Psaros / News

A Minimalist Perth Lifestyle: Why less can be so much more

There is a growing awareness in Perth of the need to find more sustainable ways of living, for current and future populations.

Much discussion focuses on setting the sustainability benchmark higher – creating lifestyles relying less on resources, pumping less pollution into our environment and producing less waste and landfill.

Fuelled by an enhanced environmental conscience, Perth is experiencing the emergence of new alternative lifestyle choices. Urban apartments are highly sought after by those wanting to achieve higher density sustainable living. Others invest their time and energy into growing more of what they eat. This plays out in the explosion of community and urban gardening.

The minimalist approach is another increasingly popular lifestyle choice for people who desire simple living, simple pleasures, and a life no longer driven by a quest for material things. Although this lifestyle isn’t just about sustainability, the two are inherently linked.

So what is minimalism?

Minimalism is the quest for simple living, taking satisfaction from meaningful things. At its core minimalism is choosing a simple, happy and stress free life, striving to de-clutter and reduce reliance on possessions and purchases.

It helps to think of minimalism less as a movement, and more as a way of thinking. Minimalism is a set of principles that help people focus on what matters most to them, and worry less about the things that don’t.

It’s also worth noting that minimalism is not a cookie-cutter lifestyle. It is highly contextual and will look and feel a little differently to everyone. Your approach to minimalism will depend on a multitude of factors including your current lifestyle, your family situation, your relative wealth, your environmental values, and what matters most to you as an individual.

Minimalism and sustainability

Minimalism isn’t strictly about sustainability. However, given the impact minimalism can have on our consumption as a society, the two go hand in hand.

Sustainability is about making responsible decisions to reduce the negative impact we have on the environment. Minimalism focuses on living inside very simple means, not having unnecessary possessions and not consuming beyond our needs. On a macro level, some of the effects minimalism can have on Perth include: a smaller carbon footprint, more bikes and feet on the footpaths and fewer cars on the road, less appliances ending up in a landfill, and more culturally-embraced recycling (or up-cycling) practices.

Minimalism is about far more than just living sustainably. Many people find homes free of clutter and unnecessary things more calming, liberating and cleansing. On a purely practical level, houses void of clutter are also much easier to clean – what’s not to love about that! For many people an uncluttered life helps them to maintain an uncluttered mind, helping to improve productivity.

How to think and live like a minimalist

Like all lifestyle choices, minimalism sits on a sliding scale. It needn’t mean selling all your worldly possessions and setting up camp in an apartment void of all furniture! It’s about finding the balance between consumerism and minimalism that suits you.

If you’re interested in minimalist principles, the best place to start is to ask a few fundamental questions:

  • What adds genuine value to your life?
  • What brings you most happiness?
  • Do your possessions bring you a lot of pleasure?
  • What do you really need in your life, and what could you live without?
  • How important are the relationships and people in your life, your health, your values and principles? Do you value your connection to your local community?
  • If you took away the nice car you’re driving - or the 50 (largely unworn) pairs of shoes that fill your wardrobe – would you feel any better or any worse?

If your answer to many of these questions is that you wouldn’t really be affected by the removal of many material things in your life, then why have them? Why rely on them? Why let these things clutter up your life?

New beginnings

Moving house can be a great time to rejig your mind into minimalist thinking. Why not use your move as an opportunity to de-clutter. Think about what you really need and set up your new home or apartment in a way that allows you to rely less on what you buy and more on what you find, you make, or you grow yourself. 

Start by taking a look around you – right now. Are there things you wouldn’t miss, or wouldn’t need if they were gone? If the answer is yes, perhaps it’s time to think a little more deeply about what minimalism could mean to you.

Read more about other sustainable lifestyle choices now available in Perth on our website. Or to be part of this trend, check out our current developments or give us a call.