Practicing Sustaining

The Minimalist Life: Practical Tips, Practical Attitudes

“Spring cleaning.” “Downsizing.” They mean different things to different people. The same goes for “minimalism.” There’s a common belief that adopting a minimalist lifestyle means clearing out your living space down to bare walls and floors and living like a monk. For some that might work; for most of us, not so much.

The concept of minimalism is having a moment right now, but it’s being adapted to 21st-century lives with a more grounded, personalized approach, and a focus on sustainability. It’s not one-size-fits-all.

Consider the following:

-The U.S. has more than 50,000 storage facilities, five times more than the number of Starbucks. One out of 10 Americans rents an offsite space, making it one of the fastest-growing parts of commercial real estate.

-The average American woman owns 30 different outfits; in 1930 that number was nine.

-A British study showed that a typical 10-year-old owns 238 toys, but on a daily basis, only plays with 12 of them.

-Many Americans claim they only use one-half of their two-car garage for an actual car; the rest is taken up by “stuff.”

People who are opting for a more minimalist lifestyle are consciously choosing to put their attention on experiences, time, and quality over belongings. Consider how much time, money, and effort we spend cleaning, organizing, staying on top of the items in our home, and buying new things. That could be put to far better use in creating a more satisfying life.

Of course, the big question is, where to start? Anyone who’s moved house knows how overwhelming cleaning out all the stuff accumulated over years can be. Stephanie Seferian, aka “Mama Minimalist,” is an expert in shaping a minimalist approach around your personal lifestyle, and she offers these helpful Life Hacks to start.

We recently helped to produce a TV series for Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK. “Less Really Is More” reveals smart ways to downsize and experience a richer life. The full episode features some other cool stuff we think you’ll like. Please have a look and let us know what you think.

-Cindy Grogan

-Photo: Pexels

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