It seems like the whole world is obsessed with the three ‘m’s at the moment; mindfulness, minimalism and meditating. I can get down with a bit of mindfulness, meditation has its place, we all need to take a break sometimes, but something I cannot stand is minimalism.
Y’know what I like? Things and stuff. Things and stuff that have memories tacked on the back. It breaks my heart to see people throwing away items that have such sentimental value. Sure, I may not wear that old dress but nothing can put a price on the memories I get when I look through my closet. And yes, I do need all my old ticket stubs and leaflets I’ve picked up from places I’ve visited. My memories are encapsulated into the things I have acquired over the years and couldn’t think of anything worse that throwing it all away.
One of my favourite places in my flat is the bookcase in our bedroom. We’ve filled it with books we love, photos, little trinkets, figurines, actual rubbish with love notes on and just stupid little things we like. From this one bookcase you could probably write the story of our relationship. Even though it would be a minimalist nightmare, it makes me happy every time I look at it.
This trend is mostly unsustainable, sure some people may really love living a life of such simplicity, but it’s not for everyone and you shouldn’t force it on yourself if you’re not wired that way. Having ‘stuff’ is a sign of permanence, it makes a house feel like a home and fills it with personality. You should want your living space to feel like your own, forget all the images you see of pristine dressed up rooms, have fun with decorating, you can do whatever you like as you’re the one who has to look at it. Also, not every item is supposed to ‘bring you joy’ – my toilet brush definitely does not bring me joy, neither do forks but we couldn’t live without them.
Now, I am not saying that I don’t believe in the occasional de-cluttering, sure we all have things we don’t really want or need and it can be cleansing to get rid of a load of junk. It’s when it’s taken to the extremes that it becomes worrisome. Becoming obsessive with anything can make you prone to developing mental health conditions but minimalism can easily turn into OCD if you take it too far. You shouldn’t feel bad if you’ve got a small pile of crap on your table, that shouldn’t be your number one priority in life. If you already have a tendency towards OCD I would not touch this trend with a barge pole, and this is what worries me the most.
So when you’re lusting over immaculate kitchens on Instagram you need to remember that a lot of what you see on the internet is bullshit, you only see snippets of people’s lives. I’m sure you could be the most depressed person, with the most miserable life and still find one small moment in each day to take a photo off and bam, you’re Instagram life is great. We need to not forget this.