Home Forums Welcome Hello! uncluttered vs minimalist

This topic contains 46 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar of sky2evan sky2evan 3 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #158717
    Avatar of pammyfay
    pammyfay
    Member

    What do you think the defining difference between the two is? Or is there one?

  • #168940
    Avatar of trillie
    trillie
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    Phew… Well, I guess for me, being uncluttered means that you have “a place for everything and everything in its place” and that you have made your life as easy/comfortable as possible by actively choosing what you own. Living minimalist is for me to make an effort to only own the bare essentials, sometimes choosing minimalism over convenience. For example, an unclutterer might own a car because he decided that it makes trips to his grandparents easier, and a minimalist would always choose to not own a car at all. (The example sucks, but I hope you get the idea).

    So I guess, in my eyes, the Unclutterer and the Minimalist are different in respect to which criterion they value more when deciding about what to own, the two key criteria being “less stuff” and “more convenience”. What do you think?

    Apropos, there were two threads about minimalism and whether to aspire it or not in this forum, here: Minimalist, do I want to go that far? and Uncluttering and minimalism. There was also another thread I really liked that also touched on a topic that unclutterers as well as minimalists probably encounter daily, Do Relatives/Friends Think You’re Down on Your Luck, in which people talk about outside reactions to their uncluttering efforts, e.g.”[Someone] started a rumor that our house was in foreclosure and we were selling everything in it to make ends meet” or “One of them asked me if I was giving all the stuff away because I was dying”. I bet that the stereotypical minimalist (you know: bare floors, one chair, insert all prejudices here) always has a lot of explaining to do ;o)

  • #168945
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I think there’s an enormous difference between an Uncluttered person (or space) and one that is Minimalist. Uncluttered is entirely subjective, whereas Minimal pretty much by definition means “the least possible.”

    Heaven knows, I would never qualify for the latter. But I’m close to achieving the former thanks to PEEP and a healthy dose of skepticism about my importance to the world. :-)

    As trillie said “actively choosing” is the key to being Uncluttered. Whether we end up with a single shelf having one vase, five books, and a geode, or an entire wall of books and souvenirs – either may be Uncluttered, depending on whether each object has been actively chosen. But even the first would not be “minimalist” according to the strictest definition.

  • #168946
    Avatar of charmed2482
    charmed2482
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    Minimalism is the end of organizing

  • #168949
    Avatar of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    Actively choosing and maintaining uncluttereness is within a comfort zone, imho.

    Minimalism could go so far as to be self-deprivation and punishment. Examples: I appreciate my computer chair. I could choose to get rid of it and sit on my hardwood floor…but I don’t have to. I could live out of a backpack every day, or just while on a hiking trip.

    Again, these are just my personal beliefs, imho….;)))

  • #168950
    Avatar of Demerna
    Demerna
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I consider uncluttered to mean that the home/apt still has a lot of stuff, such as a large collection of knickknacks, pictures all over the wall, an excessive amount of seating, multiple sets of: dishes, silverware, pots, pans, etc..(just in case) However, these items do not overpower the living space and do not inhibit use of the space.

    Minimalism (which is my goal) allows me to have enough for what I need to function easily and simply in my space. Instead of massive amounts of pictures mounted on the wall I have wide open wall space and one digital frame cycling through my photos. I have enough dishes to easily cook for myself and my husband no extras. The space is clean, easy, and spacious. I know some people strive for the extreme, I, however, do not.

  • #168962
    Avatar of charmed2482
    charmed2482
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    There are different kind of minimalism, I think there are different ways to be uncluttered, it all depends on the individual and their circumstances. Like if they have a house, apartment, kids, or are married or single living alone. Hobbies, interests, weather they travel a lot, or like to stay in one location.

  • #168963
    Avatar of foilhead1
    foilhead1
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    One can choose to unclutter just about anything: clothes, closets, a schedule, relationships, etc. It can be an ongoing process or even a habit. Once something is uncluttered, it may get cluttered again thus the cycle may continue.

