Don’t do anything, don’t own anything, don’t be anywhere or around anyone …
… that you don’t love. That doesn’t add value. That doesn’t have purpose.
Within reason, of course. Being a lawyer doesn’t necessarily always spark joy, but you’ll never find a job that does 100% of the time. Find something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life? Horseshit.
Anywhoodles, I digress.
Minimalism. What exactly is minimalism?
My reasons for leaning into minimalism are various, but I’d be lying if I said a big one isn’t that if I have less shit, I have less shit to clean. Both Dale and I are working from home, we’re caring for Scout, and (alert: privileged, white girl issue) we’re doing it without the wonderful woman who cleans our house. Plus, we’re looking at some houses, and if we move, I refuse to take all this crap with us.
Thus, this 30-day minimalism challenge was appealing. And June has thirty days, so it was meant to be.
I read an article that questioned whether extreme minimalism was a luxury afforded to the wealthy. Without going into too much detail, it divided minimalism into extreme minimalism and frugal minimalism. Extreme minimalism was limited to the wealthy; at least, if not wealthy, was exclusionary to the poor. Those struggling to make ends meet cannot simply toss perfectly good clothes that don’t “spark joy” or decide that their bedding no longer fits their likings.
In light of that (and being decidedly un-rich), my minimalism action items can be split into two camps: (1) not buying/obtaining shit I don’t need, and (2) not holding on to things that don’t make sense for me, both in my current life and in the immediate future. For instance, I’m not too likely to need all the “going out” dresses I’ve kept since my single, mid-to-late twenties days, bedazzled with sequins and plunging necklines. I’ll keep one or two, sure, because I’m that kinda gal, but my life, unfortunately, no longer has a meaningful use for those things. That doesn’t add as much value and purpose to my life; but it does to someone else, someone whose lifestyle suits that.
On the other hand, I have multiple sets of sheets, comforters, quilts, and duvet covers because
I’m my mother’s daughter, and she hoards nice bedding that adds value to my life. Especially right now. Because I’m not out as much for social events, and I’m perpetually a little sleepy (thanks, Scout), making my bedding and comfort items a priority
Even more than that, minimalism requires and nurtures a certain mindset about control. You take control of what you can — for me, that includes my belongings, my home, and my money — and you let go of what you can’t. Much like veganism, minimalism seems to be more a mindset than an action.
Like many things, I think that minimalism tends to get a bad shake because of the term itself. You can trust me on this, I’m a marathoning vegan, all labels that give people the skids. If you can’t bear the thought of a “minimalist” moniker, look at it as “simplifying” or as being more “intentional.”