There are so many wild misconceptions about minimalism. I’m here to debunk all of them and show you that simple living should also be your ultimate goal.
It seems that the word minimalism has been dragged through the mud more times than a pair of Hunter boots at a rainy Coachella. It’s got more misconceptions tied to it than Lady Gaga has outlandish outfits. Is it all about living in barren, all-white tiny homes with a single chair as furniture? Is it about denying yourself the joy of a good old fashion spree, or maybe it’s about wearing the same turtleneck and jeans combo every single day? Spoiler alert: It’s none of these.
The best definition of minimalism might be the following: it’s not a social media trend everyone is following, it’s a mindset that navigates us through life with less stuff.
Whether we like it or not, we assign ourselves to physical stuff super easily and tend to feel less if we don’t catch up with the latest trends or need to let go of things for some reason.
Minimalist living can seem like it follows some strict rules, but it’s a structure you can adapt to suit you. It might take a long time before you start doing it the right way, but it’s a journey that goes in hand with personal growth and a sense of freedom. The good news is that I’m here and ready to help.
If you have ever wondered if the rules of minimalism could be your cup of tea, scroll down as I go through the most common myths. I hope they will help you the next time you start screaming into the void for family members to take you seriously.
So let’s unpack, deconstruct, and debunk some myths and misconceptions about minimalism that are circulating faster than gossip at a Met Gala after-party. Get ready to see that ‘less is more’ is not just a catchy Instagram caption, it’s a lifestyle that could just change your life and your closet.
Scroll through to debunk the most common myths and misconceptions about minimalism:
1. Minimalism means getting rid of all your materialistic possessions
Let’s start with one of the most common misconceptions. It’s that once you are converted to minimalism, you must get rid of everything you have ever bought. My own definition of minimalism is surrounding ourselves with only things we need and actually use. You don’t need to throw away that designer bag you love, but you also don’t need to get three more just because everyone on Instagram has them.
2. Minimalism means having nothing
No, minimalism does not mean stepping down from your job, going to the countryside, throwing your phone in the trash, meditating five times a day, and exploring the unfiltered reality with all your senses. Although that does sound like a great detox getaway. If you are approaching a more minimalist lifestyle, you will want to have fewer possessions. It’s a great way to take control of your life, not the other way around.
3. Minimalists don’t buy anything new
We are living in a modern world, and you may want to make an impulse purchase every now and then. The idea of minimalism is not that you need to close your eyes every time an ad pops up in your browser window. Of course, even the $100 high-quality shirt will need replacing one day. It’s an ongoing process, try to remove the excess clutter and buy the sophisticated blazer if you are 100% sure it’s worth it.
4. Minimalism is life without color
The minimalist journey is not one you should paint exclusively in neutral colors. When it comes to fashion/ interior design/basically everything else, most minimalists opt for black, white, brown, beige, and gray. Why? Because they are timeless! Don’t be afraid to throw a pop of color in your outfit or kitchen if that’s something you want to do, though. Just don’t go over the top. No minimalistic lifestyle includes all the colors of the rainbow.
5. Minimalism is just an aesthetic
Talking about misconceptions about minimalism, unfortunately, many people still see the minimalist culture as an aesthetic. As something to flaunt on social media, as a quality that makes you stand out among others, as a trend you are following. However, real life is different. It’s actually a way of life that helps you become better – physically, emotionally, mentally. You’ve done spring decluttering. You know the feeling of a fresh start when it pats you on the shoulders.
6. Minimalists can’t own expensive things
Another popular misconception is that minimalists can’t own expensive things. The truth is, that’s all up to you and your bank account. It’s not about the total cost of things. It’s about the relative value it brings. For example, Apple phones can be seen as expensive, but you could argue that both the technological and design elements provide an uncomplicated, clutter-free experience. Worth every penny, I say. If your minimalist BFF has just spent an extra $$ on something, know it’s because they consider it a long-term investment.
