Do you ever wonder if you’re doing this whole “minimalist” thing correctly?
Like maybe you cleaned out your closets and took a few car loads to Goodwill, but then, days later, made a trip to the mall to buy a few new clothes for the season.
Or maybe you’ve streamlined your budget—cutting out the unnecessary, trimming back areas where you went overboard—but the entire time you were wondering if maybe your savings would buy you a brand new car.
When it comes to your schedule, do you pack your weekdays full of work projects, fun activities, volunteer opportunities and meetings with friends, only to hole up for the weekend with your cell phone on silent, watching Netflix?
If so, you might be a weekend minimalist. But does that mean you’re doing it wrong? The short answer to that question is, no, absolutely not.
The long answer goes something more like this: there is no “right” way to be a minimalist. If you’re thinking about minimalism, considering your options, making the best choices you know how with the information you have, you’re doing it.
There’s nothing wrong with being a weekend minimalist. After all, isn’t it better to be a minimalist on the weekends, than not at all?
So if this is you, and you find yourself wondering if you might not be on the right track when it comes to minimalism, here are three things to keep in mind:
1. Minimize when the mood strikes.
When you’re just starting out trying to simplify your life, it might not always feel easy or practical to pare down your schedule, to empty your closet or to streamline your budget. Don’t stress.
There’s no need to cut out things when you don’t feel like it. The point here is not to make life miserable for yourself (exactly the opposite, in fact). Instead, minimize when the mood strikes.
Capitalize on that moment when you go to find something in your hall closet and find it buried under a pile of stuff you no longer want or like. Take that opportunity to pack up a box and get it out of your house. Just grab the moment while it’s there.
2. Stay open to new expressions of minimalism.
Minimalist principals can take many forms and have many different expressions. Minimalist ideas can impact your schedule, budget, creative expression, clutter, calendar, etc. So, as new insights come into your life, stay open to them.
When an idea strikes you to take a little bit of extra time off work, for example, go with it. Or when a friend talks to you about cutting processed foods out of her diet, listen and try to consider if this might be right for you.
You don’t have to try every form of minimalism that comes across your path. Simply stay open to hearing how this way of thinking could impact your life.
3. Avoid judgment of yourself or others, no matter what place they’re in.
The ultimate goal of minimalism is to have happier, healthier, more holistic lifestyle. So no matter what expressions of minimalism you’re practicing, and to what degree, if it isn’t bringing you to this end, then there’s really no point.
Avoid judging other people, or yourself, no matter what brand of minimalism they’re practicing.
Think your friend is too extreme? Keep your opinions to yourself. Judging your neighbor for installing that new pool? Take a step back. Feeling guilty for splurging on that new coat after getting rid of four old ones? What’s the point?
Ultimately, your journey with minimalism is your own and you are only accountable to yourself. Ask yourself if you’re doing the best you can with what you have and learn to be content with that.