Minimalism for everyone

If only we’d stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time.
~Edith Wharton

A post on Ridiculously Extraordinary reminded me of something I was talking to Mike about a while back. He was doing some cleaning and planned to get rid of some of his stuff. He wasn’t going to go as far as I had, he said, but that was okay, since it was going to be his version of minimalism. Which is not my version of minimalism, which is not someone else’s version of minimalism.

My version of minimalism does not include buying an e-reader so I have one device instead of a bookcase of books. Someone else might wonder how I live without more than three pairs of shoes. I struggle with my gaming consoles, while for someone else it might not even be a question, one way or the other. Someone gets by with a single bowl, I have four.

What’s important is not obsessively counting each and every last thing you do or do not own, but instead, as Karol Gadja said, “par[ing] down your belongings until you’re happy and appreciate of what you have.” This is different for everyone.

And while I find it fun to constantly pare down…to see how close I can come to that line without crossing it, others may not find the task as enjoyable.

Some people are going to feel comfortable with more stuff, others with less. While I’m certainly biased toward less, that doesn’t mean more is necessarily bad. I may not be able to grok it, but that may be another person’s minimalism. Doesn’t mean that they couldn’t get by with less (I could get by just fine with hardly anything at all), but it doesn’t mean that they’re unhappy, either.

It’s no excuse for hoarding…minimalism, after all, is still living with less. It’s just that some people’s less is less than other people’s less. And that’s not a bad thing. Just a different thing.

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2 Responses to “Minimalism for everyone”

  1. Thanks for the shout out! Great to see so many people minimizing and discussing. :)

  2. Great post! I agree that it’s very important to not become too obsessive about how many things you do or don’t have!

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