The wildly popular website Zen Habits debuted in 2007. Miss Minimalist started blogging in 2009, and The Minimalists followed in 2010. There’s a subreddit each for minimalism, anti-consumption, and decluttering. There’s also one for tiny houses, and if you happen to downsize to the point that you can fit in 160 square feet or less, you can buy a mobile, pre-made tiny house – or build one yourself. Suffice it to say, there’s a growing American minimalist culture.
There are a lot of great reasons to go minimal: Donating your extra stuff to charity helps other people. Buying only what you need keeps your expenses low now and in the future. It’s good for the environment — downgrading from a car to a bike or public transit cuts CO2 emissions, and recycling or repurposing your possessions means one vote for less manufacturing. People who are anti-consumption downsize because they question a culture of consumption that values people by what they possess rather than who they are.
As an adult, I’ve spent a lot of time shopping for the latest fashion trends — but I could never truly keep up. More often, I found myself in the maddening cycle of buying cheap, clearance-rack, last-season cast-offs that were never designed for my body type, having them get misshapen from wear or laundering, and going back to the clearance rack for more. This year I finally got fed up. I wanted to stop the madness. To do that, I decided to step back from the endless cycle of fashion trends, and apply minimalism to my wardrobe. Keep reading »