The Decluttering Lifestyle
The minamilist trend
Millennials go Minimal
A unique set of values around how they choose to spend their money is what likely defines most minimalists.
According to minamilist.com, “Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom. That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. Want to own a car or a house? Great, have at it! Want to raise a family and have a career? If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately.?”
Everywhere I go I hear a similar story: Babyboomers are also wanting to simplify their lives. Even the very wealthiest ones are wanting to abandon their 12,000sf homes for a simpler existence. And Millennials are not that different….they love the idea of renting and not even owning a car. Simplification and a more minimalist lifestyle are becoming fashionable. Less clutter, less junk, less options – sometimes – leave one with the ability and brain energy to make decisions and spend time on more crucial objects.
Some of the very wealthiest people I know in their 50’s and 60’s bemoan the complexity of their lives, yearning for a simpler time with fewer obligations, and that includes smaller homes with shared amenities and services that do not require their time or management. Vacation homes are wonderful, but they too require maintenance and management, and often they are not used nearly as much as they should be to justify their expense and effort. Millennials are renting more than any other generation…..and it’s not just a matter of cost and un-affordability. Many are CHOOSING to rent as the burdens of ownership feel too burdensome to them.
Millennials are highly adept at using technology and social media influences many of their purchases. They prefer to spend on experiences rather than on stuff. Seventy-eight percent of millennials—compared to 59% of baby boomers—“would rather pay for an experience than material goods,” according to a survey from Harris Poll and Eventbrite cited on Bloomberg. They favor products marketed as ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly. By 2017, Retail Leader expects millennials to spend more than $200 billion each year and about $10 trillion in their lifetimes.
Other industry trends support this idea. The sharing economy, in which consumers choose to use the new set of services available through Uber and Airbnb rather than buy cars or time shares, and the caring economy, comprised of consumers who spend on ethical and sustainable brands, are two examples. We predict companies that provide consumers, particularly millennials, with services that fit into this minimalist and socially conscious lifestyle will see success.
Americans have accumulated more clutter over the last hundred years. In 1930, the average woman only had 36 pieces of clothes in her closet. Today, the average consumer has 120 items of clothing, but 80% go unworn, according to Cladwell, a startup that helps consumers create capsule wardrobes.
This may be the perfect time to become a landlord. The audience for renting appears to be growing, not shrinking. Developers need to take heed of these shifting tastes. Its one thing to want something out of necessity: this trend appears to be a want out of desire. Many people choosing this more minimal life could easily afford a more lavish, complex existence. So how do we as agents respond to this trend? We should always seek opportunity, and to me becoming a landlord now is simply smart. Offering clients more manageable homes and focusing on aspects that may be in the past were not as meaningful to the wealthier audience: simplicity, ease of management and maintenance, usability.
Time is the last luxury, and any property that ‘steals’ time from humans will not thrive. Simplicity is intertwined with time and is as important. Minimalism is not for everyone, but we should not ignore this growing trend.