7. Minimalism and decluttering are the same thing
When you are looking at it, they seem to be the same thing, right? Well, they are not. Decluttering is a very small part of the whole concept. It’s the beginning and also something you should be doing even if you are not professing the philosophy of simplicity. In other words, don’t be a hoarder. Once you start making more space for things, you will realize how many of them you don’t need. At all.
8. Organization equals minimalism
Although minimalism requires a lot of organization, we shouldn’t really put an = sign between the two. Imagine you have a Carrie Bradshaw-sized closet. Yes, it’s organized, but it also takes up more room than your standard New York apartment. Then again, the idea of living in my wardrobe doesn’t sound all bad…
Check This Out: 15 Minimalist Clothing Pieces Every Minimalist Needs
9. Minimalism is boring
Another one of the most common misconceptions about minimalism. The feeling of boredom is not dependent on whether you are a minimalist or a maximalist. It sounds cliché and like something you have heard dozens of times, but physical belongings can’t make you happy in the long run. The same way, simple life won’t make you bored. No one said you shouldn’t go on vacations, to concerts, or to the movies. On the contrary, invest in experiences, not in material things.
10. Minimalists wear the same thing every day
I’m a minimalist blogger, and I try to make a conscious choice every time I’m about to buy or put something on. While I certainly may have a thing about stripes and trench coats, have you seen me wearing the same outfit in every post? No, because creating a capsule wardrobe allows us to mix and match thousands of different outfits. You can do that too!
11. Minimalism is a fancy trend
Let me explain it one more time. Minimalism is NOT a fancy trend. It’s a constant state of mind. It’s not like with fast fashion brands that present six or seven collections per year, and each of them seems to be different. This is something you adopt and carry on for good. You can see a lot of people making good decisions in this way, and you can too.
12. Minimalists can only have a certain number of items
If you think minimalists have a set number of items to adhere to, you’d be wrong. It isn’t about limiting yourself to 50 items of clothing or owning only one spatula. It’s not a strict diet plan for your closet or a one-size-fits-all straight jacket.
Minimalism is all about being mindful of what you bring into your life and what value it adds. It’s about curating a collection of things that bring you joy, serve a purpose, and align with your values. It’s a “quality over quantity” mindset, not a rigid numbers game.
13. Minimalists are not sentimental
This is one of those misconceptions about minimalism that boils my blood the most. The myth that a true minimalist being as cold and unfeeling as a mannequin has to go. The notion that they aren’t sentimental and live only with the bare minimum, is as outdated as those low-rise jeans hiding in the back of your closet. On the contrary, minimalists often deeply value their sentimental items. It’s not about tossing your grandma’s vintage pearl necklace or your kid’s first pair of shoes. It’s about discerning the truly meaningful from the meaningless.
14. Minimalism means you are missing out on life
The idea that adopting a minimalist lifestyle means missing out on a happy life is ridiculous. Minimalism doesn’t mean deprivation, it means liberation. The end goal isn’t to strip away joy. Quite the opposite, in fact! It’s about freeing yourself from the burden of excess stuff.
Take the philosophy of Marie Kondo. It isn’t about throwing everything away. It’s about cherishing the items that truly spark joy. The same goes for minimalism. It’s not about throwing away life’s pleasures; it’s about sifting through the noise and holding onto what brings you happiness and fulfillment.
The minimalist approach doesn’t mean you can’t get new things (read: nice things). It doesn’t make you live in an empty space with white walls. It also doesn’t ask you to abandon the sentimental value. It’s just showing that we can follow Elsa’s example and let go of unimportant things, habits, feelings, and even people.
Of course, different people want different things, but survival with fewer items is something we can achieve in our own lives with a little bit of help. Make the first step and build your own version of minimalism.
Once you understand the benefits of minimalism and how it can change most aspects of your life in a positive way, you will have it all figured out. No need to thank me. Just come and let me know your thoughts on my socials @SavinaOfficial. Maybe there are some more myths we can debunk together.
This post was all about misconceptions about minimalism.