Minimalism is more than just the way your shiny new app or website looks. It’s a philosophy. When you first encouter and try to mimic minimalism, you probrably try to make a solid white background, remove button borders and fancy visual effects. What you did might have lead to a semi-decent design by accident but chances are that you ended up with an unusable mess mess of text where you can’t quite tell what is what.
So what was the problem? You can’t achieve a good design by just removing elements from an existing product. You have to rethink it from the ground up.
Minimalism is the philosophy of incorporating only the most necessary components of something, keeping only the essence of it while still maintaining usability and good user experience.
You don’t need to put a border around two elements in order to signal that they are related. You can display the relationship between two elements in other ways such as typography and white space.