Minimalism refers to the art movement that thrived on simpllicity. Less is more. This is the 4th installment in my 21 Weeks To Your Most Creative Self.
I’m not advocating changing the way you do your art to be more creative. Just apply the minimalist approach to art to your life. It will lighten your load, it will free your spirit.
“Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art.” Richard Holloway
Live your life like a blank canvas. Clean out, declutter. Make the time and make the space to create. Clutter can make your mind live in the land of old ideas, habits and possessions.
Now, clutter doesn’t happen overnight. It is like a silent stalker, growing stronger and stronger the longer it is ignored. People often keep “THINGS” that were once useful or meaningful. But, as time marches on, your things often don’t.
I began reading about the minimalist approach to living a few months back. I started cleaning out. I got rid of a set of glasses and a set of dishes my husband didn’t even know we had. I took seven bags of clothes to a thrift shop that raises money for animal rescue. I packed up five boxes of books (I really didn’t need a film encyclopedia dated 1996).
I adopted the one in – two out – philosophy. Every time I buy something new, I get rid of two things. (I had 7 pairs of boots – and I live in Atlanta – why????)
I went through picture albums. Gone were photographs from vacations over 15 years ago with someone that is no longer in my life, pictures of people I don’t know. I kept only the photographs that really meant something to me.
Slowly, things started finding a home.
Has this helped my creativity? You bet! There is less stuff to sort through, less stuff to pick up.
People often think that in order to create there needs to be chaos. But, often the opposite can be true. Try it! Get rid of things that are hovering in the back of your closets.
If you are feeling creatively stifled, now might be a good time to tackle an area in your home.
How can you declutter?
Start with things you honestly didn’t know you had (like the set of dishes we had)
Clothes – clean out your closet and get it in order. Put the hangers in backwards. Check in six months – you will know immediately what you haven’t been wearing.
Computer – clean out your emails. Clean off your desktop.
Kitchen – do you have glasses you haven’t used in ages (I did). Do you have multiple cleaning products?
Just remember, physical clutter gathers dust. Simplify! And, if you have things you don’t use but can’t give up – box them up and put them away!
Find a place and a use for everything. I believe it empties your mind, it opens it up to be more receptive to creative ideas.
Get rid of the visual noise around you!
“Three rules of work: out of clutter find simplicity, from discord find harmony, in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” Albert Einstein
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak” Hans Hoffman
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci
“The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are.” Mother Theresa
What could you live without? Do you believe it will open up your mind to accept more “things” of a different nature?
CHAOS: Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome
Love this post, Vickie, and the topic. I agree with the idea that creating space is closely connected with becoming aware of what is in my physical and inner space. I no longer have a studio (I was a weaver, now I write) but I do have an office. Spaciousness is such a support. Moving has also helped me let go, though I first had to do emotional work around the meaning imbued in objects I cling to!
I love the “one in – two out” philosophy. Now if I could only apply it to my kids’ artwork…
My parents held a garage sale to help raise money (and to clear out some space), and I cleaned many books from my old room. I am told some of them even sold! It was tough making that decision as I’d much rather have reread all of them.
Vickie, Good post. I’m off to spend 15 minutes cleaning out my closet!
Oh how I need to de-clutter! 🙁
Oh. This comes at such an appropriate time for me. sigh. I am dying to empty my house. And haven’t found this time. This has given me some new inspiration. thank you.
Awesome post and reat tips Vickie. Thanks! You have inspired me to do a bit more de-cluttering and letting go.
Glad you shared this, Vickie.
I just realized that you wrote this a long time ago. Thanks for posting it in the group! So much value here. Loved your dress code project too. Kimberly Jewell (my sissy) is really big into dresses, so I sent her a link too.