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More Koreans living minimalist lifestyles

버릴수록 행복하다… ‘미니멀라이프’ 유행
A growing number of people in Korea are choosing a minimalist lifestyle.
The new trend is possibly a strong reaction to the prevailing tendency toward excessive consumption in Korean society.
Hwang Ho-jun explains why less is more.
Many working women come home at the end of the day only to spend their free time on household chores.
That’s why this teacher, wife, mother and dog owner decided to get rid of everything but the essentials in her home.
She started with the piles of clothes she had not been wearing for years, then moved on to her flowerpots and the rest.
In just one month, she was able to get rid of about 500 items that she either tossed, donated or gave away.
Now, it’s been three years, and she says she’s found happiness from getting rid of useless items and focusing more on things she cares about.

“My criteria for happiness have changed. Before, I wanted to own everything other people had and found happiness in buying new things. Now, I like sharing.”

This year, tens of thousands of Koreans have joined in the movement to declutter their homes and live a more minimalist lifestyle.
One online community devoted to decluttering has over 45-thousand registered users, and more books on the subject are being published.
Experts say the trend seems like an effort to find an alternative to the tendency toward excessive consumption, with more people thinking about the idea of responsible consumption.

“It seems as though we are moving from an era of luxury to one of value. It’s a combination of self-reflection on consumerism and an emphasis on various methods of ethical consumption.”

Although many people remain skeptical that the trend will seep into the mainstream, it has already encouraged more people to pare their belongings so they can focus on finding new ways to bring meaning and happiness into their lives.
Hwang Ho-jun, Arirang News.

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