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What To Do If Your Partner Doesn’t Want to Be Minimalist

When I first went minimalist, I was living with a partner who could not have been farther from minimalism. He was not too keen on my plan to get rid of most of our stuff and live in a clear, clutter free space. He wanted to hold on to his things, because his stuff was associated with his memories. So, what is one to do when they are minimizing but their partner is not into it?

What to Do If Your Partner Doesn't Want to Be A Minimalist

1.Start With Yourself

I knew that being a minimalist would help me. I wanted to minimize my belongings to create more focus on what really matters in life – relationships, spending time how I desire, and making my life easier. Focusing on his hoarding tendencies would not help any of those outcomes that I desired. Focusing on my own minimalism journey made my life and my daily routines easier, and it did what I wanted – it helped my relationship by creating more time for me to enjoy my partner.

2. Be Patient and Understanding

Trying to understand my partner’s point of view in this matter helped immensely. He wanted to keep his stuff because they meant something to him – he associated memories with these items. He wasn’t ready to let them go, and he made it clear that he may never be. Accepting that your partner may not ever be ready to let items go is a helpful step in continuing your own journey.

3. 50% Minimalism is better than 0%

What to Do If Your Partner Doesn't Want to be MinimalistIf your partner is not willing to try out any part of minimalism, remember that 50% minimalist is still better than 0%. By focusing on myself and my own minimalist journey, I was able to clear out areas of my house that were causing me stress. I cleared out my bathroom cabinet, which made it much easier to get ready in the morning. I cleared out the kitchen, putting the extra appliances in the garage – my partner didn’t want to get rid of them, so this was a middle ground for us. My own minimalism journey led me to a much calmer lifestyle and an easier morning and evening routine.

 

4. Focus on the End Goal

I wanted to try out minimalism to get more time, and I wanted to have more time to spend with my partner. By decluttering my own stuff, I did reclaim a lot of time – and this did help my relationship. My life was more streamlined – it was easier to get dressed in the morning since I didn’t have to sort through clothes I didn’t wear, or sort through makeup that I didn’t use. This created a healthier and more enjoyable start to my day, which set the foundation for an enjoyable rest of my day.

What to Do If Your Partner Doesn't Want to Be A Minimalist

Though my partner wasn’t as enthusiastic about minimalism as I am, I still reaped so many benefits of going minimalist on my own. My workspace was decluttered, my bathroom was decluttered, my half of the closet was decluttered. I was able to clear my mind and focus on how minimalism could improve my life – and it worked. There are so many ways to cope with a partner who doesn’t want to try minimalism.

Your Turn!

  • What does your partner think about going minimalist?
  • Which of these techniques would you try?

Minimalist Mindset: Is It Bad To Love Things?

If your house was on fire, what would you grab before running out of it? Anything? Everything? Becoming a minimalist has made me look at my relationship with things completely differently. I used to be able to list off the things I would grab: my laptop, external hard drive that houses my photos, my phone, etc. Now I wonder: why are these things so important? Is it bad that I feel like I need these things? Is it bad to love things?

Is It Bad To Love Things? Minimalist Mindset

1. Being unattached to items makes life flexible

I used to have a closet full of clothes. I had so many things that I cared deeply about, including designer handbags, shoes, jackets, and my shelf of very-carefully collected jeans that all fit perfectly. I had a fancy headboard on my bed and I had the perfect collection of throw pillows that I’d spent months accumulating. I loved these things. I was proud of this home that I’d made. Then my life changed. My relationship ended, and I had to move out, pronto. I had to leave a lot of things behind, and I was genuinely upset that I felt like I was leaving my life at that house.

2. Home Is Not Where The Stuff Is

Minimalist Mindset: Is It Bad To Love Things?After moving out, I started to minimize my belongings further. I didn’t want my life to be focused on things any more. It’s nice to have things you like, but being upset about replaceable things felt completely ridiculous to me. I didn’t want “home” to be a place with my throw pillows and fancy headboard – I wanted “home” to be my favorite people, a feeling of comfort, something inside of me.

3. Your Stuff Does Not Define You

Using things as just that – things – has created a massive shift in my life. I don’t need a wall full of jeans anymore, I just need one pair. One. I just need a few shirts. I prefer to buy clothes that I am comfortable in and wear often. But the brand, the designer, or the popularity of the clothes that I’m wearing doesn’t matter to me anymore. I am not defined by the clothes I’m wearing – and I want people around me to see me for me, not for my clothes. I want people to see how kind I am, how caring I am, what I’m passionate about; not the label on my clothes or whether I have the trendiest bag.

