In a world full of comparison one thing I’ve stopped doing is comparing my minimalistic tendencies towards others. Minimalism to me is living a life with less stuff, which in turn allows me more space to enjoy what’s most important. In order to try not and allow the little things to bother me (although at times they do). I mean, I’m only human. Regardless, I’ve realized that a lot of us compare our minimalistic ways to each other. Like, “you’re not a minimalist if you own more than 100 things“, or “you’re not a minimalist because you went to the store to purchase toxic, conventional toothpaste“. Just because someone lives their minimal life different from yours, doesn’t mean that their minimalism is any better than yours.
One TED Talk that is great to listen to that discusses this issue is A Rich Life With Less Stuff by The Minimalists. These men began living minimally after living very sad and unfulfilling lives. Most people view minimalism as a fad and something that will pass overtime. I think it will to a certain degree because eventually people will move onto the “best next thing”. However, to me, what minimalism has taught me about life, happiness, and learning will stay with me forever. I am not one of the people that only owns 100 things, or someone that never makes a purchase. Because I do, and I don’t think that will ever change.
why i don’t compare my minimalism to others:
1 | i had to start somewhere
Any day you can decide that you want to become a minimalist and throw out all of your possessions the Marie Kondo way. Another approach is to live a very simple and minimal lifestyle. Such as re-evaulating your spending habits, or purchasing items in bulk to save time and money.
You have to start somewhere. You don’t achieve a particular “minimalist” level (whatever that means) overnight. It definitely takes time.
I’ve been on my journey for going on three years now. I learn something new each time I want to approach my clothing, toiletries, skincare, or spending. Slowly, but surely I have cut out what is unnecessary and focused on curating things that I’d like to acquire. There is no point in living an unhappy, dissatisfied life because you’re trying to live up to an idea of something that doesn’t even matter!
“There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.” ― Nigel Marsh
2 | i make purchases
I have definitely went through spending binges while being a minimalist and I was always afraid to say so. Because that’s not what a minimalist is supposed to be like. But instead of comparing my own life to someone else’s because I didn’t own any jeans, and I needed one pair. It made me realize that everyone’s definition and purpose for living minimally varies.
I do make purchase sometimes, but I’ve found new and simpler approaches to spending. Instead of blowing all of my money on fast fashion, I’ve decided to take a better approach when it comes to my wardrobe. I have also tried a new approach when it comes to toiletries and that will be coming to the blog very soon.
Makeup has also been one thing that I haven’t been truly passionate about until I got into my twenties. I wanted to be able to do simple makeup on myself since I’m becoming more of a lover of it. Therefore, I created a minimal makeup collection of the bare necessities of what I wanted to acquire.
Making purchases doesn’t mean that you aren’t a minimalist. How you make purchases based on needs versus wants determines how you’re becoming one. To reiterate my last point, you have to start somewhere.
3 | i don’t live an all-natural, organic, and sustainable lifestyle
One of my favorite blogs that lead me to start living a simpler, more minimal lifestyle is Erin Boyle over at Reading My Tea Leaves. The reason I’m mentioning her is because she discusses slow, simple, and sustainable living. I love the idea of living a very eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle. However, I’ve realized that this is not a lifestyle that is conducive to me and that is completely okay.
I am all for all-natural and organic products for your home, life, and body. There are some that I love and some that I don’t, which is why I still use a lot of conventional products. At one point, I was switching all of my products to all-natural and organic because it was “the right thing to do”. But I’ve learned that it works for some, but not all. I am also allergic to coconut oil, which is the main ingredient in a lot of organic products. At the same time, I have extremely sensitive skin, so I have to be careful with what I put on my body no matter what!
This point is mainly to show you that you don’t have to make all of your own products to live a minimal lifestyle – do what works best for you! I love using all-natural and organic cleaning products, since I’ve made that switch and I don’t think that will ever change. However, when it comes to my current skincare products some conventional products have worked better for me than all-natural products, and that is okay too.
There are still some products I’d like to change and some ways I’d like to live more sustainably, like with my wardrobe. But overall, I’m not switching to a 100% all-natural and organic lifestyle, which is completely fine.
4 | i focus on living my life, not others
I’ve also had to learn that I need to focus on living my own life and not everyone else’s. Just because other people don’t dream of having a tiny house, but I do is okay. I can’t make everyone change the trajectory of their life because this is the life that I’ve chosen to live. I’ve learned to live in the present and let go of control in order to live a simple, minimal life that is true to who I am.
Even if you are remotely curious about minimalism, try reading a book or an article on the subject (suggestions below). It may make you want to pay off your debt faster, or spend less on clothes when you barely wear what you currently own. A capsule wardrobe may help you purchase quality items that fit you better, or decluttering may help you have more space for storage. You never know what life will bring you when you focus on your situation instead of others.
- My posts on minimalism:
- The Minimalists – What Is Minimalism?
- Courtney Carver from Be More With Less – Minimalism Is Nothing But Love
- Colin Wright from Exile Lifestyle – Minimalism Explained
- Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist – Don’t Just Declutter, De-own.
- Caroline from Un-Fancy – What Is A Capsule Wardrobe, Anyway?
- Catherine from The Blissful Mind – Is Minimalism Just Another Trend?
- Erin Boyle from Reading My Tea Leaves – Simple Matters book
Becoming a minimalist is one of the best decisions I have ever made for my own life. It has helped me hone in on what it is truly important to me and let go of the rest.
how do you feel about minimalism?