Inhalt

Time to streamline your life?

03. January 2020, Editorial

Your wardrobe is jam packed, your desk is little more than a dumping ground to pile stuff up on and your cellar is bursting at the seams. We hold on to things that we no longer need because we kid ourselves that they might just come in handy some day. At the same time, we are confronted with a never-ending wave of new products and it feels like fashion brands are releasing new collections every week. But minimalist lifestyles and the sharing economy are showing promise.

Thema:

kondoing
less is more
minimalism
Resolution for 2020
sharing

Are you Kondoing yet?

Everyone has been talking about our throwaway society at the very latest since Marie Kondo published her book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever’ five years ago. Chiming with millions, the Konmari method is all about restoring order to our wardrobes, and with it, getting our lives back on track. Her name has even given rise to a brand new verb: in English, to kondo is synonymous with getting your house in order. The popularity of Kondo’s book stems from the fact that we are living in a society that has accumulated too many material possessions, but rather than being able to part ways with it, we just keep on buying more stuff. But is this a flash in the pan or is there more to it?

 There is beauty in simplicity

To paraphrase Plato. And it is with this thought in mind that minimalist lifestyles are striking a chord with people. It is all about consciously going without, creating space for what matters in life and establishing a clear countermovement to the materialism and rampant consumerism that is increasingly blighting our society. The less you own, the more importance you learn to attach to the few objects that you have around you. The benefits?

 

  • More space
    This is definitely one of the main advantages. It also makes moving house, travelling and day-to-day living less complicated.
  • Improved concentration
    Trying to study or work surrounded by chaos? No chance! The tidier the environment, the easier it is to concentrate.
  • More money for other things
    All that shopping adds up over the course of a month. But the money can be easily saved if you just try to get by with less and put on that blouse or shirt that has been lurking in the back of your closet for as long as you can remember.
  • Good for the environment
    The more often an item is used, the more sustainable it is. Ideally, products should be of such high quality that you can carry on using them almost indefinitely. Numerous manufacturers have cottoned on – baby clothing for hire is well established and various luxury brands are also getting in on the act.

Sharing is caring

Sharing is a great way to nudge people towards decluttering their lives. These days, there’s simply no need to own absolutely everything you might need as there are lots of platforms out there where you can borrow or rent items for a short time. Businesses were quick to spot the opportunity and now products to share are everywhere – from ubiquitous e-scooters, city bikes, shared gardens , local tool libraries, cars , public bookcases and even expensive handbags. According to a survey carried out by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers, around half of all Germans use some form of sharing service and about two thirds showed an interest in sharing or lending their own products or services at some point in the future. The main reasons cited were financial and environmental – as well as the chance to give something back to society and interact with others. On top of that, it is also good to have less clutter lying around at home, while still having access to all the things you need.

Sharing Economy hat nicht nur Vorteile.

That said, the sharing economy is not upside all the way. For established businesses it represents a growing source of competition and for consumers it represents low prices and more choice – which contradicts the spirit of minimalism as cheap goods fuel consumption. The notion of sharing needs to be integrated into our lives so that we do not end up consuming more instead of consuming less and being more mindful consumers. The main advantage of sharing – efficient use of resources – needs to be pushed harder. One study in Hamburg showed that taxis only carried fares around 28% of the time, and the figure for Uber is less than half this numb er.

Resolution for 2020

Anyone looking to adopt “less is more” as their personal mantra in 2020 can get to work clearing out junk, giving away unwanted items and sharing possessions with others.  Doing a good deed for the people around them, the environment and themselves in the process. Even the smallest of starts promises to be immensely rewarding.

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