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The Pitfalls and the Potential of the New Minimalism

The new minimalism

In part, the new minimalism is a kind of cultural aftershock of the 2008 housing crisis and banking collapse. At the same time, minimalism has become an increasingly aspirational and deluxe way of life.
Minimalism is easily transformed from a philosophy of intentional moderation into an aesthetic language that depicts high-end interior spaces.

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The Pitfalls and the Potential of the New Minimalism

The Pitfalls and the Potential of the New Minimalism

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/02/03/the-pitfalls-and-the-potential-of-the-new-minimalism

newyorker.com

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Key Ideas

The new minimalism

In part, the new minimalism is a kind of cultural aftershock of the 2008 housing crisis and banking collapse. At the same time, minimalism has become an increasingly aspirational and deluxe way of life.
Minimalism is easily transformed from a philosophy of intentional moderation into an aesthetic language that depicts high-end interior spaces.

Minimalism for the affluent

Many people have minimalism forced upon them by circumstance. Poverty and trauma can make frivolous possessions seem like a lifeline instead of a burden.

Although many of today's gurus insist that minimalism is useful regardless of income, they target the affluent. The focus on self-improvement is more about accumulation.

Minimalism of ideas

True minimalism is not about throwing things out, but about challenging your beliefs in an attempt to engage with ideas as they are, to not shy away from reality or its lack of answers. 

Underneath the vision of “less” is a mode of living that heightens the miracle of human presence.

Profound vs superficial minimalism

  • The minimalism of things argues that getting rid of possessions means ridding yourself of trouble. 
  • The minimalism of ideas means stripping away excess to see that the world is more troubled and difficult, and more wondrous and full of possibility.

The question is whether you accept less in order to assert your will more efficiently, or whether you assert your will to receive the reward of self-diminishment.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Why be a minimalist

Minimalism is a way of eschewing the non-essential in order to focus on what’s truly important, what gives our lives meaning, what gives us joy and value.

It’s a way to escape the exce...

Minimalist living
It’s about getting rid of things you do not use or need, leaving an uncluttered, simple environment and an uncluttered, simple life. 

It’s living without an obsession with material things or an obsession with doing everything and doing too much. It’s using simple tools, having a simple wardrobe, carrying little and living lightly.

The benefits of minimalism
  • It’s more sustainable.
  • It’s easier to organize.
  • It’s lower in stress.
  • It’s less expensive and less debt.
  • It’s less cleaning and maintaining.
  • There’s more room for creating, for loved ones, for peace, for doing the things that give you joy.
  • There’s more time for getting healthy.
Minimalism

Is focusing on and committing to the fundamentals, instead of wasting time, money, or energy on details.

A minimalistic approach can be applied to consumption, goals, schedules, tasks,...

The Diderot Effect

Obtaining a new possession often creates a spiral of consumption which leads you to acquire more new things. 

As a result, we end up buying things that our previous selves never needed to feel happy or fulfilled.

The paradox of choice

When it comes to getting things done, options aren’t always a good thing.

When everything is a possibility, it actually becomes harder to make the right choice (or any choice at all). 

Meanwhile, when we place a constraint on ourselves, it can become much easier to get something done.

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Deeper roots
Deeper roots

Minimalism is a quiet celebration of space, but bold in the way its simplicity overwhelms.

Just after World War II, minimalism became popular because of its perfect utopian style. After th...

Not just a trendy style

Minimalism is about experiencing the world directly and engaging with your surroundings. 

The style now seems more like numbing yourself and creating a protective environment form the overwhelming visual experiences on the internet.

Moral superiority

Minimalism these days has an aura of moral superiority.

The problem with minimalism today is that the style is associated with moral purity and outsiderness but it's being adopted by wealthy women and tech billionaires. The style of minimalism we see today is a reality that's not very minimal at all.

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There is no single way to lead a minimalist life
There is no single way to lead a minimalist life

Minimalism is often seen as an all-white room containing few furniture pieces. There are no colors or patterns or decorative accents that don't serve some function. However, this is not true.

Minimalism can help you save money

Instead of trying to find ways to make more money, minimalists contemplate the opposite: They live with less.

Minimalists find that after going through simplifying their lives and their interiors, they feel more at peace and in charge of their surroundings.

Decluttering can be emotional

Getting started on the road to minimalism can be the hardest. Once you realise how much you own, it can be overwhelming and fill you with guilt about the money wasted.

After decluttering, you may encounter another emotional factor: When you live with just the things you really love, breaking something will feel way more dramatic.

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Main views of the philosophy of minimalism:
  • Less is More.
  • Eliminate the Unessential. 
  • Live in the Moment.
  • Organize your time and set meaningless activites aside. 
Minimalist principles to apply to work
  • Declutter your workspace, including your computer;
  • Identify the essential and say no to unnecessary activities;
  • Whatever you do, make it worthwhile
Productivity Or Procrastination
Productivity Or Procrastination

We try to make a list of stuff we have to do in the morning only to feel pressurized or paralyzed.

The to-do list isn’t our enemy, but we become ambitious and put a lot more than po...

Do Just One Thing

Doing just one thing in a day alleviates the pressure that comes with trying to accomplish too much, which makes us procrastinate the whole day, doing nothing at all. One feels a sense of accomplishment and success. The one thing needn’t be too broad or too narrow, but can be stuff like:

  • Clean the room.
  • Declutter the cabinet.
  • Wash the car.
  • Give away useless stuff.
Digital minimalism

Digital minimalism is a "philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimised activities that strongly support things you val...

The principles of digital minimalism
  1. Clutter is costly. Digital minimalists recognise that cluttering their time and attention with too many devices, apps, and services creates an overall negative cost that can swamp the small benefits that each individual item provides in isolation.
  2. Optimisation is important.To truly extract the full potential benefit of a technology, it’s necessary to think carefully about how you’ll use it.
  3. Intentionality is satisfying. Digital minimalists derive significant satisfaction from their general commitment to being more intentional about how they engage with new technologies.
Our relationship with technology

"The underlying behaviours we hope to fix are ingrained in our culture, and […] they’re backed by powerful psychological forces that empower our base instincts. To re-establish control, we need to move beyond tweaks and instead rebuild our relationship with technology from scratch, using our deeply held values as a foundation." - Cal Newport

one more idea

Living with a minimalist mindset is:

1. Choosing quality over quantity. Weed out possessions, people, or thoughts that don’t serve you and focus on what adds value to your life. 

2. Being responsible (financially and otherw...

Minimalism

It's the idea that by owning less, we free up the time, energy, and money to get the most out of life. The more intentional we are about what we keep, the freer we are to seek fulfillment.

Reasons For A Minimalist Closet
  • Tidier closet: you won’t have to dig through items you don’t wear
  • Increased confidence: if all your clothes are your best, you feel good no matter what you put on
  • More time and money: being satisfied with your wardrobe means shopping less so you can use your time and cash on more important things
  • Positive environmental impact: by investing in long-wear clothing, instead of fast fashion, you help prevent waste.
Minimalist Vs Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule wardrobes are a subsection of minimalist wardrobes that limit how many items of clothing you buy each season. Most capsule wardrobes have 30 items or less.

Minimalist wardrobes are more flexible. There is no set number of items as long as you wear all of them – and they bring you joy. 

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