What mistakes do beginning minimalists make? Over the past 4 years, I simplified my diet, my stuff, my debt, my health, my home, and my busyness, evolving past being a beginning minimalist lifestyle.
There are a few reasons why I intentionally decided to take action. I will not get into that here. The action I took led me to unintentionally evolve into a living simple minimalist.
Due to my journey being haphazard and unintentional I made common mistakes as a beginning minimalist. I am thankful to have stumbled upon the minimalist lifestyle.
It has quieted the distracting noise in my life (and most of the voices in my head). LOL. It has helped me to become more organized, less stressed, and enjoy life more.
Below I have listed and explained common mistakes beginning minimalists make and what I have experienced. If you are a beginning minimalist try to avoid them.
If you are a more seasoned living simple minimalist reply, agree, disagree, or enlighten us with some of your own wisdom to help us all.
I Don’t Have A Stuff Problem
Many people looking to explore minimalism believe that they do not have a problem. They believe that minimalism may help them make a few small adjustments to enhance their life.
Some people see minimalism as just a cool fad that they will become part of to get some cool points.
As time goes on they learn to edit, downsize, and de-clutter their belongings. They learn how much stuff they could more happily live without. Most of all they learn to do the same at work and in personal relationships.
Minimalist philosophy begins to spill over into all spaces they occupy during the day. Life becomes more fluid and stress-free as they are less burdened by the unnecessary non-essential clutter of modern life.
Clutter is not only physical clutter but also spiritual and mental baggage. Your life begins to boil down to only include the essentials and you begin to enjoy it.
Your friends and family notice a difference and some just don’t understand but you appreciate realizing the immediate power of focusing on the more important and the essentials of life.
You actually realize “Less is More” and you finally truly embrace it. In time you would have arrived at this wonderful conclusion more quickly. If you did not make the mistakes beginning minimalist make of believing you did not have a problem.
You have to be more open to the possibility that you could benefit from minimalism and the simple living philosophy.
Declare A Clutter-Free Zone
Don’t try to do everything at one time. The beginning minimalist needs to remember it is a lifestyle. As you follow the principles that work best for you there could be a growing false sense of success brewing inside of you.
Your closet, garage, and attic look great. Your desk is clutter-free and you are more organized at work. Only possessing and managing the essentials in your life makes you less stressed and more efficient.
You have more time to spend with friends and family and you appreciate it immensely.
The beginning minimalist needs to keep that success going and growing. To do that he or she needs a simple plan. I suggest you create a clutter-free zone plan. Declare areas in your life that you struggle with as clutter-free zones. For me, it would be the area near my front door.
I had a habit of kicking off my shoes on the floor and throwing my jacket in the nearby chair. I had a habit of willingly making a mess with the promise of cleaning it up later. For some of you, it is your desk at work or your work schedule.
For others, it can be committing too much time to friends and their functions.
The beginning minimalist needs to designate those areas in their lives as clutter-free zones. Created the mental plan ahead of time to keep those areas clutter-free and easily manageable. Don’t make the mess you usually make in these areas.
Put things where they belong, physically, spiritually, and mentally. Keep only what you will actually use on your desk. Don’t overbook appointments on your schedule. Also, don’t over-commit socially. Leave room for a peaceful existence.
You get the point. The beginning minimalist will try to handle everything on the fly and slow their overall progress. Focus on the areas you find yourself struggling with.
Declare them as clutter-free zones. With a little focus, these areas will become more enjoyable areas in your life and people will notice.
Discard The Duplicates
As a Beginner Minimalist don’t forget to discard duplicates. You can edit down a little more without pain. Check for items that serve the same purpose in your life and edit all but one of them.
How many pairs of boots do you need? Do you need 5 winter coats? How many fishing rods do you need? How many handbags do you need?
Check the kitchen and garage for duplicate items to edit down. If you are anything like me, you are a sucker for tools and gadgets. Downsize, reduce, reuse, recycle, and restore.
This will add to streamlining your life and help you avoid decision fatigue. It can even go a long way to relieving stress from your life depending on how many duplicate items you own.
Unfriend and Unfollow The Peanut Gallery
Don’t hesitate to unfriend and unfollow your minimalist detractors mentally and sometimes physically. We all have fake people on our friend lists who are always posting offensive jokes and poorly researched information. Don’t let false friends impede your progress. Unfriend them for a while.
Good friends and family can be harsh when they don’t understand something. Under the guise of caring about you, friends and family can be brutal with criticism, hostility, and over-involvement in an attempt to alter your behavior to their liking.
You can’t just unfriend and unfollow good friends and family. They play an important role in your life and will always be around.
You can unfriend and unfollow them symbolically. Stand strong against this type of negative behavior should it arise. Don’t argue and plead your case. Just smile and continue your progress toward understanding the minimalist lifestyle. When you unfriend and unfollow them symbolically they will notice.
They will also notice you are happier, more organized, less stressed, and have more disposable income and time to create great memories with them. This may get their attention and you may then actually have an intelligent conversation about the benefits of living the minimalist lifestyle.
Beginning Minimalist Keeping Things Just In Case
Keeping Things Just In Case, for what? If you are not using it discard or donate it. Anything that does not add value to your life or make you happy should be reevaluated.
If it does not invoke a positive emotion or if you would not immediately replace it if lost it probably should be sold, donated, or discarded.
Trust your instinct and not your emotions. If there was a case for the item it would have happened already. In the remote chance that you discarded the item you now need, just use something you already own or borrow the item from another source for that one-time use.
As a beginning minimalist, you should quickly learn not to emotionally hold on to items just in case. Release those items and release the stress of owning, storing, and managing them as well.
Learn to be happy with the important essentials in life. Learn to live light and free. The less you own the happier you will be. This is a valuable concept that eludes the beginning minimalist in the early days. Stuff doesn’t make us happy. Not even money guarantees happiness.