3 good reasons to become minimalistic

It’s the new trendy statement that is cool to adopt. As its name indicates, minimalism implies that less is more. The idea? Living with as few belongings as possible, everyone being free to decide on the exact number that corresponds to them. Careful, each possession is accounted for, comprising all objects: a pair of socks, a coffee machine, a bonnet...

The movement has literally exploded following the broadcast of Minimalism : A documentary about important things on Netflix that went viral. In just a few months, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, two Americans at the origin of the phenomenon, became the new gurous of followers seeking a meaning in a materialistic society, where one buys too often without thinking twice. So why should we follow this new trend?

1.To make money without practically doing anything (or almost)

Since minimalists only keep objects that really mean something to them, your first action will consist in getting rid of all the superfluous. Concretely, high-heel stilettos (that also happen to be potentially dangerous) that you bought on whimsy, books that collect dust on your shelves, the TV you never turned on again since the victory of Jenifer on Star Ac’ (that was in 2002 !)…

In a video posted on Facebook, Maxime Barbier, founder of MinuteBuzz explains that by selling all your furniture and a great part of your possessions (he kept 200), his conversion to minimalism enabled him to finance his holidays.

To each their sorting method. Like Marie Kondo, the queen of storage, minimalists recommend making a barrel selection. Start by getting rid of all the clothes and stuff you no longer feel like—in case of doubt allow to simmer in a garbage bag. If you don’t touch this bag for two months, then you are ready for the separation. Le Bon Coin, Vestiaire Collective, the Vinted app and second hand stores such as La Cloakroom and La Frange à l’envers will be your new best friends. Sentimental objects are to be sorted last.

2. In order to forget the leitmotiv « I have nothing to wear » / For an extra half hour of sleep in the morning

Sounds familiar? Well we are ready to bet that your wardrobe is so jammed up that a pile of jeans threatens to fall on your face every morning. In their closets, minimalists only go for the essentials, by systematically privileging basics. How many? With 30 basic pieces that can be mixed together, you certainly have quite enough for a wide number of combos. Mathilde Lacombe, founder of Birchbox and serial shopper, confessed on Instagram having been encouraged by the Netflix documentary to create a void in her wardrobe. Her credo ? Go for a uniform, for example the combo striped shirts/jeans, that she has in a handful of models. Thus she saves a lot of precious time every morning.

3. To be (more) happy

Minimalism could very well be a source of happiness, and it is indeed the supreme quest of those following the movement and the promise formulated by Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn. Their feedback is simple: money and everything you can purchase with it will not make you happy.

Otherwise, how can one explain that in our society of (over)consumption, even those who have the most money are not sure to lead a joyful and fully serene existence.

Conditioned by advertising and images of perfect lives that circulate on the social networks, we tend—consciously or not— to surround ourselves with objects in order to fill out emptiness … in vain.

The joy of compulsive shopping is generally short lived. Ryan Nicodemus formulates it this way: « I was spending money faster than I could make it and I was unhappy ».

The mantra of minimalists? Consume less but better. Translation, only keep what has value in your eyes and/or what brings you joy. Rather than sell your stuff, you could give it away to your friends or the Red Cross —the pleasure will be all the more gratifying. Then, only buy what you really want. Know how to differentiate the whim of the moment from the reasonable purchase that you will never regret. In the end, minimalists say they feel « lighter » and treat themselves more willingly to experiences (trips, restaurants, theater…), indeed not materialistic, but sources of emotions. So, are your ready for the big jump?

Julie Zwingelstein

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