• Ragnar Ómarsson

    Let’s all be honest—we love acquiring things . . . Whether buying gives us a sense of power, comfort, practicality or false joy. We all have reasons why to constantly buy things—but how much is enough and how much do we really need... and have you ever thought about why you need one thing or another?

    Being mindful about everything material around us helps us develop a character that is more understanding, simpler and richer. It stirs up in us a power that not many of us practice. It makes us less reactive and more intentional about the things we purchase—and it significantly and gradually makes us pull away from desiring the material in the search for happiness—which means it brings us true happiness instead.

    Buddhists believe that gratefulness should be a habit and that we should cultivate it independent of conditions or circumstances.

    How many of the things you acquire or already own do you take for granted? How many trinkets are you stacking in your drawers? How much of what you have is truly relevant to your life and your well-being? And are you aware of those things? Are you truly satisfied with what you have? Do you have enough to be grateful?

    Minimalism, mindfulness and gratitude are intertwined. It is impossible to live a life with the essentials without being fully aware of what those things bring into our lives; therefore it is also impossible not to be grateful for those things.

    To cultivate gratitude, we need to be mindful and aware first of what we already have; denying ourselves of the pleasure of practicing gratefulness makes us to constantly want more . . . to worry. To always think we need more, to never desire deeper, more meaningful things, like peacefulness—and that is no way to live.

    The power that comes from mindfulness is gratefulness—and the benefits of gratefulness are endless. It starts by getting us out of our heads. It helps us look at humanity as number one and not selfishly to ourselves. It connects us to our passions with more intent, it fills us with happiness, it grounds us, it makes our minds and hearts lighter. In a nutshell, it makes us happily content.

    How much of what you own are you truly grateful for?









  • Photography © Republic of Fritz Hansen

    People who are real passionate about something sometimes have a hard time agreeing—which is often the case with minimalists. There are those that see it as something structured and dictatorial—as if it could only exist one way: You are either in the black-and-white emptiness or you are merely a so-called minimalist.

    I see it as oblivious to rules as we are as people ourselves. Minimalism lacks rules but it doesn't lack principles. These principles are there to help us make the best of our lives... and I am happy to see people experiment with these preconceived notions on every level of the creative spectrum.

    Powerful design studios who base their views on minimalistic principles (such as the power of investment over spending) are bringing to the fore new collections of products for those, who like myself, miss the warmth, the craftsmanship and the stories behind beautifully built products that reflect the genuine humanity of those who make them.

    Republic of Fritz Hansen is one of those, changing the "shake and bake" recipes for a warmer and more inclusive approach—and I for one celebrate what this new wave of minimalism is shaping up to be.

    What are your thoughts?


  • Photography © Matilda Hildingsson

    Home is one of those words that brings us instant comfort when we think of it. We learn the value of home in different ways starting from our earliest memories ... when we had a bad day at school but had a safe place to come back to... when we became insufferable door-slamming teens... and then a little further along the road when we bring our babies home for the first time from the hospital.

    It's incredible how concrete, water and wood can become a place that gives us a sense of who we are and where we belong. I still remember the home I grew up in. It holds the same value for me as has every place I've lived in—no matter the distance, the country or the size of the roof.

    As minimalists, our spaces teach us valuable truths: A few square meters are enough space for us and our dreams. Living with less is the best way to live freely and clutter-free. Comfort is not found in a cluster of cushions, comforters and scented candles—but rather in making that home truly ours. There's no price to the peace found in one's home but instead we learn that no material things can match the almost spiritual feeling of being at home and the sacredness of a home well loved. A home might be ever changing, it might not be bricks and stones. It might be found in a group of friends, in hugging our little ones tight, in the memories we keep that warm our hearts.

    To me, my minimalist home is made of the stories my little E and I have built in it. It's made of our daily battles, of the lessons we've learned in it. In the chattering of friends who visit and the afternoons lying in my balcony hammock thinking of life, feeling grateful or sometimes even defeated, yet at home.

    The sense of a home grows fonder as we become less attached to the material. It pulls us closer to feelings, it warms our houses and turns them into homes.

    Home can be wherever you want it to be. It's about presence and not property. A home can be full while having only what you truly need in it.
  • Photography © Aritzia with Thanks! Talking about minimalism and cutting down on acquiring things is becoming more and more polemical... but it doesn't compare to what I’m about to do now: meddling with your wardrobes.

