Am I a Minimalist

Do what you can, with what you have, with where you are.Teddy Roosevelt

Recently I have been asked if I am attempting to live a life of minimalism. This question is hard to answer because everyone has a different impression of what minimalism is when they ask the question. I have begun to answer no, that I am only trying to simplify my life.

Not a minimalist?

In some ways what I have tried to accomplish is very much a minimal way of living. I say this because in comparison to what we hear about how the “typical” American lives, I am far different. Instead of enjoying a shopping, I prefer to search for a diamond-in-the-rough.  But my home is far from empty and what I think is cold feeling.

I try to surround myself with beauty. Now beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I will say I am most comfortable with things from nature and natural forms of art in my home. I have a few things from my travels including a small piece of petrified wood from the national park in Arizona. I also have a beautiful rock my grand-daughter dug out of the ground for me which is a perfect complement to my bathroom vanity along with my aloe plant.

I like a comfy, lived-in feeling around my home. So you will find a few quilts and lots of pillows which allow each guest to sink in and enjoy their visits.

But you have to be!

Just because a person seeks to find pleasure in what is free and abundant, or doesn’t want to own a McMansion doesn’t mean they are a minimalist.  Yes, I like to see clear surfaces because of that I hang art from the wall instead of having it on a table. I have floor lamps and wall sconces instead of lamps filling the tables. And yes, I like to see a clear and clean counter top in my kitchen. I’m not a minimalist, I just don’t like clutter or having to search for something I want through all the boxes of things I haven’t used in a while.

So are you?

I guess that all depends on your definition.  I like to say I live simply with only what I need and love.  I hate to be indoors on a beautiful day. I hate to spend hours cleaning, unless the cleaning that needs taken care of is outside in the fresh air. So I choose to live with less “things” and have more to live for. What do you think am I a minimalist?

2 Comments

  1. Interesting post and well argued. Perhaps the label of ‘minimalist’ is unfair in some cases because, perhaps, it’s just a natural sort of lifestyle. Maybe the madness of excess junk and clutter is something that came afterwards; just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean it’s right! Perhaps you are a ‘post minimalist’?

    But yes. Defining minimalism – and whether we are ‘minimalists’ or not – is tricky. But I think you’re right: it all comes down to subjective opinion.

    PS: I love the ‘mcmansion’ tag. We should definitely make use of that more often!

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