February 27, 2017 Mandi Meek
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“MINIMALISM: A DOCUMENTARY” REVIEW

“Minimalism: A Documentary” is a great refresher to what is minimalism and why one should pursue this lifestyle. The film is a great introduction to minimalism for people who haven’t explored this concept. The documentary follows the book tour of Ryan and Joshua as they promote their lifestyle of happiness and interview many minimalists around the states (including our personal favorite Leo Babauta from the blog Zen Habits (https://zenhabits.net/).

Having been drinking the minimalism koolaid for years, I was very familiar with the ideas and statistics shared. However, I found myself engaged especially during the interviews with minimalists leading the movement. My key takeaway from the film was to embrace joy – a very common theme in minimalism. Ryan explains that a key component of minimalism is to allow yourself to be surrounded with items that bring you joy – even if that includes a larger collection of items than the normal minimalist. Joy was heavily covered in Mari Kondo’s book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” (Read our book review here.) But this was the first time it really clicked for me that we should allow ourselves to keep these items that bring us joy versus using joy as a measuring stick for decluttering a la the KonMari method.

The KonMari method is world renowned, and the book is a #1 New York Times Best Seller. After reading it, I knew I wouldn’t be picking up every item I owned and asking, “Does this bring me joy?” However, there were a few good takeaways that have stuck with me, and on the rare occasion, I do catch myself asking “the joy question.” Most importantly I learned that my collecting habits were passed on through generations of my family. So I shared this book with my mom, whose life it did change. She rid herself of anything that didn’t bring her joy or have a purpose and a place in her empty-nester lifestyle. When I went home for the holidays that year, I was astounded. Not by how clean and beautiful my childhood home is now, but by how much lighter she felt. She was happier, freer and more at peace.

The change is evident in those who fully commit to minimalism or at the least commit to decluttering their life. You can see peace in both Ryan and Joshua. I now define minimalism as a shift in priority and focus from collecting stuff — whether that be a bigger house, bigger bank account, bigger wardrobe, etc. — to people and life experiences. Let the joy of living life take over your home – not your stuff.

To learn more about Ryan and Joshua – the minimalists, please visit: http://www.theminimalists.com/. Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things is currently available on Netflix.

Want to read more about the KonMari method? Start here. Then visit her site: http://tidyingup.com/

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