Don’t Confuse Minimalism With Deprivation

Becoming a Minimalist doesn’t mean there is deprivation. It’s true that you may still be
tempted by the newest shiny thing but just because you don’t buy it doesn’t make you deprived.
We are sucked in by marketing and consumerism. When you clear your clutter and get down to the basics it simply feels good. The attraction to having more stuff becomes less and less over time. After a while you become more selective in a personal way. You might find the value and enjoy re-use and renew such things as old chairs, household items, and get excited about creating something new in an artistic way like Lois Field. You might try cleaning out your closet for the last time and finding The Rule of Three is for you or taking beauty one step further and letting it be.

As you clear the clutter at your own pace either gradually or all at once you begin to see the peace and satisfaction in having more space to breath as well as more time to call your own with less time cleaning and organizing. You have less financial stress because your expectations begin to align well with your means. Minimalism may even become a bit addictive and you may go to extremes at times. Minimalism is a very personal thing. There is no one way or right way to go about it other than doing it your way. You may want to get more ideas by following others blogs or conversations but in the end you get to decide what works and what doesn’t

Deprivation is so different than minimalism. Deprivation is an uncomfortable feeling that doesn’t go away. It’s an ache and a true need for something that is missing. If you want a more simple life you may have experienced the deprivation that comes with chaos, stress, and hunger for less drama and a happier life. Minimalism isn’t for everyone and you may find that you miss all of that garbage, stress, and chaos because it was oh-so-familiar. That’s okay but I haven’t met anyone yet that went that far back. Minimalism is somewhat of an evolution and you pursue it as you are able. You become comfortable with less and more will actually bother you. There are times when I gather more clothes than I really need and it doesn’t last long.

You can have it all and still become a minimalist. Think about keeping things simple and having the basics. Instead of all that processed food just keep basics such as oatmeal, eggs, cheese, meat, fresh vegetables, and fruit. You don’t really need anything else in your kitchen. Add the green tea if you like it. Drink more water. Let go of all of the appliances, plastic, and boxes. Use technology to your advantage if you want to or don’t have it all. Do something in between. Go completely digital and never move paper off the counter again. If you think you are going to be deprived of the joy of filing then don’t do it. Get rid of one thing every day, donate it, find a way to reuse it, recycle it or give it away. The feeling that you get when you know you have given something you aren’t using to someone that needs it is beyond amazing. You’ll smile for days. We’ve been depriving ourselves of that joy by holding onto our things just because we “own them”.

Minimalism is a choice that I made seven years ago and looking back my only regret is that I didn’t embrace it sooner. For now, I still feel like I have a long way to go but it’s a journey every day and I enjoy every step.

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7 thoughts on “Don’t Confuse Minimalism With Deprivation

  1. I really loved the phrase ‘there is no one way or right way, but your way’. Seven ears is a long time to embrace minimalist virtues! Congratulations on that!

    Also, I never thought of minimalism in the way you have described it here. I always maintain the idea of spending only when needed and yes, it can get addictive and may showcase the apparent ‘rude’ side to others so I do not go overboard!

    Looking forward to read more of your articles! :)

    • You are right. As with anything there can be a rather cult following. I’ve never been one to try to make others see it my way. I do get excited about it sometimes and I used to drive my friends crazy when they wanted to give me gifts and I had all that I needed. I’ve learned to ask for what I might need and friends have adapted. My friends now call me when they clear some clutter and it feels so good. Thanks for reading and commenting..

  2. M.B., first thank you for the link love. I enjoyed this and it seems we were on the same wavelength today as I just posted my recent finds and how those around me are joining in on sharing mentality rather than owning everything they “might” need.
    You know my story. I found myself in an empty nest with all the “stuff” that was acquired through raising a family. I wanted simply to declutter and turn the home into my own space. Where I ended up was a surprise to me but I have never looked back. I am so much happier today with my small studio apartment, time to spend with family and friends and time to pursue hobbies and other things that make me happy.
    My home may be small but I don’t own just 100 things or some other predetermined definition of minimalism, like you said it looks different to each of us.
    Good to see you back blogging I missed your perspectives.

  3. Pingback: Friday Faves: Sustainable Living | Living Simply Free

  4. I’m not sure I’d be judged as a minimalist, but I like that I have so little to the extent that it’s easy to straighten my house for the mother in law’s first visit. If I had more, there’d be more to put away, move around and clean around. I realise part of what people compliment me on in my home is that it’s all curated – only what I love is here, nothing that jars in my mind (and therefore, it seems, it’s calm and nice for others).

    I could certainly have less paper – but I’m not yet there, and I will look at how to be. But there’s therapy (for me) in both typing and writing, and they don’t both serve me the same way.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

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