Off topic: Minimalism as a way to increase focus!
Thread poster: Erudites

Erudites  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:59
Danish to English
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Jan 6, 2013

One of the big questions a beginner minimalist often asks is: 'Where do I begin?'Find out ten practical ways to start embracing minimalism in your life.

http://letstip.com/blog/how-to-embrace-minimalism-in-10-easy-steps


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:29
Member (2005)
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Minimalism Jan 6, 2013

I particularly appreciate this article and, hopefully, a little bit of discussion about this matter.

Clearly I think minimalism would transform my daily life a bit, and have to say that, owning a reasonably ample home (for a family of 4 that is), my house is really cluttered with items I hardly use.

Reducing clutter is one thing I have been thinking a lot about for many years, and the only way I think it can be achieved is by actively throwing away several objects every day, given the fact that a full-scale anti-clutter campaign could take quite an effort and, in a way, would be traumatic.

On the other hand, how far could I take minimalism? Would it mean throwing away or selling my vinyl LPs from the 80's and 90's? Would it mean recycling the newspapers I keep from the birthdays of my sons, or other papers about older times? How about my professional dictionaries? Should I get them online or scan them? These are my worries on the practical side of things.

On the emotional, cultural side of things: if I reduce the number of objects around me, wouldn't it make me more vulnerable and prone to follow the trends and hype of the day, thus being less "myself"?

Is there a risk of becoming addicted to minimalism, so that I would one day sell everything and own nothing else but cash and rent my home instead of owning it? After all, money comes and goes, but there are objects you simply cannot replace.

[Edited at 2013-01-06 21:10 GMT]


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Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:29
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
minimalism May 20, 2013

Just discovered this post in the lifestyle forum...

I think, Tomas, that it's up to you what you discard. If you want to hang on to those vinyls, there's no need to throw them out. It's a part of you, who you are today has been shaped by who you were when you bought them. You probably don't buy much music any more or have time to go to concerts, but you don't want to forget that time of your life either, right?

I consider myself pretty minimalist in that I have relatively few clothes, for example. If I don't get through my laundry one week I'm in trouble (or rather, in clothes I would rather not be seen in!) I do have garments I bought before having the kids that I know I will never wear again. Stuff I bought on my travels, wacky outfits from a passing underground fashion etc. I keep them for their sentimental value, and occasionally lend them out to people needing fancy dress for a party, after they have solemnly sworn to return them in the condition I lent them.

I also have more books than shelves, and they are cluttering up my bedroom. I have been thinking of starting a free library by putting books out for people to help themselves, with the sole proviso that if you take a book you have to give one. However, once I've read a book, it feels like it's part of me, so I haven't done it yet and probably won't.

I was a minimalist as a young mother: no bottles, no dummies, no pram, no baby seats except in the car (breastfeeding, slings instead). Being unemployed was a major motivation

In fact, I'm more of an environmentalist than a minimalist. I have no problem with clutter and actually like it: my desk here has books and papers all over the place, photos that have just ended up there, a couple of mandalas the kids designed on a rainy day. Goodness knows what's at the bottom. Every bit of paper has meaning to me though and could be used by a detective to make a very accurate report on my interests. This is my "leisure desk" though, the desk I work at has to be spick and span to keep my mind fully focussed.


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:29
English
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Getting started May 21, 2013

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:


On the other hand, how far could I take minimalism? Would it mean throwing away or selling my vinyl LPs from the 80's and 90's? Would it mean recycling the newspapers I keep from the birthdays of my sons, or other papers about older times? How about my professional dictionaries? Should I get them online or scan them? These are my worries on the practical side of things.

On the emotional, cultural side of things: if I reduce the number of objects around me, wouldn't it make me more vulnerable and prone to follow the trends and hype of the day, thus being less "myself"?

Is there a risk of becoming addicted to minimalism, so that I would one day sell everything and own nothing else but cash and rent my home instead of owning it? After all, money comes and goes, but there are objects you simply cannot replace.

[Edited at 2013-01-06 21:10 GMT]






Au contraire, Tomás. Reducing the objects you have doesn't make you prone to follow trends and hype... it leaves you more space, more time and more free to be your self. That's exactly what minimalism (or, as I love to write, mnmlsm) is all about. NOT buying into the trends and hype, NOT buying the latest gizmos and gadgets. Getting rid of the crap that clutters your life so you have time to live as you truly wish to.


Your link didn't work for me. Here is one way to start: http://www.theminimalists.com/start/

Also useful:
http://mnmlist.com/how-to-let-go-of-possessions
http://www.theminimalists.com/start/

There is a great article addressing just this subject on www.missminimalist.com, entitled Real Life Minimalists: Kendra. I can't give a link because at the time I'm writing the site seems to be down. Kendra writes: "But the definition of minimalism that gave me hope that I could fit into it was, 'Having only things you use and love.' I love my art, so it stays, but I’ve let so much else go. I love being free from the 'rules' that 'made' me keep things I didn’t want."

As to letting go of books, I heard someone say on My Life in Books with Ann Robinson on the BBC the other day, something like your bookshelves are the map of your life. For me, my books (and art) will be the last things to go...

Edited to add one more link which really appeals to me as an editor: http://www.theminimalists.com/?s=edited

[Edited at 2013-05-21 09:25 GMT]


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:29
English
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There's always Bookcrossing, Texte Style. May 21, 2013

Texte Style wrote:



I also have more books than shelves, and they are cluttering up my bedroom. I have been thinking of starting a free library by putting books out for people to help themselves, with the sole proviso that if you take a book you have to give one. However, once I've read a book, it feels like it's part of me, so I haven't done it yet and probably won't.



http://www.bookcrossing.com/

This way you can let go of your books, and watch them travel... See how they touch the lives of others who find and read them. If releasing into the wild is just too scary for you, there are OBCZ (Official BookCrossing Zones) where you can leave books for others to take, and many cities have regular BookCrossing "meetings" (more like reading parties, in my experience), where everyone bring books for others to take.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 01:59
English to Hindi
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Maximalism May 21, 2013

I came upon this thread late and the original article is no longer available, but I can guess what it is all about.

Minimalism has a lot to do with consumerism which thrives on us accumulating things that we really don't need, or on our jettisoning things that can still serve us for a long time to come.

Minimalism as a goal in life is desirable because the earth comes with finite resources, and secondly because these resources are distributed so lopsidedly among human societies. We only have to think of the have-nots to push us on a course of minimalism. But nation-states, racialism, and other regressive notions prevent us from considering all of humanity as one.

Minimalism should not be seen as reducing material needs merely at a personal level, it should be viewed at as a progression to a more equitable human society based on fairness and one that guarantees the basic needs such as food, clothes, shelter and education of every human being.

If we view maximalism as a kind of sense of our own inadequacy because of which we define ourselves on the basis of what we possess and not on the basis of what we are or should be, then it will be easier to accept minimalism as it will give us a sense of our own completeness and independence of things around us.


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:29
English
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Here's the link I mentioned yesterday.... May 22, 2013

In the photos you see mnmlsm doesn't have to mean sterile.

http://www.missminimalist.com/2013/05/real-life-minimalists-kendra/

Edited to add that now I can read the original link at the head of the thread. Very good; thanks Erudites.

[Edited at 2013-05-22 14:15 GMT]


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Erudites  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:59
Danish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Just checked..the original link is working Jan 9, 2014

Just checked..the original link is working

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