Minimalism vs. Enoughism

Enoughism: This Professional Organizer’s personal version of Minimalism.

You could call me a minimalist, but I think I am more of an “enoughist” – which means I focus on the things that anchor me to the life I deserve and release the things that do not serve me.

Seen from an outside view, I probably am a minimalist, a living example of minimalism. But a practical, down-to-earth one, who acknowledges that family life includes more than white furniture, blank walls, and empty spaces. That it comes with stuff – sports stuff, kids stuff, administrative stuff, kitchen stuff, you name it. This is why I call myself an enoughist. But what is the difference?

According to the Merriam-Webster, minimalism is “a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity”.

Extreme spareness and simplicity sound incredibly uncomfortable, don’t you think? Not really suitable for all the stuff that comes with family life, pets, a house, garden, or car.

Educating myself about minimalism, I read everything I could find: books, blogs, magazines, newspaper articles, brochures. I learned that there are many minimalists who have pursued the 100 things challenge, first of them being David Michael Bruno. It is a personal simple-living challenge, meaning to live with 100 personal belongings for a year (or longer).

When I read this, I was impressed and wondered if I should give it a try. But then reality struck: I don’t own many clothes, but I like them and the variety I have. I own certain electronic devices and I frequently use all of them, and they all come with cables etc. Where is the line between personal and “common”? And the most important question – WHY should I do that? As a single person, I think this might be exciting. But with a family, pets, and a business to take care of, I did not want to add more hassle, thoughts, conditions, rules, and obligations to my life. They would have totally cluttered my BRAIN. So I decided against it.

One of the first books I ever read about organizing was Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever”.

We did not have a clutter problem, but I was so fascinated by her ideas that I applied the method to our house. It worked great, but I was always struggling with the instruction to only keep items that “spark joy”. Does a screwdriver spark joy? Not to me, but I need one from time to time. Her second book tells you how to deal with that, but I did not know that then. So I just kept necessary items even though they did not “spark joy”.

And a while after that, I came across a quote that summarized what I really wanted:

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” (William Morris, 1834-1896)

Now that is something! Yes! A useful screwdriver, a beautiful family picture, and beautiful and useful woollen blanket for the sofa! That made sense to me and is my favourite organizing quote ever.

I do not want to have any unnecessary stuff or clutter in my life. Every single item in a house needs to be taken care of. There’s a chain of what you do with an item. You:

  • buy it, it costs you money.
  • use it (hopefully).
  • have to clean it, tidy it up, take it out of the way if you want to reach other items.
  • want to store it which costs you money again (more about the cost of things)
  • will have to maintain or repair it, costs again
  • once it has reached the end of its lifespan, you might even have to pay for the recycling, or it adds to the landfill.

So what do I save with every item that I don’t own? Money, time, and space.

Space in my (storage) room that I can use for storing more important stuff, or easier see and reach other items. Space in my rooms and time in my schedule that I can use for playing catch or hide and seek with my son, or chasing the dog, or invite friends and family over to sit with us. Instead of cleaning and re-organizing all my belongings again and again, I can just go outside and enjoy the seasons with my sons and my dog in the forest.

After I discovered this for myself and purged all unnecessary belongings we owned, our house was more spacious, tidying up was a breeze even for my 2 years old son, and cleaning the whole house took a mere 2 hours. A few months later we were able to move to a much smaller house with a huge garden, saving a lot of money on the rent and being able to enjoy more of the outdoor life we love.

Summarized, Enoughism is a special form of Minimalism in which you don’t focus on reducing everything as far as possible no matter what.

It rather means focusing on the things that enable you to live the live you want and enhance it. Every item that does not support this or stands in the way gets removed. You have what you need, you have enough. And what that means is individual for every single person.

What is your motivation? Do you want to be an enoughist?
Contact me for a free 30 minute discovery call and let’s see how we can get you started.

 

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