Minimalism has been the talk of the town for the longest while. It has been called a short lived trend that will soon fade into oblivion, and on the contrary, considered the lifestyle of the future.
However, with all this minimalist lifestyle talk, most of what is being left out is the simple fact that minimalism is fucking hard, not only to achieve but also to maintain.
You have to come up with a plan to declutter, do the decluttering after you declutter you must organize, then find a few minimalist design pieces to spruce up your interior, then comes the super hard part, maintaining this lifestyle.
Today we give you four of the reasons why a minimalist lifestyle is easier said than done:
1. We are Consumers
In an article entitled “Escaping Excessive Consumerism“ on becomingminimalist.com, the writer states:
Excessive consumption leads to bigger houses, faster cars, trendier clothes, fancier technology, and overfilled drawers. It promises happiness, but never delivers. Instead, it results in a desire for more… a desire which is promoted by the world around us.
The uber consumerism society in which we live constantly stresses the need to have all the latest, hottest and newest devices. Every Fall we must have the latest iPhone or Samsung Note and we must have the newest fashion collections every season to stay on trend.
Achieving a minimalist lifestyle can be very difficult when we live in a world that thrives on social validation. We must have the most modern of items to reflect a certain living status among our friends, peers, and strangers, which leaves us always searching and wanting more.
Not only does this drive us down a path of no fulfillment but we are like puppets being pulled on strings by these companies, as we idly wait to gobble up whatever they put out, and trust me, they prey on our vulnerability.
Overcoming consumerism and adopting a lifestyle that focuses on what you need and not what you want is an uphill battle, but it comes down to priorities.
Do you want to keep making these companies richer, accumulating items you rarely use or upgrading to the latest phone when your old one still works just as good, to what end?
A minimalist lifestyle is hard to accomplish but in the end, it all comes down to focusing on what matters for your own happiness.
2. Getting Rid of Stuff is Scary
If you have ever thrown away or lost an item you cherished, then you know it is not the best feeling, especially if it is of sentimental value.
Getting rid of stuff, whether to minimize clutter in your living space or just, in general, can be a very emotional task. There are so many memories tied to things around your house or apartment, and this alone create a barrier that is difficult to cross. Sacred items cannot be touched!
Childhood books, college books, kitchen utensils, old clothes and shoes, all stuff that sends you back in time and hold a special place in your memory.
Achieving a minimalist lifestyle by decluttering all the old “junk” you might have around your place is never an easy task, but many people pretend to enjoy doing it.
On the contrary, it is a process that is mentally and emotionally draining as you will be on a roller coaster ride going through your past, but it also comes down to the hard question. Will I ever use it again?
This is a question you will never be able to answer, as its hard to know what the future holds, but if a minimalist lifestyle is your dream, it is something that must be done.
3. It Takes Effort
Minimalism takes effort, we know that, but it is a special type of effort. When the time comes to declutter your space it is a task that must be planned and executed very strategically, grocery shopping becomes a real chore as you have to create exact lists and stick to them, etc.
Our lives are already hectic as is, why would we want to add another layer to the clutter, but if a minimalist lifestyle is to be achieved, be cognizant of the fact that you will have to be observant of everything.
How much food you buy, how much clothes you buy, when to buy, how to buy, where to buy, it becomes a full-time job.
It must be said, however, that as you go along and this lifestyle becomes your norm, it will be like second nature, but in the beginning, it is the hardest thing to accomplish because it takes real effort and commitment.
4. We are Afraid of Change
In an unstuck.com article, Neurologist Dean Burnett states:
“In an evolutionary sense, the brain doesn’t like uncertainty. Anything uncertain is potentially a threat.”
As humans we are afraid of change in any form, it is viewed as the unknown for which we never know the outcome, and this is the case with adopting a minimalist lifestyle.
With minimalism, what are we trying to achieve? What is in it for me? Will all this work and effort make me a better person? Will I be happy?
These are serious questions that cross most people’s minds as they venture into the unknown. No matter how many stories you see online of people going minimalist and it working for them, your experience will always be different, hence caution, uncertainty, and fear is allowed to creep in.
You hear many stories of people going minimalist, but they rarely talk about how long it took them to reach a point where they were comfortable in the lifestyle. For many, it took weeks, months and even years.
Anything that changes lifelong habits will take some adjusting and fear of change is normal, but it also makes achieving a minimalist lifestyle easier said than done.
Minimalist Lifestyle Summary
Going minimalist requires effort, commitment, an appetite for change and overcoming your incessant consumerism tendencies. All of this is asking for a lot, and adopting a minimalist lifestyle is not for the faint of heart.
However, if you stay the course and tackle each of these tasks step by step and don’t overwhelm yourself all at once, it is very much achievable.
A lot of things are easier said than done, but if we chose not to do the hard things, we would still be in the dark ages.
Make the move, take the risk, do it because it’s hard, challenge yourself.