Becoming a Minimalist is hard. It takes a great deal of self awareness and some consideration outside of ourselves. For some that want to jump on the latest bandwagon, it is the popular thing to do. Join the tossing games, the clothing projects, and the online groups that promise peace for nothing. If you’re Becoming a Minimalist just to be popular, you won’t last long.
As with any project, passion, or journey there are good and bad things. We started towards minimalism 7 years ago and up until last year we have cycled to and from it at times. We are now committed to this lifestyle because it feels right. However, we aren’t perfect and we are human. Here’s ten things that make us hate it:
Other people give an opinion on our lifestyle.
If we lived as slobs or had a house packed full of stuff no one would say a word other than to commiserate with us about keeping it all stored neat and tidy or needing more stuff to keep up with the popular trends. In 2012 when I asked family to donate to a charity for me in lieu of a gift, everyone scoffed. We ended up exchanging gift cards that none of us really needed. It was ridiculous. Now they’ve come around but we still get a lot of, “OH! We couldn’t do THAT!”. Right. We never said everyone should do this. We just said that WE are doing it.
You won’t be popular in a good way.
If you are looking to be the cool kid, don’t become a minimalist. If you don’t give a (bleep) what everyone thinks then by all means forge ahead. Just know that shopping with your buddies won’t be a pastime anymore and if you have shallow friends that are concerned about what YOU wear then maybe find another. There are minimalists that find a way to combine fashion with minimalism but for the most part minimalists care little about shopping and fashion and never use the word. “haul”.
You can’t just buy on impulse.
If you are used to looking at shiny objects and snatching them up then Becoming a Minimalist is not for you. Purchases are required to be thoughtful and often happen over time. Keeping household inventory on one of the popular apps is helpful. The first time I walked into a store and walked out with nothing because it felt too good not to need any of it, I smiled the whole rest of the day.
Over time I actually changed.
Becoming a Minimalist changed me as a person. It sneaks up on you. You start out with just a notion and over time you become someone else. At some point you just don’t care what people think and you don’t need willpower anymore. Suddenly you cull your group of friends and stop spending time with the ones that are always in a state of chaos. If you don’t want to change then I suggest stopping this now.
Having less means you start to focus on you.
Once I cleaned everything out and not only owned less but needed less, I had to come to terms with the things that I had been ignoring on the inside. There was nothing left to distract me or to be in the way. I had to start looking at the things that were holding me back. It needs to be done but it’s not comfortable.
You naturally become an environmentalist.
When I started Becoming a Minimalist, I was doing it for selfish reasons. I wanted to do it for self improvement, for a clean house, for maybe even attention. What I never set out to do was consider the environment. It’s not that I’ve ever been against the environment or so selfish that I was blatantly abusive to it. It just wasn’t one of my goals. Now, as a family we are getting into zero waste home projects and doing things like putting solar on our house to make our carbon footprint smaller and in the process it just reinforces our minimalism.
No more excuses
When you clear the clutter in your home and your personal life you can’t come up with any excuses. There are less reasons for your bad behavior, including your tardiness, your procrastination, and your lack of consideration for others. When I decided the Becoming a Minimalist was a priority, I found that I couldn’t keep making excuses or being lazy. It was crystal clear that I had to step up because since I had made a point of telling one and all my minimalist intentions they all knew that I wasn’t too busy to be an upstanding person.
I found out being busy didn’t make me important.
This was a ego killer for me. I always thought that if I could tell everyone how busy I was doing this or that it would make me important, valued. When I decided to become a minimalist suddenly I wasn’t so busy and it felt empty and even wrong. I wavered. Then sat still for awhile and I realized that how busy I was didn’t matter. I could do a few MEANINGFUL things and have time for peace. It matters.
It turns out I couldn’t find 10 things I hate about Minimalism. I could only find 8. Although each one of these made me really uncomfortable at the time that I was going through it, I value each of them now. Becoming a Minimalist at times has been a spectrum of emotions including freeing, frustrating, limiting, soul-baring, mindful, and eventually at this moment there is peace. I always thought that at some point I would maybe get over minimalism, that it would lose its attraction but I only go deeper into it and want to take it to deeper levels at the right time in my life. Nothing is impossible.