The 'less is more' term is applied to many philosophies, products or lifestyle choices.
The definitions are broad, from intending to reflect on the damage we're doing to the world to Marie Kondo method that helps people live meaningful lives with less. Marie encourages people to declutter and only hold on to the possessions that 'sparks joy.'
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Kyle Chayka, the author of The Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism, reminds us that minimalism started in the art world and was about finding beauty in unexpected things, such as industrial materials.
Throwing out all your stuff might seem to be against consumerism, but you still have to buy the right new things to follow a fitting austere aesthetic. Owning minimal and having white walls and floors can become oppressive and empty.
Critics point out the irony of the Minimalists' output - it just adds to all the stuff. But minimalists believe that it is not just about decluttering and simplicity. It is about making room for more time, peace, creativity, experiences, contentment, and freedom.
This makes minimalism a growth industry, as the "stuff" they throw out is piling up.
The roots of modern minimalist philosophy reach some 2,500 years back with Diogenes. Born around 412 BC, Diogenes decided he didn't need a house and lived in a felled rainwater pipe. All he possessed was a cloak, a walking stick and a leather pouch. He discovered happiness through self-mastery and self-sufficiency.
In the 3rd Century BC, Stoicism's philosophy informs a minimalistic lifestyle by adhering to simple living ideas and focusing on the self and community instead of possessions.
In the context of a happy life, people feel more energetic and focused when they deal with the clutter.
John Pawson states that it takes discipline to reduce until you can't further subtract. But not having anything can make spaces uncomfortable to be in.
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.
The pandemic has changed the way we look at the world. It renewed a love of indoor glamour and outdoor spaces. It also changed the way we relate to our homes.
Homes have become multifunctional. For some, that meant clearing away the extras, but for others, that meant surrounding themselves with beautiful things that make them feel safe and comfortable.
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.
Minimalism encourages us to invest in things we love, instead of accumulating things we like. When you have fewer options, you force yourself into a positive mindset.
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