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Some Thoughts About Minimalism

A few weeks ago I spent a rather lovely, lazy Sunday morning watching documentaries in bed. One of them was Cowspiracy, which I'll be writing about next month. And one of them was Minimalism.


Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things follows Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, aka The Minimalists, as they go on a tour to promote their book, Everything That Remains.

(The documentary is available on UK Netflix if you fancy it.)

I was aware of the concept of minimalism before I watched the documentary  I'd read a few blog posts about it, notably on The Private Life of a Girl  but seeing real-life play out on a screen threw it all sharply into focus for me.

In a nutshell, minimalism involves simplifying your life so that everything you own has purpose and value. Life becomes less about owning stuff, or searching for happiness by buying more things (something I think we all do  who hasn't had a therapeutic shopping trip?), and more about practicality and experiences. Quality over quantity.

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Kim K-W
Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks may be expensive, but I use them all the time and they're excellent quality, so I don't mind so much.

Shopper's High

We weren't barely surviving when I was younger or anything as dramatic as that, but we didn't have much disposable income. I wore hand-me-downs, we never holidayed outside of the UK, and my dad worked extra hours so my brother and I could do the extracurricular activities we wanted. My parents worked their arses off and it never felt like we went without.

But once I started working and eventually had a student loan, I got a mild addiction to buying new things (mostly new clothes and new make-up, if I'm honest). I was on a student budget, so it was nothing crazy, but even so I had more money than I did before and I took advantage of it.

Over time, I've started losing the high I used to get from going shopping, and instead I've been trying to cut back, so it feels like I watched Minimalism at exactly the right time. It was the nod of the head I needed to reassure me I was doing the right thing.

Everyday bag
It was so difficult narrowing it down to just the bare essentials — I'm the kind of person who carries extra stuff, just in case.

Incorporating Minimalism Into Everyday Life

When I was in Dubai, I had to fit everything in one suitcase and my handbag — a challenge for some who prides herself on being prepared for every possible situation and then some. But I did it, and I actually grew to enjoy having so few possessions to hand. I had a clear-out before I left the UK and another one when I came back. Cutting down feels good.

I can't see myself scaling down as much as The Minimalists themselves (Fields Millburn packed everything for a ten-month trip into one tiny suitcase) but I've started keeping the idea that everything should have a purpose and add value to your life in my head when I do need to buy something new, and also when I need to get rid of clutter.

What are your thoughts on minimalism? Have you watched the documentary? Let me know in the comments!

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Beth, 23, South East England. I'm a writer with a love of books, lipstick, and the Oxford comma. I love beauty and I also love animals, so I only buy, use, and feature products from cruelty-free brands. (Seriously though, I am the person who stops to fuss over every dog she sees.) You can also expect posts about vegan/vegetarian food, and plenty of musings about life as a 20-something. Want to get in touch? Email me at

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