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5 mistakes people make when starting a minimalist journey

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

We often see those common mistakes and even made some ourselves in our minimalist journey. Here is what to avoid when starting.

"The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don't." ~ Joshua Becker

We always see a wide range of reactions and mixed feelings when we talk about minimalism. Some people do not understand the concept at all, while others are all in and push their own ideas and views of how minimalism should be done. We think that it is a personal path, a "to each their own" way of doing. We personally managed to live in a 33' RV, but that was not our starting point. Our journey had begun way before that. We slowly discovered what worked for our family and lifestyle.

This is important because what works for us might not work for your family. Maybe you are just starting as a minimalist and all of this is new to you. You might not be ready to let go of some things and your hobbies might be very different from ours. No matter what you want or where you are in your minimalist journey, we want to help you. You can look at our complete course made to help reach your goals and find what works best for your family; Minimalist; on my terms.

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” ~ Socrates

To help you start today, let us highlight the five biggest mistakes people make when they begin the minimalist journey.

Drastic measures

You get up one morning and the whole house is upside down. You try to declutter a little bit. Then, you realize that the closets and all the drawers are overflowing. You feel your blood boiling and this time enough is enough!

You get a garbage bag and start throwing stuff away. You let the family know how sick and tired you are about all that clutter. You order them to get rid of things or you will. You storm into one room after another, grabbing whatever you can, thinking you are decluttering and beginning a minimalist journey. You are pushing every member of your family to clear their own bedroom right this moment.

At this point, they are all panicking and very grumpy. By the end of the day, everyone is looking through the bags because they want something back or, even worse, the whole bag ends up back in the closet. You are back to that clustered closet no one dares to open; afraid it will engulf them forever.

With this impulse, you might throw things you actually needed or that you wanted to keep. This is why it is better to postpone that decluttering session. Start with a deep breath and take a nice walk outside. Ideally, you will take this walk somewhere in nature and make sure you clear your mind as clutter usually starts there. Find your way back to a happy place and when you made it, go back home and do a simple cleanup. Now is not the time to start the minimalist journey.

Do not try to declutter the house. Now is really not the time to do it because you will throw things you need and love out of frustration and overwhelm. You need to plan a day to declutter, trust us on this one. It will be easier and way more fun to do it our way. The purpose is simple, you need the right set of mind for it. If you want the results to last a lifetime, you need to work through it at a pace that is good for you and your family.

It has to be a step-by-step process and, before jumping on the family, you have to work through it personally. You need to define what minimalism means to you and how you want to approach it. On top of this, the process should be fun, I know we are repeating this but this is very important. This might shock you but the method you choose can be pleasant, even with children! Our course goes a lot deeper in this process and could help you figure things out. You can book the next session here.

Being pushy

Are you the one jumping on new adventures with all your mind, body and soul?

You've devoured all the books on minimalism you could put your hands on from your local library, everything from barns and nobles and those on kindle unlimited! You feel ready to take the jump and you are not only motivated but confident about it.

There is one major problem, your family is not on board with your minimalist journey and they think you are crazy. You want them to clear out their stuff in the garage, basement, shed, drawers, closets, and so on. You want things to move fast and you are overly excited to see your progress.

What was the first thing that came to your mind when we talked about decluttering?

The garage? The family closet? Your kid's playroom?

There is a big chance that it was something that does not belong to you unless you live alone.

We tend to point fingers especially when we work on habits or a lifestyle changes;

- you have a hundred pairs of shoes and only two feet!

- look at your drawer, how can you find your things in there plus you always wear the same shirt?

- Your room is a mess, get rid of things!

What about your shoes, clothes, crafts, pictures, electronics, beauty products, books, and so on. Why push others to #declutter when you barely just started the process yourselves? What do you have in the house that belongs to you exclusively? This is where you need to start your minimalist journey.

By doing so, your family will see your progress and trust me they will follow. It might take more time than you wished for, but they will see your transformation. You will become happier, your room will feel different, and it will take you minutes to clean your space. They will tag along for these positive changes and start their own minimalist journey.

Being negative and pushy about all of it will not be a long-term solution. You will not feel good after it is completed, and the results will not last. It has to stay positive and fun for the whole family. They have to see the good that comes from it.

