Minimalism is on the rise. The movement, characterized by living with intention rather than buying things to buy them, has steadily gained traction over the past few years. On the surface it may seem like a crazy idea – living in tiny spaces with only the things you need sounds like the opposite of what most deem ideal. However, it’s not about how much stuff you have, but what that stuff does for you.
While on your journey to becoming a minimalist, you’ll learn a couple of things. First, it’s not just about being tidy. Minimalism is essentially the antithesis of consumerism. It teaches you that you don’t need a bunch of things in order to be happy, and how to make the things you do have work for you. Advertising plays a big part in feelings of discontent, and companies are fully aware of their impact. Materialism began in the early 70’s due to the cheapness of products coming from China. Companies began following this blueprint, relying heavily on cheap labor to drive down the cost of their products. Not only are we producing more for less, but new products are constantly being produced. But while production goes up, what happens to the environment?
Practicing minimalism lessens your ecological footprint. When there is over production, everything that is needed to go into production has to be produced twice as fast and twice as much. Many things go into producing items, some we don’t even think about, such as the gas that goes into the trucks that transport items and the water needed to make them. All of these things contribute to our deteriorating environment. Not to mention, it impacts the health of the people working in some factories where popular items are made. History has shown that these factories often catch fire or collapse due to the lack of concern for their workers.
Minimalism is a cure for more than just consumerism. By practicing minimalism you can improve your life and the life of others, as well as the environment. It’s about quality over quantity. For those who may feel like you have too many things, or like you’re working overtime for a place outside of your means, a minimalist lifestyle could be for you. Shows like Tiny House, Big Living give us an inside look on how easy it is to live with less. Less time working, less “stuff”, less things to worry about. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?