We all agree that recently minimalism became almost a taboo topic.
From my perspective it is because many people started to referring to this more often. Since it’s a lifestyle everyone will try to adjust it to their personal needs. Which means each and every person will represent slightly different approach to the topic. And that is completely natural. Strong recognizable individuals represent their way of living minimal which not so rarely is pretty extreme. The same goes with social media where every day we see perfectly designed
and almost uninviting interiors. But true minimalism is not about visuals, it’s about values. And as long as we try to stand for what is the core of this lifestyle we don’t need to worry about following issues. But common misconceptions about minimalism have a little bit of truth in background. For everyone who’s not convinced to this whole minimal idea I prepared an explanation.
1. Minimalist must have precise amount of items. So let it be 100.
This is the most significant of common misconceptions about minimalism. It has been spread at the very beginning of popularizing minimalism that we should own no more than 100 items. And because of that, in faraway land, in this moment, someone is wondering if pair of shoes is one item or two..
Number 100 is more of a guide not a rule. It was recommended because our brain likes order and control. We tend to adopt set of rules to stay ordered. And the acknowledgement of amount of items we own creates the impression that we are in charge, not our mess. That is why the number 100 appeared in the first place. Regardless, sometimes a brief count of our underwear may amaze us. How many things we actually have. Truly it is about having an essential amount of our possessions.
Summarizing items from different kind together is completely unnecessary. Its’s just irrelevant if you have one T-shirt, one charger and one chair and someone has 3 t-shirts because doesn’t need a charger or a chair. Someone who has 100 things, from among which a half doesn’t use, is not a minimalist just because hasn’t crossed some fancy number.
2. You have to be rich or poor to become a true minimalist.
Like there is no in-between. People started to redefine the minimalism from what was at the beginning. Generically it was brought to life ages ago and was driven by totally different purposes than nowadays. Style of living that was once referring to the poverty now became a symbol of luxury. But in western society the largest community is middle class. Majority of this community can afford almost everything what they can find in high-street shops. That’s why for some folks, minimalism is only for people who cannot afford all those things. Or for those lucky ones who are able to buy designer stuff only.
Minimalist will buy something that is necessary not just because it’s affordable. Which means that person who buys drugstore mascara is on the same level as person who buys Chanel one, as long as both their purchases are conscious.
3. Minimalist is wearing only black, white and grey clothes.
Natural earthy tones and black, white or grey are just easiest to style. Since minimalism is about concentrating on what really matters, choosing easy to wear wardrobe is very common.
Having a cohesive set of clothes helps to get dressed quickly so we can save our time on that. On the other hand it tells us about purchasing items that are cut suitable to our style or figure. Which can also boost our satisfaction when comes to morning “what to wear” dilemma. Because in general minimalism leads to simplifying our daily small issues so we can put all our energy into something that we honestly enjoy. If you gravitate towards bright, lively colors and you don’t have issues with matching everything together, and enjoy styling your clothes then by all means call yourself a minimalist!
4. Minimalists are vegan.
It’s among common misconceptions about minimalism because both lifestyles were built on some similar assumptions. Minimalizing waste our household produces, but also buying things that are ecofriendly become more and more important for conscious buyers. Mass production of meat is harmful for the environment, so many people are choosing to give up meat and dairy. (Every mass production creates waste and pollutions, another example are clothing companies.) Of course it’s not only about animal products but they are always listed as the most damaging ones. Ecology itself is not in the core of minimalism but purchasing less items results in producing less waste anyway.
Everyone can eat meat every day, as much as it’s healthy and satisfying. Just a little bit of an effort would be required. Buying food from local contractors instead supermarkets is a good solution. We ought to remember that our small choices are making the biggest change.
5. Minimalism is not for families with children.
Since minimalism is perceived as an ascetic lifestyle, kids and their needs seem not fit the picture. We have this image of a happy, smiling kid with lots of toys. Also the instinct is pushing us to provide our children with almost everything they want.
Again it’s not about the amount of anything, in this matter toys. Being a minimalist in family doesn’t mean that children won’t have things to play with. I’d dare to say that minimalism is the best way to bond family members even more. Simply because saving time on things we don’t need and spending it with children is the most gratifying thing. Anyways, I’m not an expert on this particular topic. I recommend you to visit Leo Babuta’s site. He has six kids and is one of the most iconic minimalist.
We finally made it to the end. I’m aware of many other issues but I gathered the most common misconceptions about minimalism I personally was confronted with.
And of course it’s only a lifestyle, we can change it anytime. So if you buy things compulsively, you have no idea how many pants you owe but it makes you really happy, and you don’t have problems with this… Then guess what, you’re a little bit a minimalist. Because everything we do that makes us happy (without hurting others) is worth trying.
What do you think? Say hi in comment if you call yourself a minimalists! Have you ever experienced some of this misconceptions? End everyone who have different point of view, also let me know!
Have a nice day guys 🙂