When Minimalism No Longer Makes Sense

In theory, minimalism is the cure-all for creating space in your mind, your energy and other areas of life. In real life, minimalism may--or may not--work for you.  

By nature, I am a minimalist. I want nothing on the walls of my home. I like nothing on the kitchen counters. I prefer no dishes in the sink. I like no dirty laundry. I don’t even like having as many items of clothing as I have in my closet. Don’t even ask me about what I’d do to our garage if given full-reign in that domain.


Thing is, I have a family of four + an English Bulldog. I have attempted to minimize as much as possible, and often, my family is not always in favor. For example, our junk drawers brimming with old zip drives and electrical cords are “off limits” during my sporadic purges.


Sometimes, minimalism enhances your life and gives you much needed breathing space. Other times, minimalism just does not make sense.


The key is to determine the where, the how and the when.


The Where


Take a tour through your living quarters and choose just one area that would benefit most from a cleansing. Don’t try to tackle your entire home or garage. Pick one closet, one cabinet, one shelf. Once you decide the where, move into the how.


The How


Talk with your significant other, your kids or your roommates about exactly what you’d like to do. I always advise making three piles: a charity/sell on Craigslist pile, a throwaway pile and a “not sure what to do with it yet” pile. That third one is a lifesaver when other people are involved in your purging process, as it ensures you don’t simply toss out their treasures. Let that pile sit for seven days after the purge, and it typically turns into a charity pile.


The When


Decide when you are going to tackle each area. As for time of year, I like to do my purges seasonally, as it gives me a chance to clear out what I did not use during the prior months. Purging in the morning is usually a better idea than later in the day, as your mind is fresher, especially after a mug of Bulletproof Coffee.


After you get the where, the how and the when in order, you’re ready to minimize and create some space. If you get partway through the process and realize it just does not make sense in

this very moment, don’t feel guilty. Let that cabinet pile up, that garage get cluttered and that shelf get gnarly. Don’t stress about it. Know that you will seize the opportunity to clear it out in the future--when the time is right.


Your Turn: Have you ever tried out minimalism? Did (or does) it work for your lifestyle?