These days there is a lot of talk about minimalism and simplifying life. It´s quite a trend, and I really am very glad about it. People are generally waisting way too much things and resources, buying too much stuff they don´t even need, thinking that it´s going to make them happy.
I already read some books about this topic, from a zen guide to cleaning, to the world best seller books of my all-time favourite reorganising guru, Marie Kondo. I learned a lot and experimented a lot for myself at home. I reorganised several times all my clothes, books and everything that didn´t have a own place. I was, and am still looking for the best way to live and the best balance between minimalism and tasteful interior design.
In this process, some people throw nearly everything away, to feel free and follow the life they always wanted (like in a tiny mobile home or backpack traveling around the world). I admire such choices, I think that many people really could do the same and actually feel much better and, finally happy. The would quit the job they hate, sell everything and follow their dreams.
For a split of a second, I thought about that, saw me on a world tour, with just one bag…a Louis Vuitton bag…? I must admit, that living from the suitcase is a thing I really don´t like. Actually I don’t really enjoy traveling, to be honest. I like seeing museums, new places and meet new people, but traveling itself and living in places that don´t fulfil my aesthetic idea can´t make ME happy. I am really not thrilled about the idea of touring the world that way. Actually my ideal travelling would be by carriage, and my belongings would be packed in luxurious trunks.
But, under some aspects, I am minimalist or, better, I try to be one on my own terms. I like the way people valued things in the last centuries, actually until the generation of my grandmother. Everything was more expensive than today, but things were also better made, and people treasured them much more that today. Plus, they didn´t own so much as we do. Also the rich, who of course had more belongings, didn´t throw things away as we do today. Their collections would be, for example, of books (a library full of them-not a waste at all), expensive furniture with a real value (not our “build it yourself”kind of unstable items of furniture) or clothes of the finest fabrics (mostly hand made, of course). The main difference today, is that we normally own a lot of worthless stuff.. Cheap to buy, but nothing worth if you would like to sell it.
I love the aesthetic of the old homes and items. That is way real minimalism is not so right for me. I love rich fabrics, a library, antiques and opulent table settings. But this doesn’t mean, that it´s a waste, if you really value what you have. And a thing that is practical can also be beautiful! Like in the past times: a mirror was not only a mirror, it was also a piece of art, as a brush, a plate and nearly everything in an household. (If you can not imagine how people lived in the past, read a book that plays back then, or watch a good costume movie!)
How to change something and be happier
The first step would be to reduce what we buy. Do we really need the 10th phone case? Or another cheap shirt (that will surely be ugly already after washing it twice). Let´s think about that, and try not to buy anything we don´t really need. Think also about where this things were made, and who made them!
When we realise how intoxicated we are with rubbish, it´s really eye-opening.
If we need something, or we want to buy something, we could think about buying things like in the, let´s say, victorian period. (Now I want to appoint, that of course not everybody has the financial possibilities to do this, so I address this to the people who would spend a lot of money on things, anyway.)
For clothes, try to choose brands that produce locally, or in the same country, choose natural fabrics that look expensive, a style that will not be out of fashion after a season, and mind the fit. Surround yourself with high-quality items in general, and don´t let distract yourself by shiny advertise and fashions. Buy wisely!
If you start thinking like this, you will notice, that you will automatically start to pay more attention to what enters your home and enjoy more what you already have. Plus, you will notice how much money you could save without buying things spontaneously.
Sincerely, your M.
This will not be the last post about this topic, for more detailed advises stay tuned on this blog.