Minimalism just might be the new black. More than just being the opposite of hoarding, the minimalist lifestyle is at once vivid and monochrome, striking and humble. In a time of luxurious imaginings and gluts of clutter, screaming the word “more” in flashing neons, still there are those who remain steadfast to the lifestyle of having few and enjoying with less.
Bypassing the temptation of excesses, the growing niche embracing minimalism echoes a mélange on the wisdom extended by frugality and simplicity. Anchored in austerity instead of luxury, the sobering call of minimalists rings loud and clear: Less is definitely more.
Acting as a map away from life’s preoccupations, the rudimental tenets of minimalism are just as fuss-free as its nature. Needing less—and as an expected result, enjoying more—is minimalism’s simple but loud exclamation point.
“I understand the meaning of meaningless. Everything is meaningless, admit it or not. Everything in this world is replaceable–our cars, phones and houses,” says Ed*, who practices a minimalist lifestyle himself.
And though there are others who would meet the codes of minimalism with a simple shrug, there are those who treat it with high regard. Sabrina Peña (I, PSY) shares, “Minimalism as a lifestyle is a way of figuring out what’s important to help you understand yourself better. Deciding on the essentials you keep around makes you realize what it actually is that you value the most.”
Value being its operative word, a significant portion of the minimalist movement is an invitation for a spring cleaning of the consumers’ tendency for overindulgence and materialism. But this straightforward ethos of simplicity is not confined to physical, tangible clutter—it preaches about simplifying digital activities, too.
“There’s this saying that out of a hundred, only 30% of the applications in a cellular phone are actually being used and the rest remain untouched.” Ed speaks about the rising tide of digital applications and activities, pointing out the similar case that applies with overspending.
Believing in wise expenditure, Ed understands that it is much more fitting to spend on the practical rather than squander on the unusable. “To spend more on the needs than on the wants, I think that’s how it should always go.”
A headstrong rebellion against the urge to buy more, own more and spend more, minimalism is not static on an abstract podium. With a growing number of people across the globe practicing the minimalist lifestyle onto day-to- day application, it has grown beyond, transforming from theoretical to practical.
An easy way to be wrong about the minimalist lifestyle is to assume it’s a fancy word for a “Tumblr aesthetic”; It is more than that.
“It’s not just an art form, it’s something that helps you get things into the right perspective,” Domingo Garcia (I, IS-EUS) agrees. “Practicing and adopting the ‘less’ is an attitude that can bring a lot of advantages to your daily lifestyle and it definitely lessens the hassle and workload of your day to day tasks. I think that’s what makes minimalism efficient. You are giving yourself less to worry about.”
“People who choose the [minimalist] lifestyle could be coming from a place of genuine dissatisfaction from the highly consumerist lifestyle so deeply imbedded in almost every culture,” Kat* comments. “It’s easy to understand why others decide it’s the efficient lifestyle because of the overwhelming web of commercialism and the wastage it entails.”
Tossing excesses aside, the minimalist choice balances both art and function, simplicity and profound. It goes deeper than double-tap- worthy Instagram posts, sleek interiors, or monochromes. Its bottom line capitalizes on the significance of recognizing that value is paramount, that worth is supreme. The bulk of a minimalist’s maxim underscores the presence of dissatisfaction among consumers—a discontent that masks behind the glitters of extravagance.
Back to basics
“Frankly speaking, I know what it’s like to feel as if you are King Solomon yourself—spending here and there and everywhere, living excessively. But, along the way you realize that none of these things will ever quite fill your cup, not even close,” tells Ed. “You try to lump everything into your hands, yet you are still like an empty vessel.”
The simple life, as minimalists put it, is intentional—one that doesn’t pride on material wealth, but on contentment. And in many ways, it is a fitting reminder that prompts important answers.
“I learned that having a good health, a nurturing family and relationships, and continual growth are the tickets to having a good life and living the best life,” he reflects. “I am happy with how I live my life. Even if one day I wake up and every material thing I own is gone, happiness will find its way into me. It’s because I know that as long as I still have my family and I am breathing, I still got the whole world,” claims Ed , brimming with contentment.
The more in the less
Seeing through the lens of minimalism, others may see a radical disposition—an extreme and atypical sentiment and, to some, it is just another way of dealing with the conundrums of life, or another tune from the song of lifestyle. True, the concept itself calls for the removal of the excess stuff and fluff, but it is just one ingredient to the whole recipe. There is indeed more than just the perpetual state of paring down and the questioning of complexity.
Minimalism is a tool. It helps loosen the screws of intricacy, of complicatedness, and of constant want for exuberance, eventually opening the doorway to a much meaningful life. Minimalism actually doesn’t just focus on the less; rather, it also focuses on making room for the more—the more important things in life such as growth, passion, experiences, and awareness. Eventually, that realization starts to kick in: That the small can actually lead to the big, and that less is definitely more.