17 Mar Minimalism by April Best
The word minimalism means different things to everyone. People use it to describe architecture, design, art, style, interactions with technology, and a general way of life. With spring around the corner most of us are looking around at piles of clutter than accumulated over winter and wishing we were more minimalist with our stuff, but it can encompass so much more. Here are three principles of minimalism to consider as you step into spring:
- Quality over quantity
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing more and bigger is always better with the things we buy, the way we spend our time, and the number of people we call friends. It takes courage to change our mindsets and actions to walk out the principle of quality over quantity. Instead of buying three cheaply made purses from Target in a year, consider purchasing one created by a local artisan or someone from Etsy — one that will last decades and supports an individual rather than a corporation. Instead of cramming as much as possible into one day, prioritize the three most important things and focus totally on them and do them with excellence. Instead of feeling like you need to spread your heart around to 100 friends, ask yourself who are the people you make you feel alive and loved. Spend your energy cultivating and investing in those friendships. You can apply quality over quantity in any area of your life and it’s worth asking yourself what things are worth cutting down on in order to live a richer and deeper life.
- A good “no” paves the way for your best “yes”
Our energy, space, time, and resources are finite. We like to believe we have more of them than we actually do. You will never regret pausing for 30 seconds, three hours, or three days depending on how big the decision is to give a solid “yes” or “no.” When debating between a yes or no throughout your day ask yourself these two questions: Is this absolutely necessary? Is this the best yes for what matters most in my life right now? It’s far better to suffer through a few uncomfortable minutes when saying “no” than to live with a yes that you regret for weeks, months, maybe even years to come.
- Clear the clutter
Spring signals the start of a fresh season that includes cleaning out basements, garages, closets, and cars. Clearing the clutter creates clarity. Take some time these next few months to edit your possessions. Trust yourself to determine what you need to keep and let go of the rest. Give yourself space and grace to start small. Maybe it’s just picking one item a day for 30 days to donate or throw away. Maybe it’s tackling one room that’s overflowing and bringing some order to the chaos. We all know we aren’t the things we own, but clearing the clutter reminds us that our identities and what truly matters isn’t connected to all the stuff filling our houses.
Minimalism can often begin with our possessions but it doesn’t have to stop there. It’s a mindset that constantly filters decisions through the sieve of what’s actually essential for our lives. We can begin with spring cleaning our homes and end up spring cleaning our hearts and minds of the junk that no longer serves us in our current season.
If you want a little more inspiration about these principles of minimalism here are some books to check out:
With technology: Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
At home: Simple Matters by Erin Boyle
Priorities: Essentialism by Greg McKeown
Happy spring cleaning! If you want more wisdom for simple seasonal living, you can read from April at stillsmallmomentsblog.com.
April Best is the writer and photographer behind Still Small Moments. Her pursuit of living wisely is a hopeful one, filled with dog-eared pages of books, and attempts to find the best practices for what life needs in each season. In the midst of the activity and noise that fills our lives, she encourages everyone to create space for stillness and reflection. It’s a practice that’s challenging, like swimming upstream, and yet it’s worth every effort.
April studied English and French at York University in Toronto and has her Master’s Degree in English Literature. Past work in public education and church leadership inspires her passion for social justice, sustainability, theology, and poetry. Her aesthetic values of essentialism and beauty come from living in a mix of spaces and places from loft apartments in sprawling cities to historic homes in small towns.
April Best is the writer and photographer behind stillsmallmomentsblog.com. She studied English and French at York University in Toronto and has her Master’s Degree in English Literature. Past work in public education and church leadership inspires her passion for social justice, sustainability, theology, and poetry. April’s first book, Still Small Moments, came out in September 2017. She’s passionate about finding the best practices that help people flourish in their lives starting with small moments and little tweaks that lead to permanent change. April now lives in Zeeland, Michigan with her husband, Josh, and three kids, Frederick, Edith, and Hugo.