The minimalist lifestyle, while appealing to many millennials, should be approached with an open and reasonable mindset. While anyone can adopt this lifestyle, it is more suitable to certain people. There are plenty of stereotypes about what constitutes minimalist living and here we will dispel any myths while shedding light on some truth.
Myth: You can’t own any “nice” things
The most common preconception about minimalist living is to own as few possessions as possible, but this doesn’t really mean you can’t own nice, or expensive things. If anything, minimalism advocates having less in terms of quantity, but not quality.
Owning fewer things directly correlates with owning better things. Instead of having a dozen pairs of cheap jeans you can have two pairs of the best quality denim. This is a tenet to the lifestyle: when you purchase fewer things, you’ll be able to put more thought and money into the things you acquire, and subsequently get better use out of said things.
Truth: Minimalist living can be adopted by anyone
Some have criticized minimalism as a lifestyle only the wealthy can afford. After all, it only makes sense for those who have accumulated so many riches to grow weary, while having a safety net just in case. But any person from any type of lifestyle can adopt minimalist living if they so choose. It simply depends on the adjustments.
A single father with three children working a full-time job will be making different adjustments versus a single woman with a part-time job. There are no “ten commandments” when it comes to the lifestyle. So long as you understand why you are doing it, and that you are doing it for the right reasons, you can live more by having less.
Myth: Minimalists must be vegans/environmentalists/straight edge
There are some who believe minimalists take it to the next level, not just in terms of their possessions, but towards their entire lifestyle. This involves saving the planet by turning to veganism, environmentalism, and/or becoming straight edge (avoiding alcohol, drugs of all sorts, caffeine and promiscuous sex).
Contrary to this belief, minimalists still have the freedom to do and act as they please. Minimalists aren’t against buying possessions or altering their entire belief system. Instead, they believe in shedding the unnecessary to make room for the necessary. If this includes certain lifestyle changes such as veganism or cutting out alcohol, than so be it, but one person’s individual choices are not representative of the entire movement.
Truth: Minimalist living is about addition, not subtraction
The main goal of minimalism is to add value to your life by subtracting things that dilute it. The logistics involve a lot of decluttering, but too often people become focused on this process. Removing some of your possessions is simply a means to an end. Minimalist living raises the importance of the less you have.
You develop gratitude, peace of mind and even more freedom. You learn to appreciate the little you own, instead of taking for granted the many things you own. You may free up space in your house and have an easier time picking which clothes to wear or what activities to do. You spend less time fixating on keeping up with the Joneses and more time on being yourself. Less is more.