I see more and more evidence that minimalism is creating a following for itself. This has made me realise there are two types of people in the world, people who want things and people who want experiences.
Things people – as I have chosen to describe them, are people who collect things and are completists. Granted, belongings can bring you a sense of achievement and homeliness, but this isn’t for everyone.
Then there are experience-based people – these are the people who value activities over belongings, by activities I’m referring to holidays, meeting with friends or family, going out for dinner or the accomplishment of making something. They don’t necessarily need to have a lot of clutter around the house, but they find a sense of achievement in what they’ve done rather than what they have, and it wouldn’t even matter if their house was empty, so long as they had what they needed.
I think this raises questions of where we’re going. In a world where everything is disposable, photos being the main one that comes to mind, what does this mean for the future? Are we becoming less materialistic, or are we developing a new trend for some to follow?
There have always been “minimalist” people out there, and lets face it previous generations lived like this. They had only what they needed; made things from scratch, meals, clothes and grew their own food. But, these days it’s not necessary to do these things yet we have a trend to get back to our roots. I wondered if this was a search to find out if our ancestors had it right in the beginning, there weren’t all the health issues we have now and people were happier.
If you think about it, they worked as we do, but in a world where we have so many options and opportunities they got their sense of accomplishment by what they had to do from day to day. They grew their own food, cooked all their own meals and made their own clothes, some even built their own houses. We have so many people these days who are harbouring so much regret about their feelings of achievement and accomplishment in life, what if we did more things to be proud of?
I must say I make some things from scratch that I don’t need to, and people often ask me why I just don’t buy them from the supermarket when someone else has packaged it quicker, easier and cheaper than what it might take me to make it. But, aside from the chemicals and other nasty things in packaged foods, where is the sense of achievement from the little things? How many people these days eat take away or fast food? Why are we doing less around the house, and less as a family?
I like to make bread from time to time, I don’t make bread for sandwiches, but I will make a pull apart bread or bread rolls when we have soup. I make my own soup and vegetable stock, and most of our dinners are made from scratch aside from tomato paste which I do buy already packaged. My partner says he prefers that our meals are made from scratch, we both get in and cook dinner together a lot of the time, and I do my best to harbour a “family dinner culture”. I like us to eat together, not in front of the tv, I think it’s important to keep some rituals, and I think that is a comforting and bonding ritual to keep.
I don’t think I’m a minimalist, I have a large collection of kitchenware, and more books than I’ve read (they’re starting to take over my house), but I think there is something to the lifestyle of minimalists. I think it gets us back to our roots, and that can never be a bad thing. I get a sense of accomplishment and achievement from making something from nothing, and I think that can never be a bad thing. There is a value in appreciating the simple things in life.