Some people say minimalism is hard. I disagree with this and think that not only is it easy to be a minimalist, but in turn it will make your life easier. However, when you first embrace minimalism, you might find that there are several obstacles to overcome.
If you’re interested in minimalism and thinking about starting to simplify your life, here are five things that will probably happen when you decide to start minimising, and how to deal with them:
It will take time, effort and dedication – at least at first.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the saying goes. Your clutter didn’t appear overnight; it took years (possibly decades) to build up. So don’t expect to get rid of it all in just a few days. The process will probably be both physically and mentally taxing. You’ll have to face up to old memories and make some difficult decisions about your stuff.
You’ll also have to make multiple trips to the charity shop – and anything you decide to sell will have to be photographed, listed online, packaged and taken to the post office. You might not get as much as you hoped for your beloved items.
You just have to roll with the punches, keep going and know that you’ll feel so much better when the stuff is out of your life and you have a more spacious home to live in.
You may throw away something you later need.
This has personally never happened to me, but it’s entirely possible that you might get rid of something and then a few weeks or months later, think: Why did I throw that away? I want it now.
This mainly happens for one of two reasons – you either get so excited when you discover minimalism that you throw all your belongings out without thinking whether you actually need them, or the fact that you’ve just let something go and you know you can’t have it anymore makes you want it back.
If this happens to you, either repurchase the item, use something similar to do the job, or just go without. But think about all the things you threw out that you didn’tneed afterwards – surely it’s worth the risk of possibly having to rebuy one thing in order not to have to live with all the rest?
Not everyone will understand your journey.
When you start getting rid of your belongings, don’t be surprised if your friends and family are a little alarmed. They’ll probably say you’re being too extreme and might worry that you’re depressed or suicidal. You’ll have to reassure them that you’re just eliminating the clutter to help you live a happier, more meaningful life.
As with any new lifestyle, it’ll take time for those who care about you to adjust – but they will.
Even other minimalists will judge you.
At the other end of the spectrum are those who’ll think you’re not extreme enough. They’ll tell you that you can’t be a minimalist if you have a car/bed/job and aren’t living in the woods with just ten items in a tiny backpack.
But the truth is that minimalism looks different for everyone. Something that adds immense value to my life may mean nothing to you and vice versa. So ignore the negativity and realise that as long as you’re living with intention and eliminating the unnecessary from your life, you’re a minimalist.
You might fall off the wagon – and that’s okay.
Especially at the beginning of your minimalist journey, you may find that the house becomes re-cluttered not long after you’ve spent all that effort de-cluttering it. This is probably because you either still have too many things (that don’t have a designated place) or because you’re still buying things you don’t need.
However, one or two slip-ups don’t mean you’ve failed at minimalism. It’s a bit like healthy eating – if one day doesn’t go to plan, just shrug it off and get back on the wagon the next day. If you’ve gone on a shopping spree you now regret, just return the items to the store – or keep them if you want, no judgement – and resolve not to give in to the temptation next time.
The impulse to buy new things lessens over time, I promise.
I hope these five tips will help you on your minimalist journey and reassure you that you’re not alone if you don’t find it easy going at first. For more minimalism tips as well as personal development and healthy living advice, check out my blog at http://nicshealthylife.co.uk.
If you are wanting to guest post on my blog, be sure to get in touch – either on the contact page or via social media. I also consider swapping guest posts like I’ve done with Nicola here, my guest post for her blog can be found on her blog.