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What Minimalism Is NOT – Part 23

Jul 20, 2021

There are a lot of common misconceptions about minimalism. By addressing these common misconceptions, you will realise that minimalism is attainable and can benefit you.

1. Minimalism is about getting rid of everything you own
It’s true that a big part of minimalism is removing things from your life. But the focus of minimalism shouldn’t be on what you are getting rid of. The focus should be on what you GAIN by letting go of the things that don’t bring value to your life.
Instead of focusing on what you’re getting rid of, focus on what minimalism gives you more of. More time, more space, more peace, more freedom.

Minimalism is not about deprivation. It is about intentionally choosing to live with less in order to have more time and space for what is most important in your life.

2. Minimalism is so restrictive it makes life harder
A common misconception is that minimalism makes life harder because you live with so little. That being a minimalist means getting rid of everything but the bare essentials, including things that make life more convenient.
Life as a minimalist is actually easier in many ways. You spend less time cleaning, picking up, looking for things, maintaining your stuff, organizing your stuff, etc. After adopting a minimalist mind set, many people see that things they thought made life easier, are actually stealing their time and their space.

Minimalism is not about getting rid of something if you actually use it often and it makes your life easier. It’s about getting rid of the things that aren’t used or needed and are just cluttering your home.

3. Minimalism and being frugal are the same things
There is some overlap between minimalism and frugality, as both promote being intentional about how you spend your money. Some people may even turn towards minimalism in an effort to be more frugal.
But minimalism and frugality are not the same. Minimalism goes beyond having less solely for the purpose of saving money. Minimalism is about living with less in order to have the time and space for what matters most in your life.
Additionally, minimalists may choose to buy fewer items but purchase higher quality items. But they are still intentional about how they spend, by buying less. But are not focused on being frugal because they are willing to spend more on a higher quality item.

4. You can’t have collections or hobbies if you are a minimalist
A common misconception is that minimalism means you can’t keep the things you love. Or you can’t have a collection that brings you joy. Or even that you can’t have a hobby that involves physical supplies.
Again, minimalism doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything you own. Minimalism means being intentional about what you keep. Editing your possessions down to only the things you love and use. Getting rid of the excess allows you to use and enjoy the things you love more.

The key to minimalism is moderation. Rather than having 14 collections, decide to keep one or two that you truly use or love. It might mean editing your collection to only the best pieces so you can highlight those pieces and not lose them in an overgrown collection.

5. Minimalism means stark, all-white rooms that look cold and uninviting
While there is a minimalist design aesthetic, often characterized by all-white rooms with little furniture or décor, that doesn’t mean that’s the ONLY way minimalism can look.

In fact, minimalism as a lifestyle doesn’t have to look a certain way at all. A minimalist room can also be colourful with books, throw blankets, pillows, etc. Minimalism is when the only things you keep in your space are those that you use often and love. It should be personal and unique to you, so everyone’s version of it will look different.
Get specific about how you want minimalism to look and feel in your home. For example, the term “cozy minimalism” describes a space that is minimal and uncluttered, but still cozy.

6. You have to follow a certain set of rules or standards to be a true minimalist
Some people do experiment with following a certain set of rules, like living with less than 100 things or having less than 37 pieces in their wardrobe. But that is not the only way to be a minimalist. The great thing about minimalism is that you can create your own set of rules. And those rules can change as your life changes.

7. You can’t be a minimalist if you have kids. Minimalism only works for young, single people
Anyone can be a minimalist. It doesn’t matter where you live or what you do for work. It doesn’t matter if you are single, or have a large family.

In fact, the larger your family, the more benefits you’ll notice from minimalism. The more people in your house, the more stuff you tend to have. Removing the excess and adopting a minimalist lifestyle could be even more important for families.

As these days of Hajj pass us by, let us reflect on the lessons that resound in Hajj, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what`s your occupation, what size home you live in, what car you drive, or what`s your bank balance. During Hajj, King and beggar all stand together, pleading to Allah for forgiveness – at the end, on the Day of Qiyamah, won`t we all stand the same?

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