MYTHS ABOUT MINIMALISM
Minimalism is a popular and sweeping movement amongst those who want to live a more intentional life, free from unnecessary clutter and distraction. Minimalism enables you to focus on what’s important to you in life and let the rest go. Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions about Minimalism which put people off. Check out this post to learn some of the myths about Minimalism and why they’re just not true!
WHAT IS MINIMALISM?
Before we look at the myths about Minimalism (what Minimalism isn’t), I just wanted to give you this definition of Minimalism (what Minimalism is) from Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist.
It’s the best definition of Minimalism I’ve come across so far…
‘Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.’
To learn more about it, you might like to read a post I wrote which explains Minimalism in much more detail – Minimalism Made Simple.
THE MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE
The Minimalist lifestyle is about creating more space and time for what matters to you by deliberately focusing on what’s important and purposefully getting rid of excess clutter. It doesn’t matter whether the clutter is physical possessions, commitments on your calendar or too many unused credit cards in your purse.
If you don’t really love it, need it or it doesn’t add value in some way, then you let it go.
Click the links to read more about the benefits of Minimalism and the reasons to own less stuff. These posts will give you a feel for what Minimalism is truly about. It’s much more than a design style!
However, there are a few myths about Minimalism which put people off. They end up thinking it’s a weird idea for wanting to live with less stuff when most of life is encouraging us to have more, more, more. Or, they think it’s ok if you’re single without little kids, but not practical for busy family life.
Whilst Minimalism can be rigid and strict, it absolutely doesn’t have to be that way. Everyone can be Minimalist and feel the benefits. It’s just a question of breaking down the myths about Minimalism that put people off.
COMMON MYTHS ABOUT MINIMALISM
#1 Minimalism means going without
On the surface, going Minimalist means getting rid of your stuff. Yet, if you remember the definition from Joshua Becker above, Minimalism actually only means you’re getting rid of the things which you don’t need, don’t love or don’t value. You’re not going to miss them if they don’t do any of these things so why let them clutter up your home and take your time to look after them?
If you have 5 sweaters in your drawer but don’t wear any of them, what’s the point in having them? Donate or recycle them and buy just one sweater instead that you really love and will wear often. That’s Minimalist but it doesn’t mean you’re going without!
Instead, Minimalism is about creating space for more of the things that are important to you.
Yes, you’ll end up with less stuff, but you’ll have more time, space and freedom for the things that are more important to you. That hardly means going without!
#2 Minimalism is only for certain people
Minimalism (like people) comes in many shapes and sizes. If you’re reading this then you’re probably not a single man in his 30s, wanting to try out some weird Minimalist experiment by sacrificing virtually all your stuff to see how few possessions you can actually survive on! What you probably are is a busy parent who’s juggling loads of balls in the air and desperately trying not to drop one.
Even though you think it won’t work for you, Minimalism can actually make a difference to mothers more than probably ANY other group of people!
By getting rid of the things that make you feel overwhelmed (too much clutter in your home) and making them simpler when you can’t get rid of them totally (think of housework), you can create so much more physical and mental space for other things that are way more important to you and your family.
- Playing with your kids right now instead of doing a load of housework.
- An evening spent on the sofa watching a film with a glass of wine instead of washing the dishes and sorting out the laundry for tomorrow.
Minimalism enables you to create a life that you’re more present in, rather than just trying to get through. Read this post for more about why Minimalism can help parents.
#3 Minimalism means following rules
Minimalism (despite its name) is actually about enabling you to ADD value to your life rather than take it away.
You may not want to live with less than 100 belongings or get rid of all your furniture and live with just a mattress on the floor and no TV. Although I’m a Minimalist, this sounds more like a struggle to survive rather than a way to simplify and enjoy my life! So, of course, these sorts of rules definitely wouldn’t work!
If you have a busy family, you’ll probably have a house full of kids, lots of toys, lots of things going on and not a lot of spare time or energy! So, implementing rules is just one more set of things for you to think about and remember. Nope, you don’t need that!
There are many different seasons to life and many different people in the world. A lifestyle based on a set of rules to which we must conform is unlikely to help many, be very popular or sustainable over the long term.
Minimalism is not about rules. It’s about giving you the tools to create your best life, whatever that looks like for you.
It’s up to you to find your own form of Minimalism that works for you, your lifestyle and your family. Forget about rules. Minimalism comes in as many shapes and sizes as there are people.
Check out my post on Minimalism and making it work for you.
#4 Minimalism means never buying anything new
Plenty of Minimalists like to shop, appreciate new things and sometimes, we all need to shop to fill the fridge with food! Minimalism also doesn’t mean you can’t buy a top-of-the-range car, or an expensive pair of shoes (or whatever floats your boat).
If it adds value to your life and you’re intentional about your purchase then, of course, you can buy something new.
What Minimalists don’t do is buy things just for the sake of it. They don’t go shopping to fill a gap in their calendar or alleviate boredom. They don’t make themselves feel better with a high adrenalin spending spree, or waste money without first thinking hard about what they’re buying and why they’re buying it.
You can get my free download at the bottom of this post with some tips to help you shop with intention.
Minimalism is a wonderful, empowering lifestyle that enables you to focus intentionally on the most important things in life without unnecessary clutter and distraction. Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions on what it means to be Minimalist that put people off from giving it a go and experiencing the benefits.
In this post I’ve broken down four of the main myths about Minimalism to help explain why Minimalism is for everyone. It will give you a fuller life in so many ways, just with less stuff! After reading this post, you might like to try Minimalism for yourself!