Minimalism is a growing trend, but not everyone is convinced it is a good thing. Some question the benefits, and others swear by them. There are a plethora of books, blogs, and podcasts that will walk you through step-by-step how to reduce the clutter in your home, each providing tips and tricks that worked for the respective authors. There are also those that are skeptical, labeling minimalism as just another form of being elite through the lack of things.
Before diving into the pros and cons of minimalism, let’s take a moment to define it. There are several different definitions, but my favorite so far comes from author and blogger Leo Babauta, who believes that minimalism can work for anyone. On his blog, he states:
“It just means you’re trying to opt out of consumerism, trying to be more mindful of how you live your life, and trying to figure out what’s important and what’s not.”
So far so good. I’m still on board.
Then I found this article from the New York Times Magazine that denounced minimalism, calling it out as a social trend for the elite, and accusing minimalism of creating more excess and arrogance. Author Kyle Chayka even delves into the original meaning of the word, which was originally used critically to describe works that had “minimal art content.”
Wait a minute. I don’t want minimal art content. I love art.
Maybe I’m not ready for this.
Thankfully, the word has taken on a more positive meaning these days, but Chayka makes a valid argument about the snobbery surrounding the lifestyle. There are a variety of ways to incorporate minimalism into your life, but it doesn’t have to be elitist or restrictive.
Josh Becker provides a more warm and encouraging approach to minimalism. He is a family man, positive thinker, and encourages people to adopt “rational minimalism.” He stresses the importance of doing what works for you, because we are all different and need different things. Similar to Chayka, he believes that minimalists shouldn’t be trying to outdo each other, instead they should be providing encouragement and inspiration for one another.
Thanks Josh. I needed that.
Even though there may be some negatives surrounding minimalism, I think it is on the extreme end of the scale. For me, it’s about balance. I don’t want to try to meet some strict expectation of what minimalism should be, but I do want to clean less, spend less money, and have more time to enjoy with my family.
For me, I think less will truly be more. Let’s do this.
I’d love to hear your thoughts for or against a minimalist lifestyle! Please leave me a comment or find me on Twitter! @ClutterMama