5 Minimalist Myths
Along my minimalist journey, I have found 5 minimalist myths that people seem to believe. I am sure there are a ton of misbeliefs when it comes to minimalism, but here are 5 that really stood out to me.
Perfect “Minimalist” Home Myth
When researching minimalism you might find a lot of photos of beautiful white homes. These overly organized homes will have little to nothing in them and while beautiful they do not always look comfortable.
Since becoming a minimalist myself I have realized that the “look” of your home has very little to do with being minimalist.
There is a minimalist decorating aesthetic that has very little to do with actually being minimalist. This decorating style is all about clean lines and light bright spaces.
The real minimalist homes I have seen are filled with all types of different furniture (a lot of it being secondhand).
Most of these homes do not look like the minimalist decorating styles shown in the magazines. What they did have in common was more floor space.
Less clutter was sitting on every surface and usually, these minimalists have room to spare. Just look up minimalist home tour on YouTube and you will see all kinds of different homes.
One thing they have in common is they all choose to live with less.
Watch 5 Surprising Myths about Minimalism
Minimalist Homes = Always Tidy
The other part of this myth is that minimalist homes are always tidy and nothing is ever left out.
On the contrary, we like to work on projects and most of the time our home looks like it is being used.
The big difference is when you open a cupboard you won’t find it completely stuffed to the brim with junk. We only keep the things we use regularly!
We avoid duplicate items and storing things “just in case.”
Check out my decluttering mini-course where I walk you through a step by step process to declutter your home.
Decluttering One Time
A big minimalist myth is that you will only declutter one time! Decluttering is an ongoing process.
Let me explain. The first initial declutter will get rid of all the obvious things that you are not needing.
After decluttering it is easier to see what is being used and what isn’t.
By the next decluttering session you will notice all the things you thought you still needed but turned out you didn’t.
This will go on and on and will eventually make you more minimalist.
It is like peeling an onion layer by layer!
Once you feel you are completely minimalist and you only have the things you need this is when I found myself in the maintenance mode. Seasonally I go through our things to see if anything crept into our home that we didn’t need.
Also if you have kids the decluttering may never stop. Kids are always growing into and out of things. This is an ongoing process.
The Frugalwoods make a good point, “Having a newborn is difficult (really difficult), but it’s even more difficult if you’re in a disorganized house where you’re constantly tripping over clutter and can’t find what you need. I’m all about controlling what I can control with the understanding that it’ll make all those uncontrollable factors easier to cope with.”
Minimalism is Easy
Minimalism is not hard but it is also not easy. I have heard rumors that minimalism is the easy way out.
While becoming minimal I quickly realized more thought went into practicing minimalism.
Every purchase leads to a lot of thinking. When I decide I want something new to our home I ask myself some questions.
Where will this item go?
How often will I use this?
Do I really need this?
As I mentioned above decluttering is an ongoing process to stay minimalist too! None of that is easy, but the benefits of minimalism make my life easier.
So it is all worth the effort in the end.
I have a whole post on how we stay minimalist (11 ways to stay clutter-free), but here are my best tips.
Pause before you buy something or accept something. Sleep on it or make a list of the items you are thinking of getting and revisit the list in a day, week, or month.
A lot of the time I will forget I wrote certain things I needed on my list.
Try to work with what you already have. Maybe it isn’t perfect or doesn’t make your home look like a magazine spread, but at least you are not adding more to your home.
When it comes to organizing I try to use all the bins I already own. I never throw a plastic bin away because I have found time and time again they come in handy for organizing.
Poor Minimalists / Rich Minimalists
People are minimalist because they are poor! This is completely untrue.
Every minimalist I know in real life and researched online choose this lifestyle. It was not forced on them.
They decided for whatever reason that they wanted to live with less stuff and spend their time focusing on life, not things.
The Minimalists point out “If anything, people with fewer resources, especially those with less money, can benefit most from minimalism because a minimalist lifestyle helps people determine what truly adds value to their lives—what things actually serve a purpose and bring joy.”
You have to be rich to be minimalist.
Again another minimalist myth that is completely untrue! If you were to think of minimalism as the decorating aesthetic then maybe you might think only a rich person can afford that special furniture.
When in reality minimalism as a lifestyle has very little to do with decorating style.
Minimalism is about rejecting materialism and only keeping the things you need. What you feel you need or use will be different for everyone.
Only One Type Of Minimalist Myth
There is only one “type” of minimalist and if you don’t fit that mold then you aren’t minimal!
This minimalist myth is very UNTRUE!
When I first thought of a minimalist I imagined someone traveling the world and living out of a backpack. This person was single and young.
As I started to research minimalism I found all kinds of different people talking about minimalist living.
I have seen older couples living minimally, people with families, single people, married people, there is no one type of minimalist.
For instance, we are minimal and we have 2 kids, live in a medium-size home, work on projects, have hobbies and when traveling we take luggage.
You can be a minimalist in a large home or in a tiny home. It is all about how much stuff you decide to keep and even that can vary from person to person.
The common thread that seems to run through all minimalists is they are not in pursuit of acquiring more things rather they are into having just what they need for their lives.
Minimalist Myths Conclusion
I am sure there are a lot of preconceived notions when it comes to minimalism. These are just 5 of the minimalist myths that I came across as we became minimalist.
The best thing about busting these myths is that we can make minimalism work for us. I have even heard of families where only one person is minimalist! Do what works for you and take what you can from this way of thinking.