“Minimalism is a tool to get rid of superfluous excess in favor of focusing on what’s important in life so you can find happiness, fulfillment and freedom.”
(Thanks to Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus for that definition [minimalism: essential essays, 9]).
Minimalism is a lot of things, but what I like about this definition is the word tool. Minimalism is a tool, or a strategy, to live happily and healthily. Certainly one doesn’t need to be a minimalist to be happy – happiness is a way of being that transcends jobs, schedules, and number of possessions. Yet for me and many others, minimalism helps us get to happiness and health through simplicity.
There’s so much going on and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. I get most overwhelmed by emails, junk mail, clutter, and errands. Visible reminders of these add to my stress, thus it helps tremendously to have less of it all. Fewer things that need tending mean I can focus my time off work on fun: taking long walks, baking, reading, spending time with friends, watching a good show.
(Living Lagom has a great post about minimalism and going lightly through life.)
It’s an ongoing process. A few months after I first came to minimalism I purged the boxes under my bed, my closet, my drawers, my bookshelves. Turns out minimalism is not a one-stop deal. I’m still slowly letting go of emotional possessions, slowly learning to manage my inbox, slowly learning to say “no” to commitments. Patience.
It’s getting better all the time.