Not another fancy story about minimalism

Just a realistic perspective on how to use better your daily energy


Margherita Amici

3 years ago | 5 min read

I know what you’re thinking: “another pretentious article about how cool minimalism is and how life is better with less”. Well, no. I’m not your average Karen.

Even though I got deep into minimalism for months now, I’m not going to tell you how you’re supposed to live your life to achieve the utmost fulfillment from it. I’m not going to convince you to adopt a one-size-fits-all lifestyle. Minimalism doesn’t come with a universal solution that fits everyone’s existence.

Some people consider it a sort of religion, in its most radical approach, maybe also because of the Netflix documentary, “Making Minimalism”, that recently went viral. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, on whose life choices Netflix made a series, also started a global movement called “The Minimalists”, with millions of followers worldwide.

They took extreme decisions that upended their lives. Most people can’t afford this approach since it’s quite unrealistic to get rid of everything and squeeze themselves in a strict framework of rules overnight.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

I lean towards more affordable and sustainable schemes. For instance, focusing on little habits and progressively turn them for good, with small steps, and embodying them in your daily routine, so that they become quickly performing. Speaking of habits, James Clear and its book, “Atomic Habits” has been crucial to me for finding the most effective method to develop new patterns and remain consistent with them. As for any habits, also for minimalism, it’s all about finding the process’s flow and then stick to it.

There is no improvisation in this: your awareness will play a crucial role, so if you are going to follow this path, make sure you’re willing to take it seriously, since — almost at the beginning — it could drain your energy.

Here’s a rule for all: consistency is always harder than a revolutionary change.

All I’m going to do is to analyze some fields which could benefit from a minimalistic approach, based on my personal experience, and providing you with useful information to understand what minimalism actually means.

Then it’ll be up to you to decide if your life still needs that massive amount of distractions or not.

1. Clothing

We’ve all been there: compulsive clothing shopping, then credit card bill hits like a gut punch, and we’re all “I’m never going to financially-recover from this”. The frustration feeling is higher when you’ve a full closet and nothing to wear.

What does it mean? That you’ve been shopping irrationally. In some borderline cases, it comes with a real disease, and it requires an intervention by a specialist or a support group. But most frequently, its nothing more than a bad habit you can easily get rid of.

The first step to take is to think about your regular outfits, the ones you use the most, let’s say what you wear on a weekly basis. Do not open your closet yet; just think about them. Then, pull them off your wardrobe and set them aside: don’t get rid of them, since there is no reason to throw out something you still consider valuable and useful. Then, take a deep breath and find out everything you’ve still in your closet.

I can bet there are more clothes left in your wardrobe than what you’ve set aside after the first screening.

This isn’t meant to be the complete guide for a capsule wardrobe, so do not expect to find all the steps you should take for creating one. It’s just an experiment to let you acknowledge how much you tend to collect in your closet and how little you actually use. If, after this first experiment, you feel that there’s something to change in your relationship with clothes, take a deep breath, and start decluttering! I’ve found out many useful and detailed articles that provide a sort of manual for creating a minimalist wardrobe, like this one from Jennifer Taylor Chan.

2. Social media

My whole perspective on social media drastically changed after an eye-enlightening read: Digital Minimalism, by Cal Newport. There I started wondering if my social media interactions could somehow benefit from decluttering.

And there we are again: there is no magic formula to apply minimalism to your involvement with social networks. It’s not about deleting all your social media accounts, throw away your smartphone, and get rid of your internet connection.

Even though many people decided to live this way, finding contentment in an Amish-likely existence, this would be a disastrous route for many of us. When Cal Newport talks about a digital decluttering, he refers to a more balanced solution to overcome the notification anxiety.

Digital Minimalism is a philosophy of technology in which you focus your online time on a few carefully selected activities that support the things you value.”

This process is even more demanding than a total deletion of your online life since it requires that you estimate the actual value any single social media platform brings you.

Photo by Katie Treadway on Unsplash

For instance, there was a period in my life I used to engage in many public conversations on Facebook, writing several comments, and posting my opinion about topics I felt to contribute to constructively.

Soon I started to be overwhelmed since many conversations developed into violent conflicts that did nothing but wasting my energy. So, I asked myself: “what kind of value do these discussions provide me?”. The answer was pretty obvious, so I stopped engaging in social media threads. Then, I focused on more stimulating and worthy conversations, privately and just with few people who I can consider my significant others.

This doesn’t mean I deleted my social media accounts: I selected what kind of interaction is valuable for me and decluttered everything else.

3. People

Yes, you can be minimalist with people too. We risk getting on a slippery slope when it comes to social relationships since it’s a very intimate space, and we tend to deny how toxic some people can be, just because we’re scared of being alone.

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

No pressure: if you feel comfortable entertaining relationships with dozens of people, even if you can’t really consider them friends, there is nothing wrong with this. But some of us tend to get exacerbated trying to comply with social standards that deceive us into thinking that the more people we’re dealing with, the more meaningful our life is. Some people get a higher sense of fulfillment when they can dedicate quality time to a few close friends or when they’re committed to creating stronger bonds than more and more superficial connections.

At the same time, they fell compelled to make new acquaintances just because it’s socially required. In the latter case, considering applying minimalism to your relationships could be the right step to embrace a quality life, even though cutting ties is more complicated than creating a capsule wardrobe.

How you can see, whether the field you want to apply minimalism, it’s plainly about reasonable choices. You have to prior focus on your actual needs and then adjust your habits according to the most suitable outcome for you.

But remember this golden rule: theory is always easier than practice. So, if you’re struggling to learn the art of minimalism, don’t get disappointed: it’s a long process, and as every process, it requires its flow. Once you’ve found that magic flow, then you’ll master minimalism without even thinking about it, since it’ll naturally unfold


Created by

Margherita Amici







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