When it feels like it is getting too much, take a walk and breathe. You might take a lot of walks, in the beginning, but stick with it. The process of minimalism might even go way faster than you had planned, and in a few months, you will be laughing about all your walks and be fit. A two for one!

Start at the beginning

Great, you want to start decluttering but, where do you start? That is the question many people face and usually, we pick the wrong starting point. Think about it, if we tell you to go ahead and start wherever you would like, where would you go?

Did you pick the overflowing garage?

Or the famous crammed closet we talked about before?

Or the seven cabinets full of Tupperware?

The playroom with a million toys?

So, what exactly was it? What did you bring with you, a garbage bag? A container for the thrift store? I think you are starting to understand how complex the situation can get and how easy it is to get overwhelmed in a minimalist journey. Let us tell you right away, that if you picked one of the places mentioned before, you are working backwards.

First, are those items yours or someone else in the family? You need a step-by-step if you want to keep your results in the long run. Do not move too fast and take the time to answer some questions before and think about your future lifestyle.

For example, what do you wish to accomplish?

What hobbies do you love?

How is the weather where you live?

What color tones make you feel refreshed, peaceful and happy?

Do you have a good internet connection?

And we have many many more questions that go even deeper in your reflection about your life and your goals. Our course helps you go through each step at your own pace, and you will keep your result for life as it will become a lifestyle and not a cleaning process. Minimalist; on my terms

If you wish to attack this goal by yourself, keep in mind those questions and when you are unsure, move along and come back to it later. You can also view our tips on our Instagram page to help you move through this process.

Stop comparing

We all tend to compare ourselves with each other. In this era, it is even easier to compare everything we do with everyone around the world on the internet, with the media and social platforms. The same thing applies to your minimalist journey. With all the documentaries, reality TV, hundred of posts, stories and families that are prone to this lifestyle, it is so easy to get all confused about it.

You might be discouraged when you see a family living a minimalist life their way because it doesn't fit your lifestyle. Remember they started somewhere, they have their own culture, hobbies, climate, jobs and so on. Maybe you are thinking of someone right now and realizing that this is not your style and that's ok. We all have our preferences and our own goals so why compare?

Comparing will either frustrate you, make you envious or prevent you from even trying something new. Do not make that mistake, let us help you. Diversity creates a wonderful world full of colors, tastes and experiences. How boring would life be if we all thought the same things, said the same things, liked the same things and even dressed the same way!

Therefore, it is so important to target your own priorities, your own taste and your own goals. You will find what your own flavor is so that you can eventually share your journey and have the powerful feeling of having conquered all your goals.

Discovering who you really are is essential. This has to be done by you and not what other people think you are or what they think you want. Some may like monotones like the bright white rooms with white furniture and a white blanket. Others prefer color and are very artful. If you love colors and all you find on the internet are white rooms when looking for a minimalistic life, you probably won't even bother trying. The course will help define who you are and the things that make you feel joyful. Knowing this is going to make your goals more attainable.

The roadblocks

We were surprised to see how many roadblocks people put on minimalism. People around us have a misleading concept of what the term minimalism means. When we asked the question to a few, they answered some crazy ideas like to attain minimalism you have to completely empty a room, with a mattress on the floor and one pillow!

Well if this is what you saw when you search the internet you cannot understand the entire theory. Our course will help you get rid of those concepts and we will go deeper than just a white empty room. You will get to see every element of minimalism and you will be able to personally situate yourself in it. Your goals will be clearer and you will know exactly where you want to be at the finish line. We will give you some advice, technics and different types of approaches. Your personal minimalist journey!

We will answer a lot of questions, even some you might not think you have at the moment. For example, being minimalistic with your time, how to classify your hobbies, how to remain hospitable with less, #homeschooling and minimalism, babies and teens, zero waste vs minimalism and much more. We will dig deep and clarify things so that you don't have to question your process and shine some light on your lifestyle goals.

Remember, focus on yourself and your things first. Set your priorities and define your hobbies. Take it one step at a time and make it fun. When overwhelmed, clear your mind and take a nice walk in nature before going back.

Keep at it and don't get discouraged, a small step is still a step forward!

Join us for the course Minimalist; on my terms. If you would like personal coaching through your journey, take a coaching session available in our services.

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