Minimise to maximise; minimalism isn’t just an aesthetic

Minimise to maximise is something I heard Brooke McAlary say on the Slow Home Podcast (which I highly recommend if you’re wanting to learn more about slow living). The idea made so much sense to me and is the simplest explanation of minimalism I’ve heard.

I grew up with a perception of minimalism I think many people have – that it’s all about everything being white and devoid of personality, feeling or emotion.Through my own reading and experience I now know this isn’t true. As I mentioned in my post on my minimalise August Happiness Project theme, there is no one set way to be minimalist.

I think many of us are put off by the scary-seeming nothing-ness of minimalism and forget to consider the reasons behind doing it. Minimise to maximise is the simplest way I’ve heard this put, so I’m ending my minimalism Happiness Project theme with a little list of how this minimise to maximise thing works for me.

Minimise to maxmise

Minimise to maximise

I minimise so I can maximise my pleasure. I have three t-shirts I adore to wear, rather than 7 only 2 of which I actually feel good in. By minimising stuff and having only things that bring you joy, you maximise the amount of joy you experience.

I minimise so I can maximise the money I have to spend on experiences that truly bring me joy. A cup of tea in a beautiful café, a trip out to one of the many places around Manchester for exploring, a few nights away, a big holiday.

I minimise so I can maximise the amount of brain space I have available for the things that truly matter to me. (Definitely still working on this one though)

I minimise commitments so I can maximise the amount of time I have to spend with people I love, or by myself doing something I know brings me joy.

I minimise so I can maximise how much I can give back to others.

When we minimise the amount of time, energy, and money spent on things we don’t really want, enjoy or need we maximise how much good we can bring to ourselves and others. In other words we cut the crap to focus on the good stuff.

About ecarr

Ellen is a writer and theatre maker who has just taken the freelance plunge after too many years of 9-5 office life. She is a yoga teacher in training and passionate about pursuing your dreams.

2 comments on “Minimise to maximise; minimalism isn’t just an aesthetic

  1. I think it’s an excellent take on minimalism and the way I see it too. Not that I am always able to follow it… Minimizimg actual clutter was quite easy, but minimizimg head clutter is more difficult! I am intrested in so many things, it is sometimes a bit frustrating trying to concentrate on a certain something…

    • Yes, I have the same thing with the mental clutter Jenni. I am also interested in lots of things, and when my work is as varied as it is right now it can be challenging to keep focus. I’m a fan of using the Pomodoro technique at the moment, I have short concentrated spells on one area and then take a break and go onto something else.

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