Myths about Minimalism: Or, the Diversity of Minimalists

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“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.

5 thoughts on “Myths about Minimalism: Or, the Diversity of Minimalists

  1. While I enjoy hearing stories of extreme minimalists I feel their lifestyles have turned a lot off to learning what minimalism is and how it can make their life better. You are doing a good job at showing minimalism is a viable option for many.

  2. Love this! We are a family of three, considered poor by conventional standards, yet our lives are full of exciting and meaningful experiences. We are very social, don’t have a TV, but use the internet far too much; we have friends who drive cars, however we choose to walk and take public transportation. We work hard, are reliable, down to earth and we have taken great steps to eliminate plastic in our lives. At the moment we are living out of backpacks, yet long for the day to purchase a piece of farm/forestland once again, so that we can regrow our roots in another country. We are minimalists – nothing more and nothing less.

I'd love for you to share your ideas and experiences.