Minimalism improves creativity and productivity – discuss…
I wanted to write about White Space.
The opportunity a blank page or an unexpected snowy view of a field gives us as creatives. Our lives are fuller than ever before. So many opportunities available to us every single day. For us, our move to Northumberland was to simplify our life and reconnect without the noise of the city.
Minimalism seems to have become a ‘buzz’ word of late. Watching the Netflix documentary Minimalism – I realised how minimalism connects to our life and how the practise has connected me to being more creative.
Leo Babauta; “Minimalism isn’t about living with as little as possible, it’s about discovering what is important”. (*)
Visually, minimalist enthusiasts seem to have a beautiful aesthetic all of their own…
- Expansive white rooms with not a thing to be seen on the worktops.
- A bedroom with crisp white sheets and sheer white curtains framing a white window
- White work desks with just an i-mac and a lamp…
- A capsule wardrobe spanning a uniform rainbow of white through to black.
- Less to see, less to process, more space…
I find it all very appealing.
That said, my house doesn’t look anything like these pinterest pictures and my wardrobe is full of colour (pink and yellow mostly)…
So how does minimalism work for me?
I started my minimalism journey with creating a capsule wardrobe and trying to take every room in our home plastic free last year. This practise made way to a new understanding about ‘stuff’.
Stuff we had, stuff we didn’t have, stuff we have had for a long time, stuff we couldn’t find.
I learnt that the less stuff you have, the less places you store the things.
Then the easier it is to find the things because there is less stuff around the thing you need.
Here’s an example – Yesterday we were doing some DIY and for the first time I can remember, we actually didn’t fall out during the job!!
Our arguments are usually because some tool is lost (argh) or missing (we have four sheds and also keep tools in the utility room) and then someone has to go buy a new one/ find the charger for the drill/ locate the spirit level or one of the 6 tape measures we just had a second ago which quite often finds it’s way into L’s toy box during the DIY chaos. And breathe haha!
There are simply too many places for the tools to live and it has made every DIY job a bit ‘stressy’ The best news is, this is an easy fix.
Note to self – the tools need a permanent home – pick a shed and store them there and always put them back in the same place. The reasons we haven’t done this yet as we’ve not given it any thought but now we know what to do!
Decision making – commercialism v minimalism.
We know commercialism is problematic for the planet but sometimes we need/ want to buy things and most of us are in the privileged position to do that.
I am a real advocate for a more conscious approach to bringing things into our home and getting rid of the things that don’t have a place in our heart.
It’s a practise for me, a set of questions each time a shiny thing catches my eye.
When I buy something new it feels special, important – like my dress of gold sequins I bought for my friend’s wedding (pictured). Before buying this, I think I’d only bought clothes from charity shops last year and the odd couple of sale pieces.
Feeling great about the stuff in your wardrobe/ cupboards
A few weeks back, we were give 3 huge bags of clothes for L our friend’s son had grown out of.
With a grateful heart, I went through them choosing a new capsule wardrobe for him based on his tastes (dinosaurs and hoodies).
I then sorted the rest for charity (which we’d agreed before hand) and asked if there was anything else he wanted to take or give away. L wears the same things over and over again – things he likes, things he’s comfortable in, t-shirts that when he wears he gets compliments from adults. He’s a capsule wardrobe king!
Clarity in decision making is really important to me as my daily life is so varied depending on where and who I’m working for.
Today, I have on yoga pants and a comfy vest as I’m teaching a workshop on goal setting here in our yoga studio this afternoon. I tried a jumper over the top I’ve held onto as a ‘nice’ yoga top but the material doesn’t feel great and I’ve got nicer ones so I’ve popped it in our charity bag (I’ve constantly got one ‘on the go’ in our sliding cupboards).
Someone else will enjoy it I’m sure.
Creativity and minimalism
All creatives work differently but for me if my tools, desk, laptop and laptop bag are organised I function better. If I function better I make more space to create, if I have more space more creative things happen and my ideas are better. It’s as simple as that for me.
I created a download to invite more white space into your life here if you’d like to take a look.
I find white space is crucial to design and decision making for me in all of my creative projects…maybe it is for most people… filling a huge blank page with all the possibilities and my ‘to do’ list makes me feel very centred and calm.
For some people being surrounded by their favourite things makes them feel super happy and I love to see a congruent extension of creativity in peoples home.
What do you think? Are you a minimalist, fancy getting creative in some white space of your own today?
If you’d like to connect, I’m tagging the sparkles over on instagram
PS – I always laugh at the white cat in a snow storm joke – do you?