In her 2016 book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo set about changing the world one perfectly folded jumper at a time. Kondo quickly became a household name as everyone attempted to master the now trademarked “KonMari Method”, a tidying technique hinged on the emotional value of belongings – and whether they “sparked joy”. Yet, this wasn’t a simple matter of cleaning your closet. There was a serious side that was hard to ignore: as a society we’d reached peak “stuff”. We were surrounded by so many things but was this constant consumption creating happiness? Fast forward two years and the concept of owning less and living more is gaining momentum well beyond our wardrobes.
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, better known as “The Minimalists”, have made it their mission to bring the less-is-more movement to the masses. What began with a 2015 documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things has evolved into TED talks, a weekly podcast, a blog and speaking tour. They define minimalism as “a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives” and believe contentment comes less from the consumerist quest for happiness through purchases and more from what’s really important, such as health and relationships. Stifling the desire for material possessions, will free up our time, increase personal wealth, and create freedom to “live a more meaningful life”.
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