Am I a minimalist? You would think this is a simple question but it is something I have been struggling with! You either are a minimalist or you are not? Sounds simple but nothing is ever black and white and this is no exception. This topic came to head with a recent comment. I commented on a fellow bloggers post, Mind. Beauty. Simplicity and she posed the question to me. Do I consider myself minimalistic? And I struggled with answering this question. I did not know how to respond. I try to practice minimalism and integrate the concept into aspects of my life so why is this question stumping me?
My first thought was to Google the definition. This would make it plain and simple…so you would think. According to Google, below is the definition.
- a trend in sculpture and painting that arose in the 1950s and used simple, typically massive, forms.
- an avant-garde movement in music characterized by the repetition of very short phrases which change gradually, producing a hypnotic effect.
So that is not helpful at all. Trying to find a fitting definition is much harder than you would think. So I decided to stop trying to define minimalism. Why? Because nobody fits into the perfect definition of anything and minimalism is defined by the individual.
What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you think about minimalism? I think simple, intentional, organized, clean, having enough and not needing or wanting more. I think of a clean organized space with each item having a purpose. I think of intentionally using the items I already own before spending my money to have more. I make an attempt to not be wasteful. This does not mean I am cheap or that I do not spend money. I shop just like everybody else but I make the best attempt to be mindful of my spending and purchases. The goal is to think before you spend. Use what you have first and avoid excess waste. Minimalism is about your mindset. It is about being content with what you have and not continually wanting more even when you can have more.
There are no rules when it comes to minimalism. Nobody says you have to have a certain number of anything. If having 10 forks or 100 forks in your home suits your life then great! You define your own rules. My focus is on clarity, intentionalism, moderation and purpose.
So am I a minimalist? I would have to say YES but I think a better question is… Do I live a simple intentional lifestyle? Absolutely!