The Way of the Minimalist

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There is a movement, its the Minimalist Movement!

As you have by now noticed, this blog is called Latent Lifestyle and so there is a clue to the potential lifestyle you can have in the title.  However, our overwhelming need to de-clutter and minimise today is something that is becoming a movement.  A realisation that there is more to life than buying stuff!

To be a minimalist does not guarantee happiness, a bright future or a happy healthy relationship, but it could!  It does not guarantee that you will find your one true goal in life or that you will be free from dust collecting objects that litter the cupboards and sideboards.  Nope, none of that is the responsibility of minimalism.

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Minimalism is the desire to own such things that are useful to you on a regular basis, and not to be burdened with items that clutter your doorways and garages to the extent that moving around your home is more of an assault course than getting from A to B.  It is with this in mind that I would like to examine the true feeling of minimalism and the reason for it!

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I personally subscribe to the less is more belief as I become acutely aware how each item I own impacts my life.  Whether it be the pile of shoes I own but do not use or the countless tools that sit waiting to be used, each impacts how I can move around my home and how I can function as a human being.  I have now only 7 pairs of shoes – WHAT!  I just counted them!  SEVEN.  I thought I had less and it seems I have more than I want, but this is a hangover from keeping items I no longer require.  I can give shoes away, and one pair – a garden working pair – should really go to the bin.  The wellies are required for gardening tasks, and the others – necessary.  One pair for running, one pair for going out, one pair of flip flops for quick on / off shoes and swimming and the other two are for every day walk abouts.

The Number of Things?

So I can explain the uses for each pair, but seven is still a huge amount in my mind when really I only need two sets for everything – flip flops and a good pair of in/outdoor shoes.  Is this what minimalism is about?  Worrying about the number or is it rather considering the uses of the items!  The movement of minimalism should NOT be concerned with reducing your stuff because you are trying to reach a golden number of items.  You should reduce with the clarity of mind that says, I will use these items on a regular basis.

So what is considered a regular basis?  Lets do a little bit of calculating here!  If I only have a jacket that I wear on special occasions and wear it once a year – then that jacket will be worn approximately 30 times within its life, but it will have taken up a large chunk of space in your wardrobe/coat hook while it wasn’t being used!  A special occasion plate – may be used 10 times in the course of its life time, but the stress of protecting it from being broken/chipped, or even concerning yourself with what the right occasion might be, are all things to consider when selecting what is useful to you.

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Minimalism is about being selective.  This is the heart of it.  It will become very apparent that you do not need quite as much as you begin to reduce further, but to start, don’t look at how little another person has managed to whittle down their items to, but rather think about how you can improve your surroundings by reducing the number of un-useful things!  Like the coffee maker that only gets used once a month or less, but takes up space on the sideboard or in the cupboard.  Sell it and use the money to enjoy that one cup a month in a nice coffee shop you like.  Then come home and enjoy the freedom of moving around your home without the clutter.

Minimalism is great – just do it with the right intentions and with a good mindset.  No one is in competition here, it is just you and how you can experience life in a more real and vivid way.

I would relish your thoughts on minimalism and you can make those to me on Twitter or Facebook.  Living should be meaningful, existing to hold onto things you rarely use is not meaningful!

Act Anyway for tomorrow may never come

Maurice

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