BOZTEPE: Pros of minimalism far from minimal

Column: Kaanotations

In the modern, fast-paced world we live in, efficiency is everything. 

I am also aware that due to the speed of our current society, trends come and go quicker than ever. One trend that has been gaining momentum once again is minimalism. 

Minimalism is about living with less. Less financial burdens, no unnecessary expenses and a simple philosophy of it is about getting rid of the excess stuff and choosing to live life based on experiences rather than material possessions and statuses. 

Throughout this article, I will be discussing what it means to be a minimalist and the benefits that can come from it.

Many people still view minimalism as the idea that people who choose that lifestyle give up all the modern conveniences in the world and go live in a cabin the woods with no electricity. Of course, they can do that, but the modern-day lifestyle is much different. A person can choose what type of minimalist lifestyle they lead. 

The first benefit of switching to minimalism is that decluttering helps you destress and organize. The minute you start cleaning out your garage and throwing out car oils that are older than the house you live in, the sooner you realize how much space you actually have and how insufficiently you use it. 

Many people are known to not let go of material things with the thought that they might use it one day. Being able to declutter and list what things are priorities for you will lead to less worrying about what is where and how much more you need of something. 

For example, if you found a t-shirt that fits your body perfectly and you like the quality, buy it in stock, because you never know when it will come out again and get some of the same color and some that are different. Do the same with pajama wear, jeans, sweats, sweatshirts and dress shirts. 

Minimalism also allows for refocusing, since when you have a lot of material things your focus can be scattered. When you live a more materialistic lifestyle you stress about how to pay for all the new different clothes and tools you want to get that are not necessary, and worry where you can fit them in your house. 

But with this new approach, when all that stuff is gone, you will be able to use your time to focus on things more important to you like your health and the people around you. 

Another thing crucial to minimalism is longevity. Here I will also tie in how technology can be a benefit not a distraction from the minimalist lifestyle. Instead of buying 12 watches and having a watch room, buy that one timeless classic with a hint of modern watch and purchase different wrist bands for it. 

Less stuff equals more money, and the more you lessen the number of luxuries and material things from your life, the easier it will be to maintain your expenses and balance in your life. Speaking of longevity, purchase the best quality smart television after researching it and deciding that it will last you the longest compared to the other brands. 

That is called long term minimalism, and it is just as effective, since you are able to use a modern material thing, but you do not have to worry about replacing in any short-term period. 

Above all else, you will have more energy. Without the stress of dealing with clutter and continuously growing stacks of material things you forgot you even had, you will now be able to use that energy toward your goals for that day and for your own health. 

People without the burden of status, constant need of instant gratification from social media (something minimalists also use less of and put restrictions on) and just the materialist lifestyle in general tend to be healthier, happier and more strong-willed than their counterparts who have made their materialism so habitual and so second-nature that they cannot do without it nor try to. 

The beauty of minimalism is that it is a choice. People can choose how far they want to go into minimalism and whether to have that lifestyle, but I guarantee you at the very least it will help you realize at how much value you at times give to valueless things. 

The biggest thing I learned from minimalism is that I will not lose anything at all from not having that newest phone, or those newest shoes or the most likes and comments. I learned to better take care of myself and use my time efficiently. Making a schedule I can stick to has never been easier after implementing some of the guidelines created by minimalism. 

I recommend to all my readers to just consider implementing a few of these strategies into your daily lives, as I assure you they will only help you. 

Kaan Jon Boztepe is a School of Arts and Sciences senior double majoring in philosophy and history. His column, "Kaanotations," typically runs  on alternate Tuesdays.  


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