Minimalists & the fellow Marie Kondos of the world tend to get a bad wrap. I can’t tell you how many comments I see on the internet calling this community a cult. People kind of understand the concepts of decluttering your space & letting go of the unnecessary, but when people start to talk about it as a lifestyle change, that’s when the questionable looks start to show. And part of me kind of gets it. Like any type of “community” there are those who are more extreme than others. With minimalism, there are those who simply like to keep an organized home while others literally live out of a backpack & are traveling nomads living in a tiny home or van. So, today I wanted to share with you 10 common misconceptions of being a minimalist. And before I begin, I want to just say this is all in good fun. However you see minimalism is your truth. I’m not here to judge.
- We Don’t Like Gifts
I know minimalists tend to go through the cycle of donating the old & clearing out the cluttered spaces. But it doesn’t mean we aren’t making space for the new either. I almost see my belongings with expiration dates on them. “This item is great for this period of time in my life, but I don’t need to keep it forever.” So, yes I enjoy receiving new things. And I’m always appreciative of anyone taking the time to think of me & give me something they believe I would love. It really is the thought that counts. And if you are in need of a minimalist friendly gift guide, click here.
2. We Only Paint Our Walls White
Sometimes we choose a nice muted grey, ok? But no, there is not an aesthetic rule book that states all minimalists need neutral or white walls in their homes. Although, I do love the Scandinavian style on Pinterest, we own a light blue chair in our living room, we have an array of bright photos & artwork on our walls, & we even have shelves filled with random decor. We do what we want.
3. We Only Live In Small Spaces
A mansion? Why would a minimalist want to live in there? They don’t need all that space. They have no stuff. A lot of people assume minimalists live in one bedroom apartments or tiny homes their entire life. And although I don’t see the need at the moment, it doesn’t mean I’m not manifesting a five bedroom home with 10 acres of land & a built in pool. Maybe I would simply leave most of the rooms empty anyway. More space equals more surface area of dance parties, kids biking through the kitchen or even doing yoga in the middle of a room. The possibilities are endless let me tell you.
4. Minimalists Are Rich
People love to assume those who live a minimalist lifestyle are well off & highly privileged. They can easily get rid of their belongings because there is never a fear of needing it in the future or not having the money to replace. Personally, I think anyone can practice this lifestyle because it’s the concept of being intentional & learning what truly is important in life which to me are experiences & relationships. Your socioeconomic status should never really be a factor. For me, whether I was doing financially well or not, I’d still live in the mindset of less is more.
5. We are Sustainability Kings & Queens
As a minimalist, I still shop cheap at times, I buy fast fashion & I’m not the most environmentally conscious person. I’m doing my best to switch over & learn better alternatives. But it has been a journey. As much as I would love to shop more sustainably, prices can be rather expensive. I’m not at a place where I want to own $200 t-shirts. I don’t think I ever will. To think all people who follow these habits are 100% environmentally conscious is unfair.
6. We Aren’t Fashionable
I would say I have leaned towards a more simple & classic style when it comes to my wardrobe. But it doesn’t mean I can’t spice up an outfit & feel fashionable at times. I still keep up with trends & rock other shades besides neutrals. I’ve just learned the clothing that is the most bang for my buck which are basics & timeless pieces. I tend to downsize my closet seasonally & if you are looking to declutter your own clothing, click here & here. You can have a set number of items & still find numerous ways to pair them together. You just have to get creative.
7. We’d Rather Be Off the Grid
As much as I feel like social media is a waste of time & negative to our wellbeing, I refuse to go completely off the grid & not be online at all. With blogging, having a social media presence is necessary as I discussed here. But to be more intentional as a blogger, you can always downsize your digital footprint & online presence. For tips & tricks on decluttering your digital space, click here. I think we can still be apart of this tech savvy world by limiting who we follow & what we let our minds absorb. It’s all about balance.
8. We are Closet Hoarders
I always think of Monica Gellar when her friends found her secret junk closet. A clean freak having such a secret? Ha! In a lot of ways, the reason I adopted the less is more mentality was because I was an organized hoarder in a sense. I couldn’t stay organized to save my life & would throw all the junk in drawers. It was hidden to the untrained eye, but once a closet door was opened or a drawer was showing, you could see the chaos. So, in a sense this misconception could be true to some. I think sometimes you need to think extremely to get a hold of bad habits. But to this day, I have a few drawers that are filled with god knows what. I’m guilty.
9. We Can’t Date / Be Married To Non-Minimalists
There’s no minimalist dating app to my knowledge, but to be honest I wouldn’t want to date / be married to one either. I like that my fiance is different from me in this way. There’s a lot of give & take & I’ve learned to let some of the little things go. Like whether our house has a lot of decorations or not or whether his side of the closet is more full than mine. I do encourage him to declutter a few things once in a while but I don’t sweat the small stuff.
10. We Are Miserable Souls & Are Actually Very Unhappy
I can’t speak for all minimalists, but I am definitely happier with this mindset. I feel less stressed & anxious with less junk around & I’ve learned to appreciate things in my life I looked past. I focus on my relationships & am choosy of the ones I give energy to. I seek adventure & experiences more often than a new designer bag. I feel more at peace even through life’s most trying situations. My life is in no means perfect, but leading a more simple one, I flow easier in my routines & remember to show appreciation & gratitude. There is no longer this feeling of needing or wanting the next best thing. I just focus one at a time.
I hope you enjoyed this list of assumptions & misconceptions the minimalist community tends to have lately. I’d love to hear anymore misconceptions you may have & discuss it in the comments. Let me know if you’d like a part 2 of this topic in the future. There are so many other misconceptions to discuss.