    It’s a reality that people spend the most of their free income on fashion – and even when we value the power of those purchases that much, there’s still a universal, lingering feeling that there’s not enough clothes in one’s closet.

    The common belief in any circle, no matter your social background, is that the more clothes we have, the better we dress – and that just isn’t true. Decision making is more difficult when we are swamped with useless options. Have you ever notice that the more clothes a person has the harder it is for that person to find the bulk of it enough?

    People create the biggest resistance to living a Minimalistic life when it comes to the point of pairing down their wardrobes - and that is because there’s still the misconception that Minimalists are people with martyr complexes that only wear black or white and have 5 pieces of clothing hanging from a rack.

    The truth is that it’s not about cutting down and wearing uniforms every day of the week. It’s not even about not having much – it’s about owning enough, it’s about quality over quantity and about not putting the value of your self-image in clothes.

    I will admit when I started cutting down on my purchases I was more an idealist than a practitioner of the art of minimalism. I wanted to make my life easier and I wanted to be able to, in the first place, not want to desire buying clothes as deeply as I did – and instead invest that money in something of higher value.

    What I eventually learned was that I was not only throwing money into purchases... but I was also letting go of the beauty of a simple, well-curated life – one with less decisions and more freedom.

    Instead of owning 14 white shirts we could own 2 really quality ones... but that's easier said than done.

    The truth is that minimalism looks different for everybody. Your life is not the same as mine. I not only work at home but I get ready for my afternoon gym session in the morning because it conditions me to actually work out instead of losing myself in my work, meaning: I live in gym clothes 5 days a week (which I love by the way).

    Your situation might look very different, yet there are some principles than can help everyone when it comes to curating a minimalist wardrobe:

    01. Clarify what’s most important for you. Is it quality or is it quantity?
    02. Start easy by removing all eyesores from your closet. If there's anything there that resembles a rag (been there, done that) it's got to go!
    03. Do not break the bank when shopping by getting four kind-of-good pieces when you can get one quality piece and take good care of it.
    04. Divide your closet into two sections: Clothes you wear often and clothes you wear rarely. This exercise is very telling of our habits. We usually wear only 20% of the clothes we own... which makes it easier to let go.
    05. Get comfortable with waiting. Instead of pulling the trigger on a purchase, sit on it for a while. It’s not your life’s mission to take advantage of a sale nor is it crucial for your image to buy something that you don’t absolutely need.

    The beauty of knowing what to acquire when is that it makes us understand that we are the ones who wear our clothes, not them who wear us.


    How do you curate your wardrobe?
  • Photography © Sara Medina Lind with thanks! Living one's life intentionally is easier said than done. People have started to throw out Minimalism quotes like bible verses from Sunday's mass... and though they're empowering, there's a massive gap between the believing and the doing. Jumping in with both feet is scary for anyone, unless, like myself, life has not given you an option. It's safe to say that your journey to becoming more mindful about material things will be a tad uncomfortable to say the least.
    Introducing change into our lives, no matter how adventurous our brains are, will always generate a little discomfort. Human beings are bound to resist change because in changing there's a lot of uncertainty (and living on the safe side is always more appealing) - so the immediate answer to something new and challenging is most often NO.
    Decluttering is not about tossing things away that are broken or rummaging through your drawers trying to find things that you haven't seen since 1982 - It's about bringing more meaning into your life, it's about enjoying every single thing you have. It's not as much about letting go as it is about keeping things that add to your life.
    What if we all saw decluttering as life-giving instead of life-depriving? That micro mind shift alone can be so powerful that resistance will stop taking the drivers seat in your life. That internal talk has sharpened my desire for simplicity and taught me the value of the principles I'm about to talk about.
    01. Start Easy The best way to get started decluttering is by simply cleaning up, getting rid of the no-brainer types of things. If you start with the hard things first (like things that right now have emotional value to you), you will be challenging your ability to make progress yourself.
    02. Keep Memories Not Things There are many ways to honor the love that you receive from others. There's no need to keep every single letter, gift or souvenir. Your memories are louder and more meaningful than things that are put away in drawers.
    03. No Space For Junk If you dedicate a special shrine in your home for junk... chances are junk will always be a part of your life. Clear all junk-rooms, junk-drawers, junk-basements and re-purpose their use. Everything that you own takes your time to maintain. Are you wasting your time on junk?
    04. Stop The Incoming Flow Taking (old) things out will be a waste of your precious time if you keep bringing (new) things in. Making new habits is important to allow you to buy what you need, not what you think you will need "if". Learn to put off buying things rather than splashing out with impulse buys.
    05. Don't Spend: Invest This practice will forever change your life. Learning to invest rather than spend will have the greatest of impact - simply because you automatically give more value to the things you decide to bring into your life. Learning to invest in things that have purpose and function is life altering. Make smart decisions when it comes to function, purpose and durability.
    Mindfulness cannot be achieved unless is exercised - so if you're having trouble in this area of your life make small trigger goals that can help push you through: For example - if you are having issues getting rid of something, try using it a few days in a row. Chances are you'll see how invaluable it really is to your life and end up getting rid of it. Gather a tribe and start hanging out with people doing the same thing you're doing. Accountability and shared experience are an enormous source of inspiration.
    Focus on outcomes - not activities - and the "doing" part of it all will become something automatic in your life.
    Which of these principles do you find the hardest to apply in your life? For me it was Investing rather than Spending.
    I'd love to know.
  • Photography © Studio Kalliomäki Minimalism is getting to be one of those things that people either hate or live by. I’m one of those who lives by it - and though there are many ways it’s changed my life and turned it around for the best, I'm going to give you 5 reasons why you should at least be up to giving it a try before you knock it.

