This is day (8) of the 31 Days of Minimalism Challenge.
If you missed yesterday’s post, we talked about regaining your kitchen’s functionality through minimalism. You can read that article here.
We are really excited to talk about today’s topic and believe it will provide you with some helpful information regarding the space you are living in.
Often times, people arrange their homes to showcase their belongings (TV, anyone?). But rather than a house designed around one’s stuff, we propose a different way of living:
We believe that the living space should value people over things.
What is your living space like? Are your chairs and couches centered around the TV? Are conversation carried easily?
In this article, these are the 3 things we will cover to create a more minimalist living space.
- Arrangement of furniture
- Removing distractions
- Incorporating nature in design
Minimalist Living Space: What to focus on
1. Arrangement of furniture: less is more
The arrangement of furniture in your household can effect so many different things: from mood, to motivation, to sleep.
Many people believe that every piece of furniture serves a great purpose, like holding the books, holding the china, holding the rock collection, holding the vinyl, holding…hmmm, anything else?
Honey, what should we put in THAT corner of our (oversized and inefficient) house?
Interestingly, we convince ourselves to buy more, collect more, and find space for it all in the house–so much so that it begins to take away from our own living space.
Of course, the alternative is a minimalist living space. By this, we mean a space that has less but does more. This equates to owning less furniture that is more intentionally placed.
Let’s talk about the TV:
It seems as if most American homes center their living room around the television, and then worry about watching too much TV.
Then, parents set rules for their children’s’ TV time, and expect them to behave even though everything in the living room centers around the TV.
It’s the same as trying to eat healthy but keeping junk food in the fridge–it does not work.
And when these things don’t work, we turn to complex solutions that don’t even help. All the while, the answers are right under our feet–the living space itself.
The design of the living space is directly related to lifestyle.
So if your children watch too much TV, change the design of the living room! Center the furniture around a puzzle table, a record player, or anything else other than the TV.
This extends past the TV example. Think about some other ways the arrangement of your furniture effects your lifestyle and change it accordingly.
For us, living in a tiny bus home, our living space is designed to fit all of our needs. It is maximized for space efficiency. But it also does much more.
Most noticeably, downsizing our living space has led to better conversation, better get-togethers, and more meaningful friendships. In a way, the small space forces us to interact with our guests.
2. Removing distractions
It’s quite confusing. We think that by having more, we will be able to do more. But in reality, it is the opposite.
The more we have, the more need to maintain, clean, and utilize. This leads to an unreal amount of distraction.
In the living space, most people want to feel calm and relaxed. They want to feel motivated and inspired rather than distracted.
It is amazing how simplifying the living space can lead to these things. And while everyone operates differently, we believe that most people can benefit from cutting out some of the excess junk.
Things add weight to people’s lives. When these things are lifted, people can accomplish more.
Do more with less.
If you want to learn how to downsize, check out this post. We cover everything you need to know from methods, tips, & tricks on deciding what to keep.
3. Incorporating nature in design
A great way to create a minimalist living space is to incorporate nature.
Unlike the distraction of human-made goods, nature adds an element of peace and well-being. Although it is possible to go overboard, consider adding some nature to your living space and see what it does.
We like to keep succulents in our bus as they are easy to maintain and require little watering. Fresh flowers are also a great way to make our space feel intentional and natural.
Intentionality is the Goal
A minimalist living space for us is intentional and useful. It serves a purpose that does not cause excess distraction, confusion, or negative feeling.
We see so many homes that have wasted space. These spaces eventually fill up with useless items, furniture, and trash. This is not intentional living.
Ultimately, the best way to create intentional space is to downsize. A smaller space feels cozier, quieter, and more peaceful than a huge space.
With less space, there is less choice, less area to fill, and less chaos.
Thanks for reading!
Let us know in the comments below if you have any additional commentary on the subject. We want to hear your ideas!
As always, BE WELL!
Riley & Cece