What does it all mean? Are they the same or different? And how do I know if I'm a minimalist?
Those are all great questions, though they don't all have crystal clear answers. In short, organizing is great for keeping things neatly in place, but if you find yourself constantly organizing, the real issue might just be that you have too many things. Decluttering is also great, but if you declutter all the time and never feel like you're getting anywhere, perhaps over purchasing is the issue. Both of these things lead into the concept of Simplifying and Minimalism. I love this quote from Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist:
“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.” —Joshua Becker
This basic definition allows us to interpret how we can improve our lives, and live a life of purpose by keeping the things that add to our lives, while discarding those that take away from it. For example, if you dread getting dressed in the morning, yet you have a closet packed with clothes, perhaps its time to fine tune that collection of clothing to get rid of those things you really don't like. This leaves you with a closet of things you only love so that you spend less time getting ready, and also feel great about how you look. You might also find that decluttering the large collection of figurines and decor items (and the shelves & cases that hold them) give you less things to dust and take care of. With that extra time you can focus on something you have been wanting to do but didn't have the time for.
Minimalism does not have to mean white rooms, with no furniture. It does not necessarily mean owning only 10 pieces of clothes. It CAN mean those things if you want it to, but minimalism is also a cozy home with vibrant colors. It is a full wardrobe of things you absolutely love to wear. It is keeping your favorite stuffed animal from when you were a child because it brings you joy. But it is also letting yourself discard an old memory when it does not bring you joy.
I hope you'll take a journey through Simplicity with me. Below are all my posts about Simplicity & Minimalism.