In this post, I will clarify the Indian way of minimalism, and how we Indians are going to gain much from it.
Though minimalism and simple living are two different things, they are strongly interconnected. More than half of the blog posts on those topics are all about the tips that will make our inner voice yell “ye bhi koi likhne waali baat hui??” (that ain’t a noteworthy point!)
And that’s because they are the simplest of the things you can do for a better life. Those tips were like the teachings given by our ancestors, teachers and parents. But since we don’t know exactly what are we racing to catch, we have forgotten the charm of those little things and happenings.
Reasons why we Indians shop so much?
We are very strong headed shopaholics. We (majorly am talking about Indian women) buy anything, mostly because:
- it looks good on store shelves (even the packaging attracts us)
- it is season’s sale
- it’s Diwali dude we got to buy something
- and even if we don’t give a damn to any other traditional fest. at Dhanterus we must buy something. Especially to “attract fortune”
- someone else we know (commonly our friend/acquaintance) has it
- it’s in current trend/fashion
- sheer curiosity to make someone else feel jealous
- fear of missing out
- “a few hundred bucks can’t go wrong” (at sale)
- we splurge when in happiness, celebration, depression, achievement and also because there is nothing else to do
Oooh!! the list has gone way beyond than I thought it would haha
Am sure these are the only few points I noted according to my behaviour and mind talks. There are 100 more reasons that run subconsciously in our mind while shopping.
In case of most of the men, they won’t go frugal. Either all they want is extreme luxe things or they won’t shop at all.
My husband has said once “if we need a pair of jeans, we simply go to the store and buy jeans. But what generally a woman does, is that she’ll go through the entire t-shirt section, check the kurtees, even whim around kid’s section and end up buying a handbag.”
Well in terms of gender, adaptability of minimalism has failed in both the worlds. Because at the end we are Indians. No matter what, we embrace abundance; not of happiness, but of things.
We are the ones who buy storage pieces to simply stuff them up with unnecessary items. And if we don’t have money to buy a storage space, well, dry balcony, balcony, half of bedroom and window spaces will take up the job. Oh, I missed the guest room too!
My Journey of Becoming a Minimalist
It was later in 2015 when I was first introduced to minimalism. And all I could see under “image” category were bare walls, black & white or neutral tones and hardly any soul in the rooms.
The interiors were looking like a performance art done at a museum and my perception of minimalism was something like “very bland taste” in style.
Yup, the Indian blood is to be pointed on for such a reaction.
But over the period of time, I actually admired the very concept. And I welcomed minimalism, not like an abrupt change in lifestyle. Instead, it was a gradual tuning of life that I was embracing.
Only to notice that eventually, my wardrobe has started to look like a capsule wardrobe. And without bringing a drastic decision that’s audible to my husband, both of our lifestyles have begun to incorporate minimalism.
I tweaked Minimalism for us Indians
I tweaked minimalism because I definitely will never be a person, who’ll ever have a black & white set up. And we’ll never be a family of two people with two forks.
So I tweaked it like, two people having a set of six forks, but they are darn stunning and long-lasting. Also, each thing needed must be an essential item for a pretty and comforting livelihood.
Hence, investing in high-quality products, that also fall under our affordability structure. And how would that happen? We’ll simply buy a set of six stunning forks and nothing at all for months till we feel the need of upgrading anything else.
The Simplest ways to begin Minimalism
Even though the change in lifestyle was gradual, it was mindful. The simplest steps towards a minimalistic living went like this for us:
- The approach started with a humble beginning on purchasing only the best in quality we can afford. Always choose quality over quantity.
- Purchase things that are organic and are ethically sourced. Thereby supporting local designers and start-ups monetarily and also their cause on “saving the planet”
- Buy mindfully, with purposeful intentions. It’s more like an investment while purchasing products. They’re costlier in most of the cases, but on the longer run, we’ll save ample money.
- Rather than buying all things glittery and shiny, buy the needful things you feel connected to, in terms of its looks and functionality.
The Gains for Indians in incorporating Minimalist Lifestyle
Well, this list; I’ll make the shortest and sweetest:
- The lesser number of things to care for and to maintain
- Hence, more time for things/activities that matters the most to you
- Cleanliness becomes easier
- More headspace and more time for relaxing
- More space for things you cherish
- You’ll be surrounded by long-lasting things that’ll make you feel happy and grateful, hence you won’t be bored with them
- Great visual appeal
- Lesser worries
- Easier shifting to another place
- Money-saving lifestyle
- Being the owner of a blissful space
Once you’ll try it out, you’ll experience many more positive aspects of it
Parallel to a minimalist way of living, the methods of decluttering were helping us get rid of the things, we were not able to take care of or have been forgotten. Thanks to Marie Kondo and her book here.
Yes, all this can make you go crazy in the initial few times, but then, that’s exactly how you’ll be mindful towards purchasing.
I remember a day in seasons sale time. I was walking past by “Central” store and the number of clothes made me feel pukish. Even the corners were flooded with cheap quality ethnic wear. “Fast fashion,” I tell you.
I am now so driven by minimalism, that only the best of the things, that I feel connected to (and are not a “show-off” product) enters my home.
Minimalism is a practice and is also a positive change in mindset. Try it for three months, am sure you’ll love it too and would love to continue with the concept forever 🙂