The Joy of Less by Francine Jay, Miss Minimalist, is the second book I’ve read on my journey into Minimalism. I found the first section, Philosophy, most helpful. As she states, it’s about getting into the mindset of minimalism before ever starting to take action. Here are some of the gems that resonated with me:
“Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”
“Once something has memories, it’s a bugger to get rid of” (example: souvenirs)
“Enjoy without owning should be your mantra while shopping”
For knickknacks: “If you’re not displaying them proudly and prominently and if you don’t derive true pleasure from their presence, send them off to a new home where they’ll get the attention they deserve.”
“Surfaces are not for storage. Rather, surfaces are for activity, and should be kept clear. Imagine our surfaces as slippery. Everything placed on them leaves with us when we leave the room.”
Thinking through these ideas and processing these quotes. One stood out to me most, in regards to my ideas of microurbanism.
“In our quest to become minimalists, we want to reduce the amount of thing in our homes that require our care and attention. Fortunately we have ample opportunity to do so simply by shifting some of our pleasures and activities into the public realm. In fact, it produces a pretty wonderful side effect. For when we hang out in parks, museums, movie houses and coffee shops- instead of trying to create similar experiences in our own homes- we become more socially active and civically engaged.”
This is the idea that strikes me most about minimalism. The idea that we don’t need all the things in our house to make us happy. Happiness comes from people, socializing and being a part of life. When we alter that rhythm or try to force it into our personal space if looses it’s magic.
What if instead of all these “suburban estates” we downsized our personal space in exchange for more social elements, more interactions, more life. Happiness doesn’t come from owning things, it comes from people and experiences. If this is to be my mantra, it is my duty to find the right amount, my “enough” stuff, to allow me to feel cared for and contented in my personal space, and instead prioritize bringing people and experiences into my life that will truly bring happiness.