What minimalism is not!…

My own journey into minimalism started about a year ago. That is when I first heard about this lifestyle. Since then, I have heard and read a lot about minimalism. Please click (here) to see why I decided to become a Minimalist in the first place. Along this great journey however, I have come across a lot of misconceptions about minimalism and what it means to be a minimalist.

 

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Let me tell you what minimalism is not:

 

Just decluttering

It really is much more than just getting rid of stuff. Don’t get me wrong, decluttering is a very important first step in to this lifestyle, but there is so much more to it. You can decide to declutter step by step over a longer time period or you may choose, like I did, a very drastic decluttering session that will only take a month. (read my 30- day minimalist challenge) It is your choice and that is the best part of minimalism. It is different for everyone. You decide how long this part will take and as well as what to get rid of. After all, only you know what things are essential and what things make you happy. But after you have drastically decluttered, is your journey complete? No, it has only just begun.

 

A Cult

(This one is courtesy of my husband who, though now a practicing minimalist, originally wanted nothing to do with a [and I quote] “happy-go-lucky, tree-hugging happy camp with free punch for everyone”.) Minimalism is no more a religion than working out or going to college. While the lifestyle is both conducive and beneficial to everyone, regardless of religious belief, or lack thereof, we are not sitting around and singing “kumbaya”, meeting on rooftops to wait for aliens, or spiking the punch with a little something extra to make sure everyone attains happiness. Once again, Minimalism is a lifestyle, not a view or belief. There is no “magic punch” that will make you happy. It takes hard work, dedication, and support. (In my husband’s defense, I probably didn’t explain the concept very well to him at first.)

 

An Extreme lifestyle

Actually, it would probably be more accurate to say that Minimalism doesn’t have to be an extreme lifestyle, or change therein. Being a Minimalist means something slightly different to everyone which is why it is not easy to say “just follow these 12 easy steps and you too can…”. All the articles and books available for you to read on the topic can help you find the path that is right for you, but in the end, you have to be the one to adapt it to your life. While there are defined and measurable goals, there is no “cookie-cutter” plan to make it work for you. Minimalism is a step by step process that is slowly leading you to a bigger goal. On the end, you will have made some big changes in your life but it does not have to be an extreme or rapid change if you don’t need or want it to be.

 

Only frugal living

Yes, by downsizing and living with less stuff, I save a lot of money. Living minimalistic and living a frugal lifestyle seems similar but it really is not. Being frugal is all about “living without” in order to save money. Because the goal of Minimalism is being happy instead of just saving money, the focus is less on not buying things and more on focusing on things that can’t be bought to make you happy. For example, my husband and son went on a “bro date” to the movies the other day. Of course, they had to pay to see the movie, but it wasn’t the movie that was intended to make them happy; it was the time they spent together. As a Minimalist, you can spend all the money you want as long as it adds value to your life or to the lives around you. The awesome thing about this lifestyle though, is that it is a lot less expensive to be happy than many people think.

 

Only for singles

This is another great thing about minimalism. It is for everyone. Whether you are single, in a relationship, married, or have a family of 3+. In fact, it is easier in some ways to have the constant support of family and partners who are in it with you. That being said, you can even be a minimalist if you are in a relationship and your partner is not on board. Just like you can make the decision to go to the gym every day without forcing your partner to do it with you, the same goes for minimalism. You can make arrangements for how to live with each other and have a minimal mind set without constantly arguing. This will only work, however, if you respect each other enough to understand that you disagree on this and that is ok.

 

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In short, Minimalism is what you need it to be. It is less about being someone or having something and more about being someone who is happy with the few essential things they have. To live a more healthy and meaningful life everyday and to connect with people and not things. So, don’t feel discouraged that your way or interpretation of minimalism is not right way.

I will list some of my favorite books, that helped me find my style of minimalism.


The book I read at the moment:

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2 thoughts on “What minimalism is not!…

    1. This is the one I am reading at the moment. Wes should talk more and exchange some thoughts, after I have read the book ?

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