One of the things that scared me about simple living and minimalism at first was that it would mean huge sacrifice and feeling like I was lacking. In case you have those same fears let me dispel some of the myths surrounding this lifestyle change for you.
Myth #1 You won't have what You need when You need it.
First you need to discover the difference between needs and wants. I get it! We are creatures of comfort. Sometimes a want feels like a serious need. Do I want to have the perfect wool coat to wear with my little black dress to the once a year Christmas party I attend? Absolutely! But reality is I have a perfectly fine ski jacket and really my outer wear will only be seen briefly when I arrive and when I leave so I can be perfectly content with it and I only need one warm coat.
Second surely you won't purge anything you use on a regular basis. If you are a smoothie nut... keep your blender and that specific long handled spoon that reaches all the way to the bottom of your blender to scrape out the delicious drips that linger down there.
Third anything you don't have that you absolutely genuinely can't make do without can probably be picked up in a thrift store fairly easily. In fact Tsh Oxenreider has a mind blowing post about using a thrift store as a storage unit it's quite brilliant.
Myth #2 You'll feel like you're lacking
I used to have an enormous wardrobe. I mean spilling out of drawers, covering the floor, couldn't find a thing I wanted to wear because I couldn't find a thing anyway. And every single item I owned was cheap. I bought it because it was on clearance, or a screaming thrift store deal, or because someone else was eyeing it up at a garage sale so I had to have it! It didn't matter that the shirt was high visibility yellow... it only cost $2!
Since I've moved on to a capsule wardrobe of 33 items or less I get to be much more intentional about my purchases and choose quality items that are better made and have a better fit. I still buy the things I want on sale sometimes, but it's because I have waited for it to be on sale, not because I walked in to the store and it just happened to spot it on the clearance rack. I'll write more about capsule wardrobes in another post.
Now that I love everything I wear I do not miss any of my old cheap outfits.
Myth #3 You won't fit in with your friends anymore.
Thrift store shopping and yard sales are 2 of my favorite ways to spend time with friends, but what's the fun in that if you don't need to buy anything and you won't want to bring home a bunch of stuff to re-clutter your house? Here are 2 ways I tackled this fear:
- I still shop. I love to wander around looking at other people's junk. The difference is I have a purpose in mind. For instance, at the moment I am on the hunt for a teapot. I have recently started to enjoy drinking tea with my family and it would be a whole lot easier if I could just make 1 pot rather than brewing each individual cup. So when I go out treasure hunting I have a specific treasure in mind.
- We find other things to do... There are pubs and coffee shops to chat in. I've taken in more than a few concerts and plays since I've started this minimalism gig. And if you're really stuck for something to do there's always (gasp) physical exercise. Go for a hike, take up kayaking, or join a class together.
What am I missing? What fears are you holding you back from taking the plunge? What questions do you have?