Is Minimalism Dead?!?
Lately on Facebook and YouTube I've been seeing lots of people asking if the minimalism trend is dead or dying. If you want to know my take on this (and why it really doesn't matter if it's trending or not!), then click here to watch the video:
Why Minimalism Matters
So here's the thing– it really doesn't matter if the trend of minimalism is going away or not. What really counts is how it fits in with your personal journey. If you're happy with a more minimalist lifestyle and if getting rid of 80% of your stuff has helped you, then keep at it!
Try not to get too caught up in labels because you don't get a prize for having the least amount of possessions– you just want to live your best life and be as content as possible, so whatever amount of stuff makes you truly happy is what you should have!
Am I a Minimalist?
This isn't a question with a yes-or-no answer. There are lots of ways I'm more minimal:
- I'm pretty ruthless about decluttering.
- I LOVE wide open spaces with lots of blank spots for my eyes to rest.
- It makes me feel anxious to have a bunch of clutter all over.
But there are lots of ways that I'm totally NOT minimalist:
- I've never just wanted as few things as possible.
- I have lots of hobbies like cake decorating, card-making, crafty stuff, etc., and I have plenty of supplies to go along with that.
- I have lots of clothes, and I've even done a video on why I DON'T have a capsule wardrobe.
- I've chosen specific areas where I don't want to be a minimalist at all, and that totally works for me!
These are just my personal experiences with minimalism – everyone's journey is unique! If you think you might be a minimalist but you're not sure where to start, check out my friend Marissa's post “What is Minimalism? 10 Simple Principles for Beginner Minimalists” – she outlines the fundamentals of a minimalist lifestyle that goes far beyond merely getting rid of stuff, and dives deeper into the motivation behind minimalism.
Can you take Minimalism too far?
Minimalism is shifting toward “intentionalism,” which is really what it was about all along. A lot of the original minimalist influencers are finding their lives are changing (as life always does!), and minimalism works great in some stages of life and less well in others. You're allowed to be flexible. Minimalism is not a religion– you can always change your mind!
You can definitely take minimalism too far, and a lot of people are realizing this. Decluttering can truly be life-changing, but there is no competition to have the least amount of stuff. Sometimes taking things to the extreme can actually cause you more stress. Do you find yourself absolutely agonizing because you have one more of whatever item than you think you should? Go easy on yourself and realize that it's okay to change the rules.
Although this isn't a bombshell, Minimalism doesn't solve ALL your problems. It can seem like minimalist influencers have completely transformed their lives– but they're usually making a ton of other changes, too. They may be getting healthier, evaluating family priorities, work-life balance, etc., all at the same time. Going minimal with their stuff is just one piece of that puzzle.
If you're finding that you've gotten rid of 80% of your stuff and you're just still not super happy, know that it's not just about getting rid of your stuff. I've totally been here– I expected going minimal to help me in so many ways, and it does help in some, but like any other change you make, it will never make your life 100% perfect. It doesn't mean it won't help and it's not worthwhile, though!
Whether it's trending or not, I think adopting some of the concepts of minimalism would benefit almost everyone. Reducing your stuff to just what you need, want, or love can be so freeing, and if we're also really intentional about what we allow not just into our homes, but also into our calendars, our headspace– now THAT will never go out of style!
Karen Grier Says
I just wanted to say that I absolutely agree with you on minimalism! I’m an adamant declutterer also. But, like you I craft and quilt. Things are organized but definitely not minimal!😂😂
Thank you for your newsletters and everything else that you do! I started following you when you first started blogging and have always loved your outlook and style. Believe me when I say you have taught this old dog many new tricks ( I’m 61 lol) Stay safe and true to your dreams, Karen
This is a very thoughtful post, Laura. You always make me feel understood in my anxiety with not often discussed aspects of a topic, such as minimalism– AS IF that makes people just fantastic. My anxiety with letting go of things, for various reasons, and perfectionism makes giving up rational. Your talking about decluttering different areas of life, different kinds of things, having needs for things that are not the same in all areas of life- really gives me a chance to think about breathing. and just choosing one thing to start with. and that being okay. Your beautiful smile, fabulous clothes, and compassionate talk make my day. Thank you so much for being you!
I like your “balance” approach. Make changes, but don’t go overboard.
This article is spot on. I have always tried to declutter on a regular basis but after reaching my 65th birthday and with nearly 43 years of marriage behind me, we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. We began our marriage by relocating three times in eight years which forced me to purge stuff. We have now lived in a large home for the past 23 years and so haven’t been as diligent because we have lots of space. We had planned to move to a smaller home but we love our location and the cost is very reasonable so we decided to stay put instead.
We have spent the past two years doing a huge renovation and everything had to come out of every room. I was determined to put things back in a more ordered and sensible way. It’s taken a while but I love the results. I have naturally gotten rid of stuff that no longer fits our retired lifestyle and find that I am loving the much cleaner look that has resulted which has helped me to continue the process.
Like Krystina, I have trouble getting rid of sentimental things, especially those that remind me of when my children were small. One thing that really helped me was when I got several boxes from my daughter’s childhood down from the attic and spent a wonderful afternoon going through them with her. While she loved the memories that they brought back, she made it clear that the emotions were mine and not hers. It was still hard but realizing that I was holding on to this stuff for my own purpose, helped me to purge without a lot of guilt. If she doesn’t want it, why am I saving it? I did keep a few items in a special place but most of them found another home. My son is an engineer and so his mindset is that if it’s not useful, it needs to go. He is a minimalist at this point in his life. He had lots of stuff as a kid but realized that it took up lots of time and would rather spend it doing things he enjoyed.
As a result, I find that I am enjoying life more because I no longer feel guilt at spending the afternoon doing a leisure activity rather than housework. Less stuff means less work and I’m all for that!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this and all other topics!