In a recent interview, I was asked about the difference between simplicity and minimalism. It seems to be a popular question, so if you’ve been wondering, I have an answer for you.
Defined by Wikipedia
- Simplicity is the state or quality of being simple.
- Minimalism is any design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect.
- Simple living is a minimal, low-consumption way of living sometimes called minimalism.
Of course, that wasn’t my answer. My response to “What is the difference between simplicity and minimalism?” is this:
What you call it isn’t nearly as important as what you do with it. The word minimalist can imply that you only live with what you can fit in a backpack or in a home with white walls, and unfortunately, that turns people off. It doesn’t seem achievable or enjoyable for most. Minimalists are just like you with less stuff, but when we remove the label and focus on the action, like living with less, the idea becomes accessible and intriguing instead of scary and intimidating.
When I started this journey of simplifying or editing my life, I thought the result would be an organized drawer.
Instead it is …
- freedom and happiness
- doing work I love
- strengthening my marriage
- giving up to-do lists
- making new friends
- dressing with less than 33 items
- walking my dog instead of attending a meeting
Getting rid of 50% of our stuff, led to getting rid of more and now close to 50% of our 2000 sq foot home is empty or unused. I grew up looking for bigger and better and now I look forward to smaller and more meaningful.
Thanks to “living with less”, things like debt, storage and semi-annual sales are not part of my life.
Call it what you want, simplicity, minimalism, life-edited, and then put it into action. Sure you’ll have less. Less stuff. And then you’ll have more. More Love. More Freedom. More Happiness. More purpose.
Check out the interview I did with Joel from The Value of Simple. It was a fun conversation and I think you’ll enjoy it. Reading work from other people living with less continually inspires my journey.
a short list of simplicity/minimalist focused sites for your inspiration …
- Becoming Minimalist
- Rowdy Kittens
- The Minimalists
- life edited
- Miss Minimalist
- Minimalist Mom