Minimalist Mindset: Is It Bad To Love Things?

4. Actions Speak Louder Than Words

What you spend time, money, and energy on is generally what you are prioritizing in your life at the moment. By taking out the value of things and my emotional investment to them, I am more willing to share. I am more willing to be the person I want to be. If something happens to my jeans, it doesn’t phase me. It’s just a pair of jeans, I’ll get a new (new to me) pair.

So, is it bad to love things? I recently heard the saying, “Love people, use things. The opposite never works.” Loving things isn’t the worst thing in the world, but loving people is always so much better.

Your Turn!

  • How do you feel that loving things has impacted your life?

How To Start Living A Minimalist Lifestyle

Living in a more minimalist way can create more free time, more money in your savings account, and a more purpose filled life. I started my minimalist journey about two years ago, and since then I’ve quit my job, saved a lot of money, and traveled to over 20 countries. Living minimally has led to so many opportunities for me, and it can do the same for you. To get started with a more minimalist lifestyle, you’ll just need to take a few steps.

1. The decluttering process

To live a simple lifestyle, you’ll need a simple living space. Take some time to declutter your living area. Focus on keeping things that you value deeply, and toss things that you don’t need any longer. I took about six months to fully declutter my space. Giving yourself time will ensure that you are intentional about what you keep and what you discard.

I like to complete the decluttering process in sweeps; the first sweep, get rid of anything that you know you no longer use. Take a few months to live without those things, and notice if the things you’ve kept are serving you. I did three sweeps in total, after noticing that I had held on to things following the first two sweeps that I still didn’t need. After the third and final sweep, I was shocked to see how few possessions I actually used in my daily life.

2. Stay mindful

Minimalists live intentionally. If there is something in your life that you don’t love, change it! When I started my minimalist journey, I was in a job and a relationship that didn’t serve me. Within six months, I was out of both of those, and happier than I’d ever been. I like to think about what my ideal life looks like, and then work toward that. Cutting out the things that aren’t serving you are the first step to creating the life that you want. An exercise that really helps me is to write down what an ideal day would look like for you in five years time. Then work toward that goal.

3. Minimize your relationships

Going minimalist to me meant that I was spending time with only the people I wanted to spend time with. Though I have a lot of friends, only a few of them are people who motivate and inspire me to grow and learn. These few people ignite my creativity and spending time with them is incredibly valuable to me. To me, becoming minimalist meant focusing my social time on people who lifted me up. This way, I was maximizing my social time, and also maximizing the amount of  time that I had to focus on things that I wanted to work on.

4. Be intentional with your time

Instead of RSVP’ing “yes” to everything you’re invited to, take some time to think about whether it’s something that you are excited about attending. Be intentional with how you spend your time. When I started my minimalist journey, I decided to cut out 99% of my social events, and just do whatever I felt like doing. This included a lot of hiking, learning about photography, and spending a lot of time with my family. I felt so much more fulfilled and happy when I scheduled my time according to what I wanted.

5. Create a savings account

A huge part of minimalism is creating financial freedom. Creating a savings account and contributing to it regularly will help you build a little nest egg to quit your day job, build a tiny house, or start traveling. Try setting up an automatic transfer, so that you can save without even trying. Think about cutting out unnecessary expenses and subscriptions that you don’t use to save even more.

When I took the journey to minimalism, I set up an automatic transfer for $100 per week to be sent to my savings account on the day I got paid. This helped me save my first $1000 pretty quickly. Once I got more into minimalism, that amount grew, until I was transferring about 60-70% of my paycheck into my savings. Simple living really pays off!

Minimalism has affected my life in ways that I never thought possible. I found passions that I didn’t know I had, I saved a lot of money and attained financial freedom, and I deepened my relationships with family and friends. What could minimalism do for you?

For more articles on minimalism, see:

  • How To Become A Minimalist
  • How To Build  A Capsule Wardrobe
  • What Defines A Minimalist

Your Turn!

  • How would simple living affect your daily life?
  • Would you be willing to give minimalism a try?

Five Reasons People Never Achieve Minimalism

Minimalism can have a tremendously positive impact on anyone’s life; it’s easy to see that living with less can create financial freedom, less stress, and more free time. But it’s not common to simply jump right in to minimalism. In fact, some people never even try. So why do some people never achieve minimalism?

1. They don’t know where to start

The most common reason I hear for not giving minimalism a try is that people just don’t know where to start. It can be daunting to look at a house full of stuff and wonder how you can get from point A (house full of clutter) to point B (organized, minimalist home). If you need help getting started, check out the post I did on how to start minimalist living today [insert link].

