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?
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%
If 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.
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.
- What does your partner think about going minimalist?
- Which of these techniques would you try?