5 Truths From My Experience With Minimalism
I came across The Minimalist podcast last summer (2017) while on a long drive to visit my mom. I listened to 18 episodes and was inspired. What I had been searching for was given a name, Minimalism. I didn’t hit the ground running when I got home, I was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. I ended up reading more books, found some more minimalists out there and finally dived in January 2018. I am very new into my journey and enjoying the small positive changes I have already made in my life. The first few months have been a lot of decluttering and creating a capsule wardrobe. I am now starting to verge on the hard stuff, the sentimental items, the money talks with my husband and sharing this journey with my family and friends. Those are the things that are going to start making the big changes in our life and while I am excited for them, I know there will be some challenges. Since adopting the minimalist lifestyle I have encountered a few hard truths I would like to share with anyone considering minimalism.
#1 Making the Mental Shift
Minimalism goes beyond decluttering your home, garage, basement, etc. If you are going to continue to bring in items that don’t add value to your life you will never slow that process. You have to make the mental shift to stop buying the clutter. Put yourself on a shopping hiatus, minus groceries, don’t allow yourself to buy anything, I recommend doing a 30 Day Shopping Ban. By giving yourself and your bank account a break from spending you can start exercising your willpower muscle. Learning to love what you already and being very particular about what you bring into your home will give you the clarity you need to change your mindset towards shopping.
#2 The Comparision Trap
Minimalism looks different for each person and family. This is the one I struggle with the most. It is so much easier to look outward than in. There is no tutorial on how to become a minimalist. There is always going to be excess, not just in possessions but in all areas of our life. What I have learned is that minimalism looks different for everyone. I personally follow Joshua Becker’s definition “At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life.”
#3 What is Your Why?
Do you have a goal or purpose for adopting a minimalist lifestyle? Why do you want to simplify? Take the time to think about it, write it down and get excited about it. Minimalism will be what you need it to be. For me, I needed to gain back control of my time. My biggest ‘why’ was to get my schedule and commitments under control. By hitting that head on I have been able to move onto other areas with confidence.
#4 Fear of Judgment
Many of us live in a fear of judgment from others, I personally struggle with this fear. Judgment doesn’t do anything for anyone. If the fear of what others might think is holding you back the only advice I can give you is to push it out of your head. The reality of judgment is that people are always going to judge you, whether it is good or bad. Their judgment is coming from their own experiences. What other people think of you is none of your business and serves no purpose in your life.
#5 Minimalism Will Change Your Life
Embracing a minimalist lifestyle will bring many changes into your life. Some will be subtle and some will be glaringly obvious. I was aching for simplicity when I came across Josh and Ryan’s podcast, The Minimalists, and I haven’t looked back. I had heard of minimalism but thought of it as an extreme lifestyle that would never work for me and my family. Repeat this over and over to yourself, “minimalism looks different for each individual and every family“. I started with decluttering, then I took a major leap and stepped away from commitments that were too much which gave me the confidence to fully dive into minimalism in January (2018).All of these steps are going to add up to the big picture, which for me is a simpler life for my family and I. Whatever you want minimalism to look like for you only you can go for it, nobody else will be able to make it happen for you. Don’t let the fear of starting keep you from the life you deserve.