Now Watching – Minimalism (2016), directed by Matt D’Avella

It’s been a couple of years now since I’ve been interested in minimalism. Despite the constant messaging that promotes not just consuming, but consuming in excess, I’ve found that I feel better the more I tell myself I really don’t need something and get rid of many of the things I already own. I started with clothes. I now have a wardrobe maybe a third of the size it was when I moved away for college, and I hope to let go of even more. Then I moved onto knick-knacks and decor.

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve even begun to adopt a more minimalist mindset in terms of my social media consumption. I’m trying to reduce my mindless screen time and dedicate it instead to making art, reading, and watching movies, like Minimalism.

Now, I’ll preface all of this with saying I’m not a movie reviewer and I’m not the kind of minimalist you might picture in your head. The kind with one chair, one book, one jacket, bare walls and just a bike to get from place to place. That lifestyle just doesn’t work for me. But I live with enough. And I’ve followed Matt D’Avella on YouTube long enough it’s past due that I watch his documentary on Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus – the creators of and writers of “Everything That Remains

In this hour and 19 minute documentary, we travel with Joshua and Ryan on their book tour as they do events, interviews, and talk about the life experiences that brought them to where they are now, living with only the essentials. The movie also includes Dan Harris, 10% Happier; Patrick Rhone, Enough; Tammy Strobel, You Can Buy Happiness (And It’s Cheap); Colin Beavan, No Impact Man; Leo Babauta, Zen Habits; Joshua Becker, Clutterfree with Kids; and Christine Koh, Minimalist Parenting.

What I really enjoyed about this doc was how it showed how “minimalism” can look very different depending on your situation or lifestyle or family. Some live in tiny homes and have gotten rid of most of their belongings. Some have families and children and need to accomodate for that. For some it just means being more intentional in their purchases.

For those like me it’s still a journey and a learning process. I just wish I had seen this years ago and realized how much there is to learn and that minimalism doesn’t mean deprivation, but really looking at what you own or the material things you aspire to own and thinking “do I really need that?” I’ve realized, most of the time, the answer is no.