I came across Minimalism a few years ago and it fitted with much who I was, and am for a number of reasons.
We had moved country, had a second child, and had had to start consider budgeting. Initially we had to minimalise out of necessity. When we bought a house a couple of years ago, I decided to be mindful of Minimalism in the way we altered it and filled it.
We consider what we bring into our home – including the toys we provide for our girls. Less is more in this regard too. Fewer toys necessitate greater imaginations. Fewer toys equal more open space to play, and less time spent tidying up.
I had travelled a lot before children, and had moved house so often that I had shed possessions over and over again. Then from 2006 to 2008 James and I drove a short-wheel base Landcruiser from the UK down through Europe, all-around the African continent, and back through the Balkans and Europe to the UK. For those 2 years everything we used, wore, and needed, fitted into that car. Our priorities were always clear. We needed water, fuel and healthy fresh food. We slept when it was dark, and woke when it was light. We exchanged books when we could. We didn’t miss the lack in excess.
I think I have always tended towards a Minimalist way. I am not a hoarder, I find it easy to get rid of things. I am neither a trend setter, nor a trend follower so I wear what I like rather than what is dictated. I have always travelled very lightly, and I have never been drawn to accumulate possessions which had no useful purpose. I appreciate aesthetics immensely (hence the name of this blog – a simple beautiful life), but would rather own a single beautiful vase than a collection of ok-looking pieces.
Although I did tend towards simplicity – there have been a few significant influences on this journey. In the time that I have been following these pioneers, the Minimalism movement has swelled and grown into a global movement, which is now becoming the tiny house movement.
Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist was my first contact with Minimalism. I have followed his writings and ideas the longest. What I love about him is in authenticity, his personal take on his ongoing journey, and the clear, simple way he lays things out. His st
Then came Courtney Carver at Be More with Less. Her inspiring capsule wardrobe 333 and her mantra “simplicity = love”. “Be more with less is about simplifying your life and really living. Living with less creates time and space to discover what really matters”. For Courtney her wake up call happened when she was diagnosed with MS. She is open, honest, and writes in a way that I can relate to. She offers such good advice for every season and occasion.
Next was Brian Gardner from No Sidebar with his design-minded take on white space – check out the most Minimalist website out there. I did his 30 day course which is well worth it. Here’s a quote from Brian: “A simple life is all about being intentional—with the things you do, with the things you own, and with the people you spend time with. It’s about holding onto the things that matter, and letting go of the things that don’t.”
Marie Kondo and her idea of inanimate objects sparking joy spoke to me too, along with the millions she has influenced. I fold my daughters’ t shirts the way she suggests.
Marc & Angel Hack Life too are honest and open about their journey from dissatisfied people to hugely motivating pair and they offer a whole lot of really great guidance about living a great life. Look out for quotes and point form advice aplenty.
Leo Babauta of Zen Habits is someone I have found more recently. He is wonderful. This is from his intro on his website and it all just resonates with me. “Zen Habits is about finding simplicity and mindfulness in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness.”
Mrs Frugalwoods – I did her course too. She teaches “Achieving Financial Independence through Simple Living.” Although I do not live as frugal an existence as the Frugalwoods, I have gained a lot of ideas about saving and not overspending from reading about their story, and have enjoyed watching it develop as the movement to own less has grown in popularity.