A Few Thoughts From Tara On Open Spaces & Minimalism
What is minimalism? Merriam-Webster defines it a "a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity."
Note: For the purposes of this post, I'm referring to minimalism as it pertains to design or as an approach to what we put in our homes or offices.
I've watched documentaries and read books about this concept over the last couple of years. Although I've found the ideas of living with dramatically less stuff compelling, it wasn't until recently that I've thought about it in terms of possibly adopting more of this mindset.
As aforementioned, I've been in the process of remodeling my home. Since the time to move back in draws near, I've been reconsidering the over-abundance of stuff I'd mindlessly...uh, stuffed into my house. I've been walking through the almost-finished, but still empty rooms of my home I've felt--calmer. Peaceful. I love that feeling.
I believe many of us feel responsible for the items in our house--because we are, of course. But the more items there are everywhere, the more cleaning and dusting and maintenance we have to think about to keep things in order. There have even been testimonies from people who live with so much stuff, they said they felt more peaceful in other places, because they're simply too distracted by everything at home. That's not right. Home should be a sanctuary of sorts, not a place you need to escape from to get some chill time.
I've also been in homes that are so very sparse they lack warmth and you don't really get a sense of the people who live in them. In my opinion, that's too far the other direction. To be clear though, if you were to talk with minimalism experts, they would assure you that minimalism doesn't mean there isn't a place for the things that are meaningful to you. Or, to put it in Marie Kondo's terms, the things that "spark joy." The claim is that yes, you should put those things in your home, as well as the things that you need to function well and comfortably.
It's interesting to consider. I already know that I'm probably never going to be the type who could call herself an official "minimalist." Simply because I like and find too many things meaningful to cut out too much. But, there's something to be said for not cluttering things up. I do know this. I will be embracing a bit more simplicity when I move back into my home. I've been enjoying the sense of space and calm and I don't want to lose that feeling.
I find the open, uncluttered space translates to a sense of more "head space," too. It's peaceful. Although, I wouldn't mind a couch and a bed. And a radio. Perhaps, a few cups and plates. Four soy candles of various scents... thirty refrigerator magnets, and maybe like eighteen koozies. (You see where this goes.) ;) But if those koozies are sincerely meaningful to you, I say heck, keep them all and enjoy.
If you'd like to delve into this concept a bit more, I highly recommend the 2015 documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. I believe I watched it on Netflix, but it may be available elsewhere at this point. There are also a plethora of books and websites, such as this one.
Although I could go on, it doesn't feel appropriate to do so superfluously when, after all, this is a post about minimalism. ;)