For you, minimalism boils down to white walls, few furniture and boring and dull decor? So it's time to review some concepts.
All of this can even be considered minimalism, but only from an aesthetic point of view. The minimalism we are going to talk about today concerns a lifestyle that can be applied in different areas, including home decor and routine.
So, settle in there and follow this post with us to find out how to have a real minimalist house.
What is minimalism?
Minimalism is to eliminate excesses of all kinds for the sake of a more meaningful and, consequently, simpler life. However, before this style is transferred to your home, it is essential that it is already part of your life, otherwise frustration will be inevitable.
That's because people who have a habit of accumulating things can suffer a lot from sudden detachment. That way, minimalism must happen first in your mind, in your heart, just to enter your home, okay? A slow, gradual and loving process.
Minimalism appeared in the 1960s in the United States, primarily to refer to a new artistic and architectural style that, among other things, preached an aesthetic of simple and straight lines, in addition to neutral and sober colors. One of the great icons of the minimalist movement was the modernist architect Mies Van Der Rohe, author of the famous phrase “less is more”, practically a mantra among minimalist people.
So do you mean that to be minimalist and have a minimalist home, you only need to have jeans, a T-shirt, a shoe and a mattress? No way! This is one of the biggest contradictions of the minimalist style.
Minimalism has no rules, nor a practical guide to be followed. This movement is very loose and free, where each person who identifies with the idea can adopt it in a different way.
You don't have to get rid of everything you own, but everything you own needs to have meaning and make sense in your life, do you understand the difference?
In the capitalist world we live in, it is more than natural to appeal to the consumption of things we don't even need. Are you going to say that you don't have clothes and kitchen utensils in your cupboards that you never even used? But don't worry, everyone has (or has had)!
With minimalism you will learn to value what really matters, without waste.
In short, a minimalist house has more to do with lightness and freedom than with white, empty walls.
Characteristics of Minimalism
Functionality and practicality
In the minimalist world everything that exists is there for something. You will hardly see a minimalist house (in essence) with objects that are useless.
This means that you will only have a waffle maker if you actually make waffles, otherwise there is no point in taking up space in your closet. In the same way that the coffee table will only exist if it is used, the same goes for the sideboard, the buffet, the rack. In other words, minimalism does not ask you to throw away all your furniture and just keep the mattress, but it makes you think about the real need for everything you have. It is the critical sense.
Practicality is also another important point of minimalism. In addition to being functional, the object in question should bring practicality and comfort to everyday life. So forget hard-to-use utensils and furniture that are never at hand when you need them. You know that sofa bed that never opens as it should? Or that super boring kitchen appliance to wash? You don't need them!
Starting from the topic above, it is more than understood that minimalism preaches conscious consumption above anything. This means that every new purchase requires planning and reflection. No impulse buying.
Quality vs. quantity
Minimalism also has to do with the quality of what you are buying. In the capitalist culture we are used to placing the price of products as a decisive factor at the time of purchase. But have you ever stopped to think about the useful life of the product you are taking home?
And that story about the cheap that comes out expensive. In the vast majority of times it is better to invest in something that costs a little more and make sure it will stay with you for years, than to buy something that will need to be replaced in a short time. This is not an intelligent attitude not only from the point of view of sustainability, but also of the economy. After all, the most expensive product ends up paying for itself over time, while the other brings loss, since it will have to be replaced.
How to have a minimalist house
One of the first tips to have a minimalist house (according to the concepts we talked about above) is to keep the organization.
A clean and organized house is much more pleasant and cozy. And this process is made much easier when you get rid of what you don't need.
It is practically impossible to talk about minimalism without talking about detachment. So this is the time for you to take a deep breath and empty your cabinets. Donate, throw away or reframe pieces of clothing, objects and utensils that you have at home.
More than just cleaning in space, you will also clean your mind and soul.
After completing the task you can be sure that you will feel much lighter and freer.
Starting today, choose objects that have functionality. Donate what is not for you. Even your decor can be like this. For example, in the kitchen you can use the utensils you have to compose the decoration, without the need to buy specific items to decorate.
In the bedroom, try using your jewelry and hats to decorate the walls, for example. And so on.
Keep what is important
A lot of people turn their nose at minimalism because they believe they will need to get rid of everything they have. Don't fall for it!
The idea of this movement is to lead a life with value, along with what is good for you. If you love your book collection, keep it there the way it is. The same goes for travel trinkets, photographs, records and CDs, and even plants.
When in doubt, always ask the question: does this make sense for my existence? If so, keep it.
Value items three in one, four in one and so on
Another great tip for having a minimalist house is to value objects with more than one function. In addition to saving space within the environments, these furniture or electronics bring more practicality to everyday life.
For example, if you can have a multiprocessor why then have a blender, a mixer and a juicer? Invest in a single device.
The same goes for furniture. Prefer the counter that extends and becomes a table, the bench that has space for storage or the bed with a chest.
Advantages of a minimalist home
Easier and faster cleaning
The fewer things you have, the quicker and easier it becomes to clean your home. And if you save time with cleaning, you automatically save time for other, much more pleasurable things, like spending more time with your kids, reading a book or walking your dog.
A visually clean and organized home brings peace to the heart and is good for the soul. According to a study published in Environment and Behavior by researchers from University of New South Wales, in Australia, overloaded environments and full of visual stimuli cause anxiety, lack of concentration and focus, low productivity and even obesity. The lack of cleaning also causes health problems such as respiratory allergies, bronchitis and skin problems, since dust, mites and other dirt are more available in the environment.
According to another study, this time published in Current Psychology and released by the newspaper The New York Times, a messy house increases cortisol levels, also known as stress hormone. Still according to the research, the elderly and women are the most affected by the excess and accumulation of objects in the home.
Find everything you need
Minimalism has this ability to make you find what you need when you need it. Living in a house that has only the essentials helps you save a lot of time when you need to find something important.
It's good for your pocket
Conscious and planned purchases directly reflect on the economy and the domestic budget. Thus, minimalism not only helps you save money, but makes you aware of how to allocate this money to much more interesting things, such as travel, studies and leisure.
Living what matters
A minimalist house can not only be cozy and welcoming. Inside it, people can focus on what they really want, instead of getting lost among so many scattered things. This is especially true for those who have children. Do you know that moment when the little ones have so many toys that they don't even know what to do with them? Most likely they would have more fun if they had fewer things and parents with free time to be with them. This time you can get rid of objects, commitments and duties empty of meaning.
Finally, it is worth remembering that minimalism has no rules. So, don't worry about calculating how many plant pots you have at home or how many pots are in the cupboard. If you use, like and need the things you have, do not come undone. Detach yourself only from what does not add value in your life.
Also, don't stick to aesthetic standards. It is not because you have a minimalist lifestyle that you need to get rid of your furniture with curved lines and vibrant colors. That would be a terrible nonsense.
Take care and value what you have, do not buy for buying, organize and clean your home with care. This is the essence of a minimalist home and the beginning of a lighter and freer life.