    Minimalism: Is a state of mind. One may actively choose to eliminate all distraction from one’s life, thus uncluttering possessions, their time, their relationships etc. But the difference is, eliminating this clutter should be in balance with your values. Like not watching television so you can concentrate on your relationship with your family, ie, spend that time with them, nurturing them or yourself so that you will be a better spouse or parent. Or choosing to not buy anything made from a certain country that is known for abuses in human rights. Even some choose to limit their footprint of the planet. I think the word “Balance” is the most important word here. On many of these sites pertaining to simplification or minimalism, people go to extremes. Some need to do this to shock themselves to get their lives in order and eventually they do get balanced with their values. Then there are some who just like to hear themselves talk or like to shock ‘you’ the reader. Only you can judge yourself.

    I personally feel, I do not need a ‘title’ or a ‘movement’ to define who I am, how I feel or live in accordance with my values.

  • #168988
    Avatar of terriok
    terriok
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    Can women be Buddhist monks? ;o)

  • #168989
    Avatar of Demerna
    Demerna
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    They are called bhikkhuni or nuns.

    Sorry I couldn’t resist. ;)

  • #169008
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    i started decluttering so that my home and life could become more minimalist.
    i’ve got a looser definition of minimalism than some, perhaps.
    i love comfort and beauty too much to pare things down to a real bare minimum.
    where i am going is to: less of everything, but the best of everything.

  • #169014
    Avatar of candy
    candy
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I’m with bandicoot regarding “comfort and beauty” and “less of everything, but the best of everything”. Most people consider me as a minimalist, and I suppose that I am compared to most people. But I usually define myself as a collector – the only thing is perhaps that I don’t let my collections get out of hand.

  • #169020
    Avatar of terriok
    terriok
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    LOL, Demerna!!!

  • #169118
    Avatar of suzjazz
    suzjazz
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    Minimalism carried to extremes is hair-shirt-ism and a form of self-punishment.
    However, the minimalist philosophy is liberating. It’s good to live with less, as a rule. It creates physical and emotional space in your life. This past weekend, the state of Massachusetts had a temporary moratorium on the state sales tax. I heard the news report about it on the radio and my kneejerk reaction was, “What do I need to buy?” Then I laughed at myself because I don’t need to buy ANYTHING! I celebrated the weekend by not buying when everyone else in MA was loading up on stuff because it was cheaper. In the process of uncluttering (begun about a year ago) I have stopped recreational shopping almost entirely. I now buy only what I need and I usually throw or give something away after I buy something new.

    I could not live without a car (unfortunately) because my work depends on it. I have to transport heavy electronic instruments and amps for my gigs. I don’t enjoy driving but it is a necessary evil. I much prefer riding my bike, but you can’t put a 25 lb. jug of cat litter on a bike. I get annoyed by the smug minimalists who boast about how well they do without cars or chairs or tables–”I don’t need a bed/table/chair–I am comfortable sleeping/sitting/eating on the floor.” Please.
    Live a little. What are you punishing yourself for? There are people living in mud huts in third world countries who would give anything to have a bed, a chair, or a table. They’re not exactly luxuries.

    That being said, I returned from a road trip this weekend vowing to reduce the number of items in my overnight bag (mostly toiletries) which I estimate to be about 50. This is ridiculous. I have a neurotic fear of leaving my toothbrush or dental floss at home. This has expanded to include my large round hairbrush for blowdrying, my blowdryer, my hair products, makeup, sunscreens, earplugs, eyeshade,
    cortisone cream–you get the idea. I tried hard–I really did–but could not bring myself to discard anything in my toiletries bag. I’m like a hoarder. I roll my eyes at the hoarders on TV who scream if anyone takes away even one of their collection of 75 glass jars, but I am exactly the same about my cosmetics and hair products. And I don’t REALLY want to change, obviously!

  • #169121
    Avatar of klutzgrrl
    klutzgrrl
    Participant

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    this is worth a read – a bit of perspective.

    http://www.grist.org/article/chin/

  • #169149
    Avatar of megwolfe
    megwolfe
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I started out by uncluttering, and the positive results in both my space and my mind was so amazing I naturally moved into a minimalist mindset. Like suzjazz I have to have a car and see no conflict in having furniture to sit and work on, etc. I have a few pieces of art I enjoy and a box or two of mementos. My home is very uncluttered, austere by most standards, yet cheerful as opposed to hair-shirty. The same attitude and approach has been applied to my working and personal life, as well.