2. It’s too much work

Looking at that full storage unit, the overflowing closets, and the cluttered bedrooms may just be too overwhelming. It’s no secret that the decluttering process is time consuming, but taking it day by day can make the process less stressful and more productive. I started by decluttering one small area per day, and if I missed a day I just continued my list the following day. Giving yourself a generous time frame can definitely be helpful.

3. Their family doesn’t want to be minimalist

Living with a family is a great way to introduce the benefits of minimalism in from a first hand perspective. By showing your family how beneficial it is to live minimally, perhaps they will jump on the bandwagon sooner than you think. Even if they don’t come around to it, it is still possible to keep your space as minimal as you’d like, and reap the benefits of minimalism yourself.

4. They just like buying things

This was my personal excuse for a while. I loved taking trips to Target, picking up new clothes, accessories, and stationery, when all I really needed was laundry detergent. I didn’t need any of the other stuff I bought, and I usually didn’t keep it around for long, but I just liked going shopping and getting new things.

I later realized that I was buying things because I was lacking fun in my life. Buying things will make you temporarily feel good, but after a while that feeling goes away. Try having more fun in other ways instead! Spending more time outside helped me tremendously, and once going minimalist, I became an avid hiker.

 

5. They worry they’ll regret getting rid of something

When decluttering, you will have to make choices about what to keep and what to get rid of. I have gotten rid of things that I later regretted – but those were spur of the moment, sporadic decisions. 99.99% of the things I’ve thrown out, I could not be happier to have let go.

I like to think of letting go of things as giving them to someone who will love and cherish them more – and that makes me happy.

Minimalism has made such a positive impact on my life – in fact, it helped me go from living in debt in a packed one bedroom house, to traveling the world out of a backpack. I think that everyone can benefit from living with less.

Your Turn!

  • What is stopping you from trying minimalism?

 

 

 

What is Minimalist Living?

Minimalist living is an all inclusive lifestyle – having a minimal, clutter-free environment is a large part of it, but it’s so much more than that. The minimalist lifestyle includes looking at the way you spend your time, your money, and even the way you think.

minimalism nature quality time

1. Owning less stuff is a large part of it…

Keeping your environment as minimal as possible will ensure a less cluttered mind. I’ve noticed that I tend to focus better in a clean space, with just a few necessary items. Even when I’m not working, I feel more calm in a minimalist environment. When I am in a cluttered or crowded environment, I tend to feel anxious and unproductive. When you don’t have a lot of clutter, your mind is freed up for other, more important things to think about.

2. …But minimalist living doesn’t just apply to your house

minimalist homeI’ve started taking a more minimal approach to the way I structure the desktop on my computer, to the way I plan my days and even the foods that I eat. With less clutter on my desktop, I can look at my computer and focus on what I need to do, instead of getting distracted by photos and documents that are scattered around. With a more simple diet, my body functions at a more optimum level, and I have to think less about what I’m going to eat that day. Life becomes more simple, easier, and much more intentional.

3. Mindfulness and minimalism

Minimalist living can have a wonderful effect on the mind. When you are living a less cluttered life, you will have much more focus and intentionality in everything you do. Instead of seeing clutter and thinking about how you need to clean it up, you’ll have a clean environment, a clear head, and the ability to focus more clearly. Instead of living reactively, you’ll have the opportunity to think about what you want to do, and focus completely on that.

4. Freedom

Minimalist living has given me something that I will be forever grateful for: freedom. Through living simply, I’ve been able to create a life in which I feel completely free. I’m free to spend my time how I’d like, I’m free to pursue passions that I want to explore, I’m free to go to a cafe in the middle of the day on a Tuesday.

Before I took the journey to minimalism, I was working in a 9-5 job. I was making a salary, but I still was required to be there from 9-5 PM, whether I had already finished my work for the day or not. It started to feel like I wasn’t in control of my life anymore. I was looking for meaning in a career, but I found meaning in minimalism and pursuing my passions.

minimalism time

5. Quality Relationships

Minimalism has led me to create even stronger friendships and relationships than I had before. Because I spend my time in a more intentional way, I am able to connect with people on a deeper level. Instead of just “hanging out,” I now only spend time with people who inspire and motivate me, which brings great value to my life.

Minimalist living has changed my life and helped me accomplish so many goals. I’m now focused on actually living instead of just keeping up with the Jones’. To learn more about minimalism, see my post on what defines a minimalist (link to post when published).

Your Turn!

  • What does simple living mean to you?

 

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