Sometimes misconceptions about minimalism can turn us away from trying it in the first place. We can feel like there is a right (and wrong) way of doing it and that it must look a certain way. And even if we do try it we don’t want to call ourselves a minimalist because we think we are not minimalistic enough. But minimalism is something you create, not something you find.
Let’s look at the most common myths:
“MINIMALISM IS ABOUT DEPRIVATION”
One of the biggest misconceptions about minimalism is that it’s about owning the least amount of items, which can seem like forcing yourself to live with less. But we don’t have to let go of everything and live on a bare minimum to experience the beauty of minimalism.
Some people may want to think that so as not to have to look at their relationship with objects (and life) but this is simply not true. The goal is to find a balance between our items and our life so that the things we own help us to live the life that we want rather than stop us from doing so.
It’s also worth mentioning that minimalism is not a competition about who owns less stuff. It is so easy to get caught up in numbers especially when we see so many different forms of minimalism. And then you read a comment or hear someone say: “Oh, they are not a true minimalist. They own x amount of that.” and you feel like what you are doing doesn’t matter as much. So you get discouraged or you feel you need to step up your game and declutter some more so you too can be a proud minimalist.
So what started as a journey to freedom can turn into overthinking. When that happens you just need to remind yourself why you started and congratulate yourself on your journey so far.
“MINIMALISM IS BLACK AND WHITE”
If you look at many minimalists you can see their black, white and grey closets, bare rooms and everything is neutral. And there are some good sides to owning neutral clothing because it’s timeless and it’s very easy to mix and match and natural colours in houses can also help us relax and give us more space to think but that doesn’t mean we only have to use those. Colours can be calming, energizing, relaxing, inspiring, motivating, joyful… so choose the ones you like.
I personally prefer neutral colours, like beige and white in my house, but when it comes to my clothes and makeup I absolutely love corals, pinks and reds. I feel a lot of joy when wearing those colours and they are a staple in my wardrobe.
Don’t condescend neutral colours just because so many people use them but also don’t be afraid to play with colours. Take the best from both and have fun 😉
“MINIMALISM IS A MEANS TO AN END”
People often think (as did I) that once you declutter that that is it. This is who you are, this is what you own and this is how you live. But life is not rigid.
We change jobs, relationships, cities, we grow and learn and our preferences change as well. So we need to give ourselves some breathing space. If we change our profession it might change the way we dress. If we start working from home maybe we can own a smaller car or go without. If we find a new hobby we may own a few new items.
When we do a good job in decluttering and we know what we like, then the changes are going to be smaller but even if they aren’t, don’t be afraid of evolving and don’t resist the change when it comes.
Be aware of it, assess it and make a conscious step forward. And my advice is – start small. When you are trying something new there is no need to buy all the equipment at once because you are still in a phase of finding out. So, just get the necessary items first and if your activity becomes a more permanent part of your life than add more. I use that principle when it comes to updating my closet. I add a new piece and I give it some time to see how much I enjoy it and wear it and that helps me shop better.
Don’t be afraid of changes but also don’t rush them. Be gentle, observe, learn and grow.
Balance in all things is the answer to a happy life.