    Minimalism is a path, a process, a point of view and is so incredibly liberating, because you get things down to what is essential to you. As a result, it is easier to be more essentially yourself.

  • #169151

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I’m with suzjazz and megwolfe. I started out by uncluttering. Not just systemizing, but really going over my stuff thinking: “Do I REALLY need this?” which often led to “No, I don’t”. So I started to sell, give or throw away a lot of my stuff. There’s actually a new word for this: downshifting > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downshifting

    I still have chairs and tables and a car. It just feels so extremely liberating. Like suzjazz said it feels so good thinking: “I don’t need ANYTHING.” And I now feel much happier with what I have, I want less and started to focus more on relationships and experiences instead of stuff.

    Look around the room you’re in now: do you REALLY need all of that stuff?

  • #169165
    Avatar of charmed2482
    charmed2482
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    Some minimalists live without cars, but you can be minimalist and still have one. My car isn’t going anywhere. It took me five long years to pay off my car and I’ve put a lot of money into maintaining it and fixing it(after I wrecked it) and I need it to get to work, and I refuse to walk or bus anywhere in the winter if I don’t have to. I did the winter bus thing when I first started working at 18 and I hated it. also in the extreme heat, screw that I’m keeping my car. I however have no problem with taking the bus when its convenient or riding my bike some places and not driving all the time and trying to drive less and rely on my car less. i have chairs and tables, but I don’t have a couch or a coffee table anymore, and me and my boyfriend like it that way.

    You just have to find what works for you and do that.

  • #169176
    Avatar of Peter
    Peter
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I’ll have a go. From a design perspective…

    Uncluttered means a space without clutter. Clutter is anything not contributing to a space either aesthetically nor functionally. One metric for whether a space is uncluttered is how quickly you can find something in that space. If it is uncluttered in the aesthetic sense then you can find it quickly because there isn’t a lot to sift through. If it is uncluttered in the functional sense then you can find it quickly because you know exactly where to look.

    Minimalist is a space sparsely appointed. It is a concern solely of aesthetics and not of functionality. For example, an Apple computer has a minimalist design even though it is as complex in functionality as any other computer.

    Now… how about a declutter from a minimalist?

    A declutter seeks to eliminate clutter. This can still result in a large quantity of things as long as they are well organized.

    A minimalist seeks to eliminate quantity. It is about finding out how little is enough. It is about distinguishing the “wants” from the “needs” and eliminating the former.

    Interestingly enough, I think both mindsets can end up in the same place. I think a declutterer ends up with less stuff over time and a minimalist has less stuff to manage and therefore less opportunities to become cluttered.

    Hmm…

    A uncluttered is concerned with quality of a space and minimalist is concerned with quantity in a space. Less stuff often leads to more space and freedom to enjoy life. Alternatively, a focus on improving the quality of a space often leads to getting rid of stuff. I think perhaps two approaches to the same goal.

  • #169216

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I’ve enjoyed reading the comments to this!

    I’m new to the game on both of these counts, and the understanding I have is that uncluttering is top-down and minimalism is ground-up. Uncluttering starts with what you have and says “do I need to keep this?” – nad it may be ideas or any other thing as well as stuff. Minimalisim starts with nothing or little, figures out what you need and then supplies that need acordingly. But in reality I think we all do a mixture of both, which I call “pruning”.

    So for example, last night I pruned my shoe collection. Some of these were no longer functional (let in water) and I was getting rid of them because they’d been sitting around for too long without getting mended – uncluttering. Some there were nothing wrong with but they didn’t go with my clothing or they hurt my feet but were just sitting around waiting to get worn again – uncluttering. But when the shoe collection had been pared down a bit, I then starting thinking as if I was getting rid of all my shoes unless they proved their need – minimising. Helped get rid of a few maybes, also convinced me to keep a certain pair that I did need but wasn’t sure about, and established that I do currently have a need in the shoe department – winter boots – that I ought to tackle soon.

