“I heard those people only wear neutral-colored clothes.”
“You’re going to live in a tiny home?”
“Are you only going to own 30 things?!?”
“But you can’t have makeup/jewelry/anything non-essential…”
“Well your home isn’t ‘minimal’ like *insert person here*”
“You have WAY too many clothes to be a minimalist.”
Let’s set the record straight for anyone who is confused. Minimalism isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a one-size-fits-all concept.
There, I said it.
While I love that people are jumping on the bandwagon of simplifying their lives and pursuing a more minimalist lifestyle, there are some problems that come with popularity of a trend or lifestyle in general.
Personally, I don’t feel comfortable identifying as a minimalist because people assume I live in a tiny home, only own 30 items of clothing, only have black, white or grey furniture/clothes/anything a person can own, etc. The things you see on Instagram and Pinterest when you type in “Minimalism” isn’t the only version of how a minimalist can live. There are minimalists who also live in a house. There are minimalist who have an extensive wardrobe or makeup collection. There are minimalists who don’t wear black or white.
Like all other roles in life, identifying as a minimalist can place you in a box that people unnecessarily place you in, which is not only wrong but it also gives people the wrong interpretation of what minimalism is.
Like everything else, minimalism is dependent on the person and their lifestyle.
A mother of three who identifies as a minimalist will not have the same lifestyle, or home as a 18-year-old student who identifies as a minimalist. There are no set boundaries or rules that “The Book of Minimalism” shares with its most dedicated followers. (If you couldn’t tell by my sarcasm, that book isn’t real.) But rather, it’s about understanding the key concept of minimalism and how you can appropriately apply that concept to your life. And what is that concept, you ask?
Discovering what’s essential and non-essential, and being able to focus on the essential while removing the non-essential.
If you realize that condensing your wardrobe from 400 pieces to 200 pieces is minimalist enough for you, that’s great. If you’re getting rid of your TV because you simply don’t watch it, awesome. If you’re in love with cooking, and can’t part with your cookware because you use it every day, keep it! The point of minimalism is to find what’s important to you and find what you truly love and need in your life. Minimalism is also about being able to remove all of the things you don’t love and don’t need in your life. It’s a process and a journey, but it is definitely worth it.
Minimalism is a wonderful thing. But with social media, people are under the impression that there is only one way to live a minimalist lifestyle; and I’m here calling shedding some light on that myth. Minimalism can change to fit the needs of your lifestyle and your home. The way you view minimalism can be completely different than how other person views it. It’s all still minimalism.
What does minimalism look life to you based on your life? I would love to read all the different responses based on your lifestyles, so make sure to share in the comments below!