Minimalism and Wabi-sabi

Some time ago, I wrote a post on ‘Minimalism and perfection’. I was getting a little frustrated with my outlook. When you are actively trying to reduce the number of things you own, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that anything you do choose to own, needs to be perfect. But there’s satisfaction and even beauty in a lack of perfection.

The lovely Laurel at Little Black Domicile commented on the post and referred to a concept called Wabi-sabi. She explained that it was the idea that imperfection should be embraced and even celebrated as it was often more interesting than perfection. I found this amazing! The nebulous thoughts I had been having actually had a name!

I knew at some level it was amiss to strive only for perfection. But Wabi-sabi gives its blessing to imperfection and honours its inherent beauty.

Every year, I create seasonal capsule wardrobes. They’re never perfect but that has never worried me. I ensure to do a review after each season to see what I’ve learned and then what learning can be carried forward to my next capsule. It’s not about churning out one perfect capsule after another; it’s about seeing what has worked, what hasn’t and why.

Shoes - J Crew, loafers, purplePerfection isn’t the point.  Now, I have a pair of shoes. They look presentable, I love the colour and I can walk everywhere in them. But I thought they were beginning to look a little shabby – for the best of reasons, that is, I’ve worn them so much. I looked into replacing them but I couldn’t find anything comparable. Rather than angsting over this, I have accepted their slightly worn appearance. I’m welcoming function rather than form!!

Wabi-sabi enables me to celebrate the learning and be glad for what I have, rather than using it as a building block towards perfection.   It’s so liberating!! And it fits beautifully into the spirit of minimalism – making space for that which is most meaningful – not that which is perfect.

There’s a lovely post on Little Black Domicile which goes into this in more detail.  And on Monday 7th May, Laurel delves into Wabi-Sabi and the kitchen! I’m definitely looking forward to reading all about that!

Have you ever heard of this concept? Is it something that would work for you? Have a great week 😊

  9 comments for “Minimalism and Wabi-sabi

  1. May 7, 2018 at 8:26 am

    I love the idea of honouring the beauty of imperfection, Lorraine. Thanks for sharing this concept! I’ve always been incredibly drawn to the culture of Japan and was lucky enough to visit it once. I loved the temples and castles and beautiful gardens. I’d love to go back one day, ideally during the cherry blossom season! Minimalism seems to be embedded into their delicateness and simplicity of Japanese culture and art. So glad you have found a new perspective on your ‘shabby’ shoes too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 7, 2018 at 8:43 am

      Hi Lisa, thanks as always for reading and commenting 🙂 Minimalism does seem to be embedded in Japanese culture. Marie Kondo has been a huge influence on me and I read Sasaki’s ‘Goodbye Things’ not so long ago. There really does seem to be a unique perspective there. As for the shoes! Well, I got them re-soled which helped and as they are suede, they still look a bit worn but steam and a suede brush from time to time extends their wear a bit!! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. May 6, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Good Morning My Friend,
    Although we can not take credit for the concept, that goes to Japanese traditions, we certainly do encourage our clients to embrace the theory. Personally, I can relate to your shoe story. I have a pair fo camel suede boots that date back to before my youngest was born and he’ll be 35 tomorrow! They are both keepers! Thanks for sharing and celebrating Wabi-Sabi with us. Yes, kitchens are up in post on Monday.-Laurel

    Liked by 2 people

    • May 6, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      Hi Laurel, thanks for signposting me to Wabi-sabi. I had never heard of it until your comment 🙂 35+ years is a great testament to the staying power of that pair of boots! Looking forward to reading your post tomorrow, Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. May 6, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Yes, it’s great to relax into the spaciousness we have created in our lives 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • May 6, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      Hi Melanie, what a beautiful way to sum this up – ‘relax into spaciousness’. I never thought of it in those words but you’re absolutely right! Lxx

      Liked by 2 people

      • May 6, 2018 at 4:21 pm

        It’s easy to get caught up in the ambition of tidying up. It seems like every layer of clean exposes yet another challenge for perfection. It’s good to take a step back and honor the whole reason we embarked on the project of minimalism.

        Liked by 1 person

        • May 6, 2018 at 4:35 pm

          You’re right. It could be never-ending and then we lose sight of why we even started!! Lxx

          Liked by 1 person

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