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We all live in a crowded world. Coming from a city background, we live in a world that constantly bombards us with lots of colors, and we are all occupying ourselves with things to do and overloading our time with schedules. Chances are, our study desks and rooms are also piled up and cluttered with so many items, papers and things that we need to do our work, and many more. Here, we would like to introduce to you the art of less, and introduce to you a concept known as ‘minimalism’.
Probably you may relate minimalism with a design concept that makes do with simplicity. If done correctly, minimalism projects an effective way to captivate and engage the audience through design.
According to an article by Michael Ofei, it was mentioned that
“Minimalism has traditionally been linked to pure, intentional art and design concepts. But we believe it’s much more than that.”
In our lives, we tend to be meticulous and pay a lot of attention to details to the things we do, but instead, we eventually find our lives full of clutter.
Minimalism is learning to do with less. Minimalism is going against the current of modern lifestyle of “more”. Let's keep it simple. Minimalism keeps things simple. I am sure you have heard of the term “less is more”. Our lives are filled with too much-hoarded items due to the many things we keep and accumulate over the years.
For the Japanese, there is a form of minimalism known as “zen”. There is a strange inner peace that comes with a “zen” concept. Similarly, by learning to declutter and apply minimalism into our lives, you can feel at peace with yourself. And by feeling at peace with yourself, you can eventually find yourself happier.
Let’s begin with what’s not good about being a minimalist. Not everyone suits the concept of minimalism. Let us look at some downsides to be minimalistic:
One of the greatest disadvantages is that it is not easy to apply, and you might miss out on the real meaning of minimalism and you may end up being deprived.
Sentimentalism is the hardest enemy to defeat and one of the greatest obstacles to be minimalistic. Sentimentalism is the reason why people feel emotionally attached to the items they own. People may find it hard to declutter because there are so many things that feel hard to remove because people feel emotionally attached to so many things they own. Many of the things people accumulate at home are things that have stories behind them attached to these people. Telling them to let go of sentimental items is as good as telling them to cut onions.
Another downside to going minimalistic is that you may end up throwing away the wrong things and end up with a sense of regret, or worse if there are implications from throwing away things you THOUGHT you no longer needed but still actually do need. There is a difference. So there would be a need to think twice before disposing of items.
To be a minimalist also requires discipline. Let’s face it. We are bombarded every day by the world as to what everyone in the world has or is getting for themselves. The latest gadgets, advertisements on clothing sales, leaflets that indicate attractive discounts at fairs and many more. Soon you will find yourself making your way to these fairs and before you know it, you become extravagant and over-purchase. Not only will you burst your budget, you will also find your home in a bigger mess as you find places to store your new items. That would happen if you do not have discipline or self-control.
Also, the process of being minimalistic does take work and doesn’t happen at the snap of your fingers. Then again, just like doing your household chores requires you to sacrifice time. In other words, it is a lifestyle choice you have to make. Your habits have to change.
People may think that you are weird, or may think that you no longer fit in with the group because of some decisions to dispose or to keep.
So we have talked about some of the downsides to minimalism. Now let us tell you the good side to minimalism.
For one, a minimalist lifestyle means that you only little to focus on. You can find yourself having more rest, which leads to a healthier lifestyle. Take for instance if you be a minimalist in your scheduling, you can give more attention to lesser things on your mind. By clogging up your calendars, you not only find yourself with no room for so many things, but you also find yourself worrying more and feeling lesser at peace with yourself. Your heart will feel at ease, your mind will relax, and you will have better concentration and thus be more productive in the things you do.
In a world that convinces you that you need more, and where every seller tells you that you need their products, the concept of minimalism gets you thinking of what you really need for yourself. Prices are going up from day to day, and if you are going to buy more and more, you not only have too much to bring home and store, you will also find your bank account being much more depleted. The idea of minimalism will help you save more money than you thought you could. Think of what else you could use the money for. You could have saved enough money to travel to where you have always wanted to go.
In a world where humans have so many things to do and so many things that need to remember, we have so many things slipping off our minds. By keeping things simple, we not only have lesser things to remember, but we make things easier to stay on our minds. Also, in designs where minimalism is used, it is easier for us to recognize in our heads.
In wanting to keep things minimal, you eventually dispose of what holds you down. Even though there are so many items that are of sentimental value to you, in holding on tighter, those items may actually be burdens that are weighing you down.
By choosing what to keep and what not to, you eventually realize what is really important to you in your life, and what does not matter in the long run.
“Does it spark joy?” I'm sure you have heard of this question, or otherwise it would indeed sound familiar. If it does, you likely also know who first sparked this question. It is none other than a lady by the name of Marie Kondo, who got known for her show on Netflix called “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”. Through her show, she has shown many people her way to tidy up their room.
According to her show, the Kon Mari way of tidying up follows 6 steps, namely:
Let’s look at Muji’s philosophy. Muji has three core principles: Selection of materials; Streamlining of processes; Simplification of packages. Muji’s concept is based on simplicity and emptiness, but at the same time the kind of emptiness they base their concept on embraces the feelings and thoughts of all people. Muji has successfully captured the hearts of many people around the globe through its strategy by use of its minimalism concept.
We all know this fruit of Steve Job’s labor. Since the beginning of time, Apple has walked side by side with their iPods. Eventually, Apple has taken the world by storm in revolutionizing the world through the invention of the iPhone. But one ingredient to their success also lies in where Steve Jobs made use of the concept of minimalism in their branding.
So why not try to be a minimalist for yourself? Here we introduce from us the Combinizer to get you started. Ease your mind from having papers all over the place in your room and let the colors of the Combinizer add some bright color to your room while it lets you keep your important papers on one side of the room. The Combinizer has different compartments where you can organize your papers into different categories. Also, the Combinizer can be collapsed into one folder that you can carry around from place to place.
The folders can be used individually as well like this.