Don't Make These Minimalist Lifestyle Mistakes16.1.17
Simple living and the minimalist lifestyle is very much a personal experience with the intention of simplifying our lives by getting rid ...
Simple living and the minimalist lifestyle is very much a personal experience with the intention of simplifying our lives by getting rid of the things that do not make us happy to make room for the things that do. It’s a purposeful, intentional, and sustainable way of living that improves both our mental and physical health. But there are mistakes to be made when exploring this lifestyle.
Being Reckless With Throwing Everything Away
Accumulating stuff takes time and so does getting rid of it. Doing it quickly without intention or thought can result in throwing away things you need or love. The worst thing you can do is be wasteful in the pursuit of minimalism. Donating, recycling, or trashing things you do not or cannot use or find a purpose for is great but getting rid of things for the sake of an idealised version of minimalism is senseless. Throwing away things only to find you need them again in a few weeks time means you’ve wasted time and you’ll have to waste money replacing them. Don’t be reckless; set a pace you’re comfortable with and work through it.
Start with bigger objects like furniture, leave sentimental belongings and anything related to hobbies until last. Getting rid of the most obvious larger belongings not only makes the biggest impact on your space and encourages you to keep going, they are also typically the easiest to identify and get rid of. This process will teach how to let go and understand you won’t miss these things once they’re gone. Keep anything you use but also what makes you happy. Be wary of getting rid of anything you’re not sure about.
You don’t need to get rid of anything you don’t want to; you’re not competing with anyone to see who can own the least amount of belongings, this isn’t a race or a competition. Figure out your priorities and passions and use those to purge your stuff. You can take as long as you need to, don’t be reckless in the pursuit of minimalism.
Letting “Minimalist Rules” Dictate Your Life
You must discover and follow the principles that suit you and the lifestyle you lead. Yes, minimalism can lead to a clutter-free life, less distractions, more efficient work, increase productivity, happiness and fulfilment; but it can also cause deep unhappiness if you let “the rules” dictate and limit how you lead your life.
There are no hard and fast rules for leading a minimalist lifestyle, the general principle is: less excess, more essentials. That’s it. Minimalism is about simplifying; getting rid of things in our lives that do not make us happy to make room for things that do. A simpler way of living that is purposeful, intentional, and sustainable. What that looks like differs from person to person. What is too much for one person is not enough for another.
Use minimalism to enhance your life not make it difficult or restrictive. You need to focus on creating an environment and lifestyle which suits you and your needs, not an idealised version of what you think a minimalist’s life or home should look like.
Comparing and Competing With Others
A common theme with any lifestyle choice is the competition between those who follow it. The most common comparison made in the “minimalist community” is how much stuff a person owns and whether those things are necessary. There is a tendency to compete for who can own the least amount of belongings. Minimalism is not a competition. What works for one person won’t work for another.
Comparing your life to someone else’s is not a healthy mindset and will not enable you to create a fulfilling life. What that looks like to you will look completely different to someone else. Also it’s important to remember not to judge other people. Even though you might not agree with it or think their way of doing things is “the right way,” it’s important not to pass judgement. The way people live their lives is up to them. Don’t compare, don’t compete, just focus on building a life you love with less.