6 Common Myths About Minimalism

Minimalism is a lifestyle that I’ll always support. Though it is a very personalized lifestyle, there are loads of misconceptions and assumptions made about minimalism. Here are six common myths about minimalism.

minimalism myths

1. You Count Your Belongings

Though some minimalists do count the amount of belongings they own, a lot of minimalists don’t. I don’t count the amount of things I own, because the number isn’t what is important to me – I prefer to know that the things I own are bringing value to my life. I like to constantly ensure that the belongings I have are working for me, not the other way around. To me, it’s not about the number of things I own – it’s about the value that those things bring me.

2. You’re Nomadic

minimalism myths Lots of minimalists travel full time. But a lot of them don’t, as well. Minimalism gives me freedom that I never thought possible in my previous life. I like to use my freedom to travel full time, but most minimalists I follow don’t travel as much as I do. Minimalism allows the freedom to live the way one would like – and to me, that means full time travel. However, I know loads of minimalists who are settled down in apartments or houses.

3. You Only Wear Black

It’s common in minimalism and capsule wardrobes to have a color theme. This way, matching is easier and most of your clothes will go with each other, ensuring ease of getting dressed in the morning, as well as a simpler and smaller wardrobe. Though black seems to be the most common color (it’s definitely my color of choice), not all minimalists only wear black.

4. You’re Also Vegan / Zero Waste

Minimalism is an alternative lifestyle – it’s still far from mainstream. Living a sustainable and/or vegan lifestyle are also alternative ways of living. But just because all of the above lifestyles have something in common, doesn’t meant that minimalism encompasses them. I consider myself a minimalist, but I’m not zero waste. I know loads of minimalists who aren’t vegan.

common myths minimalism

5. You’re Cheap

Possibly the most common of assumptions about minimalism is that minimalists are cheap. Contrary to this belief, I believe that minimalism means that you can buy the best of everything. For example, if I am going to buy a computer, I want to buy the best computer I can. I don’t want to buy a cheap laptop that will only last me a few years – I spend a decent amount of money to buy the most high-quality, long lasting computer that I can find. I also look for high quality clothes, shoes, and even food. Because I buy less, I can afford to buy better quality items.

6. You Work Online

minimalism mythsWhen I went minimalist, I quickly saw how much more free, light, and happy I felt. I didn’t feel weighed down by my belongings anymore, I could pack up and move wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I saved up some money and started traveling. I very quickly realized that if I were to work online, I could keep up this travel-based lifestyle forever. Though I work online, most minimalists I know do not. You can be a minimalist and work a 9-5, you can be a minimalist and work retail, you can be a minimalist no matter what your line of work.

These were six of the most common myths/assumptions about minimalism. Learning more about minimalism and just how personal it is helped me realize that I could become a minimalist. Minimalism is a lifestyle that works for you – creating a life of freedom, happiness, and more excitement.

Your Turn!

  • What are some myths that you’ve heard about minimalism?
  1. An overwhelming number of people I know are minimalists due to the fact that it’s getting harder and harder to have a traditionally quality life; it’s a re-invention of lifestyles when you don’t have money to fling around.

  2. Amanda,

    I like your take and perspective here. Quality over quantity. Freedom and value.

    Rather than money buying freedom, I think freedom has a currency all its own.

    So glad to read your articles here. Have been sending them on to my daughters.

  3. You claim to be publishing a list of myths but then go on to say most of the “myths” are substantially true.
    “. . . some minimalists do count the amount of belongings they own . . .”
    “Lots of minimalists travel full time.”
    “It’s common in minimalism and capsule wardrobes to have a color theme . . . black seems to be the most common color . . .”
    If it is true it isn’t a myth.

  4. We don’t count our belongings but we sure did count those things we got rid of during the journey toward a more minimalistic lifestyle. I think it made us realize how much wasted stuff we had accumulated and reassuring us we could live with less.

  5. I’m a minimalist with a different title. I say I’m living a life of Voluntary Simplicity.
    I’m a Luddite, in that I choose to live without all the techie bells and whistles so essential to many now.
    I eat simply, mostly raw, vegie, fruit whole grain, eggs/cheese. Lots of salads, backed by comfort foods, like my Sunday morning omelet, chock full of goodies.
    My work is simple…window cleaner for 32 years.
    My passions close to free…biking, reading, gardening, dancing.
    I buy mostly second hand, live in 528sq.ft, drive a small car.
    I owe nothing, want for nothing, love my life.
    I’m proud to see my daughters also choosing simple lives. We’re easier on Mother Earth.

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