Be A Minimalist Any Way You Choose

Be a minimalist any way you choose. It’s a fad, a movement, a way of living, a label we give or receive. It turns out there are many different ways to practice the same underlying philosophy of less-is-more. And if you’re turned off by just the word, that’s OK too – you do you. Some of my best friends are maximalists. 😊

There are financial minimalists who seek to save money and retire early, through simple living. A worthy goal, IMHO, and a thoughtful attempt to make the future more secure. There are sustainable minimalists. My current hero of sustainable minimalism is Ecofriend Lia. She’s hard-core about using it up and wearing it out, and is content with three pairs of shoes. Girl!

I am a more-or-less practical minimalist. I enjoy the aesthetics of a simple space and simple life. I also love beautiful things, and choose to have a handful of them. A print of Marilyn Monroe as Theda Bara, left to us by my brother-in-law Randy. Two vintage bracelets given to me by Bryan from his mother’s collection.

By Richard Avedon. I am sorry for the tigers and deplore animal cruelty. But I made an exception for art, and for Randy whom I loved.

I also enjoy having fewer things to clean, store, and maintain. I’m far from an extremist, but I like having just two sets of bed sheets and towels. Three sets of cereal bowls, and four lipsticks. I breathe easier with fewer things around me.

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

 -Confucious, 551 BCE.

My favorite picture of myself. Simple wall, simple outfit, cat tights, Minetta Street, New York City.

As I get older and as my life changes, likewise the things I find necessary and valuable change. I am calmer with fewer decisions, leaving me room to laser in on what I love. I can say “no more” easily and without guilt. I spend my days with people I treasure (some by mail and Skype, but treasured nonetheless).

Finding the sweet spot, the just-enough, is my practical version of minimalism.

When I’m thinking about subtracting from my belongings, I ask myself simple questions:

  • If I were moving would I take this item?
  • Would I re-buy it now?
  • What if I need it sometime in the future? What are the realistic odds of a just-in-case scenario?
  •  Does this item tell a story of my relationship with someone important to me, or a life-changing experience? 

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

― William Morris

Simple outdoor beauty with a touch of glam.

What kind of minimalist might you be? As always, no wrong answers. Stay fabulous and safe, wash and wash and wash, xo

Listen to the professionals for all the latest news on the virus. Meanwhile, browse these simple goodies:

Header image of lily via source.

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  1. I’ve never been a minimalist and my living space is full of things I’ve found that I like to look at, and art, most of which has been made by people I know. The same goes for books and clothes. I may move closer to the minimalist side in the coming years, but I’ve learned that it’s ok if I don’t!

    • It’s more than OK if you like to keep your space full of things you love. It’s wonderful! Enjoy every day, stay well and safe, xx.

  2. Hi I remember when my husband and I were young parents and we had little money so minimalism was an every day thing without me really putting a name on it and of course, before it became popular. Now, even though we’re not wealthy, we can afford to buy “stuff” if we want to but it seems that we don’t really care to. I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist. Not at all, but I tend to live that way unintentionally if that makes sense. With this pandemic, I’ve dreamed of just browsing around in a store without worrying about getting sick, and I could do that but somehow never do! I open the drawers of my dresser and see all the clothes I have and think what do I really need? Nothing! We have to stop over consuming before we totally ruin this earth.

    • “I open the drawers of my dresser and see all the clothes I have and think what do I really need? Nothing!” That is my life too, Arlene! When you feel like browsing around in a store again, I hope you enjoy it. thanks for coming by and stay well, xx.

  3. I think maybe I go through phases. Sometimes I will be minimalist with clothes. Other times, with what I eat. Rarer, but at times, I get minimalist about clutter & “stuff.” So, I don’t think there is any one answer, for me.

    • Hi Jeanine and so nice to see you again! You sound like a happy middle, without extremes at either end. Stay well, xx.

  4. I don’t know whether this young woman is my hero or I feel sad for her. I am completely on board with consuming less but the psychologist in me wonders about this extreme restriction. I actually have watched a few of her videos as she facinates me. maybe she the wave of the future if this planet is to continue.

    • Hi Darby and thanks for coming by. Yes, Lia is on a far extreme of the minimalism spectrum. And that’s a great observation about whether we’ll all need to become “extreme”, just to keep living here. xx

  5. My sister was a maximalist. When someone would recite the Morris quote, she would say “But I believe it’s all beautiful!”. And when someone suggested she apply the Marie Kondo method, she responded “It all sparks joy in me!” And it all did. She was a happy camper.

    • Love this story, thanks for sharing it Jean! Your sister loved all the things, and I hope she had fun. There’s no “one way” to enjoy our lives. stay well, xx.

  6. Great advice thank you ,I am transitioning toward minimalism and trying to dowsize.It is such a good thing there is a Housing work thrift store a few blocks from my apartment. I find it easier to part with mistake buys and other items I should not keep knowing someone else can be happy with a bargain and housing works can use the sale money to support one of their charities a win win win situation.

    • Hello Joan and thanks for taking the time to read and comment! I often use Housing Works too, they do a lot of good in the world. And I must admit, I’ve bought a few things there too! Stay safe and well, xx.

  7. Thanks, Jean, for coming over and for your kind remarks! Your wardrobe sounds just-right for Florida (I live here too). Have a great day and stay well, xx.

  8. I have become a black & white minimalist. Funny since I moved to Florida from Chicago, five years ago…
    But have downsized everything. I live in half the space. Have gotten rid of most of my work wordrobe, so living in shorts, skorts, tanks & white/black blouses.
    I really enjoy your column. It appeals to my age, station in life and the odd quirk.

    • Thanks, Jean, for coming over and for your kind remarks! Your wardrobe sounds just-right for Florida (I live here too). Have a great day and stay well, xx.

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