As minimalism is rather trendy right now, a lot of people are diving deep into it. I think it is a really good thing as I am a minimalist myself but I also think there is an enormous misconception of the whole lifestyle right now. It is over-glorified online, and that is why I would like to discuss with you seven very common mistakes I have been seeing in videos that you could make and that come directly from that glorified vision of minimalism.
Decluttering for the sake of decluttering (& regretting).
Please know that you do not have to declutter everything at once in order to have your house look just like your favorite youtuber’s house. I have done it myself and that is why I feel so legitimate giving this piece of advice. These people have been living a minimalist lifestyle for years and, above all, they are glorifying their own place for the sake of videography. Do not throw away items you think you could still love, take your time. Minimalism is all about the journey, not the destination.
Throwing away things that “do not look minimalist” (& buy new “more minimalist” things).
If you love that mug, just keep it. If minimalists seem to own only cups made out of wood and gorgeous marble surfaces, it does not mean you need to change the look of your whole entire house (and life). Minimalism is about loving your belongings and using them regularly. It is not about owning a bunch of useless things that have a minimalist look. Please note the difference between a minimalist lifestyle and minimalist-looking items (white mugs, anything made of wood, marble &c.)
Throwing away colorful clothes.
This piece of advice goes hand in hand with the previous one: do not throw away clothes you love because they have patterns on it or are “too colorful”. Minimalism is a lifestyle before it is an aesthetically pleasing house or wardrobe. If your colorful clothes bring you joy, if you feel great in red and green, do not invest in neutral colors you will actually never wear (or wear and feel bad in). Life is far too short to wear clothes you hate.
Decluttering without a plan.
You just can’t declutter “head first”. You need to have a plan, to know which drawer will be decluttered first and which room needs to be decluttered before the other ones. If you try to declutter a little bit in the kitchen and a part of your wardrobe, you are just going to feel discouraged. You probably have no idea of the amount of stuff you own and trying to declutter only when you feel like it and in various rooms will probably make you very disappointed. You will never see real advances but if you say “this month, I will declutter the wardrobe and the drawers in my bedroom”, then you will see a real difference at the end of the month.
Comparing your journey to others’.
As I told you in the beginning of that post, some people have been doing that for years and others are just merely lying about the way their life actually looks (and feels) like. Just follow your own path, do not rush it and enjoy every minute of it. Minimalism should be enjoyable, not boring or disheartening.
Counting your belongings.
I discussed this topic lately in that post so if you need extra-motivation, have a look at it. Minimalism is about owning items you care about and that serve a purpose or bring you infinite joy. You just can’t count your items as you have needs that are personal and differ from other people’s needs. And that is just fine. Make sure you own items that are good for you, but the goal here is not to feel bad each and every time you want to buy something new or keep an item other minimalists’ may find useless. It is your choice, your path, not theirs.
Not telling your friends and family.
You do not tell them about your journey for them to understand (some people just can’t and that is fine, they do not have to be on the same journey to be in your life). You talk to them because you want them to stop giving you those gifts you feel so guilty throwing away. Most of your friends and family members will probably never get the point in living a minimalist life, but they can totally end up understanding that you just sincerely do not want material gifts anymore. However, you need to tell them or they will never understand that they should stop and
I hope that this list will help you avoid some of the mistakes I made myself. I also hope it will also help you see that minimalism needs to be an enjoyable journey and not a painful road to some destination.