Mindful Moments

Minimalism Life Weekly Edit

“Being intentional and being consistent are the key ingredients for success in anything you do.”

—Chris Hogan

We’d like to invite you to subscribe to and support our Inside Minimalism series, which offers exclusive essays on living simply.

For a limited time only, we are offering you a 30% discount on your first month’s subscription.

Subscribe Now

An Imperfect Home

How minimalism is teaching me to be a better host

By Deborah Deacon

A few weeks ago, my brother was driving me home after dinner with our parents who were visiting from out of town. Before I got out of the car, he reminded me that I was always welcome to come for a visit at his place, and I told him the same.

At that moment, I realized that my brother and I rarely spend time at my apartment. When he moved nearby two years ago, I was thrilled at the prospect of having him visit. I imagined us ordering pizza, watching bad movies, and making fun of them mercilessly. And while we see each other regularly, I can’t remember the last time we had one of these movie nights. It wasn’t until that car ride home that I understood why.

I am passionate about minimalism. I love the feeling of letting go of things, so I spend a lot of time examining my life for anything I can live without. In my apartment, I prefer empty space and organization to clutter. But sometimes, I can be a little too focused on reaching a state of perfection within my home.

When I have people over, I know it must be difficult for them to relax. I’m often focused on organizing extra shoes neatly in the closet, straightening couch cushions, and recycling drink containers the moment they become empty. I’m not proud of it, but I’ve even reminded guests not to spill on the carpet… As if anyone were really planning on it!

I know that minimalism is not about being perfect, but for so long, I’ve viewed my perfectionism within my home as a part of my minimalist lifestyle and something to be proud of. But it isn’t serving me the way I thought it was. And if minimalism has taught me anything, it is that my relationships and experiences with people are more important than the state or number of my material possessions.

From now on, my minimalism is going to involve shoes in the hallway, messy couch cushions, and maybe even a spill on the carpet. The important thing is that my family and friends feel welcomed, relaxed, and at home.

After all, homes are for people, not perfection.

Learning to Appreciate the Small Things

How valuing your day-to-day experiences can make life more meaningful

By Luke Arundel

In life, we are often sold the idea that the things that are most worthwhile having or doing, are also the most expensive things. The best way to spend a day is a holiday by the clear blue sea in the Caribbean. The most meaningful object you can own, the object that you cherish so much that you ‘merely look after it for the next generation’, is a $20k watch. The clothes you ought to desire most are those endorsed by the most extravagant fashion magazines and the most attractive celebrities.

Whilst many are beginning to see through this idea, I still do not believe that enough appreciation is given to the smallest aspects of day-to-day life. Things that are not adventurous or unique are viewed as being not valuable or important. It is beyond comprehension that you might have had just as stimulating and enjoyable a day reading a book in the garden as a friend had on their travels abroad.

But to only appreciate grand trips and material objects is to miss so much of what we go through on a daily basis. By slowing down and appreciating how you feel in a moment, daily life can feel so much more meaningful. It is possible to be going on a quiet walk around your local neighborhood and feel just as happy and at peace with your life as you would wandering the streets of a new and exciting city.

All this is not to say that these larger trips in life are also not important. I do truly believe that traveling and experiencing new things is vital for appreciating everything that the world has to offer. But, if one is busy or lacks the funds to do such things, it is perfectly possible to enrich yourself by simply appreciating what is already to hand, looking at the things you already own and valuing them.

If you feel something is missing in your day-to-day experiences, it may be worth reflecting inwardly on what you truly already have within your grasp, rather than looking outwardly at what other people have.

A Little More of Less

A few other articles we think you might enjoy…

Simple is Not Easy by Bozenka Myslinka

How to Start a Successful Podcast by The Minimalists

How to Declutter Your Home (when you don’t want to) by Courtney Carver

Are any of your friends interested in minimalism or living simply?

If so, please invite them to subscribe.

Brought to You By

MinimalissimoThe Minimalists, and 5 STYLE

Mindful Moments

Minimalism Life Weekly Edit

“Diving into something new can be terrifying, or at least uncomfortable, but those feelings of discomfort are indicative of growth.”

—The Minimalists

We’d like to invite you to subscribe to and support our Inside Minimalism series, which offers exclusive essays on living simply.

Why I Built A Minimalist Smartphone

The difficulties of trying to balance minimalism with using a smartphone

By Alex Davidson

About midway through last year, I started tracking my phone usage. I found out I was using my phone 20-30 hours per week. That didn’t seem healthy to me. I decided I would simply use my phone less. That made about zero difference to my weekly usage.

