Minimalist Mistakes to Avoid

minimal mistakes

Here are a few minimalist mistakes I have made on our journey to becoming more minimal.

Minimalist Mistakes to Avoid


1 – Letting Comments Slow Decluttering

When I first started to declutter and started our minimalist journey I would let little comments people made slow me down.

Comments like, “you are going to need that” and “wow your house looks empty” 

I let these comments slow down my decluttering process and I second-guessed myself.   

Come to realize how I want to live is no one else’s business!  If they want to live with more then that is great, but if I want to live with less then that is my choice.


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2 – Not Decorating

A huge minimalist mistake I made when I first decided on becoming minimalist was thinking that I couldn’t have the decor I wanted.

I felt I just decluttered everything so now I can’t add things to my walls because they will look cluttered again.  This is wrong, at least for the way I want to be a minimalist.

Did you know there are different types of minimalists?  Well I thought to be more minimal I had to have bare walls, but I wasn’t happy this way.

It turns out that my happy way of being minimal is to not have a lot of stuff in drawers, closets, the garage, and any storage area.  In other words, I want to only have what we use and need without a ton of backup stuff and extras.

What I do want is to have art on my walls and a cozy-looking home that is decorated in a simple style.  No bare walls in my home!

share boys room


3 – Decluttering (not Enough)


When I first started decluttering I was way too cautious.  I would take so much time thinking about if I would need the item.

Would I wear that t-shirt someday?  I have had it for so long maybe it will fit again when I lose weight.  All these thoughts slowed me way down!

The good news is as we declutter more and more we strengthen our decluttering muscles and it becomes a lot easier to let go and move on.

This is one reason I now like to go through my home seasonally and see what needs to be decluttered and what we still use.

I also started to change the way I declutter.  Now I tend to pull aside all the things we do use and then start to look through what is left.

This cuts down what I am looking through making the decluttering process faster and easier.


4 – Feeling like I have to Keep Certain Things


Weird emotional attachments made me keep things I didn’t really want for way too long!  For instance, after I got married I kept my dead bouquet in a glass box for 6 years.

Every time I looked at it I would think I don’t really need that and I don’t like the way it looks.

Nothing about it really reminded me of our wedding, but rather it was just and piece of ugly decor in our home taking up space.  I had to dust the box! LOL

I finally got rid of it and I don’t feel bad at all, I still remember our wedding and I still remember the flowers and all the fun from that day.


5 – Buying Things I didn’t Need


When I first jumped into minimalism I also wanted to become more eco-friendly.  Here is the problem with a lot of eco products, we don’t really need them!

I thought switching out things that were old or broken with an eco-friendly version would be great. 

The only problem was a lot of these “eco-friendly” things were made poorly or it turned out I didn’t even need them anyways.

For instance, I bought an on-the-go set of cutlery (that I have never used).  I bought a bamboo drying rack that turned out to be way too small for all my dishes.

My point is, yes buying eco-friendly products is awesome, but only when it’s a well-researched decision and it’s something you really do need.

decluttering clothing easy way


6 – Fear of Buying Everything


On the other hand, don’t let minimalism stop you from buying things you want and do need.  For a year I was so afraid to buy anything new because I thought well I already have clothes.

Never mind the fact that they are looking super worn out and don’t fit properly anymore!

Being minimalist does not mean that I will never shop again.  For me, it means I will make informed purchases that are well thought out for things I need.

Yes, I do take way more time when buying something.  I also buy way less than I use to and I try to only buy something to replace another item.

But I am no longer afraid to buy things because I already have one that is totally worn out haha.


7 – Living with Things we Don’t Like


My last minimalist mistake is thinking I have to live with things I don’t like because I already have them.  Again there are different types of minimalists out there, but I think it’s important to like my surroundings.

Example: For years we had a couch that was cheap, uncomfortable, and ugly.  I thought since becoming minimalist I had to keep this couch for the rest of my life.

Because why buy something you already have?  Every time I looked at this couch I would think how much I hated it!  

I finally came to the realization that just because we have something that is not working doesn’t mean we can’t replace it with something we like that also works better in our lives.

Of course, I always try to find quality items, second-hand items (when possible), and things that won’t have to be replaced often.  But living with things I don’t like is not part of minimalism for me.

livingroom declutter


Minimalist Mistakes Conclusion

The biggest takeaway is that you can make minimalism work for your life.  Pick and choose what will make you happy.

Maybe that is living with nothing on your walls and very little furniture.  It could also be living in a simply decorated home, but your wardrobe may consist of 5 days worth of clothing.

We can alter the minimalist lifestyle to work for us.  Simplify your life so you can enjoy it more, whatever “MORE” means to you.


More Decluttering Articles:

Decluttering Motivation 8 Tips

5 Quick Decluttering Projects

How to Declutter Clothes the Easy Way

7 Things NOT to do When Decluttering


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