Recently I’ve been exposed to some books about the minimalist lifestyle and quickly realized that my values are perfectly aligned with the minimalist principles and that I have actually been applying them in my life and design work without consciously knowing it.
The word minimalism has gained big popularity in the recent years and it’s primarily known as either an architectural style, interior design style or some sort of hippy lifestyle where people give up their possessions and live like a monk. While these views could be true to some people minimalism is actually a frame of mind. It’s a change in priorities.
The minimalist thinking focuses on two things:
1) Identify what is useless.
2) Remove it.
Yep, stupid simple. And why should you get rid of the things you have?
Less clutter means less information to mentally process, which automatically highlights the beauty and meaning of what we have.
Having less stuff in your life will bring up great joy and benefits like:
- Less Stress – Having less items to manage or worry about allows you have a better quality of life. Consumerism always promises happiness and a stress free life, but it never delivers it.
- Quality over Quantity – By having less you can focus on quality. More is never better but better is always going to be better.
- Enhance Productivity – Having less possessions automatically means less things to clean, insure or fix which means more time for you to focus on what you love. Minimalist thinking also promotes single tasking which means do one thing at the time and do it right, then move on onto the next – which is one of the greatest secrets of productivity.
- Improve the Environment. Where do you think all of the stuff and clutter that you buy and throw away goes? It does not disappear from earth, though some tend to think that it does. Sadly it stays right here since we don’t have interstellar Garbage Trucks just yet.
- Save Money – No need to buy or fix things = Money in your pocket.
- Improve Aesthetics – Removing confusion and clutter enhances the beauty of things and makes you focus on what really matters.
As a designer I find this topic close to my heart because it has always been my goal in design to simplify and declutter in order to get to the heart of something.
It is so easy and tempting to add elements or steps to a certain design, and often clients ask for these things. However, I believe it’s important to distinguish what’s wanted from what’s needed.
I often ask myself these questions before adding anything to a design:
- Is this thing going to add value to the product?
- Is this going to make it easier to understand or use?
If I have the slightest doubt, I just remove it and move on.
I hope this post will inspire you to become more by doing and having less. If you are curious about the minimalist lifestyle here are some resources for you:
Minimalist Living (45min Audiobook)
Minimalis (49min Audiobook)
Have you found yourself wanting to live a more minimalist lifestyle? Comment below!