The beloved tidying queen Marie Kondo has announced she is messy now. Insert gasp here. Does this mean the movement of minimalism is dead?
Pop culture has labeled Marie Kondo a minimalist, but she is actually promotes the Japanese concept of Kurashi. The rough translation of Kurashi is “way of life” or “the ideal way of spending time.”
Marie Kondo has always referred to herself as a professional tidier. Keeping things tidy is is very different than keeping things minimal.
Minimalism vs. Tidying
Minimalists want to have less so they can do more. They use intentional decluttering and purging to curate their life in a direction that suits them.
Tidiers want to keep the items they have in a particular way. They use ascetics and organization to feel in control and maintain their routine.
Where the crossover between minimalism and tidying occurred for Marie Kondo was her, spark joy philosophy. She encouraged people to keep items that sparked joy, thereby sounding very much like a minimalism advocate.
The people who get involved with minimalism are ready to burn tradition to the ground. Becoming a minimalist isn’t a half way decision, it’s the full enchilada. For whatever reason that person wants to trade in their current life for an entirely new direction.
Choosing minimalism allows for dramatic changes. In my case, becoming a minimalist meant trading in life in the suburbs in exchange for a slow international travel lifestyle. Other people use their minimalist journey to go off grid or start a business or leave a relationship. Minimalism attracts those that want big changes and eliminating distractions will help them achieve their dream life.
Tidying is less drastic. If you want to become organized and tidy, that’s a way of bringing order to your current situation. Embracing a tidy household solidifies routines and enjoyment of life as it is. A person who considers tidying their solution doesn’t want to uproot their life; they just want more control over their current situation.
Present Day Minimalism
Minimalism has been a popular lifestyle trend for over a decade now, but with the rise of new trends and fads, many are starting to wonder if minimalism is still relevant. The simple answer is no, minimalism is not dead. In fact, it has only continued to grow and evolve with time.
Minimalism is a philosophy that values simplicity, intentionality, and purpose over clutter and excess. It’s a way of life that encourages individuals to focus on what truly matters to them, and eliminate the distractions and possessions that do not bring value to their lives. This lifestyle reduces stress, increases happiness, and leads to a more fulfilling life.
While some may argue that minimalism has lost its popularity, the truth is that it has simply changed. The minimalist movement has evolved from a trend to a lifestyle choice for many individuals. People are now seeking out minimalist products and services that align with their values, and are incorporating minimalism into every aspect of their lives.
Minimalism continues to thrive because it’s not just a trend; it’s a lifestyle that can adapt to each individual’s needs and preferences. Some people choose to live with only 100 possessions, while others prefer a more moderate approach. Minimalism’s beauty lies in its flexibility and ability to be tailored to each person’s unique ideals.
Another reason that minimalism is still thriving is that it’s a response to the fast-paced, overwhelming world we live in. People are feeling more stressed and overwhelmed than ever before, and are seeking out ways to simplify their lives and reduce their stress. Minimalism provides a solution to this problem, and has become a way for people to take back control of their lives and focus on what truly matters to them.
In the business world, they say smaller companies are more nimble. Large organizations have a harder time pivoting because there are so many layers of leadership, rules, and processes between this moment and a decision. Smaller companies can just decide and do something different tomorrow. Becoming a minimalist is like being a smaller company. Unburdened by owning hundreds of thousands of things, you can decide to pick up and leave or risk it all to start that business.
Corporations Want You to Believe Minimalism is Dead
Of course companies have an incentive to make minimalism seem crazy or radical. It is in the corporate interest to make sure you love your stuff and scoff any anyone suggesting that’s weird. Anytime I question people on their love of objects an automatic wall emerges. Nobody wants others to question them about their possessions.
I want people to be happy. Unfortunately people are utterly horrible at determining what makes them happy. You would think I was trying to take their child at the mere suggestion of eliminating clutter. The power and control stuff has over people’s lives is alive and well.
Items do have a way to provide temporary happiness. Your dopamine release happens just by thinking about making a purchase. Read that again. The chemical release happens in anticipation of the purchase. But, because the anticipation and execution happen in such quick succession, you believe the happiness came from the actual buying.
Minimalism is Dead for Marie Kondo
Minimalism is not dead, as a whole. But, for Marie Kondo minimalism is dead. For her, messiness is currently making her life happy. In my opinion it’s up for debate about if she was ever really a minimalist to begin with.
People are still seeking out the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle, and are finding new ways to incorporate minimalism into every aspect of their lives. Whether you’re a seasoned minimalist or just starting out, there has never been a better time to embrace this philosophy and get un-busy with minimalism.
Getting in touch with your true desires will prevent overspending, accumulation, and burnout. Minimalists are happier because they are intentional about their decisions. Always being reactionary to life makes it difficult to ever get clarity. Your life has a purpose that you deserve to fulfill and minimalism can be your tool to get laser focused on how to live your best life.