Rookie year can prove to be extremely difficult at times. I mean after all; Tim Tebow… Need I say more?
For me, minimalism is still relatively new and I have found that within the past 6 months or so of learning about and practicing minimalism, there have been multiple mistakes that I have made. Not all of these mistakes have been big, but they all had the potential of crushing my minimalist hopes and dreams. I hope that by reading this blog you will learn from my mistakes and maybe recognize a few of your own.
1. Don’t Try to Go Fast (Unless You Want To)
For me, minimalism was generally a slow process but I found that whenever I tried to move at someone else’s pace I started to get overwhelmed. I am the type of person who has to really commit to something in order to see progress but moving too fast could make minimalism more drudgery than it has to be.
2. Don’t Feel Obligated to Keep Anything
For some people, minimalism needs to be a complete refresh of their life. Describing minimalism as a “clutter detox” may be accurate. While some people are more methodical about what they keep others may need to get rid of almost everything. My most often struggle though was feeling like because something was a sentimental item or a gift I had to keep it.
Ultimately though I have found that unless something adds value to your life, it is totally okay to get rid of it.
3. Don’t Expect it to Be Easy
Acquiring all of your things took time, effort, money, and a lot your attention. Getting rid of these things will prove difficult at times because usually, we have an emotional attachment to them. Understand that minimalism is a process and some days will feel good and encouraging. Others will not.
4. Don’t Expect All Your Problems to Go Away
Minimalism can help a lot of trials in life seem easier, and for me, it has really helped in relieving my anxiety. I have found that many people (myself included) made the mistake of believing that minimalism will solve all of life’s hardest problems but unfortunately; that’s just not true.
If you are relying on decluttering to fix all the problems you face on a daily basis, you are doing it for the wrong reasons. After all, life is hard.
Being a minimalist is not going to change that reality although it may occasionally make it easier.
5. Don’t Expect Everyone to Understand
There will be the occasional person that will agree with you that we live in an overcluttered society but for the most part, people will think you are crazy.By practicing minimalism you are transforming your norm.
You are pushing back against a consumer culture and people will think that you are weird.
But don’t worry, sometimes it’s okay to be weird.
6. Don’t Go Alone
Starting any major life journey on your own will always prove to be more difficult than if you have someone there cheering you on! The minimalist community is amazing and has been extremely helpful to me on the days in which I couldn’t look past the process of decluttering to a future filled with more time, more money, and more attention for the people I love.
A few groups that have been extremely helpful to me are “The Minimalist Life” and the “Minimalist.org: Online City.” These Facebook groups are filled with people who are ready to encourage you and have great insight on the minimizing process!