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Does This [Self-Help Method] Bring You Joy? Exploring Today’s Minimalism

If we stay tidy, can we stay happy?
If we stay tidy, can we stay happy?

How often have we heard “less is more” over the past few years?

Decluttering experts like Marie Kondo and  the self-help duo The Minimalists, push this philosophy through books, podcasts and hit Netflix series. 

But some remain skeptical of tidiness as a key to lasting happiness. 

Kyle Chayka, author of “Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism”  wrote in The Guardian:  

“The KonMari Method and minimalist self-help as a whole works because it is a simple, almost one-step procedure, as memorable as a marketing slogan. It is a shock treatment demonstrating that you do not need to depend on possessions for an identity; you still exist even when they are gone. But as Kondo conceives it, it is also a one-size-fits-all process that has a way of homogenising homes and erasing traces of personality or quirkiness.”  

At a time when many of us are at home—sometimes all day—we may be rethinking how we make our space.

Whilemore recent minimalism has been portrayed as a way for wealthy, mostly white, people to liberate themselves from the burden of their possessions, millions of Americans who have lost their jobs during the pandemic may be forced into a life of less. 

We explore what exactly minimalism—a term that blossomed out of a 1960’s art movement—means and who gets to participate. 

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Haili Blassingame