What comes to mind when you hear the word minimalism? Stark white walls and a mostly empty room. A young 20 something traveling the world and living out of a backpack. A tiny house on wheels. A wardrobe of black and white. A person living with only 100 items.
While all of these things fall under the umbrella of minimalism, none of them really encompasses what minimalism really is.
At it's core, minimalism is about being intentional about the things you live with. It's about what you keep, not what you get rid of. Once you start being selective about the items in your home, you'll find that you need a whole lot less than you think.
An even more basic definition of minimalism is a life style that aims to live with only the items that are truly necessary. What is necessary for one person may be excess for another so it is impossible to really quantify the types or number of items a true minimalist owns. Don't feel like you have to limit yourself to physical necessities. Beauty is necessary for me. It is more about that purposeful mindset than the physical space which will evolve over time.
If you look at my home, you will see plenty of things that don't look minimalist. I love color in my decor and in my closet. We still have a rather large collection of movies. My home is more than double the 400 sq ft tiny house size. I have three birds and they come with a lot of stuff.
But when I look at my home, I see items that I have chosen to be there and I'm actively removing the excess. I see things I use and love and that I want to be part of my life instead of a bunch of stuff that just happened to fall into my life. My home is neat and tidy not because I'm a neat freak but because it lacks the junk and clutter of the average American home.
And that is why I am a minimalist.