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Minimalism Around the World: How Other Countries Do it

A minimalist space means a simple, clean, and devoid of any design gimmick. There’s no elaborate, frou-frou items to confuse your eyes. Everything is centered at a simple look, mainly driven by function. Aside from being one of the most practical design styles to use in a small space, minimalism is a lifestyle tiny home dwellers should subscribe to. The minimalist life, just like the style, is driven by function and purpose.

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If you’re a sale shopper or a trinket hoarder when you travel, minimalism might seem a foreign idea. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to live like a monk with a lone chair, dining table, and sleeping mattress in your unit. Neither is it living with one set of clothes, nor is it shaming other people for having more than what you think they need.


Here is how the rest of the world takes on minimalism:

CHINA: It’s All About The Chi

According to Feng Shui, having too many items in a small space is bad because the good energy cannot flow in a stuffed and cramped environment. Meanwhile, the bad energy will have places to reside in with all the clutter.

DENMARK: The 100 Rule

Up in Europe, minimalism can be defined by having 100 items or less. Impossible? Nope. Some live with 15 items in total! These items have to give you contentment and serve a purpose in your day to day. If not, they get sacked.

USA: Tiny House Movement

The smaller the home, the more forced you are to have less things. While this movement is big in the West with designer trailer homes due to the recession, we see the same trend happening in Manila with micro-condos at 15 to 20 square meters.


Whichever of the three you follow, minimalism is a philosophy to live more with less. With less material objects to concern yourself with, the more freedom you have to live the best life you can live. This concept encourages us to focus less on the clutter and noise to focus on things that really matter in life.

However, minimalism shouldn’t be mistaken with frugality or deprivation. Minimalism is living with what you really need. It’s keeping to the essentials, regardless of how big your space is. In terms of small space living, this is a question of practicality with the items you place in your unit. It’s actually focusing your energy and your space towards what really matters: living, not consuming.

This story first appeared on CondoLiving Magazine’s March 2018 issue, written by Associate Editor Patricia Herbolario (that’s me!)

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