I am making a new phrase… ‘Pandemic Minimalism’. (Or at least I think I am!)
Speaking seriously though, it is time to redefine the context of the term ‘minimalism’. When one considers the term ‘minimalism’ usually the image that comes to mind is that of space living areas with only a few pieces of basic formed furniture, or a specific number of clothing items one is allowed to have (by the rules, you know) and the methodology of giving away all ones’ belongings until there is nothing but what is necessary for daily living + maybe 3 books on the shelf for those sentimental moments.
After watching endless amounts of people compete with each other to see who can live with less, perhaps it’s a good time to move into a more realistic form of the minimalistic lifestyle. In my mind, the just mentioned aesthetic is no longer practical for the lifestyle we are living this year.
How does the pandemic have anything to do with minimalism?
It’s simple: We want clean space for living and our spaces / items need to be appropriate for the life we are living now.
What my meaning is that well, take economics as an example… Globally, we find ourselves in a situation where we can no longer spend irresponsibly. Those lunch breaks from the office or time spent waiting for the train while walking through the shops is no longer an option, which has probably made a noticeable difference in spending habits because the urge to purchase the item when it is in one’s grasp is much greater than when it is not. Due to this separation and the need to be more careful with our monies, we have an opportunity to make more thoughtful purchases and to be happier with the purchases we do make.
What makes ‘pandemic minimalism’ different from ‘minimalism’?
Answer: Maximalism. It’s weird, no? But still, it is logical. Lush fabrics, beautiful and comfortable clothing /items and luxurious living spaces can be (& really should be if you are living in anything other than your own large estate) minimal.
As we are spending so much time in our spaces, it seems just logical to me that we would want them to be comfortable, welcoming and perhaps even luxurious. And as guests in the home are a luxury of the past, why not take the opportunity to make your space all about you?
In regards to clothing, at the current time, purchasing new party clothes is not so necessary nor is it needed to have a new different suit for the workplace every day of the week. By eliminating these purchases and focusing more on what feels good and is appropriate for life now, such as jeans and a nice sweater or a work blouse and trousers for online meetings, we are able to easily reduce our additional spending and the percentage of wardrobe space of these items.
Did you just invent this name?
Yes. Yes I did. However, it is a real concept. Also, I should really stop writing to myself in multiple person format.
How does one do pandemic minimalism?
Remember this statement: Use what you’ve got, replace what you need. This applies to all things from eyeshadow to furniture. Clothes wear out, items are used away and furniture reaches a point of no longer functioning for the need or aesthetic. While using your items, save some money towards your next purchase. A small jar for coins or cash is always a good way to save for a much appreciated new addition to the home. During that time, research, research, research! Look for the items you like the appearance of. Discover the fabrics and patterns that make you smile. Bookmark the designers websites or small shops which carry those high quality crafted items so that you can revisit it when you are ready. And, most probably, by the time you have saved the money to purchase the item, the item(s) you are replacing will be ready for retiring.
Purchasing high quality and well crafted items may have a heavier price, but the quality will last so much longer and look beautiful while doing so. And remember, that as you are purchasing less, one luxury purchase will be preferred to 100 small unnecessary purchases, and this is how minimalism is achieved.
Break the perceived rules of ‘minimalism’ and make your items work for you.
Does the idea of Pandemic Minimalism appeal to you?