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Why I am Not a Minimalist

Just because a movement is aesthetically pleasing doesn't mean it is right for everyone or even sustainable for the majority, except for maybe the most fervent followers who treat minimalism like a religion.


Let’s take a sober look at minimalism - the constant war against stuff leads to a heck of a lot of thinking about stuff. No longer is a trip to the market safe - every item must be carefully considered past the point where living is carefree & simple.


While I like the idea of considerate shopping and I'm certainly against hoarding, I don’t like the idea of constantly thinking about the things that I own and whether or not buying one more thing is going to break me on a fundamental level. I'm also completely and steadfastly against the notion of connecting an arbitrary number of things owned to happiness or even productivity. In real life, it's just not that simple and I've learned the number one predictor of lasting happiness has nothing to do with things at all but rather does one have a connection with their Creator. Without this, it's all nonsense and eventually trash, whether you own 1000 things or only 43.


It seems to me minimalists have managed to transfer clutter from the physical space into the mental space, because things are now the enemy and must be contemplated beyond what is reasonable in order to justify ownership. The things a minimalist owns or doesn't own is now occupying a space in that persons mind, either justifying them or condemning them.


No thanks, I'd rather keep my stuff in the physical realm and enjoy a free mind.


I'm also at odds with the typical lack of creature comforts within minimalism. There is nothing enticing, for me, about sitting at a spartan desk for hours when the chair your bum is touching is barely a piece of hard wood on sticks. "But it looks good," they say. Well, I can't even slouch comfortably in that setup. Surely one can be a minimalist with comfortable items, but usually what we see are aesthetically pleasing uncomfortable objects or entire rooms with only a plant or a pillow on the floor. That is the eye candy the movement uses to allure. Just what is the point of being perpetually uncomfortable for the sake of owning less? Madness, I say.


Personally, I have found that I enjoy owning more than I precisely need. It allows me freedom to play around with the stuff I have, knowing that I'm not in scarcity. I like having an excess of pens, blank notebooks, even books to read. I even have dedicated storage for excess decor, which I enjoy now and again switching out so the eyes get something new to gaze at. Having more than I could precisely need means there is always something I can tinker with - a project to do, a book to read - and I find that very comforting and cozy. In fact, my most productive moments come when I'm "off script" and just let myself "play" with the excess stuff I have lying around.


All of this being said, I do subscribe to a minimalist Youtuber that owns no furniture, maybe 3 pieces of clothing, sleeps in a hammock and eats on the floor with her one multipurpose spoon. Strange people fascinate me and its probably because my own quirks typically run against the current. It’s interesting to look at and try to comprehend, but it is decidedly not for me.

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