Whenever you try to swim upstream, or move in a direction that society and media advertising deems as unattractive, you will be scoffed at. Minimalism is something that is very foreign to people and you will come up against people’s preconceived notions and expectations. Also of course, if you are vocal about how minimalism has helped you, you will face comments from people about how insane you sound and how it would absolutely never work for them (read : “normal people”).
For instance, many people want help. They feel overwhelmed by clutter, especially clothing or children’s toys, and will be desperately seeking organization. Organization, though important is simply not a solution. Organization just moves all the stuff around. It doesn’t solve the root problem of the fact that owning so much is not necessary or even beneficial. Organization is important once you have only what you love or need. But it won’t solve the true problem at all, only mask it for you to deal with at a later date. Recently I read a post on facebook that was searching for solutions to clutter and chaos. When I linked my family closet, and how minimalism has helped our family of 9 in ways I could not imagine, this was one response:
I was laughing with the “3 of each item” rule! NEVER gonna happen here! And what if something gets stained/ripped, you’re down to 2?! I think not!
And that is okay. This is why the journey to minimalism is not for everyone. Not everyone who wants a solution is willing to try something different, as we are creatures of habit. I could have commented on how the rule of 3 is simply the number that are available at the moment. I could have taken a moment to explain that you have items put away for these circumstances, how careful and purposeful planning makes this a simple “oh, I’ll grab another one from the extras bin!”. But truly comments like these are not interested in solutions.
Minimalism, is a solution that works. The degree of minimalism is dependent on what each family wants. The problem is that in society, we are so dependent on “stuff”. We have been trained that if little miss doesn’t have 20 pairs of leggings, she will somehow be without. That if we don’t have 2000 pairs of shoes, there will be that one day that we will need the 1998th pair and we won’t have it. So we hoard. We store.
There is a saying that can reflect our need for possession. We always feel like we need to have it all, save it all, even if we will never use it all. Our attitude towards the relationship between personal joy and the possession of stuff is like sand held in a tight fist. The more you squeeze, the more the sand trickles through your fingers. We cling to our stuff, fearing that we will lose memories, peace, freedom and happiness if we somehow let it go. We hold on as tight as we can, not realizing that the sand will slip through faster the tighter we cling. We lose joy, peace and freedom by clinging onto stuff, because we become slaves to our possessions. We don’t have freedom to relax when we are constantly cleaning, constantly organizing, constantly bemoaning the state of our homes, our lives.
I guess I am writing today to tell you that there is hope. There is a life where you aren’t cleaning all day, you don’t have mountains of laundry, you don’t have piles of dishes and you are actually living. Free. Happy.
Don’t let naysayers dash your hopes or discourage you from giving it a try. You can see my next post here!