What Minimalism Is Not

Some people that come across the term may find themselves wondering, ‘what is minimalism’?

Short of looking it up in Webster, minimalism can actually be impossible to define, as it means something slightly different to everyone.  So in an attempt to explain, I thought it best to view it from the perspective of what it is not.

It is not…


Yes, minimalism has become trendy, mostly for the aesthetics of it.  White walls, black and white photos, clean crisp lines, empty surfaces.  The full concept, however, is a lifestyle.  It is not something to adopt for the season only to become a Maximalist later.  It does take work, but the rewards (or return on investment for you business-type folks) will reflect the amount of effort put in.


It isn’t something you can tackle overnight, no matter how hard you may try.  It is a process, sometimes tedious, but worthwhile.  Clichés come into being because they’re true…the good things in life are not easy.  The same can be said for minimalism, though with time it does become easier.  It becomes habit, “the norm”, instinct, and freeing.


If you’re looking for a rigid set of rules, this may not be for you.  While some may believe otherwise, I believe that people can grow and change over time.  As you grow, your lifestyle should shift to fit you, not the other way around.  If you find one aspect doesn’t work, ditch it.  If you want to experiment with parts of your lifestyle and find something that works, perfect!  Minimalism can be as fluid as you need it to be.


Technically you could call pretty much everyone before the 1950’s a minimalist.  They had what they needed, and not much else.  Having it be turned into an aesthetic, however, has become new.  Want a great example?  Look to the Danes and Scandinavia.  Or to Japan.  The space is limited but what they do with it is a whole other matter.  In fact, the Danes are repeatedly viewed as the happiest people in the world yet often times live with FAR fewer items than even the average American teenager.


It does not seek attention.  It is not gaudy, nor in your face.  It is easy to maintain, full of joy and love.  It can be a source of inspiration.  It can also allow you to live your life as you see fit.  It is just enough…and in that, it is everything.

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