Good Morning! Welcome back. I am so excited to share with you all something I have been doing the past few days. It all started when I was brainstorming some ideas for what I thought my readers may enjoy regarding minimalism. When it came to me I knew I needed to start surveying my readers and getting some ideas brewing. So I posed some questions and what I received in return opened my eyes to what others perceive minimalism to be.
So let’s dive in. When I began asking my readers what they thought minimalism was I was astounded to find out many thought it was a one size fits all approach to life. You needed to give away all of your earthly possessions, live in a tiny house, and move to some tropical island. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I will get back to this soon. Keep reading!
The next thing I asked was if they thought they could become minimalist. According to my surveyed readers they were uncertain. Of course this goes back to their previous misconceptions of what minimalism is. If you think minimalism is just living with the shirt on your back and not much else, how many followers would there really be!? This is seriously such startling information.
What I realized after my small survey was that most don’t really even know what it means to live simply? Many think it is too far fetched and that they can not conform to what is asked of becoming a minimalist. You want to hear a secret? Okay, bring it in, get close…Minimalism is whatever you want it to be! There is no shame or guilt or finger pointing. You don’t have to get rid of every possession you own. If you love that sweater grandma wore and she graciously gave you before passing, Keep It. You get to choose. You are the captain of this ship.
When I first began minimizing my own possessions, I learned quickly that this may be harder than I thought. I am openly a very sentimental person. I kept every note passed in class from my middle school years. Seriously! (Could this be why my children want to keep every trinket, McDonald’s toy, or craft they ever made? hmmm food for thought.) I just couldn’t give them up right away. I thought if I threw them out, that somehow those years would fade away from my memory and I would forget it all. After allowing the garbage bag filled with these notes to sit in my basement for well over a year, I realized something, I never wanted to read all those notes. Most days I completely forgot they were there. So when I gained some courage and made the decision to tackle this bag, I found that while it was fun reading some of the notes, I didn’t need them any longer. I could live life with just as much joy, not keeping them, as I did having them.
Now I am not saying that you shouldn’t part with some items. Some items you will find don’t hold any sentimentality. If that is the case then no regrets, go ahead and get rid of it. I just want you to know there is grace here. So here are a few other misconceptions about minimalism.
- You will never buy another item for the rest of your life!
- WRONG! You will still have a need for getting new things once in awhile. The bigger difference though now is that you won’t over buy. You will not just buy items to have them. You will think your purchases through and decide what you allow into your home.
- You have to downsize your home.
- While this may make sense for some, for others it just isn’t in the cards. I currently am raising two amazing kids and the space we have still works for us. I don’t feel downsizing at this time would work for us.
- You can’t own furniture.
- You guys! I am not kidding, I told a friend I was becoming a minimalist and she said, “Where are you going to sit? You have to get rid of all your furniture!” You don’t have to get rid of your couch in order to become a minimalist. If it serves your family, then keep it. Of course if you have 4 couches in a small space, maybe you could lose 1 or 2 to make room for more of what you love.
- You live by a strict budget.
- While for some this can be true. For others, you may learn that budgeting is less of a problem than it was when you were shopping daily for items that wouldn’t fill the void you were trying to fill. You may in fact experience a deeper joy, knowing you now have money you never had before that can be used for more meaningful things.
- You can’t have electronics.
- Again, this is just not true. Many minimalist still keep a computer and cell phone. Just because we don’t want extra stuff accumulating doesn’t mean we want to go back to the stone ages! We can still keep up with the times while minimizing.
I can’t tell you enough how grateful I am that you are curious about minimalism. Living Simply is something we can all do. It doesn’t have to be only one way. If you are still unsure if minimalism is for you or if you want to know more, reach out to me! I would love to talk to you more!