Next, I tried deliberately getting a phone plan with low data. This was an ill-conceived idea. After burning through my month’s data in about five days, I then had to purchase ‘top-ups’ at a more expensive rate.

I felt things were getting serious, so I deleted the Facebook and Reddit apps. The next day I just used the Chrome browser to access some of my most used social apps. Next, I set my phone display to grayscale. However, I ‘needed’ the colour to see the map properly, so I turned it back to color.

I decided I would delete the Chrome Browser (and the default browser too). I quickly discovered you cannot delete the system browser. You can only disable it, which hides it away. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. I ‘needed’ the browser for legitimate-sounding reason, so I ‘temporarily’ re-enabled it.

This was when the idea of a “boring” phone began to form. With the help of my friend Jasper, I ‘rooted’ a spare Android phone, which allowed me to actually delete the browser, Play Store, and other apps. I then put my sim card in it and my new minimalist smartphone was in hand.

At first, it seemed like the idea behind the phone hadn't had the desired effect. I still pulled my phone out at every available opportunity to check if there was something new on it.

However, after about two days, I found I was looking at my phone less and less. There was really nothing on it to check. I could talk to my girlfriend on the Signal app, but I would be alerted to that by the vibration. Apart from that, there was really no reason to check it.

Without all those seemingly interesting and exciting things, the urge to check my phone dissipated like fog in the morning sun. I felt calmer and less anxious and agitated. At home, I picked up my Kindle and for the first time in ages, spent solid chunks of time just reading books.

Like my attempt to ‘hide’ my apps from myself, I believe that technology enabled a certain type of aesthetic minimalism. The music collector no longer needs a house full of records but can still get sucked into endless hours obsessing over digital possessions. I can have a sparse and functional apartment and only three icons on my phone’s home screen—but that’s only an aesthetic if I have a cupboard stuffed with junk, or a full set of applications just a swipe away.

For me, the true benefits of digital minimalism became real when I found a way to actually give up the distracting elements.

A Journey of Minimalism

Why the pursuit of less is really the pursuit of more

By Remco Vermeulen

I remember it like it was yesterday; the first time I stumbled onto Minimalism. It was a lazy Saturday when I watched the Netflix documentary Minimalism twice. I was fascinated by the counterintuitive way of striving for a life of less. Less stuff, less consumerism, and less clutter. Since that day, minimalism has become so much more to me. In a way, it may even have become my pursuit of more.

I’ve always been someone who consumes consciously. More than that, I’ve always been someone who appreciates the emptiness of space and simplicity in architecture. Nevertheless, the documentary and the minimalist lifestyle inspired me to have a closer look at all of my possessions. Since then, I’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff that didn’t really add much value to my life. From books I would never read again to ‘just in case’ clothing—I gave it all away. 

And although that change brought some lightness into my life, I didn’t feel I was leading the minimalist life I wanted. That became utterly clear the moment I burned out from my job. Less stuff had made room for more people, more work, more social activities, and more busyness. Reaching that “burned out” moment in my life, I felt an intense need for freedom, physical space, and time to wander.

Last year, I took the leap. I left my job, my house, and my day-to-day life behind. I decided to travel light with only hand luggage on me, and with just the first day planned ahead. Travelling light made my life lighter in more ways than I could have imagined. It’s not just the comfort of less that adds value to your life, it’s all about the simplicity that comes with it when you reduce the number of decisions and increase the number of possibilities life gives you. Living for about half a year from just a small backpack made me realize that there isn’t much that you really need. And perhaps more importantly, there are only a few things that really matter.

Right now, I see that minimalism is about so much more than just possessions. It’s about seeing what is most important to you in all aspects of life. From there, you can start building your life around it. In this way, minimalism has brought me more joy, more freedom, and more fulfillment. Although it may be hard to pursue sometimes—especially in the corporate world where not everybody believes that ‘less is more’—stepping backward to reflect on this journey helps me ponder on what I truly value. And to me, that step toward more conscious living is what matters, and that is what minimalism is all about.

A Little More of Less

A few other articles we think you might enjoy…

Needing Stuff by Rebecca Rimmer Givens

The Courageous Self-Discipline Challenge by Leo Babauta

Waste Not, Want Not by Joshua Becker

Are any of your friends interested in minimalism or living simply?

If so, please invite them to subscribe.

Brought to You By

MinimalissimoThe Minimalists, and 5 STYLE

Loading more posts…