1. You have to Throw it All Away
No, you don’t have to get rid of all your material possessions to be minimalist. Far from it. In fact, minimalism aims to realize the things you have the most in your life that are consuming your time and well-being. Once you have done this analysis, which can take up to several months, you can then throw away, sell or donate what you realize is of no value to your life. Minimalism is not about focusing on stuff or focusing on not-having stuff, it’s about focusing on what makes you happy.
2. It’s Anti Technology and Anti Progress
3. You Can’t Buy New Things
Minimalists, or people who choose to live on less, are not against consumption. Minimalists only promote another type of consumption: the conscious. What makes the real difference in the consumption is that minimalists are replacing (not adding) things they already own. And yes, sometimes we also buy things just because they make us happy. Because “making me happy” is an intention. The key, as in everything, is balance and purpose.
4. You Can’t Have More Than 100 Items
5. Minimalists are Detached Robots
Being detached from material possessions doesn’t mean that minimalists are insensitive or unemotional. It might look cold to others if you throw away that drawing your son did the other day in school, but the truth is that we can not keep everything.
Treasuring a memory doesn’t mean we need to keep the material things that give us that memory. Those emotions live within us, and that’s something that the possession – or loss – of a material thing can’t take from us. Most minimalists I know are sentimental but we just keep memories alive through photos and journal entries rather than souvenirs. I make my own photo albums (old style!) so I have physical memories that I can share one day with my boys (and I will not lose them in case my smartphone or memory disk stops working).
6. It’s Only for “Fancy People”
The idea that minimalism is only practiced by people on the fringes of society could not be more wrong. In fact, more and more people are joining the movement and recognizing its numerous advantages. Minimalists come in all genders, races, nationalities, social classes, and religions.
Much has been said that minimalism is only for the rich and wealthy because they can afford to buy whatever they need whenever necessary, but, even though the wealthy have that advantage, that doesn’t mean that you can not be a minimalist if your income is below average. First of all, because minimalism is not about buying or not buying. Secondly, because minimalism is not about a number or about a style. It’s about keeping with you whatever makes you happy which includes, of course, what is useful and necessary to your life and well being.
Also, you do not have to follow any specific decorating style. Keep your own style, whatever that is.
Let me know if you have any questions, in the comments below.
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