Staying Busy During Quarantine with Minimalism


Emily Barmore, Op-Ed Editor

By Emily Barmore

A new Netflix Original documentary on minimalism is shining light on the benefits of parting with unnecessary possessions. The doc features a minimalist motivational speaker duo Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus who talk about freedom in releasing material items.

As it has been almost a year since the start of Covid-19 lockdowns and it has become common to see free items on the side of the road and charity clothing stores get backed up with donations. People have been restless in quarantine and start getting an itch to clean.

Minimalism might seem much more intense than sporadically discarding items however the basis of the philosophy is to assign new meaning to things. The Minimalists explain on their website, “We tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves.”

There was an experiment in the documentary that challenged people to get rid of one thing the first day, two things the second day, and so on. I decided to participate so I have been getting rid of my things for the past three weeks starting with things around me and things I have stored away that I don’t use. In three weeks I got rid of almost around 30% of all my stuff. Towards the end I felt like my room was easier to work in and looked less cluttered which was relaxing. Overall it was a great experience and I want to continue to get rid of and recycle my extra things.

If you want to learn more about minimalism, Marie Kondo is another minimalist who has a show on Netflix about organizing in a way that only the items that hold meaning are what stays. Also the German film titled “100 Things”(100 Dinge) with characters who are throwing into extreme Minimalism but you might need subtitles. Happy viewing!