What do you think of when you hear the word minimalism?
White rooms with sleek furniture? Depriving yourself of things you want? Anti-YOLO mentality?
It took me four years to really claim my interest in minimalism, because I was caught up in my own perceptions of it and didn’t feel like I fit the mold. My home and instagram did not look like what I imagined minimalism to be. I still struggled with keeping my wardrobe small. Toys always seemed to multiply despite my best efforts.
When I really started to think about the philosophy of minimalism, to remove excess to promote what you value most, I realized that there isn’t a final destination point. You are free to claim it in your effort.
I feel like many people avoid minimalism because they can’t imagine only wearing 33 items of clothing or they love bright colors, but I think we would all benefit from adopting the title of minimalism in our lives. From a Christian standpoint, it is a philosophy the Savior himself encouraged. In Matthew 6 he said,
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal :
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
He promoted us to focus on what lasts, to set our hearts upon those things. There is an implicit promise within these verses; as we set our hearts upon that which lasts, those things WILL last. Not only will they last, they will be strengthened through greater focus and intentional effort.
Of course, to choose minimalism, to claim that title, it helps to clarify what those things are to us. Family, faith, hobbies, nature, service? Consider what brings you that deep and lasting joy in your life and then consider what gets in the way of those things. Cleaning, expectations, exhaustion? All of these are simplified through minimalism.When you have less in your home, you have less to clean. When you start saying no and stop signing up for so much, you have less competition for your time and energy. You end up having more time and energy to give to what you actually want to be spending your time on.
What is keeping you from claiming minimalism and how could your life benefit from it?