Over the course of my organizing career many have shared with me that they feel they are far from being minimal. However, I would say that everyone is to a degree. If you are not interested in something, you don’t indulge. If you don’t like to run, you won’t go running everyday. One way to begin the journey of minimalism would be to try and channel this same mindset into other areas of your life; slowly this will help you have and do what is truly meaningful for you.
Three Main Misconceptions of Being Minimal
1. Your home has to look like a magazine
– Most images online and in print, show minimalism as stark, extreme as bare white walls.
+ This couldn’t be farther from the truth. This kind of minimalism may work for some but it doesn’t mean you have to follow it. Yes having less is key but it’s more about intention. I love the definition I recently read in a blog, Minimalism is “someone who decides to be intentional about what things (possessions, people, ideas) they include in their life.”
2. You have to follow set rules
– With many trends out there like the 33 capsule wardrobe, being minimal comes across as a set way to live life with strict rules leaving little room for individuality and choice.
+ I prefer to see it as an intentional way of living that requires an ongoing process that is never perfect. That’s why I like to live by a reference point of 80/20. Whether it’s clothing, how I spend my time or where I buy items, I aim to reach my standards and intentions 80% of the time. Having flexibility within goals and intentions is key to being realistic and making life manageable.
3. It’s an extreme way of living
– Living a more minimal life sets one apart in a consumerist society and can also be taken to the extreme.
+ For me it’s about an ongoing process to slowly eliminate what doesn’t serve you and keeping close what brings value to your life. Being minimal doesn’t mean saying no to everything it means making space for the new but mindfully, with intention so that you are conscious about your choices and actions.
This is an ongoing process and change is always around us. Just like nature sheds its leaves in the fall and grows new ones in the spring. We too change season to season and it’s about checking in, being intentional about what you want and creating a life to reflect those values.