Myths about Minimalism: Or, the Diversity of Minimalists

yellow wildflower - myths about minimalism

“There are all sorts of myths about Minimalism or the ‘rules’. Truth be told, like with anything, you can take the information or practice and fine tune it to your liking.”

– Lytasha Marie Blackwell

You’ve probably heard and read a lot of myths about minimalism. For instance:

All minimalists are –

  • Rich.
  • White.
  • Single.
  • Young.
  • Childless.
  • Selfish.
  • Lazy.
  • Condescending.
  • Anti-technology.
  • Anti-social.
  • Vegetarian.
  • Vegan.
  • Healthy.
  • Frugal.
  • Boring.
  • Environmental activists.
  • Unemotional and unsentimental.

All minimalists –

  • Count everything they own.
  • Love stark white interiors.
  • Live in tiny homes.
  • Live in hotels, traveling the world and living out of backpacks.
  • Fold their clothes the KonMari way.
  • Wear unfashionable clothing.
  • Wear uniforms.
  • Abstain from shopping all together.
  • Avoid buying anything new.
  • Refrain from car ownership.
  • Avoid owning “nice” things.

Minimalism is –

  • Only about stuff.
  • Extreme.
  • A one-time decluttering event.
  • Wasteful.
  • A religion.
  • Too difficult for regular people.

Sure, some minimalists are white single vegans who live in tiny homes. Some minimalists are even selfish condescending jerks. But the thing about minimalism is this: it can be practiced – and is practiced – by all kinds of people.

As Joshua Becker says, “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” Easier said than done, of course, but minimalism is, by definition, going to look different for each person.

We have different values, different things we enjoy, different personalities. The key is paying attention to how we live and focusing our time, money and energy on what we value.