Documentary, Minimalist: Less is Now, changing lives

Sophia Sgourakis, Section Editor

The Minimalists: Less Is Now: the documentary that quite literally changed my life. As a sequel to their first documentary, childhood and lifelong best friends Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus share how their lives are now better with less. The 53-minute film talks about how the minimalist lifestyle is one to adapt now or be forced to comply with in the future.
Josh and Ryan reflect on their childhood and growing up in poverty. They explained how when they grew up with nothing, whenever something was offered, they never said no. This led to their childhood homes being filled with items that would be forgotten and serve no purpose or use. After cleaning out Josh’s mothers cluttered home after her passing, he had a change in heart: instead of selfishly clinging to his mother’s stuff, keeping only a few sentimental items allowed him to enjoy them much more.
Other than just talking about their own stories and paths to minimalism, they touched on the digital era. The media is a customized marketplace that caters to everyone’s wants and needs. Ads are now made in a way to convince people that they need a certain item. And with same day deliveries, it is easy for people to purchase materialistic items in hopes of achieving happiness in “stuff.”
The documentary makes you question, “How might our lives be better with less?” Less clutter and more space leads to more full lives. Ryan and Josh explain how their steady income and keeping up with thier luxurious lifestyles made them feel emptier than ever.
A statistic that they shared was that the average American household has over 300,000 items. At first, I surely thought this did not apply to my family. However, I started to think about everything we own: seasonal decorations, kitchen appliances, clothing items, random things we have held onto for years. A sense of guilt came over me.
At the end of the documentary, Josh and Ryan propose a 30-day declutter plan, where each day you give away one item. By the end of the 30 days, you will have given away more than 30 items and have the realization of what actually holds value and gives you happiness in your life.
In a non-judgmental way, you will be encouraged to start living a more intentional life.