    And there’s one other pair of shoes I have that are kept separate from the others, fancy satin shoes I had when I was bridesmaid and only to be worn with a bridesmaid/wedding dress or a ball gown. My other pair of “best” shoes whould actually look perfectly fine under most of the above, but I am keeping them on purpose as a luxury. So, maybe uncluttered = minimalist + purposeful luxuries?

  • #169217

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    In my opinion, being minimalist means living with the least amount of things possible while still living a happy, comfortable life. I am what Joshua, at becomingminimalist.com calls a “rational minimalist”. I don’t want to own items that I don’t use (clothes that don’t fit right, books I don’t care for, CDs I don’t absolutely love). However, I didn’t get rid of my car or give away all of my belongings. If I feel that owning a particular item will add to my life, then I will purchase it. I am much more selective in what I purchase now.

    Being uncluttered, to me, means having space to live.

  • #169220
    Avatar of khagee
    khagee
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    In the summer I reduce the clutter in the living room by putting things away that had been on display. This is not so much to declutter as it is to cut down on the amount of dusting required. Every so often those things will be rotated out in favor of other things. As I cannot buy new furniture right now this is one way to get a different look.

  • #169230
    Avatar of Peter
    Peter
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    Another try:

    Uncluttered = having nothing you neither want nor need.

    Minimalist = having nothing you don’t need.

  • #169233

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    Peter, I like your definitions!

  • #169296
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    i am enjoying peter’s definitions too.
    lots of food for thought.

  • #169351
    Avatar of Peter
    Peter
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I’m glad people are enjoying my contributions. I don’t really have firm answers; I’m more thinking out loud. And I’ve got some new thoughts today. :)

    First is this brief blog post which touches on many of the things we’ve been talking about. http://www.ridiculouslyextraordinary.com/minimalism-keeping-up-with-the-joneses

    Second is my definitions for today:

    Decluttering is paring down and organizing your stuff to fit your space. It’s about creating a less stressful environment. If I only have one small bookcase then I need to get rid of (or store) a bunch of books otherwise they’ll inevitably turn into clutter. If I do store any then the boxes should be clearly sorted and labeled.

    My own personal definition of minimalist, my own goal as a self proclaimed minimalist-striver: To know what I own and where it all is. To me this means that everything I own is meaningful and full of purpose. Apropos to the blog post linked to above, this isn’t tied to a number. It is amazing how much one can remember when it’s meaningful. Think of a person who knows lots of baseball statistics. Or I know there are people who can recall an entire chess game move for move. How? Because each move was important and meaningful. If I come across a box or drawer in my house and the stuff in it surprises me… no matter how interesting I might find that stuff now that I’ve found it, obviously it wasn’t that meaningful to me if I had forgotten about it.

    Back to the book example above. If I buy a new book and there’s no room for it on my wall-to-wall bookshelves then the declutterer in me knows I’ll have to find an old book to get rid of in order to have a home for this new book and avoid clutter. As I go through those shelves, if I come across an old book I didn’t even remember having then the minimalist in me thinks that maybe I don’t need that book, even if I do have room for it.

  • #169363

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    Peter – again, an excellent, on-point explanation! You hit the nail on the head with the minimalist definition. That’s what I want – I want everything to be meaningful and full of purpose!

    I will check out the link you posted as well!

  • #169373
    Avatar of charmed2482
    charmed2482
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    OMg I was just gong to post the link to that blog. I thought it was awesome and perfect timing for this discussion.

  • #170023
    Avatar of Zen friend
    Zen friend
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I’ve been intrigued by this thread and the thought-provoking definitions. I realized today, for what it’s worth:
    When I tell people what I’ve been doing much of the summer, I tend to say, “uncluttering,” a verb, an action.
    When I talk about my lifestyle, I say, “I”m sort of a minimalist,” adjective.

  • #170024
    Avatar of klutzgrrl
    klutzgrrl
    Participant

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I think I’ve turned into a minimalist – even if my life isn’t reflecting that. I drooled over the bare white spaces in today’s workspace of the week.

