Examining the New Consumer Mindset: Live large. Carry little
The New Minimalism That’s Driving American Consumers
These days, you don’t have to spend more than a couple of minutes browsing Netflix to run across programming that champions a more simple, yet more robust lifestyle. There are dozens of shows covering the simple pleasures of good food or travel, tiny house documentaries, even a film titled Minimalism – all of them showing you how to live large while owning less… stuff.
The road to your own personal, more blissful existence may not involve getting rid of the things that weigh you down. On the other hand, if you could reduce your home to the basics – just the bare essentials – you might find the experience to be freeing. In this post, we talk about a couple of ways to reduce the things you carry — at home.
The One Home Improvement You Have to Do
If you could only do one home improvement, or could only change one thing about your house to make it feel more like a home, what would that thing be? For many, a hearth is what makes a home. After all, our modern “hearth,” the kitchen, is where nearly all of our actual “living” takes place.
The kitchen is where we labor to produce that which sustains us. It’s where we come together with friends, loved ones, even relative strangers, to break bread, converse, and make community. As such, your hearth, your kitchen, may be the one area of your home where you absolutely have to make improvements.
The One Piece of Furniture You Need to Make Your House a Home
When you think of the various pieces of furniture throughout your home, what do you feel like you could not do without? You may feel like your couch, your kitchen table, your bed, or your favorite chair – that one of these may be the one piece that you’d have to hang onto, even if everything else were to go.
Relax. The point of the exercise isn’t to strip away all but one piece of furniture. Instead, the point is to reflect on the furniture in your house and to consider how you use it and whether it truly enhances your life, your sense of home, or not.
If there are things you could do without, consider making some additional space and de-cluttering your home. Someone else might truly need the piece of furniture that’s not getting used in your space.
Top Storage Ideas
You may want to simply de-clutter your home by seeking out storage solutions that allow you to keep only the things you use one or two times per year, but can’t seem to part with.
Or, you may want to try living with less, just to see how it makes you feel. Consider renting a storage locker near your home and filling it with your superfluous possessions, just for a time, to see how it feels. But beware the urge to fill your recently freed home back up with new stuff.
According to some, the American mindset has been clogged for some decades with the idea that we are defined by the possessions we accumulate. Many younger people are challenging this mindset and the enormous amounts of waste it generates. In the process, they’re essentially challenging the very definition of the word “consumer.” The idea is that you’re freer to “live large” if you “carry little.”
Perhaps in reducing the number of things in one’s life, one becomes free to consider reality beyond the walls of their home or to find peace in an uncluttered environment. Or perhaps, through the personal economics of minimalism, one is free to afford to travel the world, to save for a more robust retirement, and to taste the best of what life has to offer. It might be worth a try, at the least.