What Minimalism is Not and Why It’s For You
You landed that awesome new job with the corner office (good for you, girl!). You start thinking about all the ways you can spend your first paycheck. You’ll need a whole new wardrobe for this next step in your career. Plus, some new shoes, a new bag, and a mani/pedi because you deserve it! And you’ve been meaning to replace that couch since it’s gotten a little lumpy. Then you look around your already cramped apartment to see all the boxes stuffed with things you bought last time you got a promotion, some still brand new with tags!
We’ve all been there. When you succeed, it’s a reason to celebrate! After all, isn’t the point of working hard to indulge in the spoils? As a minimalist, my answer to that is a big, fat NO. The word minimalism seems to be floating around a lot lately. What even is minimalism? Do those people really give up all their stuff and live in a white-washed box with no pictures on the walls? If this is what you picture when you hear minimalism then I’ve got news for you. It’s not what you think! Minimalism is like a create-your-own-adventure, with you in the driver’s seat!


What Minimalism Is Not and Why It’s For You

1. Boring

Minimalism doesn’t mean boring! If you search Pinterest for minimalist inspiration, you may be hard to convince. A search may bring up small white apartments with only a chair and a lamp. Or one white couch that looks beautiful but makes you too nervous to sit down. On the contrary, minimalism is the freedom to add what makes you comfortable with your space. Whether that means having nothing on the walls, or it means hanging art on every surface, you can still use minimalism!

2. Pretentious

Somewhere along the line “things that add value” became synonymous with “throw out all your stuff and buy new stuff.” Minimalism is not an excuse to throw out all your possessions and start again. As a matter of fact, minimalists wouldn’t suggest you throw out any of your possessions, especially if they bring you joy! Instead, focus on highlighting the things that bring you joy, and remove things that are just “meh.” If you get rid of the mediocre, the things that truly embody your personality are free to shine through.

3. One-Size-Fits-All

Minimalism isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to designing your house. My home doesn’t have a coffee maker because I don’t drink coffee, but my best friend would have one running all the time. Spoiler Alert: There is no minimalist police to show up at your door and count the number of things in your house. How many items you have, and how you design your space, is entirely up to you.
[RELATED: 5 Essentials For Minimalist Work Fashion]

4. Stressful

Some people get really stressed out at the thought of parting with their belongings. We invest a lot in our things, and sometimes it’s hard to let them go. But if you’re being honest with yourself, staring at piles of clothes, boxes of unworn shoes, and mountains of paperwork is way more stressful than letting it all go. Removing visual clutter can help to reduce stress. So it’s time to let go of all those old papers, and enjoy your new zen!

5. A Way to Save Money

While minimizing can help prevent you from spending money on useless things like yet another pair of sunglasses, minimalism as a money-saving strategy is almost guaranteed to fail. Minimalists tend to invest in quality pieces that will last for a long time. They make more intentional purchases and spend more time making decisions. Quality products tend to last longer, are more sustainable, and serve multiple purposes to justify the elevated costs. That means investing in one pair of sunglasses you love, instead of buying 8 cheap pairs you only sort of like.
I can’t give you a step-by-step guide to minimalism and then pronounce you “in the club,” because there is no guide and no club! (But if there was, you’d totally be in!) Instead, minimalism offers peace of mind and ensures the items in your space bring you value and joy. It helps alleviate stress and ensure what remains is only what’s important. It’s the perfect way to live in the moment so you can work on being your best you!

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