    I love your definition too, Peter. Of course, as your discussion with Naiomi suggests, it’s an area where we all have different definitions and since it’s not an academic discussion, that’s okay. (Relativism sometimes annoys me: we NEED language to be precise so we can discuss things in a meaningful way).

    I’m not at all keen on the ’100 things’ idea, but if someone is into numbers and clear dividing lines, maybe that’s good. I might struggle with the definition of want vs need, too.

    I’m a little frustrated by the current uber-minimalist bandwagon – the guy traveling the world with no bags, the freeloaders living off their friends. There’s people finding a way of life that works for them, and there’s people trying to make a point and people trying to make a buck.

  • #170036
    Avatar of Periwinkle
    Periwinkle
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I’d say that uncluttering is removing what is unnecessary but minimalism is deciding to make do with less.

    For example, uncluttering your crockery would be getting rid of the cake tins you haven’t used in 5 years, the complete set of china you’re too scared ot breaking to take out of the box and all the chipped plates. Minimalising (for lack of a better word) your crockery would be saying, ‘well there’s two of us who live here, and when we have company we don’t use these plates, so we only need to keep two of each of these plates’ or ‘I use this special brownie tin, but I can make do with a regular tin that I can also use to cook other things’.

  • #170039
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    This, in combination with the two earlier threads linked to by trillie above, is possibly the best thread ever on Unclutterer!

    Minimalism: I picture a room in white /light colours with almost no furniture. On a table, there might be a single vase holding a dramatic flower. Kitchen counters are almost empty. It’s not just a minimalistic decor, as the same is going on behind closed doors of cupboards and closets. This space feels very cold to me and is therefore not a goal of mine. I used to be very drawn to articles picturing minimalist homes for years, but now I need more “life” in them.

    Uncluttered space: I picture a space where its inhabitants thrive, because at least I can’t breathe amidst clutter. This is a clean home where every item has been analysed and has passed the household test (yes, we use it and like it). Every item has its assigned spot and once it’s been used, it’s returned to that spot.

    Once we move, my husband and I will have to get some new furniture, but we won’t buy more “stuff”, only items that fill a need. We might have more storage space then, but will store the current amount of things less crammed instead of filling with both old and new items.

    Demerna brings up the “just in case”, which is where I’m putting some of my greatest efforts in, since I currently haven’t found the balance between too much, enough and too little when it comes to certain things. Decluttering will never end for me and I can’t but work towards an uncluttered home. bandicoot mentions “less of everything, but the best of everything” and I fully agree.

    In my uncluttered home there might be items stored in a closet that aren’t on display in that moment. I believe I wouldn’t have those items if I classified myself as a minimalist. I do however wish to create a more serene space with less things to look at and clean. It’s actually also a lot about greener living; cleaner food, cleaner items, smaller footprint in general.

    P.S. suzjazz: My cat litter travels very well on my bike in the front basket and the weight is approximately what you mentioned.

  • #170045
    Avatar of alikat
    alikat
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I’ve been reading more about minimalism lately and on the various minimalism blogs I’ve looked at there are different, I guess, definitions of what is minimalism.

    But a common thread is that they are all happy and enjoy their life. It’s not a hardship or a burden, it’s living the way the way they want to.

    There are a lot of differences for example some minimalist also want to live in small spaces and so there’s a lot of talk about that. But not all of them do. For example Francine of Miss Minimalist stated once that she likes open, empty rooms. She also loves white – white walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, bedding, etc.

    But she’s also not saying — everyone must live like this.

    Granted there are people who get snobby and competitive about minimalism and can be holier than thou. But honestly there are people like that in every group.

    Some minimalists have collections that they display and rotate out. Some only want to live with 100 things, etc. It all depends on the person.

    What’s sterile to one person is homey and cozy to another. And what’s homey and cozy and neatly organized to one person is overwhelming and too much for another.

    It should be more about an individual finding what s/he is comfortable with than trying to judge who is right or wrong.

    One of the things I’m realizing as I get older is I don’t do well with a lot of visual clutter and I don’t do well with too many choices. I get overwhelmed and frustrated.

