Less is More is such a cliché. As clichés go, it’s been around for years. One hundred and sixty of them, in fact. Robert Browning first said it in a poem in 1855. (Browning was always such a trendsetter!)
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe used it in the 1960’s to define minimalist design in architecture. It’s been used countless times since to describe everything from design to dinner.
There are quite a few blogs on minimalism. One of my favourites and perhaps most well-known is The Minimalists. “Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers.” Heady stuff. Four million (million?!) readers are interested in simplifying their lives. Minimalism, according to Joshua and Ryan, According to The Minimalists, “minimalism is a tool used to rid yourself of life’s excess in favour of focusing on what’s important, so you can find happiness, fulfillment and freedom.”
Here are five blogs on simplified living that I’m following right now.
Blonde on a Budget
Cait Flanders was 29 when she realized she was $28,000 in debt with not a lot to show for it. Her award winning blog (Plutus award winner 2014 for Best Canadian Personal Finance Blog) chronicles not only what she did to retire her debt in two years (which included a full year of buying nothing) but also how she reduced her belongings by 70%. Not only is Cait witty and wise beyond her years, she’s Canadian. This woman’s my hero!
Joshua Becker is married with two kids and lives in Arizona. About six years ago he had an epiphany while cleaning out the garage. I usually just get frustrated and snarly when I clean out my garage. Where did all this stuff come from and how can I rearrange it to make it look a little less… stuffed?! Joshua and his wife took a different tack and in May 2008 his blog Becoming Minimalist was born. There is a wealth of information, philosophical discussion and very practical advice. Joshua has written four very popular books that are all worth checking out (of the library!) and reading.
To round out the New World theme, the third blog is by Antipodean Brooke McAlary. (Antipodean = someone from Australia or New Zealand. There. The one thing you needed to learn today. You’re welcome.) Brooke lives in Australia with her hubs and two kids. Her blog Slow your Home is her story of consciously shifting the way she and her family lives after experiencing some pretty big smackdowns. “So I need to slow down. I need to simplify. I need to re-evaluate our priorities. I need to have less and be more,” Brooke said. “I need to look at our home and all it entails – family, relationships, health, house, garden, kitchen – and slow it all down. Leave space for life to happen.”
The fourth isn’t really a blog. It’s a vlog on YouTube called The Daily Connoisseur. Jennifer L. Scott is a charmingly elegant woman who came to minimalism after spending six months living with a family in Paris while going to school. I would describe Jennifer’s approach as the minimalism of quality. She is less “buy your clothes at the thrift shop” and more “buy the highest quality you can afford and treat it well”. One of her more popular themes is her 10-item wardrobe (although that’s a bit misleading since she doesn’t count inner wear, workout wear, outerwear, evening wear or cleaning-out-the-basement wear). She is also the author of three books based on her time with her Parisian host, Madame Chic.
Finally, I’m going to leave you with Mike Burns. Take one look at his blog The Other Side of Complexity and you’ll see right away why this guy makes me smile. His posts on what minimalism is and isn’t and why minimalism doesn’t mean that you have to throw out everything you love really dovetails with my own philosophy.
Do you believe that Less is More? Will you share your favourite blogs on minimalism, aggressive debt-busting or simpler living? Thanks in advance!