There is a lot of confusion in the Walmart, TJ Maxx, and Target isles about Minimalism. “Minimalist” is a new style that you can buy! But wait. The minimalist lifestyle isn’t about the aesthetic. The minimalist lifestyle is more of a mindset. The minimalist aesthetic is a style.
You can’t shop for a mindset! Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Let’s talk about why minimalism is a lifestyle, not a“LOOK” and how you can stop shopping for the minimalist aesthetic so that you can actually find the minimalist lifestyle!
What is The Minimalist Aesthetic?
You can’t have the minimalist look without a lot of white and tan and a succulent sitting on a natural wood plank. That’s what they say in the stores!
The minimalist aesthetic tends to be very modern and simplistic. It features clean lines and very little visual clutter. Why is minimalism always white? Because white makes spaces look bigger and it represents simplicity and cleanliness.
The minimalist aesthetic is sold to us. That is important to remember, especially if you look at these spaces and you feel like they don’t fit you.
What is The Minimalist Lifestyle?
The minimalist lifestyle is not something that can be sold in the store. In fact, it is the very opposite.
Strictly, a minimalist is a person who pares down their belongings to the bare minimum of their needs.
However, the minimalist lifestyle, as it operates in our culture today encompasses a lot of people who aren’t extreme in owning only what they absolutely need.
In other words, the minimalist lifestyle is meant to help you break free from the buy more, get bigger and better, and drown in debt to keep up with the Joneses mentality.
The minimalist lifestyle cannot be sold to you because it is about the minimalist mindset that you can be content and happy with much less stuff because stuff isn’t what makes you happy anyway.
Why Can’t You Shop for Minimalism?
So if you are living the minimalist lifestyle, you aren’t looking for stuff to make you happy. You aren’t looking for special furniture or a set style of clothing.
You are looking for contentment with the things you have and the things that work so that you can start focusing on the bigger things in life.
If you go to Target and buy a suspended natural wood shelf and a succulent to put over your ultra-sleek desk with your clear chair you are not automatically a minimalist. You just bought the minimalist aesthetic.
When you dress in only neutral colors that doesn’t make you a minimalist. You are subscribing to the minimalist aesthetic.
Minimalism is not about the stuff. It’s about everything but the stuff. As long as you are trying to buy minimalism you aren’t ever going to be a minimalist.
You Have to Declutter to Start The Minimalist Lifestyle
The minimalist lifestyle naturally starts with a lot of decluttering. And that is a good thing!
We have to simplify our life and to do that we have to let go of a lot of stuff we have bought and kept for no reason.
The age and culture we live in is one of excess where we are taught to believe that we need way more than we do and so most of us are drowning in stuff. We have to declutter to start enjoying the minimalist lifestyle.
For help with your decluttering journey check out my E-Book: FEARLESS DECLUTTERING!
Your Stuff Might Be Good Enough…
So do you need to go buy new stuff to become a minimalist? No! Remember the minimalist lifestyle isn’t the same as the minimalist aesthetic.
What if you have very nice furniture but it’s not sleek? Maybe you have a closet full of great clothes but they are full of bright colors?
Do you have to get rid of all of that and buy all new furniture that is ultra-sleek and slightly uncomfortable? Will you need to replace your entire wardrobe with all the right things “they” say are minimalist staples?
No! Because if you do that you are turning minimalism into a reason to go shopping again! That means you are still indulging in unneeded consumerism.
Be Content With What You Have if it Works for You!
Would you be surprised if I told you that most of my furniture is Early American style?
I don’t even really like it. But the furniture I have is very high-quality stuff handed down to me from my grandmother and it is serving its purpose.
I actually do like the minimalist “look” but this is what I have and it works really well and it’s good enough.
Maybe what you have is good enough. You just need less of it. Get rid of clothes that don’t fit, the furniture you don’t need, and all the stuff you are drowning in but don’t get rid of everything and buy new stuff because you’re a minimalist now. That misses the point.
You Need the Minimalist Mindset Instead of the Minimalist Aesthetic
So now that you know you can have a minimalist lifestyle without buying the minimalist aesthetic you are starting to understand something else.
Anyone can belong. If you like bright colors you can be a minimalist! When your house is decorated in country rustic you can be a minimalist! If you don’t have a green thumb and every house plant you have ever owned died within a month you can still be a minimalist!
No matter where you live, no matter what your culture is, no matter what your style is you can be a minimalist.
That’s because the minimalist lifestyle and the minimalist aesthetic are two separate things.
The minimalist lifestyle is about appreciating what is enough and looking at life beyond the stuff. The minimalist lifestyle is about prioritizing time with your family, creative pursuits, endeavors for humanity, and experiences you will never forget.
As soon as we focus on the minimalist aesthetic and start shopping for minimalism we miss the point and lose the minimalist lifestyle.
The True Benefit of The Lifestyle Isn’t Tied to The Minimalist Aesthetic
I’ll be honest with you. I actually 85% like the minimalist aesthetic and I wouldn’t mind some new modern-looking furniture.
The thing is if you want to benefit from minimalism you have to stop shopping for it. If you stop chasing the look and start chasing the mentality then the minimalist lifestyle can help you have more time with your family, less financial burden, more energy and time for hobbies you enjoy, and maybe you can even work less!
The true benefit of the minimalist lifestyle is that it isn’t about the look. The minimalist aesthetic can’t bring you the benefits of minimalism. The minimalist lifestyle is about freedom!
Do you like the minimalist aesthetic or is your style something different? Please share in the comments below!
Start the Minimalist Lifestyle Now!
Now that you know that the minimalist aesthetic isn’t necessary to living the minimalist lifestyle there is really no reason not to start enjoying simple living! Now is the time to try the minimalist lifestyle! Learn why minimalism is good for your mental health and relationships, how it can transform your finances, so you can start having more energy and time for the things that matter!
But what if simplifying your life sounds like an overwhelming task?
There are tons of great resources on this website designed to help you make life easier.
But you want to simplify your life but the big bad word MINIMALISM scares you let me help!
I wrote Doable Simplicity (Minimalism For Normal People) to help you get the inspiration you need to simplify your life and then take solid steps that make simple living doable for you!