    Another thing I’ve realized after looking through a bunch of home decor magazines is I don’t like baskets, trays, and organizational things. I don’t want to see baskets under the coffee table, or open a closet and find row after row of bins and things with stuff. I’d rather not have any of those because I have so few things I don’t need them.

    When I see pictures of closets that are crammed full and disorganized OR closest that have the same amount of stuff organized I feel the same way – overwhelmed.

    this has taken me a long time to realize. I used to think what I wanted was a cozy, organized, yet full house of things and books and decorated nicely but I’m realizing that’s not what makes me feel comfortable.

    I don’t want white walls either, soft colors on the walls and lots of empty space.A few pictures on the wall in the bed room, and maybe a few shelves of sentimental items in the living room or study. 1 or 2 throw pillows on the couch and no where else, no rugs over carpet, closets that with lots of empty space. Nothing tucked away “just in case” or “I might need it”.

  • #170054
    Avatar of charmed2482
    charmed2482
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    @alikat “One of the things I’m realizing as I get older is I don’t do well with a lot of visual clutter and I don’t do well with too many choices. I get overwhelmed and frustrated.”

    I’m the same way, i don’t like having a lot of stuff around, or to many choices b/c then I can’t decide. I have a horrible time shopping when there are to many choices, i feel like I will regret what I buy and just have to go back and buy the other thing(when I need something)

    When I have the urge to buy something to help me organize I try to remind myself that I need to go back and see what else I can get rid of, b/c if I can get rid of enough stuff, then I don’t have to spend money to organize it.

  • #170060
    Avatar of Demerna
    Demerna
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    alikat: I feel the exact same way!

  • #170063
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I like the quote I once read by John Pawson (minimalist guru), he said his perfect kitchen was a bank of dishwashers :) Personally I hate white, I like things to look at around me, love colour and photos and books, it’s just I need less crap so things fit in my house and I can find them easily :) Everyone has their own level I guess.

  • #170653
    Avatar of pkzadb
    pkzadb
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    Minimalism is about what things you own; uncluttering is about how you own things.

    Minimalists desire to own the least amount necessary for their existence. Unclutterers desire their things to be organized and neatly tucked away into their respective homes.

  • #170654
    Avatar of susique
    susique
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    @charmed2482: we do have too many choices. recently needed to buy some duct tape (really, needed it to repair a vacuum hose). could not believe all the selections of duck/duct tape in various colors and lengths of the roll. keeping in line with my desire to buy only what is needed decided on the small roll (1.00 instead of 3.87) and the original color (because that is the color of the vacuum hose).

    this is a perfect example of why we have so many items in our homes, there are too many things to chose from. remember when you could purchase a washing detergent by brand and know that is what you needed. now you have to read labels to see what type of washer you have (front or top), cold water, and scented or unscented. what used to take up a small area in a store now commands an entire aisle.

    hopefully by purchasing only items needed we can convince manufacturers to downsize.

  • #170655
    Avatar of Peter
    Peter
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    pkzadb: But then how do you account for most unclutter books and articles including sections on tossing/donating items?

  • #170659
    Avatar of juliapenguin
    juliapenguin
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I’m loving this thread and realising just how difficult it is to define these two terms.

    To me, minimalism is 100% positive and can apply to any lifestyle, regardless of whether or not you have white walls or a car! To me, minimalism means ‘to own only what you need to be happy and fulfilled and to let go of anything you no longer need or love’.

    Uncluttering is about removing anything which you know in your heart is clutter, whether or not you remove it to a nice storage system or get it out of your house. To stay minimalist, most people need to keep uncluttering, as clutter definitely creeps in when you’re not looking!

    I want to be a minimalist because I feel better mentally and physically when I don’t have too much visual clutter around me and can easily and quickly find anything I need. At this stage of my life, I don’t need much at all, as my child has grown up and left home, and I live in the centre of a vibrant city with amazing free libraries, galleries and museums. I don’t need to store much food, as there is a 24 hour shop two minutes from my apartment. If I lived in the country with kids, my minimalist life would look very different, but it would still be minimalist, because I would only have what I and my family needed.