    What is minimalism?

    Minimalism, by definition, is a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.

    This might be where people say, "Wait, what?!" - Let’s face it, no one wants to live in "extreme spareness" - but how can having and doing less give you more? I agree that minimalism is simple... but it’s not in any way deprived of value. In fact, minimalism is a tool that can help every area of your life because it’s all about maximizing your outcomes with less effort.

    I personally see it as a state of mindfulness in which you are able to live your life in a rich, effortless and more fulfilled way.

    What can minimalism do for you?

    1. Give you more energy

    Minimalism helps you declutter you life in general, it helps you to be more mindful of the things you dedicate yourself to, the things you attain and the effort you spend taking care of anything - whether material or otherwise. The less you have on your plate, the more energy you can focus on those things that will truly make an impact in your life.

    2. Give you more time

    Minimalism changes your life by teaching you how to use your time more effectively and it frees up a crapload of that time so that you don’t always feel spent. Minimalism dispels the myth of the "glamour" that many relate to living as workaholics. It teaches you the value of time well used and the necessity of taking time out to do nothing at all.

    3. Give you more money

    The less money you spend on trivial things, the more money you can save or invest in things that are going to be of value. That will improve the quality of your life. It helps you understand that everything you purchase at some point will either break, need maintenance or wear out - and it instantly helps you make the right decisions when it comes to spending. Think about it as the voice of reason. How many times have you worried about not being able to afford something important because you’ve spent your money on superfluous stuff? I know you know what I'm talking about.

    4. Give you more quality

    Minimalism allows you to create a life of quality: It organizes and adds breathing space to every area of your life - from your home to your mind. It allows you to let go of material things and notions that have been weighing you down. The more you allow it to fill your life, the more you'll enjoy your life (and those who are part of it).

    5. Give you more peace

    Focus is a side effect of decluttering your life. With that comes peace - an inner feeling of satisfaction and certainty that you are taking the right steps and the right decisions for you and the ones you love - that you are living within your means and that you are being productive and present. Simply, it helps you sleep better at night.

    I can assure you that the benefits of minimalism far exceed the effort of undergoing a shift in perspective - letting go of the things or practices you might be convinced are the right way to do things right now. It’s up to each person to find their way through it: Start with what makes you feel the most comfortable and see how it adds more value to your life... and before long you’ll reap the rewards of making those simple shifts - and you’ll start experiencing the 5 things listed above.

    Now, which side are you on in the minimalism battle?
  • Photography © Fantastic FrankMinimalism has been my life long time now and will be for many more to come. It's all about the essentials, about not over-accessorizing or owning things you don't need so it naturally focuses on function without compromising looks. For years Minimalists have been pinned as cold because of our monochrome displays and our fidgety passion for organization. Soft Minimalism comes to break all walls and perfectly marries contemporary and minimal. Stopping right at the point in which having less is no longer functional. It also introduces more color, rounded and classic shapes and allows you a real balance if you're not about to strip your life of all the things you deem important. We launched a Collection via our shop last year that clearly exemplifies that. It's a warm type of minimalism translated to blog design which you loved and you asked back. Clearly, we decided to relaunch that and here you find 6 Soft Minimal themes for your eyes, an blogs.


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