Minimalists come in all sizes, ages, genders, races, nationalities, social classes, and religions. It is a growing movement that continues to invite others to live with less and define their lives in greater ways than by the things they own. Yet despite its recent growth, it continues to be misunderstood by a percentage of the population.
With that in mind, I think it would be wise to personally address some of the common misconceptions about minimalism in case you are thinking any of them.
Minimalists Are Boring
A minimalist life is not void of excitement or entertainment. In fact, minimalism reduces many of the mundane tasks (organizing, shopping, cleaning) that rob us of daily excitement. And when unnecessary possessions have been removed, minimalists are free to choose for themselves what things will define their lives.
Some will choose to travel the world, find a new hobby, appreciate nature, get involved in their community, or spend more time with friends.
Minimalists Don’t Own Nice Things
Actually, one of the greatest unforeseen benefits of owning less is the opportunity to purchase possessions of higher quality. For some reason, many people don’t correlate owning fewer things with owning nicer things. But the truth is, they go hand in hand and are directly related.
When a commitment is made to buy fewer things, our lives are opened to the opportunity of owning nicer things as well. In fact, one of the key thoughts behind minimalism is it is far better to own a few, quality things than a whole bunch of junk. This relates to technology, clothing, furniture, sporting equipment, and countless other areas.
Minimalists Are Not Sentimental
Less is different than none. Personally, my family finds more value in sentimental belongings if we keep only the most important pieces and place them in a significant place. As a result, rather than a box full of sentimental things stuck in the basement or attic, we display the most important sentimental pieces from our past somewhere in our home—again, promoting the things that are most valuable to us. Minimalism doesn’t mean we had to throw away all of our sentimental belongings.
Minimalism Is Too Hard
In a world that seeks to own more and accomplishes that by encouraging others to do the same, minimalism is countercultural. It is a lifestyle that goes against the mainstream belief about what constitutes happiness. In that way, it is difficult. It requires trust, intentionality, discipline, and frequent readjustments. It forces us to define our values and choose what is most important in life.
But it is not so hard that you can’t do it. In fact, if my typical family of four can do it, so can you. There’s nothing special about us. The only difference between you and me is that somebody took the time to introduce my family to a new way to live life. We removed our possessions, discovered the joy that can only be found by living with less, and have never looked back.
No wonder minimalists come in all sizes and shapes. And no wonder it is a growing movement where countless people are deciding to own less and define their lives in greater ways than by the things they own. They find freedom because of it.