I’m very excited to introduce a new series called Minimalism Myths! I take a common misconception or complaint about living a minimalist lifestyle and help you work through that myth. Think of these “minimalism myths” as obstacles on your path to living more intentional life with less. This week: Minimalists Hate Stuff.
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Myth: Minimalists hate stuff.
At first glance, it would appear that all minimalists hate stuff. This is especially true if you’ve started your minimalist lifestyle research by watching videos of “extreme minimalism”. You know, the ones where they count the whole 100 items that they own.
While as appealing as that may be, most of us minimalists don’t only own *100* items. On the contrary, we may own hundreds or even thousands of items.
Fun fact: the average American household contains over 300,000 items.
So while the amount of things we own appears minimal to the average home in the US, that’s kinda the point. We just own less. It doesn’t mean minimalists hate stuff.
So what’s a minimalist love about stuff? Glad you asked.
Stuff can still bring joy.
One thing I often hear when speaking to someone about minimalism is that they can’t let go of things because it brings them joy to own, but that item isn’t very useful so they feel torn or like decluttering isn’t for them.
Who said that all items that you own have to be directly useful in your everyday life? Can’t an item’s use be to bring you joy?
I don’t own a macramé plant holder because it only serves the purpose of holding my plant. I own it because it also brings us joy. Not only because it’s nice to look at, but also I’m reminded that I scored a great deal on it at a garage sale! 🙂
Things in your life can be useful, bring you joy, or be useful and joyful. Not everything has to serve a direct purpose and be used every single day or it gets the boot!
I hated it, so I got rid of it.
To be honest, I do hate some stuff. Like crop tops, microfiber furniture, and porcelain dolls. So if I really dislike something, Imma get rid of it (or just not buy it in the first place, but that’s a different story).
Decluttering was like the permission slip I needed in order to rid our home of things I hated, disliked, settled for, or no longer used.
Did I try my best to find these
hated unwanted items a new home – yes! Thank goodness for yard sales and Buy Nothing Groups. Just because it didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.
I let go of the things I hated in order to make room for the things I loved.
Maybe minimalist actually love to use things?
As much as a minimalist likes to declutter, they also may love their things (in a non-consumerist way, of course).
When we decluttered the first time, I saw that we only used a small portion of the items in our home. After many rounds of maintenance decluttering and moving, the majority of items that we use on a daily basis are things that we love to use.
Are we obsessed with stuff and things? No!
BUT I do enjoy using my favorite wooden spoon to stir a good curry in my favorite cast iron skillet. Do I need to purchase three backup wooden spoons in the event my favorite one breaks? Nope! I’ll just find a new favorite when that happens.
When you own less stuff, you aren’t worried about making place for and using every single own of your items. You don’t have many “just in case my favorite breaks” or “I don’t want to wear out my favorite ____” items. Hold on to your favorite things. Let go of the rest.
It’s okay and wonderful to own things. It’s even more of a privilege to let go of the things you don’t like or no longer need. These things that we own should make our lives easier because we use them or they bring us joy – not get in the way.