Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why Minimalism?

I think we can all understand the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle - less ties to materialistic things, a free life, saving money, small eco-footprint, etc. You might chuckle a bit when I explain a less expected reason I choose to live this way.

Decisions give me anxiety.

It's not that I don't want to make a decision in order to keep all possibilities open. It's quite the opposite - I'm very concerned with making a good decision. I will turn things over in my brain and analyze the possible options from every angle imaginable (I'm a Meyers Briggs INTJ, for anyone who might be wondering). If you've ever seen me shop in IKEA, you probably have a perfect mental image of what I'm talking about.

Clutter is nothing more than unmade decisions. Clutter, therefore, gives me anxiety. Fewer possessions = fewer decisions = little to no clutter stress! That's the equation that I've found works for me. There are certainly other reasons why I choose a minimalist lifestyle, but I find this one to be amusing.

Fortunately it's only my own clutter/decisions that evoke anxiety, otherwise I wouldn't be very good at my job. I always explain to my organizing clients that it's important to find systems that work for the way they live. There are no cookie cutter solutions. Minimalism is not necessarily a good fit for everyone. It just happens to work quite nicely for me.

Kristen Ziegler


missemilyjones said...

so out of sheer curiousity, i took a quick meyers briggs test... and im an ENFJ!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I can see that. You're more of a people-person than I am. Although, I do feel like I've shifted over more toward the "E" (extrovert vs introvert for those wondering) in the past year.

Paul Vivier said...

Very amusing post. First, because I consider myself a minimalist when possible, and second because the decision issue is something I run into as well. Fewer variables, mean less factors to consider, mean fewer options to have to describe. When you have a creative mind, it doesn't take many variables to still come up with lots of options. It's much easier to find something that was designed well so it covers many of those factors for you. Kill 10 birds with one stone!

Nice site.

Anonymous said...

Paul - you're exactly on point! Thanks re: the site too :).

Emily said...

Hmmm... I just took the quick on-line test and I'm an ENFP. I'm not even sure what that means... I'm guessing it's amazing.

missemilyjones said...

ES- That totally suits you!
Also, not surprising that we're only one category off.
KZ- you're definitely more of an E these days!

Anonymous said...

ES - I totally had you pegged as an ENFP, was just thinking about it this morning. In a nutshell, it means you're outgoing, creative, warm-hearted and easy going. I'm guessing AMV is an INFJ. Anyone want to place bets? Haha.

Erin said...

Well, organizers, let me put you to the test. As someone speaking from the Anti-Decision-Making camp, I totally sympathize with those battling anxiety! Eep. But, here's the thing. What kinds of questions do I need to be asking about my possessions in order to pare down? Or should I just torch everything I own and start fresh ;p