Take everything you know about minimalism, and throw it away.
Throw it away as if it’s an out dated shirt from your “glory days,” lost in the clutter of your closet. It’s useless and adds nothing to your progress (or style- yikes). Minimalism has many benefits, yet not a lot of people willingly practice the lifestyle. This is mostly due to a misunderstanding of what the lifestyle truly entails. It’s may not be as difficult as you think.
Myths about Minimalism
1. Minimalism is not legalism
According to minimalist blog Simplicity Relished, minimalism really doesn’t have a strict set of rules. Any “rules” you may come across are actually intended to be used as guidelines. Every individual approaches minimalism differently, and their version of the lifestyle may include more or less than another.
2. Minimalists are cheap
No one wants to be associated with the word “cheap.” Why would you? Everyone wants to feel luxurious- like the celebrities and socialites who have much deeper pockets- and we achieve this by buying more. Minimalism is actually the opposite of cheap! According to a minimalist feature on The Odyssey Online, it’s true that Minimalists spend less…in the long run. They dish out more money up front on a handful of higher quality items that they don’t need to replace as often. Less demand to shop, less money spent.Your wallet (and your space) will thank you.
3. Minimalist can only live in tiny homes
You don’t have to literally minimize the area of your space in order to simplify your life. If you don’t understand how to pare down your material possessions to begin with, you’re just going to end up filling an even smaller space with the same amount of stuff.No need to put your house up for sale.
4. Minimalist can’t have cars
Courtney Carver of Be More with Less is an avid minimalist and also enjoys taking her car for a spin! She points out that, depending on an individual’s living situation, you may need a car for your life to function. Although I could create an entire argument about the environmental benefits of going carless, that beside the point. So, vroom, vroom.
5. Minimalism is only for single people
Carver notes the strange belief that you can’t be a minimalist if your partner/spouse/person you share space with isn’t. While any type of relationship is about compromise, you don’t have to give up simplifying just because your counterpart likes stuff. You two are individuals within one relationship, and your individuality can include minimalism.
6. Minimalists are incapable of being sentimental
I can honestly say I don’t immediately associate minimalism with being heartless. But Becoming Minimalist suggests that the lifestyle gets a bad rep due to it’s willingness to toss items that may, to somebody, have some level of sentimental meaning. It’s about understanding what is most important to you. If you have dozens of family memories and keepsakes…in boxes…in your attic or basement…then just how important are they to your identity?
What is the truth about minimalism?
As long as you’re promoting a lifestyle that incorporates the most valuable things in your life while removing the excess that distracts you from those things, you’re on the right track.