Minimalism is a movement gaining momentum in the Netherlands. With its roots in American art of the 1960s and 1970s, minimalism has changed from a designation for galleries to a lifestyle that shapes how Dutch people live and approach their daily lives. Its rapid growth as a lifestyle trend has led to a host of series, documentaries and articles touting the mental and physical benefits of freeing up space. So read on to find out how and why people from Amsterdam to Enschede have turned an artistic style into a lifestyle.
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism as a movement involves creating peace of mind by transforming the physical space around us. As cities have become increasingly crowded and the feeling of being overwhelmed is a reality for more and more people, minimalism has sought to create a lifestyle where people do not carry the stress of the office home with them. The basic idea is simple. Something we were all told as children and even beyond. A cluttered space makes a cluttered mind.Clutter crowds out our mental space and exacerbates feelings of unease and stress by turning the mental images of overwhelming tasks into a physical reality. Increasingly, we come home from busy jobs in stressful cities like Amsterdam and then find it impossible to switch off and relax. Thinking about all the things we have to do. Packing the Christmas decorations, doing another wash, tidying desks, the list is endless. Minimalism is the main rejection of this basic lifestyle. While there are many different approaches to the lifestyle, they all include making space for your body to put you at ease. People who participate in this lifestyle claim all kinds of physical and mental benefits, including less stress and anxiety, better sleep, higher productivity and more rewarding self-esteem. Not to mention saving money in the long run.
What does minimalist living look like?
There is no right or wrong way to practise minimalism. Different approaches suit different people and different lifestyles. Indeed, the multitude of different approaches has given us a whole new vocabulary related to tidying up. Ever heard of someone who is “Marie Kondo-ing”? What about someone who is “downsizing”? Or perhaps a friend is part of the “tiny house movement”? These are all different approaches to the same principle. Rid your home of unnecessary clutter and optimise your storage solutions. Less stuff in your way, less worry in your life. This kind of movement can seem quite stressful in itself. What to do with all your stuff? How to choose what to keep? Maybe it is easier to go down the “hoarder” route?
Practical tips for living the minimalist lifestyle:
Well, we at Boxie are here to help people to tidy their homes and free their minds. The beauty of minimalism is that a small change can make a big difference! So there is always the opportunity to take it as far as you want. Not everyone needs to downsize to a tiny house! So read our tips on tidying up!
- Ease into it! The idea of just throwing away everything you have collected in your flat is probably tempting for some, but intimidating for most. So the best advice is to start small. Perhaps by clearing out one specific desk or cupboard that has been in your way for far too long!
- Move from room to room: Choose the project you want to take on and finish that before moving on! Having even one room in your home that is bright and quiet will give you the chance to experience the benefits and keep you motivated to keep changing your lifestyle.
- Optimise your storage solutions: Declutter doesn’t have to mean throw away! You can make your storage space external if you are not yet ready to throw everything away. You can rent a storage closet to keep those items that are just too personal to get rid of, but not essential enough to keep. While that may seem quite stressful on its own, companies like Boxie24 are here to help with convenient, complete storage solutions. Think large items, antiques, gifts or heirlooms, all out of the way but just a storage moment away.
- Try seasonal storage: Can’t decide what to keep? An easy way to save space is to move and store your things seasonally. Make sure your winter items, such as jackets, ski equipment or cold weather tyres, don’t crowd your home when you don’t need them. Not sure what to do with your Halloween and Christmas decorations in January? Try removing them from your home until you need them again.
- Lose large items: Larger pieces of furniture that never seem to be used but are always in the way are excellent candidates when downsizing. Store them to free up space in rooms. You would be amazed what a difference larger empty spaces make! They will make rooms feel bigger and airier, reducing feelings of claustrophobia.
- Make use of your regained space: Combine the benefits of minimal living with other healthy practices. Perhaps use your clearer environment to try out that yoga routine you’ve been thinking about, or even start a messy hobby like painting, knowing your furniture is safe from falls and splashes! Give yourself permission to enjoy the changes you have made in your life!
Minimalism has changed from an artistic style to an approach to life that has changed the way millions of Dutch people live. By keeping things physically clear and simple, you can keep them mentally clear and simple. Make body and mind clear for a happier, healthier life at home by making changes in the way you see all things, big and small. Making big changes starts with one small change. While it may seem intimidating to decide what to keep and what to throw away, it has proven to be a liberating experience for many of Boxie24’s thousands of customers. If you want to know how to store your goods for a clearer home and mind, call us on: 085-013-1101.