How can minimalism change lives?

Claire Boon, News Editor

Minimalism came to light in the 1950s with Enrico Castellani. Castellani was an Italian abstract artist that is known for being the father of minimalism. His artwork contained a monotone palette and no connection to the outside world. One of Castellani’s most famous pieces is called Superficie Blu which means Blue Surface in English. This art piece is a blue canvas with squiggly horizontal lines painted throughout. The minimalist architecture style was prominent throughout the 20th century with architects such as Van der Rohe. Rohe was an architect during the mid 1900s and once said, “I don’t want to be interesting. I want to be good,” a way of describing his style of architecture. His art was notable for flat roofs, usually a single color, and an open concept. So, how did the art movement of minimalism translate into a lifestyle that the world knows today?

Steve Jobs was an extreme minimalist. He wore the same black turtleneck, jeans, and new balance sneakers everyday. The minimalist lifestyle goal is to cut out non essential items and in doing so, people can achieve more. Mr. Gary Pritts, who is a Physics teacher at BCHS, applies some aspects of minimalism into his lifestyle, “I generally do not want to fill my house with new stuff. Having less stuff just brings me to a better place. There is less to worry about once you buy new things you need to clean it and organize it. It is easier to have less.”

Minimalism can cause people to be more productive. It has been proven time after time that the minimalist life gives people more opportunities to spend time doing things other than organizing, cleaning, and shopping for new items. “I can spend more time with my kids, volunteer at my church, and I can have the time and energy to give feedback to my students.” said Mr. Larry Parsons, math teacher. When there are less items to put in storage there is more space in the house. When people have it ingrained in their mind to buy less and they learn to live on less and their finances open up, and are able to save for future goals. 

When you let go of your unnecessary items you are contributing to end fast fashion. Fast fashion came with the obsession of buying clothes online. The manufacturing of fashion is faster and now that there is more and more online shopping there are more clothes that are ending up in landfills not being used. The minimalist lifestyle is all about having less clothing but a few simple good quality clothing items. Another way minimalism helps the environment is the less packaging that is being used because of less online shopping. More often than not the packaging that you are receiving in the mail just ends up in the landfill contributing to greenhouse gases being released into the air. With minimalism you are contributing to the environment being on the right track to ending the environmental issues in our world today. 

Even though minimalism has proven by past artists and businessmen to be so beneficial day-to-day life and the environment, it is a big decision and it can be a lot to get used to. “Do you feel like you spend a lot of time and energy managing your stuff? Look at how much of your time you are dealing with cleaning and organizing your new items,” said Mr. Parsons. Cutting out the non necessities can be a difficult thing because people should declutter their mind from the consumer driven lifestyle that they lived before a change in ways.“Things that you have had for a while that you have stopped using and you realize you don’t need but you still have this sentimental attachment because you think that you might need it later even though you haven’t used it in years” said Mr. Parsons. 

Minimalism has proven to be a beneficial life path whether people are an extreme example like Steve Jobs or just asking the question to themselves when going shopping “Do I need this or will this object just be another thing that I need to clean and organize and never use?” Letting go of things that weigh people down can make them more productive and more helpful in everyday life.