On this week’s episode of the podcast, we had freedom-based luxury lifestyle designer and business coach Erica Duran on to discuss her globe-trotting, minimalist lifestyle and her tips on how to integrate more simplicity into our lives. The concepts of minimalism and decluttering have been huge in our world lately. Clean, simplistic aesthetics have taken over our Instagram feeds and HGTV might as well be called “The Tiny House Channel.”
But despite the ever-growing popularity of downsizing and living with less, most people would still say that “Minimalism” isn’t for them. Which is totally understandable. As a concept, capital-M Minimalism is pretty intimidating! I’m sorry, you want me to purge all of my belongings and live out of a backpack? No, thank you.
But here’s the thing: You don’t have to purge all of your belongings and live out of a backpack! Actually, you don’t have to do ANYTHING (duh, live your life). Sure, in the ~true~ sense of the ideology of Minimalism, one aims to live with as little as possible. But let’s think about it in a more utilitarian sense. If minimalism appeals to you, but you aren’t sure you can “go all the way,” take a step back and ask yourself what aspect of minimalism appeals to you. Why are you attracted to it? Is it the freedom from material things? The extra space? The stress that will be lifted once you don’t have to deal with so much stuff and clutter?
The secret of little-M minimalism, is that there is no secret. Minimalism is just whatever. You want to sell all your books, move into a tiny house, and only own 5 items of clothing? Sweet! I bet that’ll be awesome! But we have to be real and recognize that, for most people, that lifestyle is pretty extreme. So you like having 3 different sets of fine china and a shelf full of books and 32 pairs of shoes? GREAT! Being a minimalist is not about having very little. It is about ensuring that the things you do have are things that serve a purpose, bring you joy, and add value to your life. Simple as that!
Making moves toward a more minimalist lifestyle does not have to be drastic. It’s just whatever you need it to be. If you want to move in that direction, start looking at your belongings and asking yourself “Does this material item add value to my life? Does it make me happy?” If not, consider getting rid of it. But if the answer is “yes”, no dogma or lifestyle is worth letting that go.