Drive-In Minimalism (Part 2)

drive-in 2.jpg
Courtesty of http://www.washingtonpost.com

On Monday I proposed the idea of drive-in minimalism as those who take the time to clear out their home, but don’t continue with minimalism as a lifestyle.

While writing that article, I wasn’t entirely sure where it was going to end up. At several points, I could feel myself building into a rant about minimalism as an aesthetic versus minimalism as a lifestyle. It’s an interesting that I feel that strongly about it so soon. I’ve only been interested for a few months, but I can already muster a sense of superiority over those who just like minimalism as a colour scheme.

Anyways, this whole idea of one-shot minimalism, drive-in minimalism, do-it-and-forget-it minimalism. What difference does it make?

I started minimalism almost three months ago. I haven’t been extremely proactive, partly because I’m a university student without a lot of money, but I have cleared out stuff and made changes. What if I stop minimizing after the three months are up? What does that look like?

Well, say that I go back to not caring about it. My book collection starts to grow again, I have clothes that I don’t wear in my dresser and closet, “junk” accumulates around the house. And life goes on. Maybe I’m a lousy traitor, ditching the lifestyle once I get bored of it. That’s a whole other discussion, though. But for these past three months, I’ve felt cleaner. Not physically cleaner, but mentally and emotionally cleaner. It hasn’t all been easy, I’ve had a few difficult situations to handle, but it’s been good. I’ve found new passions and stronger direction for old passions. I’ve worked hard and accomplished a lot. Is that minimalism at work? Or is it just happy coincidence?

I don’t actually have an answer. This blog isn’t really about answers. It’s about musings.

My scientific background reminds me of correlation versus causation. Simply because two things happen at the same time doesn’t mean that one caused the other. A lot of people claim that minimalism clears the mental by clearing the physical. My mental has been beautifully clear for the past few months. My physical has been clearer than usual for the past few months. Maybe they’re causally related, maybe not.

One thing I do know. Minimalism makes a lot of things easier. I was able to move out with relative ease because of my lack of possessions and it would have been even easier if I had made more definite changes before moving. I don’t have to spend much time caring for my possessions, because I have so few. That leaves more time for people and for activities that I enjoy. My personal space is generally clean, which helps me focus (I know that for a fact).

For these three months, minimalism as a lifestyle has made a difference. The size of the difference is unclear, but it’s definitely there. Even if it does turn out to be drive-in minimalism, I have learned much. That makes it worth the effort.

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