The Fall Of Materialism: Why More Millennials Aspire To Have Nothing

by Contributing Writer

Minimalist trends in art and style have come and gone.

But when Millennials talk about minimalism, they aren't interested in the art forms of the 1960s. They are turning minimalism into a lifestyle.

It's far from being the all-encompassing lifestyle choice for this generation, but those who pursue these lifestyles of less are passionate and not afraid to share their stories with the world.

This way of life is as unique as the generation that has embraced it.

This minimal lifestyle also offers minimal rules. Joining the club requires merely the motivation to live simply and be happy.

At the heart of the movement is the desire to shed all ancillary items in life. By doing this, people can then focus on immaterial items like experiences and relationships.

What you are seeing is a generation that is forgoing the opportunity to buy a new car if that means a six-month trip through South Asia.

Millennials are putting off buying homes and throwing expensive weddings in favor of getting more for their dollar during their younger years.

No, this does not always mean living in a shipping container.

Many people dedicated to having less have had the opportunity to have more.

Some of the biggest believers in minimalism are people who have had the opportunity to make huge amounts of money, buy huge amounts of stuff and reap huge amounts of unhappiness.

They then chose to leave it all behind.

Soon, they began to live lives that were fulfilled not through material objects, but through positive mental health.

Instead of spending their money on expensive clothes, technology and an impressive mortgage, they searched for freedom by abandoning the things they felt were bringing them down.

Many minimalists report that walking away from their things altogether led to a healthier identities and bodies.

You can see traces of minimalism through nearly everything directed toward Millennials, even those who aren’t ready to give up their iCollection.

Millennials in general can appreciate simplicity, clean lines and impactful design experiences.

The success of Apple in the period during which this generation has come of age is a testament to this.

But, this lifestyle choice goes further than choosing not to keep up with the Joneses.

This generation cannot be bought with big expense accounts or an above-average salary.

Although they are often called lazy or entitled by their parents, Millennials do not want to trade their lives for money.

They have watched what that life did to their parents. They want something more than a comfortable life; they want meaning.

Being a minimalist is about focusing on the things that give you lasting happiness in life.

But how you achieve these things is up to you.

For some, it's about avoiding huge masses of credit card debt and living within their means to relieve the stress and anxiety that goes along with bad finances.

For others, it means stripping life down to its bare bones.

As long as you have a roof over your head, food to eat and clothes to keep you warm, there is little else you actually need to make it through life happily.

Some people take minimalism to a whole new level.

The “tiny house” movement encompasses the furthest reaches of this movement.

Mostly taken on by Millennials who reject paying astronomical rent prices for sub-par homes, “tiny houses” are dwellings that are less than 400 square feet and cost under $30,000 to build.

For Millennials who are in debt, the new advice is to simplify life.

Simple diets are now marketed directly to this generation of buyers.

With a focus on foods that include as few ingredients as possible, these diets are causing people to become more in touch with their health and bodies.

Minimalism is not simply another attempt at being different. There is a method to the madness.

A study published by UCLA researchers watched 32 middle-class families in Los Angeles as they went about their daily lives.

The results showed the more time the mothers spent dealing with the things they owned, the more stressed out they were.

Minimalism is not about rejecting your parents' lifestyles. Instead, minimalism is a quiet rebellion.

Drawing too much attention to yourself would defeat the purpose of living a simplified lifestyle.

For Millennials, the best things in the world are the things that can't be bought or thrown away.

Although they may prioritize living in small spaces in a simplified way, these minimalists still prefer to live larger than life.