Simple Living

A minimal guide to life.

words–

Lila Theodoros

@ohbabushka

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The concept of minimalism is growing in popularity as a fashionable home design aesthetic. But, beyond the popular headline, "How to declutter your life in ten steps or less", minimalism can serve a deeper purpose and create a pathway to freedom.

Minimalism as a visual language in art and design emerged in the early 1960s.

Artists were inspired by earlier geometric abstraction and monochromatic works such as the Proposte Monocrome, Epoca Blu series by Yves Klein – featuring 11 identical blue canvases – which aimed to expose the authenticity of a pure idea.

Minimalism as a concept expanded on this and a clearer visual language formed. The aim was to pursue a purer exploration of essence through the method of removing what is not essential.

Within this concept, minimalism offered the ability to see what is real. What has meaning. What is truth. Truth was revealed by identifying and removing the non-essential.

The beauty within this idea has grown beyond a visual language. When applied to the realm of lifestyle, the term minimalism is interpreted as simple living, and has been building momentum as an inspired and somewhat revolutionary movement in our high consumption, must-have-latest-thing world.

The basics of minimalism as a lifestyle movement can simply be experienced by reducing the amount of items that are felt necessary to living comfortably. To embrace the idea that we do have enough. This allows more space for the things that are really important. By removing the need for physical clutter – I don’t need more – mental and emotional space are made available for things that actually matter – peace, quality time for family and friends, joy, laughter and experiences.

Greek philosopher Epicurus (341–270 BC) reasoned that ‘troubles entailed by maintaining an extravagant lifestyle tend to outweigh the pleasure of partaking in it’. Applied to our mass-consumer-appearances-are-everything world, the dollars required to present a lifestyle of abundance and ease (#grateful) require hours of stress, work and time – troubles that outweigh the partaking of the delights we work hard to afford.

Modern minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (The Minimalists) define minimalism as “a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favour of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfilment, and freedom.”

“Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth and contribution.”

The gamut of commitment or interpretation of minimalism runs from playing the Minimalist’s Game – an intense 30 day game where you get rid of one item on day one, two items on day two, three items on day three as so on – to simply reducing unnecessary consumption and re-allocating time (previously focussed on earning money to afford all the things) to other more meaningful activities.

Remove what is not necessary and simplify life.


 

Grey Sweatshirt from ASSEMBLY LABEL. Chair borrowed from our friend Heidi and originally from WORN STORE. Vase by EMMA GALE. Trainers by SPRINGCOURT. Painting a Paradiso hommage to YVES KLIEN.