I have a friend with a bookcase in her living room. It has four shelves… and 36 books, 11 figurines, 24 photos, 2 souvenir coffee mugs, various snow globes, flower arrangements, vases, and candles.
People often define minimalism as removing all material possessions from your life. They ask me, “How do you live life as a minimalist? It sounds so boring.” But their definition is founded on an incorrect assumption.
Minimalism isn’t just the removal of all physical possessions. It is also the intentional promotion of the things I value most. It is about deciding what is most important in your life and removing the things that distract you from it.
Which bring me back to my friend’s bookcase. As I look at her bookcase, I ask myself, “What is it that she values most?” I can’t tell by looking her at bookcase—it’s too crowded with things that are less important.
One benefit of minimalism is that you are able to visibly declare what is most important to you. Look around your living room. What does it communicate about you? If a total stranger walked in, what would they identify is most important? Is it? Or has the most important things in your life become crowded out but less important things?