Minimal vs Boring

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@nordic.design

Minimalism has become a fairly popular trend that has transformed all areas of life – clothing, beauty, home style, art, and design. I find that I gravitate towards a minimal personal style. Jeans and a tshirt, white Converse; a fairly neutral color palette; simple jewelry; clean graphic design; “effortless” bed-head hairstyles. And if you were to picture me after these brief descriptions, you’d most likely think I was a boring person. I often hear this argument that minimalism = boring. That somehow, less things/content means its lacking in substance and life.

It has taken me a while to figure out the right way to describe my minimalism. Because quite honestly, it varies greatly from person to person. It has somehow become people axing all the “needless” things in their life. I watched a video about a lady who only had 2 tshirts. I’m sorry, but there’s no way that’s feasible for the average person. Minimalism doesn’t mean stripping your life of everything that’s non-essential. I’m not trying to go out and buy anything and everything that is “trendy”, but I’m not insinuating that I live with one fork and knife.

To me, minimalism means curated. I choose to have very specific things in my life. We shouldn’t be mindlessly throwing everything out, just to say we only have a few things left. It defeats the purpose of what the minimalism movement is about.

Minimalism is not subtraction for the sake of subtraction. Minimalism is subtraction for the sake of focus.

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I subtracted the things that didn’t matter to me. And now, when I get something new, I make a conscious effort to deliberate over whether a) I need that thing, b) if I will actually use that thing more than once, and c) if I will truly enjoy having that thing in my life. I would rather have a few beautiful and curated books on a shelf, than an overwhelming boat-load of novels I’ll never be interested in reading. I would rather have a few well-worn tshirts, than a closet overflowing with nothing I want to wear. I would rather have a few close, interesting, and wonderful friends, than a bunch of sub-par acquaintances that make me feel popular.

I’m not saying I’m perfect. It’s taken me a long time to go through my life. And I haven’t even made a dent in most areas. But it pains me to think people argue minimalism means boring. If done well, minimalism means sifting through the things/experiences/people/content of your life, and specifically choosing what is most important and valuable to you. Engage. Organize. Analyze. Value. Curate.