Why The Word Minimalism Is Not For Me
I often see the word minimalism bandied around in books, blogs, YouTube videos and on social media, extolling the virtues of having very little stuff in their lives. Pictures are pinned on Pinterest showing beautiful rooms with nothing but artfully designed furniture and one or two books for decoration.
Many clients and followers will share these pictures and want to discuss minimalism with me. I have read the positive and negatives around the minimal lifestyle; and whilst I appreciate the positives, the word brings too many negative connotations to be something I can follow or promote to my clients and followers.
There are programmes to follow to become a minimalist in 30 days, how to declutter so you only own what you can fit in a rucksack and other such ideas. It sounds like a great idea when reading it.
Who wouldn’t want to get rid of 465 items in one month (I believe some clients have over the time we have worked together)? If you get rid of that many items some people will have nothing left, but others will still have items that can fit in a few suitcases. The latter often feel like failures for not becoming minimalist, although they have decluttered the number of items prescribed by minimalists.
The reality is these people are not a failure. They have decluttered a huge amount, but as they don’t meet the ideals shown in minimalist pictures, blogs and books, they can feel despondent and even depressed.
That’s not what should happen when you declutter.
You should feel lighter, happier and stress free. I have visibly seen clients open up, look less hunched and stressed after decluttering with me. They haven’t been told to declutter a number of items or to get their room looking like a Pinterest picture. Once they have finished with me, they have a room which they can enjoy and live in.
So let’s discuss how to do par down and become decluttered rather than minimalist:
- What makes YOU happy? I am a massive movie lover, so I need a TV in my life. A big one. A minimalist may not have a TV, as they are living experiences, but I like coming home after a tiring day, sitting on my large, comfortable sofa watching a comedy. I am living an experience, it might not conform to the minimalist lifestyle, but it makes me so happy!
- Don’t deprive yourself but can you buy in moderation? You like designer shoes, but do you have to buy a new pair every month? Can you buy one pair per season instead?
- Spend wisely – linked to point 2, instead of buying $100 of H&M or Primark clothes that last for one wash buy a quality item which is a bit more but will last for a few seasons. The same applies for non-clothes items such as kitchen appliances or make-up.
What do you think about minimalism? Has it worked for you and have you maintained it. I would be interested to know more – let me know in the comments box below.
If you would like to declutter a huge amount of your stuff and can’t start face starting the process alone, contact me using the contact form here, and let’s get your decluttered in a day.