Minimalism: What It Is & What It’s Not

Yes, yes. I recall just last week posting about my minimalist goals for the year and droning on about how much direction and magnitude you can achieve in your life when you embrace less. However, let’s not make the mistake of depriving ourselves of things we truly enjoy and items that add value to our lives. 

minimalism

What Minimalism Does Not Mean

I recently watched the documentary on Netflix called Minimalism. You can be assured you will walk away inspired by how the men who run The Minimalists along with several of their minimalist counterparts) live their lives; highly recommended viewing!

As I’m learning more about how to embrace minimalism, one of the questions I (and apparently most other people) have about the philosophy is where you draw the line between minimalism and, well, not minimalism. In fact, Ryan Nicodemus addresses this question head on the documentary when he’s speaking to a crowd. To paraphrase, he says, 

People say, I could never be a minimalist like you. See, I have a whole library of books and I LOVE my books. I love reading them, the way they smell, lending them out to friends, etc. 

Ryan tells the person, “Then keep your books! It sounds like they really add value to your life!”

This was the best thing I heard as I watched the documentary, because I happen to be one of those book people that could never give up her personal library. I had thought before that to be a minimalist, you had to pare everything you owned down to the bare essentials–not so! A true minimalist doesn’t subscribe to a certain standard or definition.

What Minimalism Does Mean

A true minimalist practices a philosophy of keeping two types of things/activities/etc. in their lives:

  1. That which is essential or useful
  2. That which adds value 

Another way you may have heard it said is by the now renowned organizer and author, Marie Kondo (aka, KonMari), who wrote The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,

Does this item spark joy? 

Certainly, my kitchen spatula doesn’t “spark joy,” but, in my home, it’s a needful thing. So you have to combine the philosophies of keeping what is useful or necessary and keeping what brings you personal joy. This is another HIGHLY recommended resource if you are looking for inspiration on your minimalist journey.

That being said, I wanted to share a few items I got for Christmas that bring me personal joy and add value to my life.

Bookish Things

Creative Lettering & Beyond. I get a lot of joy out of hand-lettering when I have the time. This book is helping me fins better ways to do that!

Domino. One of my 2017 goals was to start learning what my decorating style is and implement that–this book is a tremendous source of inspiration!img_6606

Disciplines for the Inner Life. I stumbled across this little-known book as I was reading a blog post one day. The writer of the post said it was one of her favorite resources for her quiet time and I thought I’d give it a shot. I wasn’t disappointed! Each topic lasts for a week and each day is organized as if you are holding a mini church service–just you and God.img_6603

Sprout book marks. Because, really, I have a hard time reading only one book as a time. These are so cute.

Nate Berkus gear. My husband was really listening when I told him I loved pretty office supplies!img_6605

Style & Beauty

The Curated Closet. Another goal I set for 2017 was to define what my personal style is and do a wardrobe detox as I begin to tailor my purchases to that definition. This book has been the pinnacle of my journey. Such a fun read!! (See above photo).

Houndstooth scarf. What can I say, this scarf sparks joy!img_6607

Other Fun Stuff

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Camera. A gift I didn’t see coming but was thrilled to receive–this adorable polaroid camera. My family is trying to simultaneously savor the film since they only come ten photos a pack and also use it a lot. This is so much fun.img_6602

Limo Studio Photography Light BoxesMy essential request this Christmas was this light box set so I can up my photo game in 2017.
4109wHUeYEL._SY355_.jpg

World Market blanket ladder. Another gift I didn’t see coming, but was overjoyed to add to my decor, this fabulous, and currently on sale, blanket ladder! You can see that I have strung some leftover Christmas lights around it. Yes, I know they just look drunk. (Note to self: figure out how to sober up this drunk Christmas-light ladder). img_6604

Here’s The Point

Minimalism isn’t about depriving yourself of things that bring you joy. It’s about getting rid of whatever things in your life are hindering you from focusing on what’s truly important to you. Ask yourself what is important to you–eliminate the rest.

One thought on “Minimalism: What It Is & What It’s Not

  1. Kelly says:

    I’m working on minimizing my possessions, as I take a break to read this blog. I already am feeling the freedom. Now I just have to find a worthy cause to donate all this stuff to.

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