Sometimes I think my brand of minimalism is ‘up there’ in terms of how much I’m reducing. Then I compare myself to someone else, like Alison from 600sqft and a baby and I realise, wow, I’m not.
Minimalism comes in many shapes and sizes. A lot of the time, people think it means having bare walls, wearing white or black and not buying anything, ever. While some of my minimalist friends do limit themselves to that type of lifestyle, perhaps owning 55 things or producing zero waste, there are many that define minimalism as merely less.
For me, the minimalism journey is a journey. It isn’t a destination. Cliché as that may sound, I realise how far I have come just in the few months since I discovered it. Speaking with my husband, who believes he has always been a bit minimalist (I’m not sure due to the number of board games and video games he buys/owns!), I’ve now gone from one extreme to the other. As a woman, I’m sure we are much more likely to be less minimalist than our male partners or friends, as the average woman grows up to think shopping is the most fun activity, and that clothes and make-up are the best way to define yourself.
Since learning I was expecting, I felt compelled to give the-over-the-top nursery a miss, to purchase as few things as I could, and I thought I’d done well. But then I read this post and realised I still have things I don’t need, things I’ve just purchased (second-hand) and I wonder whether I will use them. With less than 7 weeks to go, I will find out soon enough. The beauty of minimalism is that it’s a process of constant evolution, of ongoing change. I can sell the things I don’t use, or give them away. I can adapt and learn from my experience and the experience of others. I’m minimalist because I believe consumption leads to debt, it isn’t good for the planet and it makes people anxious. For many, a high level of consumption, having shiny new things is just what they want. And if you’d asked me three years ago, I could have given you a long list of all the things I wanted and needed. But now, ask me what I want, it’s more time, it’s freedom. For me, minimalism comes in many shapes or sizes, but for most, it’s about freedom and time.