According to the Oxford dictionary, a minimalist is someone who uses very simple ideas or a very small number of simple elements. The idea of a minimalist lifestyle has become something very common in our modern day culture; however, is it really the simplest way of living? What makes a lifestyle so simple when our minds are so complex?
All my life I have been labeled as a very organized girl. I have always taken pretty notes and had color-coordinated folders for each of my classes, but I do not see myself that way. I see myself as a girl who has piles of clothes in her room because that is what makes her feel the “most comfortable.” I never make my bed because what is the point if when I get home I will mess it up? I wonder every day what the big hype is about being organized and living so simply all the time.
When I was younger, my mom taught me that how you represent yourself externally expresses who you are on the inside. Whether I wear colors or neutrals, my clothes typically reflect how I am feeling that day. However, the minimalist style restricts individuals to a certain color palette and items of clothing that are supposed to appear chic or sophisticated. I use fashion as a way to express myself, yet with the simple but strict rules of minimalism, I would never even be able to wear my favorite striped sweater.
While scrolling through my TikTok ‘for you’ page, I see moms labeling small vinyl containers to put in their modern fridge, and I wonder to myself if this so-called “simple” lifestyle is really that easy. Although it may seem unnecessary and time-consuming, these organized values come with several environmental benefits. According to medium.com, minimalism allows individuals to “combat waste and preserve the environment.” Since materialistic possession matters so much less, they are able to reuse many of their containers to stray away from the single-use plastic ones, and although small, it can make all the difference.
Many follow this lifestyle as a way to minimize clutter, but one’s home can never be simple. Although beautifully white on the exterior, the memories made within the room are painted in vibrant colors expressing extreme emotions of joy, anger, sadness or excitement. One’s complex feelings may not be shown within a room or their style but through their reactions and outlook on life. The minimalist way may be labeled as the simplest way of living for some, but that does not lessen one’s value of life and its experiences.