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 lipsticks may be expensive, but I use them all the time and they’re excellent quality, so I don’t mind so much.|
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.
|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!
You Might Also Like
Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travelling, and gin.
I write about ethical & eco-friendly living, minimalism, and mental health, as I muddle through one step at a time. Enjoy!