    The great thing about this definition is that it rules out having a judgemental attitude towards others. Only you know what you need and who am I to say whether that is too much or too little?

  • #170667
    Avatar of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I had a poster that hung on my college dorm wall that said
    “I have simple tastes. I only like the best.”
    More quality, less quantity- all the way.

  • #170884
    Avatar of sky2evan
    sky2evan
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    In addition to the other great distinctions that have been made in this thread:

    Cluttered = Unorganized stuff
    Uncluttered = Organized stuff (and organization is still very necessary to avoid clutter)
    Minimalist = So little stuff that little organization is necessary

    Minimalist is what happens when you get rid of so much stuff, that there’s not much left to unclutter.
    The term “Uncluttering” wouldn’t really need to exist in a Minimalist state.

  • #170885
    Avatar of Peter
    Peter
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    @sky2evan – I like it!

  • #170896
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    @alikat, I like what you said about decor magazines and all the perfectly-organized masses of stuff in baskets, trays, boxes, etc. That bugs me too! I don’t care how neat that stack of magazines (or art books) is on the high-style coffee table. All I want on my coffee table is a cup of coffee.

    Over the past couple of years I’ve gotten to the point of wanting only a single visible layer of stuff in my home. I don’t want two rows of books on the bookshelf, or stacks of fabric in my craft chest. If I can’t see all of it at a glance, I feel that I’m still cluttered.

    Not a big fan of the monochromatic (and stereotypically white) “minimalist” look either. That creates such a high threshold – anything that goes into the space almost has to have a sculptural quality or it looks wrong – that I think it’s self-limiting, and not in a good way. What if the sculptural thing isn’t all that functional?

    @sky2evan – I like it too. :-)

  • #170907
    Avatar of Peter
    Peter
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    My two cents…

    I think a basket has it’s place. For example, my watch and eyeglasses need to go somewhere every night. I’m picking them up every day so I don’t need them AWAY. On the other hand, just tossed on the dresser top looks messy. In this case a small basket keeps the items out while also keeping them corralled. But a basket can easily become another form of junk-drawer, so one has to watch out for that.

    Two rows of books… a lovely dream to only have one row… but I just can’t seem to pare down that far. :D

  • #170910
    Avatar of charmed2482
    charmed2482
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    I like to only have one layer of stuff too, I haven’t gotten there yet, but I am close. I want to have one row of books and maybe a few things I can put up there with the books, like a purple vase I still like, and my pink panther cookies jar, but they would be with the books and not in front of them. My goal is to pare down my books so they all fit comfortably one ONE shelf and don’t take up any more space than that. I just unloaded a bunch this past weekend.

    i also want my closet to be easy to maintain. I’m still working out how exactly I need it to look and what containers I need to keep my clothes organized. I have hangers right now and I’ve changed it a few times and nothing seems to work long term. But i realized that in the past, I would buy things based on what I saw in the store. I would see some thing, like the velvet hangers, and think, “oh that would be nice, then my clothes won’t fall off” and then buy way more than I need. Instead of looking at my closet and figuring out the best system for me and then going out and finding what I need.

    I feel like I will end up somewhere between uncluttered and minimalist.

  • #170911
    Avatar of sky2evan
    sky2evan
    Member

    uncluttered vs minimalist

    @ peter – thanks! I liked yours as well. And thx to chacha.

    They say that average people can only memorize 7 different items at a time. Well, if I have to look at more than 7 different items in any given space, regardless of how well-organized, it starts to appear as clutter.

    During my last major purge in January (ny’s resolution), I became enamored with the idea of storage solutions (mostly clear plastic boxes). But after I had finished, I had so little stuff that most of my storage, both old & new, became clutter. So the advice about finishing decluttering first, and then developing storage solutions second, will save quite a bit of money.

    But I do like some storage. Coincidentally, I used to toss all my daily personal effects on a counter. Now I use a stationery organizer tray for my daily personal effects (cellphone, wallet, key, pen, etc.).

    Minimalists may need fewer storage solutions than other folks, but they still require some storage. Even the ultra-minimalist world travelers use backpacks, or that guy who didn’t use a backpack, but still had a vest with 50 pockets.

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