People often confuse simplicity with minimalism, but the two are not synonymous.
This article will explore the differences between minimalism and simplicity, so if you’re unsure of the meanings of both, keep reading!
Minimalism is a lifestyle choice that became popular during the early 1900s, but it’s not always well understood.
Not every minimalist practices simple living, although some probably are.
Minimalism and simplicity can be two different lifestyle choices that have the same goal: to live with less stuff in order to enjoy life more.
Both lifestyles value living simply through the acquisition of fewer things, but they differ in what these people consider unnecessary or excessive. For example, some people buy less things but do not consider themselves minimalists because they think the few things they do have are enough in their opinion.
Also, minimalism is a way of life; it’s an ideology about living with less for a specific purpose and with intention.
Simplicity, on the other hand, is more of a state of mind where one skips the formality of ideology and goes ahead and lives simply. It’s about choosing to live a simpler, more handmade life even if it means owning that extra piece of furniture or an unnecessary accessory.
Let’s dig deeper in comparing these two lifestyles:
The minimalist lifestyle is most often associated with young urban professionals who have just moved into their first apartment. Of course, that doesn’t mean that a middle aged mom of four can’t be a minimalist.
The idea behind this lifestyle is to get rid of as much material possessions as possible so that you can enjoy your home in its full glory without the distractions from all those objects crowding your living space.
For example, when you have less things to begin with, you’re able to focus on the aesthetic aspects such as color coordination and decor ideas that can spruce up a room.
In this sense, a minimalist is always thinking about how to pare down their belongings so that they can enjoy the activity in which they are engaged. For example, instead of watching TV while surrounded by a cluttered home, some prefer to just not own one at all and go for a hike or play tennis instead.
With minimalism, what you are left with is just the essentials for your lifestyle.
This could apply to everything from household items, clothing, and food. It’s all about owning what’s necessary for you and not what’s convenient.
Minimalism is a mindset that allows one to enjoy life with less distractions so they can focus more on their passions and interests.
Many minimalists claim that by eliminating excess from their lives, they are able to experience the world in a more meaningful way.
They believe that when one has too many options available for any given activity or choice, it robs them of truly enjoying what’s left over at the end of the day.
The minimalist mindset eliminates the excess noise that may otherwise distract us from the bigger picture.
As previously mentioned, simplicity is more of a state of mind than an ideology. While minimalism emphasizes living with fewer possessions, simplicity goes beyond that idea and focuses on prying away the unnecessary extras that clutter our lives such as negative thoughts and negative influences.
The focus here is less about what you have (your material goods) but more about who you are being (your values, actions and reactions) as a person.
A person who practices simplicity is able to live with less stress and enjoys the simple pleasures in life.
People who practice simple living don’t necessarily have less money than a minimalist, but they do spend less time worrying about their purchases and more time having fun.
A simplified lifestyle is the art of living in the most efficient way possible.
This could mean anything from using one’s car less to opting for biking instead or preferring to stay home and cook a healthy meal instead of going out and eating junk food.
In other words, a lifestyle of simplicity is about making choices for yourself that will benefit you in the long run. It’s not about having less but using what little you already have to its full potential.
You might also like: 21 Simple Living Tips To Reduce Everyday Stress
These are some of the things that distinguish minimalism and simplicity through their individual lifestyles:
- Minimalism is a lifestyle characterized by an intentional reduction of possessions
- Minimalism focuses on the quality, not quantity, of things you own
- Minimalism can pursue a cabin-like retreat from the world
- Minimalism is a reaction to consumerism
- Simplicity is a state of mind characterized by the absence of clutter and distraction from one’s daily life.
- Simplicity values time as much as it does material objects
- Simplicity seeks to improve your life by removing complications and stressors from it
- Simplicity is a reflection of the desire for a life less ordinary.
To summarize: the minimalists in this world like to live with less stuff and they are constantly downgrading their lifestyle to reflect that. Simplifiers, on the other hand, want less but don’t mind having more stuff in their life.
So, which one should you choose?
It really depends on how much effort you’re willing to put into living simply. If you want a strict ideology that will help guide your journey, minimalism is the lifestyle for you.
However, if you just want to embrace a simpler lifestyle without all the hassle of having to pare down your things (or even buy less in general), then simplicity is for you.
The difference between minimalism and simplicity is that one is a lifestyle choice based on the idea of having less in order to focus on what’s important while the other, simpler but not necessarily easier, strives for living with fewer possessions.
Minimalism can be difficult when you have to go through an extreme cleansing of unnecessary things since that’s already been taken care of for you with simplicity if it suits your needs better.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you when choosing between minimalism and simplicity.
It all comes down to what you find important enough to have in your life and how much of it is really necessary for you to be happy. What do you value more? Time or money? Experiences or possessions?
Do the research, explore both options, and make a decision that suits your needs
One Final Thought: Minimalism and simplicity essentially boil down to ‘fewer possessions equals more time’ which allows us as people to live fulfilling lives with less stress . The two can exist harmoniously together but often times these lifestyles are seen as polar opposites when there’s really no rationale basis for why they couldn’t coexist peacefully.
Have you adopted a minimalist or simple lifestyle? Let me know in the comments below.
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