Everyone consumes in slightly varied ways on a daily basis. My personal everyday products consist of take-away coffees, magazines, and groceries, after having cut down on buying things that aren’t vital. To me, minimalism is all about possessing only the bare essentials. It doesn’t have to be things that are aesthetically minimal, which is the reputation minimalism is getting on social media and through bloggers.
When I moved to the UK for uni, useless things like flyers, free goodies and paperwork started piling up which, without me realising, started making my mind feel cluttered and unproductive. One of the main reasons I have reduced buying plastic is not to have all that waste lying around the house, piling up and being a distraction. I remember seeing this quote by William Morris somewhere and the profound effect it had one me: “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”. Obviously, as a student, a lot of things are out of control and you already don’t have all of your possessions with you, but it is important to keep the things you consume in control and be aware of what you bring into your home. There are a plethora of interesting theories to live by, if you are about to employ a slower, more minimal approach to living. Here are some of the most interesting ones I have come across.
Doomsday preppers prepare themselves a survival kit; you could do the same and then get rid of anything that doesn’t fit in that bag. This is an extreme version of minimalism that won’t fit everyone’s lifestyle, but you could use it as a starting point to test what things really matter to you.
"To me, minimalism is all about possessing only the bare essentials."
Tips on Minimal Consumption #Savant
'One in, one out': this theory is based on when you buy something new, you get rid of something else. The new thing could be a replacement for an old thing which could make this easier than it sounds. Also remember, never just chuck things away: try to donate, sell, rent, pass down.
The 10/10 Material Possessions theory is by the founders of ‘The Minimalists’ blog; it states that listing 10 of your most valuable possessions monetary wise and 10 of the things that bring the most value to your life will help you see what things are actually important to you. Chances are, money and value won’t mean the same thing to you if you desire to pursue a minimal lifestyle.
If you want something a little more challenging; ‘The Minimalists’ suggest doing a 30-day challenge which consists of pairing up with someone who's willing to explore minimalism with you, and getting rid of one more thing each day than the day before, starting with getting rid of one thing on day one.
Last but not least, I would highly recommend The Minimalists documentary, which is a really good way of getting started and introducing yourself to the ideologies and what led different people to Minimalism. Also, checking out Youtubers can be helpful to some, and people like Alli Cherry and Jenny Mustard are quite inspiring, and touch on the many areas of life that minimalist living affects.
By Jennie Barck, Editor-in-Chief of The Maker Journal. Celebrating the contemporary makers of today, The Maker Journal supports slower fashion production and craftsmanship, and focuses on the skilled designers and creatives who dedicate their lives to making this change.