Anything in life worth doing has loud people on the other side telling you not to do it. In this case the vocal minority wants you to avoid minimalism. If you want to become a minimalist it’s smart to know the criticisms, so you can let them slide right off you.
When people hear someone has decided to become a minimalist, you would think they’ve just heard that person joined a cult. It never ceases to amaze me how scared of minimalism people are.
The anti-minimalism push from corporations, news outlets, and influencers who rely on consumer spending is strong. My newsfeed is still bombarded with stories of extreme minimalists and influencers mocking minimalist clothing. You can tell the minimalist lifestyle gets under their skin.
Why Minimalism is Bad
Everything taken to the extreme is probably going to make an average person cringe. When it comes to minimalism the most fringe advocates for the lifestyle have an easy time getting publicity. As a consumer of the internet you know that shock value leads to clicks and that’s the goal of all media outlets, more eyeballs.
Even as a minimalism coach I can recognize how the most extreme members of our lifestyle don’t make the average person excited to come hang out with us. Minimalism is portrayed as sacrificing every physical object in an effort to make a statement about consumerism.
Minimalism is bad if you make it your core identity. If you’re looking for a concept that you can hide behind and create a personality from, you should avoid minimalism.
Critics of Minimalism Say….
I have things I love and can’t imagine getting rid of them
Becoming a minimalist doesn’t mean getting rid of everything you own. It’s about being intentional with what you choose to keep and making sure it adds value to your life. You can still have things that you love and enjoy, but it’s about finding the balance.
I don’t have time or energy to declutter my whole house
You don’t have to declutter everything at once. Start small, focus on one room or one area at a time, and do it gradually. It’s more about the process and the mindset shift than completing it all in one day. If you avoid minimalism to save time now, not surpassingly, it will multiply time spent looking for things, cleaning, and organizing for the rest of your life. The time you spend now will translate to a lot of time savings in the future.
I need to hold on to things for sentimental reasons
It’s understandable to have sentimental attachments to a few select items. However, you don’t have to keep every item to hold on to the memory. Instead, you can take a photo of the item or write about it in a journal. You can also find a way to display or store the item in a way that is meaningful to you.
I’m worried about getting rid of something I might need in the future
This worry originates from a belief that you will lack resources in the future. People who grew up poor or who are always feeling scarcity in their life are likely to justify keeping things as imaginary protection from being without something they need. If you haven’t used the item in a year, then it’s likely you won’t need it in the future.
I don’t want to spend money on buying new minimalist-style items
Once someone says they don’t want to do something it puts the listener in an awkward position. They say they don’t want to, but what they could mean is they don’t think they have the ability or they don’t know how. Gracefully arguing a point about semantics like this is tough. Becoming a minimalist does not require any specific items. But, if you have some perfect vision of minimalism in your head that seems both desirable and unattainable, pretending not to want to do that is a defense mechanism.
I don’t want my house to look bare and empty
Minimalism is not about having nothing, it’s about having only what you need and what brings you joy. You can still have a sense of style and a personal aesthetic while being a minimalist. It’s about being intentional with your possessions, not getting rid of everything.
I don’t want to give up my hobbies and interests
Becoming a minimalist doesn’t mean giving up your hobbies and interests. It’s about being mindful of the things you own and how they relate to your hobbies and interests. You can still have things that bring you joy, but it’s about finding the balance.
I don’t want people to see me as cheap or broke
On the contrary, ability to choose minimalism is very privileged. Consumerism is all about appearances and not necessarily truth. You can see people flashing their designer goods or flashy vacations who are in reality broke. Choosing minimalism doesn’t convey anything about your financial situation.
I don’t want to feel restricted in my choices
Minimalism is not about restriction, it’s about freedom. You have the freedom to choose what is most important to you and let go of what is not. It’s about being intentional and mindful with what you own. Choosing minimalism allows for more time freedom, location independence, and financial security. Don’t avoid minimalism because of the lie that minimalism deprives you of everything.
I don’t want to be seen as a hipster or trend follower
Minimalism is not a trend or a style. It’s a mindset and a lifestyle choice that people have been practicing for centuries. Your perception of minimalism as a trend has more to do with social media and internet culture than the realities of minimalist principles. Those of us promoting the concept of minimalism must stay relevant by showing all the “new” ways minimalist ideas can be implemented.
So, Will You Avoid Minimalism?
What you’ve heard about minimalism is only a sliver of reality. Can minimalism go too far? It can and it does. And of course, those are the stories most publicized about why minimalism is bad.
Ultimately you must decide for yourself if the far fringe versions of minimalism will deter you from exploring the concept for yourself. Minimalism has done so much to change my life for the better. I would feel selfish keeping this knowledge to myself.
Come find me on your favorite social media. Being around like minded people, even online, can have an impact on your life choices. You deserve to live the life you want to live not the life you’re expected to live. Minimalism will allow you to discover what truly makes you happy and go ‘all in’ on that life.