I share common minimalism mistakes & how to avoid them.
The phrase that life is a journey and not a destination has been one of my main motivators on this minimalism journey. What keeps you motivated for a minimalist lifestyle?
What is minimalism?
When I think of minimalism I think of a life that is simple and easy to manage.
For out minimalist home we have a few ideas that we focus on:
1. Only keeping what is used on a regular basis.
2. Reducing surface and closet clutter
3. Limiting impulse buying
One of the best benefits of minimalism is there is no one-size-fits-all. You don’t have to conform to what others are doing. Do what works for you and call that good enough.
I am a stay-at-home mom. I was becoming tired and overwhelmed with all the things I managed in the day. My first-responder husband works busy, unpredictable hours. I wear a lot of different hats and was becoming tired of “doing it all”. I desperately needed a big change.
My solution? Declutter our home.
I went through every nook and cranny in our home. I went over spaces several times and only kept what we use regularly. The decluttering processes changed everything for me.
Life has become more enjoyable. I am able to get back into the things that bring me joy and I thoroughly enjoy taking care of our home.
How do I know about these common minimalism mistakes?
No one is perfect, least of all me. Come learn from my mess-ups and mistakes so that you can start off strong and continue to do well with your minimalism journey. All of the mistakes that I have listed below are ones that I have personally done at some point.
What’s the biggest lesson I learned from these minimalist mistakes?
Mistakes are good! Mistakes allow you to change, adapt, and grow.
In the past, I might have thought a mistake was terrible. But now I have come to love the mistakes or learning opportunities. I am a work in progress. Aren’t we all?
Five Common Minimalist Mistakes
1. Waiting to drop off donations
The first mistake I made was holding onto donations and waiting to drop them off.
I learned that if I left donations in our home those items would somehow find their way back inside the house.
A solution is to donate items as soon as possible. Get those items out of your home.
I like to place our donations in the trunk of the van. The next time I’m by a donation center. I will drop them off.
2. Thinking I had to do a massive declutter
On social media, I would see people doing these massive decluttering sessions. I thought I had to do the same. But guess what folks, I have a busy life and I bet you do too. I didn’t have the time to spend hours decluttering.
The solution was to regularly declutter in 5-15 minutes chunks. I used nap times to my advantage. Every nap time I would declutter a small area in our home.
Find a few times throughout your day or week to declutter small areas of your home. Try adding decluttering to your weekly cleaning routine. Start small and I guarantee you will see a difference quickly.
3. Continuing to impulse buy
The third mistake I made was not changing my buying habits.
I learned that I am an impulse shopper. If I saw something I wanted in the store, I would buy it. Often it was something small and insignificant, like a cute new decor piece or a nice smelling candle. Nothing too expensive. And nothing I needed.
But I realized that even though our home was feeling more minimalist, I still had a way to go. Then I had a realization. I was bringing more items but not decluttering other items out. So even though I was diligent with decluttering, I was still having too many items.
A solution is to become aware of your buying habits. For a month, keep track of all of the purchases you made. Once the month is over, highlight any of the purchases that were impulse purchases. This exercise might surprise you a little. It sure surprised me!
Once I was aware of my buying habits I was about to fix my problem; 7 Free ways to Reduce Impulse Buying.
If you have been on a journey to simplify your home, pay close attention to your buying habits. Aside from decluttering, this one area that will drastically improve your home for the better.
4. Paying attention to others opinions
When I started with the journey, I was worried that others might think our home looked weird. But I realized that no one cared about what our home looked like.
A possible solution is to remember that at the end of the day, you are the one living your life. The only opinion that matters is the people living in the home. That’s it.
If you are really worried, have a conversation with your family and friend that visit often. Explain that you are trying something new. I have done that with my family and they were very receptive to the changes that we have made in our home.
Who knows, you might have some other friends and family that want to join you on this journey. Wouldn’t that be fun!
5. Decluttering other people’s stuff
The last minimalism mistake I made was wanting to declutter other people’s stuff. You can’t force people to change.
The solution is don’t touch or declutter other people’s stuff. If they ask for help, feel free to help them. But I ignored my other family members’ stuff. Other than our two children, they are still young enough where they need my help with decluttering.
The best way to get others on board is to show them what you are doing. After seeing how beneficial minimalism is in your life, hopefully, they will get on board.
After about a year of me decluttering our home, my husband saw the benefits of what I was doing. He got on board with our minimalism journey.
Minimalism mistakes conclusion
At the end of the day, remember that this is your own unique journey, and do the best that you can do. Minimalism is a journey, not a destination.