic, well-made pieces that can be mixed and matched to look effortlessly on brand for any given occasion. Simplify your wardrobe by sticking with the modern day necessities.
But the point is not to live a utilitarian life, it’s about getting down to some genuine roots. It’s about getting rid of the things you keep only to fit someone else’s mold, and letting yourself be happy with the few pieces that represent who you truly are.
So let this be your guide instead:
If you haven’t worn it in over a year, let it go.