“Minimalism isn’t emptiness for the sake of emptiness; but rather making room to move freely, think clearly and open ourselves to the beauty and wonder of life.”-Francine Jay
When I tell someone that I am a minimalist, I generally get two types of reactions: confusion and support. I have had people automatically say to me “oh, so you never buy anything and your home is bare?” At that, I usually just laugh a little and tell them that isn’t exactly accurate.
Or I have had someone tell me that she has looked into minimalism before and really wants to make a change but doesn’t think she can do it.
Minimalists truly come from all walks of life, all different backgrounds and from all areas of the world. Some people who identify themselves as minimalists grew up with parents who were hoarders while others decided to make a change late in their life.
Related: What Is Minimalism?
Whoever you are and no matter your reason for embracing a minimalist lifestyle, there will be people who do not understand. And there will also be people that will connect with your decision to be a minimalist and who will be on their own journey to a more simple life.
There are so many misconceptions when it comes to minimalism. So many things that people assume when they hear the word minimalism.
Here are the top four things I have heard about minimalism that are far off the mark!
#1: Minimalism is about depriving yourself.
This honestly couldn’t be farther from the truth. Minimalism is actually the quite opposite of depriving yourself. It is being more intentional with the things that you own and the space in your life. It is only choosing to surround yourself with people and material things that add something positive to your life.
Minimalism is getting rid of the things in your life that don’t bring you joy in order to make room for things that do.
#2: Minimalists don’t own anything.
Again, definitely not true.
While there may be some minimalists who decide to own nothing in order to feel happiness and joy, the majority of minimalists absolutely do own material things. It is just that as a minimalist, the person has decided not to focus on things or material possessions to find fulfillment or to feel worthy.
Minimalists tend to like an uncluttered home, with plenty of open space, and don’t buy things just for the sake of buying them. That however does not mean that minimalists don’t own anything but instead, that they have decided to own less and have quality things over quantity.
#3: Minimalists are unhappy.
Boy oh boy, have I heard this one!
The thing that I find ironic in that statement is that minimalism is literally about the process of finding happiness and meaning in your life. Not just getting rid of things because you feel like it but rather, getting rid of things to make room for joy.
Many people choose to live a minimalist lifestyle because they are unhappy and are searching for that peace in their life. Within minimalism, I have found a calm I haven’t done in many years and one that I definitely didn’t have before changing my life!
#4: Minimalists aren’t sentimental.
I am a minimalist and I am a very sentimental person. In fact, I still have many of my daughter’s baby clothes that I just can’t part with yet.
There is a big difference between not owning anything sentimental at all and only saving things that truly mean something to you. To me, being sentimental doesn’t mean that I keep every single piece of paper from when my daughter was two or every single birthday card from each person that has ever given me one.
Yes, there are specific pieces of paper or artwork from my daughter that I will keep forever. Yes, there are some cards from different people that I have kept over the years. Yes, there are handwritten letters that my husband I wrote each other when he was in boot camp that I will never get rid of.
But there have also been many things that I have kept for a few years until I decided I didn’t need to have them anymore. That they no longer brought joy or meaning to my world.
Being a minimalist does not mean that you are not sentimental. I am proof of that.
What are some misconceptions you have heard about minimalism? Do you agree with any of the misconceptions above? I would love to hear from you! XOXO