Like in art, I am a practitioner of minimalism in my life. I'm always trying to reduce to have more time, more freedom, more happiness, etc. I love spaces with just a few objects and simple lines and design. I recently got rid of a lot of my possessions because they were making no sense anymore in my life.
And what about you? Are you minimalists? Do you apply minimalism in your lives?
Share your thoughts.
"Less is more."
Oh Eduardo, what a good topic. I am a minimalist as much as I can be. For instance, I keep only reference books (& recently I gave away some of there,) use the library rather than purchase and when given books, I read and "release them." I keep a pared down wardrobe. I go through my possessions and donate what I no longer use. As you say, I'm always trying to reduce to have more time, freedom, etc. However, my husband is not a minimalist. He loves collecting things. He has mid-century German vases, old flashlights, contemporary ceramic pieces, art work (we have walls full of our own plus other people's) and more. He gets real pleasure from this. All of his collections are displayed wonderfully (he's a designer/artist.) People comment on how nice our space looks. This is why, for me, being able to post my minimal Mail Art pieces, to share in minimalism, is such a pleasure. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share this.
You're welcome, Mim.
For a while I though I was turning to a collector too. Now some stuff are still in boxes abandoned or forgotten.
Because of that, because they were just occupying space, I had to take an attitude. And I was already slowly going deeper into minimalism.
My interest in minimalism grew significantly in recent times.
That's why I started doing minimal mail art. Working the pieces with fewer elements makes perfect sense to me. When I try to add a lot of stuff into a collage or something else, it ends in disaster.
I like it simple and clean (but I don't throw away the fact that I really enjoy complex art as well.)
To be true, I love every type of art. Not just simple art. :D
Eduardo and Mim, the freedom of your minimalist approaches to life/art makes me envious! Stuff just sticks to me when I leave the house, and it seems impossible to change much, even with years of effort. Were you always leaning toward minimalist in how you live, or how long ago did you change it and what did it take? Maybe I am too "delighted" or something by things, but it seems that all the time I fall in love with even the smallest thing (nearly always old and/or found) and can't part with it. And still like seeing it wherever it lands inside. But there are too many, and the effect can be interesting+rich but also a creeping claustrophobia--of the mind, especially, which of course affects everything in art/life.
It's why the minimalist group immediately appealed to me. It's a great antidote! And way to see more minimally if even for a short time. I'm glad you started this discussion, Eduardo--something on my mind always constantly!--and I certainly expect no one to fix my own situation, but how you each, and anyone else who replies, got where you are with minimalism interests me no end.
I became aware of minimalism last year. Before that I just kept everything I found interesting. But the problem was that it was just becoming that claustrophobia you describe.
Then I asked my myself one day "do I really need these things in my life to be happy? Do I really need these things to live life?"
And it all made sense right away.
So I started to donate and sell everything that I didn't use in the last 10 years.
And I tend to follow a rule. The rule of not having extra unnecessary stuff. Like for instance, if I have three jackets, but I'm only using two, I keep those two I love most and give the other to someone else.
But this is just an example. It can be applied to different things. There are cases, however, to which this rule cannot be applied.
But I think the first step into minimalism is learning to let go. Because we tend to give a sentimental value to material possessions. But as soon as we learn to let go, everything becomes easier.
KDJ - hilarious about the packets of mayonaise and books on decluttering!
She is hilarious. Someone get me up off the floor.
Wait a minute! This would give a nice Mail Art project. Apocalyptical collections. Objects kept for the end of the world. HAHAH!
Anyway, KDJ, I donated so many books already. And I don't miss them at all. Because I realized that they were just filling the empty space in the shelf. And I don't need to impress anyone with those books.
How many times do we keep books because "I might read them again."? The truth is that it just happens with one or two books. Or years pass and it doesn't happen at all. :)
Maybe for me it started with reading the Tao Te Ching, or not. I'm not sure. Here's my practice: when something wears out, I replace it only if I need whatever it is. If I get something new, like my husband buying me earrings for my birthday recently - I release an older pair of earrings. Sometimes I do One thing in, Two things out. It works for me. I have somethings that I hold onto for sentimental reasons - a tiny cup and saucer that belonged to my maternal grandmother, a mechanical pencil that belonged to my friend, a couple of articles of baby clothing from our children (which hopefully I can hand over to them at some point. But having had to clear out my parents belongings, and a friend's when she died, I'm very aware of Too Much Stuff. That said, my studio is not so minimal, in fact, it's pretty maximal.
And by the way, guys, this site gave some sort of inspiration:
Thanks. Good link.
NO, NO and NO. BY this I mean that I like my space to be invaded by as much as stuff as possible!
This stimulates me. I cannot creat in the void, man!
I love writing for instance in crowded and noisy restaurants and public places.
I love being surrounded by books, CD and DVD, art, mail art, paper and paper and my cats and friends !!!
Be careful with your process, buddy, it is 2 close to a F*** Manager in control and power of his surroundings and then saying I AM IN HARMONY WITH THE COSMOS !! Look at me, I think I have the power ON everything.
Fake faker and even more fake; the cosmos is NOT harmony; it is CHAOS, so embrace chaos in your own life, as a driving creative force, also for minimal art approaches, there is NO contradiction here, but that is only my opinion.
There is only one person that could really contribute to this debate and that is N B S
HAHAHAH! Relax Guido. I'm not going into that manager in control thing. :)
Minimalism is nothing about that. Every person has it's own way to understand minimalism. For me minimalism is not living without nothing. Is not living in an empty house. For me minimalism is living with just the essential so I can have more time for the things I love without being under the materialistic slavery and lesser distractions.
Since I began practicing minimalism I've been creating more, I've been riding more my bicycle, I've been doing more mail art, I've been painting more, I've been reading more, and so on, because I'm not wasting any more time with the superfluous stuff which made not sense in my life anymore.
I'm not getting rid of everything I own. I still have my CD collection, my xbox games, some books, etc. Because minimalism for me is that. Keeping just what matters, what makes sense and get rid of everything that is just occupying space and time in our lives. And there are so many unnecessary stuff in our lives (and it's a pain when we have to clean a room packed with clutter)...
But it's like everything else. While minimalism makes sense to me, to other people something else might make sense.
That's why life is so complex and fascinating. :)
Thank you very much for your thoughts on this topic, Guido.