I think I’m a minimalist. Which is probably weird to say, because most people who describe themselves as being a minimalist do so after being a maximalist, or even a hoarder. But I think I am a minimalist, out of both preference and necessity. I both prefer to live a minimalist lifestyle and believe is necessary for my well-being and pocket book.
Let’s talk about preference first: I hate having loads of stuff around the house. Stuff in this sense is defined as random knick knacks, little decorations, and random junk cluttering the counters. For me, this stuff is just another thing collecting dust, and I don’t want to spend all my free time dusting my junky stuff.
As for necessity: I simply don’t have the space in my tiny house OR the large budget to buy lots of stuff. (My partner also hates having a crowded home, so being minimalist together makes it more of a team effort.) As far as my budget is concerned, I am by no means wealthy, but I make a decent living for myself. I’m able to pay my bills and save for retirement. Any extra money I make usually goes toward a travel fund. I prefer to not spend my free time shopping for clothes or makeup, and being a minimalist makes that activity null and void.
Now, you may be thinking, hey Sam I’ve seen your house and you don’t really seem like a minimalist to me. Fair point. My house has blue and yellow walls, crowded bookshelves, and lots of cat toys laying around the floor. It’s a very different look and feel than the classically minimalist household characterized by white walls and zero clutter.
To be honest, I’ve only started calling myself a minimalist for the past 6 months or so, and this time has been spent mostly de-cluttering my own mindset. I’ve become more focused and determined when it comes to my goals and priorities. I have been consistently designing and writing. I’ve been putting myself out into the community to connect with other creatives. And I’ve started making small steps toward moving out of New Mexico and going to grad school. For me, these decisions and newfound focus are just as much about minimalism as having a clutter-free home.
I also decluttered my wardrobe, which is actually a process that has been ongoing for about a year. No joke, a year. Every three months or so I would go through my clothes and pick out things I no longer wear, or that don’t fit right. Last month, I finally reached a reasonable number of wardrobe items and I’m so damn proud of myself.
My “minimal” home itself is a work in progress, and I’m okay with that. One day maybe it will look classically minimal. Or maybe it won’t, and I’m okay with that too.