After my guest post on Ask Dr Ho 2 weeks ago I hadn’t planned on talking about my minimalist leanings so soon. But my husband mentioned something and I felt I needed to address it sooner rather than later. He said, “How can you preach about the benefits of minimalism and still do posts on skin care hauls?!” “Isn’t the whole point of minimalism about not spending your money on anything and having few possessions?!”… Let me fill you all in on my thoughts on being a minimalist and clear up a few misconceptions about minimalism.
Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom. – The Minimalists
The top 3 Misconceptions about Minimalism:
1. Minimalists never spend money
Well, I am the first to admit that I still spend money, as I mentioned earlier, I spent quite a bit of money at my favourite online organic skin care store. But for me, minimalism isn’t about never spending any money. Minimalism is about spending money on things that fulfil your happy life, not just fill your life to make it happy. Buying organic skin care was not an impulse buy that had no value. It was an investment in my blog, in which I talk about organic skin care and it was an investment in something I am passionate about. Minimalism is not about eliminating things you are passionate about. It is about prioritising what is important to you so that you can stop wasting money on what is irrelevant.
2. Minimalists don’t own much
What has definitely stopped since becoming a minimalist is my frequent visits to Kmart to buy the trendiest throw rug or copper-toned mirror. The coolest looking marble-look vase is not commensurate to a happier life or better wellbeing. My bookcase is so full of do-dads that I have no more space for books. But what would you say is more important?
Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. – The Minimalists
I am certainly not going to be taking an inventory of all my possessions which I know some minimalists tend to do. Refer back to the quote about what minimalism is truly about: Focusing on what’s important. For me counting all my pieces of furniture, bric-a-brac, kitchen items is not what is important to me. What is important is getting rid of the crap that litters my floors by the end of every day; clothes, toys, random crap. They are what weigh me down and stress me out so they have to go. Are there things that I don’t need but have apportioned meaning to? Yes. Am I keeping them? You bet. Why? Because they are important to my husband and I and I believe in a healthy balance of getting rid of the crap you don’t really need but also keeping the things that are really important to you. A happy life is all about balance, where you are a Minimalist or not!
3. You can only call yourself a Minimalist if you do everything in the “Minimalist Handbook”
For starters, there is not a minimalist handbook. There is not a wrong or right way to be a minimalist. Because what works for one person may not work for another. People forget there is no black or white, right or wrong, this way or that is this life. I may not do everything another minimalist might but I am doing what it right for my family and me and that is minimalising the bullshit that is taking up space in our lives. So can I call myself a minimalist? Yes. I can.
Do you lead a minimalist lifestyle? Or are you thinking about decluttering your life? Leave a comment below!