When people talk about minimalism, much of the focus is on quantity—how much you have, how much you don’t have, or how much other people have or don’t have…
Yes, the amount of stuff you own is part of it. But that’s not all minimalism is about.
The focus should be on quality—of your possessions, as well as your relationships, mental health, physical health, spirituality, finances, choices… basically all aspects of your life that could be improved.
It’s easy to only consider quantity because it’s readily measured. You can instantly see the results when you’ve finished decluttering a room or wardrobe. But to think that this is the goal of minimalism is misguided.
The point of minimalism is to lead a better and more meaningful life. Minimalism then, is more accurately described as a study and practice of quality—quality in the sense of depth, longevity, meaningfulness, value, and how much something contributes to your lifelong comfort and happiness.
Does this person/object/thing mean a lot to me? Does it help me become a better person? Does it help me grow? Does it add to my well-being? Will it last a long time? Is it worth acquiring? Is it worth keeping? Do I really want it, or do I want it because everyone else has it, or has told me I should have it? Does it make me happy?
These things are harder to measure, but are more important than owning an arbitrary amount of 100 things or less. You can own 1,000 or 10,000 things, so long as everything contributes to your life in a meaningful way. Minimalism is saying yes to quality over quantity.