living
by
design.

Minimalism…

Snapshot…

Minimalism is something that I feel very passionate about…

What follows is a snapshot of my journey into minimalism so far… <img draggable=

The Journey Begins…

I’d always liked minimalistic architecture but personally, in my own life, the turning point towards minimalism came for me in 2010 while I was working in Manila when on a run one night I had a ‘road to Damascus moment’ the result of which was that I noticed that (at a deep level) I no longer seemed to have the desire for material things (I’m not saying I’m perfect but it just seemed to fall off)…

It was quite an amazing moment for me and set off a chain reaction in other areas of my life which are still ongoing, i.e. there are some things in life harder to let go of than material possessions (pleasure comes in many shapes and forms)…

Taking Responsibility…

I realized that I was responsible for myself (shock, horror, what a realization) so I needed to focus on what I bought and what I possessed rather than on what anyone else bought or possessed, including my family members – this process was not instantaneous and although improving is still in progress – not having control over what the other members of my family do with this minimalistic process but holding firm to what I believe and staying true to my journey has been a real learning curve for me…

So, eventually, I started buying my own ‘daily bread’, i.e. just buying enough food and pineapple juice day by day for my needs, which means that I’m well known at the Supervalue practically across the road from where we live…

I would shop for clothes, mostly once a year, and endeavour to buy only clothes which I really liked and felt would last for a long time so that I could wear them every day over and over again and clothes which would go with all the other clothes that I owned…

As soon as any socks or undies I owned got a hole or a tear (basically didn’t work anymore) I’d throw them out…

As soon as my jeans got that annoying fade which tends to happen just above and around the knee I’d give these to the ‘clothing bin’ (which is a good feeling) so that my part of our walk-in wardrobe, which is the shelf above the coat-hanger part, could contain all my non-coat-hanger clothes in pretty good view all in one place so I could go into the walk-in wardrobe and get dressed without having to go back and forth to drawers, etc…

I only wear what I like but I don’t have a whole lot of outfits, just enough, accounting for the washing cycle…

I run marathons and need to buy new running shoes every eight weeks but my oldest son (in the last year) can now fit my old running shoes (which are still good for what he needs) so that’s been a good ‘recycling’ exercise…

Branching Out…

After kind of getting my own clothing ‘in order,’ I felt I could ‘move on’ to our three youngest children and at least ask them to do likewise…

They rose to the challenge and without any nagging, we managed to give a few bags of ‘decent’ clothing away to the ‘clothing bin’ which we no longer used (or fitted) but someone else could and in like manner my wife also gave a number of bags away…

We were also able to sell our electric drums, my oldest son’s cricket gear that he no longer uses and just recently our washing machine which has been sitting in our garage unused for three years (after I got it checked to make sure it was still working OK)…

There are more things in our house which we still need to get rid of but our house and our cupboards are starting to become more usable with less ‘junk’ in them than there used to be…

Balance…

I’m on a ‘crusade’ (please excuse all the negative connotations in my use of that word) to have in our house just what we need but nice things which we like seeing in our house and which are both elegant and practical, not ‘flashy’ as such but just usable and would make any visitor to our house feel at home and welcome and not out of place, less is more and we’re ‘going there’, thinking about all the things we own and whether we still need them and if not, getting rid of them…

Paperless Office…

When we started the Transparency office I felt strongly that we should be paperless, my reasoning was a lot about efficiency and also avoiding the messiness which paper creates…

It was also about saving the forests but to be honest, less so than about the messiness – I love minimalism and love the idea of an office where there are no pens (except the one we use to draw on our electronic whiteboard) and paper, no rubbish, no wastage, no photocopiers, no dust from the paper, clean, empty desk spaces, which also means that we all need less space and at first it was hard to re-train myself to draw everything on the board and to write emails to myself with my ‘to do lists’ and text myself addresses so I could remember them to enter them into Google Maps on my smartphone but I managed to ‘get there’ and we’ve all re-trained ourselves to function without paper…

Overarching Desire…

From our own lives outward our desire at Transparency is to create architecture which people enjoy living in but is intrinsically minimalistic both in terms of what is seen and also the structure which is unseen – efficient, resilient, strong but not cluttered, where what is there is what is needed, with robustness but not overdone…

Not necessarily an austere form of minimalism but an inviting, ‘warm’ sense of welcome to invite you to paint on the canvas of your home (so to speak) the memories of the ‘doings’ which you’ve experienced in your home rather than necessarily filling your home with things which can never replace those memories of those shared connections…

Where there is space to walk freely around inside your house in an intuitive manner and not things cluttering your passage between spaces so that the routes which you take, day in and day out, are efficient and stress-free…

Where the positioning of every item is thought through for you to ensure ease of placement and use so that your focus can be on living and not on the annoyance of having to put up with functionality issues that bug you each time you use that item or undertake that activity…

We’re on a mission to make life easier and less cluttered – both inside you and inside your built environment…

Join Me…

I personally am benefitting from this journey (I’m not there yet) and I encourage you to join me in it… <img draggable=

Andrew J Horton
30 June 2018     

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