There are a lot of misconceptions out there about minimalism and even how minimalists live their life. Minimalism is often seen as white walls and empty shelving, but it’s rarely like that in reality. While there are people who practice extreme minimalism, these are often the minority and not the majority of people. Here are five common misconceptions about minimalism.
6 major misconceptions about minimalism
Minimalists don’t own nice things
Minimalists tend to splurge on the items they own because they don’t own many things. Don’t get me wrong, minimalists may have a few cheaper pieces, but generally, they invest in quality items that will stand the test of time.
One of the places you will notice this is in their kitchen. They tend to have nicer pans, better appliances, and high quality dishes. If you go into their closets, you’ll see clothes that are of high quality, even though there may not be many of them.
Minimalism is about owning ‘X’ number of things
Most minimalists don’t have a set number of items. Some people put these numbers in place to help keep them accountable. This is more to remind them not to overbuy and fill their home with clutter than a hard limit. You could have 1,000 things and be a minimalist or 12. There is no set number of items or a goal of how many things you should have. It’s about what you feel comfortable with.
Minimalist homes are empty and sparse
Out of all the misconceptions about minimalism, the idea minimalist homes are empty and ugly is the one I see often! Not every minimalist can put all of their belongings into a single room of their home! Most of them couldn’t even if they tried. Minimalist homes have more empty space than most homes tend to, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have anything in their home. They merely choose to hold on to the things that bring them joy and serve a purpose. You won’t find little clutter spots in their home because their home is designed and filled with items they love and cherish.
Minimalism Is Not A Minimal Lifestyle
Minimalists don’t live empty lives and it’s another misconception I see often. Many of them are rich with activities, hanging out with friends, and experiences. They have a less cluttered calendar than the average person, but they use their time to do the things that mean something to them and love! You’ll often find minimalists using their home as a cozy retreat rather than a collection of stuff.
Minimalism is living with deprivation
One of the biggest common misconceptions about minimalism is that minimalism is about depriving yourself of things and experiences. Minimalism isn’t about necessarily living without. It’s about only living with what is necessary or brings joy/comfort. They don’t have one bowl or plate because that is what they want to do. They do it because this is all they need. It’s about focusing on your needs instead of wants and not depriving yourself of the things you need. While some minimalists will try and push those limits before making a purchase, they will go out and buy it if they find they need something.
POC AREN’T Minimalists
One misconception that I see often is that minimalists are only white people. This just isn’t true. I myself am a minimalist that happens to be a woman of color and I think you don’t see us often because in many cultures, families hold on to items for generations. The idea that you may need those items in the future is really prevalent but as time goes on, POC minimalists are adopting the lifestyle and letting go whatever doesn’t serve them! My favorite WOC minimalist is Caroline Sumlin! She has a beautiful family and home!
As you can see, there are a lot of common misconceptions about what minimalism is. It’s easy for those who don’t practice a minimalist lifestyle to see these myths as reality. Hopefully, this list has helped debunk some of those myths and inspired you to give minimalism a try.