It’s not really a secret that I consider myself a minimalist. I’m notorious for bagging up things to send to thrift stores and more likely then not I always have some bag to send away in my car. There’s close to nothing on our walls, and often you’ll find me going through out household items just for fun.
Although I’m passionate about living a simple, intentional life, there are some ways that I’m not really a ‘good’ minimalist. I don’t have the picture perfect home you see on Pinterest, or have a perfectly hand-picked life. Yes, I cut back on clutter and am crazy about what I put on my walls – but there are areas that I allow myself to splurge, and items that I give myself room to enjoy.
I wanted to share some of my ‘mistakes’ as a minimalist today to encourage you that your home doesn’t need to be perfect to still follow a lifestyle you love. I’m inspired by the Minimalists quote – “Every possession should serve a purpose or bring joy to your life.” Not everything we own needs to be purely functional – it’s okay to own things that are rewarding emotionally as well. Although we strive for functionality, part of intentional living is taking care of yourself and purposefully creating a space you enjoy and love.
Although we’re absolutely fine not having that perfectly minimal household, we do know our limits- our ‘joyful things’ aren’t an excuse to go out and shop til we drop. Instead, we try to be satisfied with what we already have but give ourselves the margin to purchase things in these three areas that bring us joy.
#1 – Coffee Mugs
We have a ton of coffee mugs. Twenty, to be exact. I should know – I counted. Not only are we huge coffee and tea lovers, but we like sharing conversation and moments over a good cup of Joe. Is having 20 coffee mugs necessary? Absolutely not. But I can guarantee that I have used every single one at least five times. Really, these mugs get a ton of use. Some days, I’m craving a big cup of coffee in a happy-feeling mug. On other days, I want a smaller cup. It all depends on my mood! I enjoy getting to pick out a mug every day and choosing one that fits my outlook for that morning.
#2 – Records
We’ve almost completely transitioned to a digital-only collection of music. Not only is it convenient, but cuts down on the clutter of CD’s a ton. However, we love our records – not only can we hear the sound difference, but we love the atmosphere the record player creates. We use it often – on rainy days when we need a bit of cheering up, on sunny summer days that need just a soundtrack, and evenings when the baby is in bed and Frank Sinatra is calling our name. Would Spotify work just as well? Sure thing. But there’s something romantic about the process of caring for records that creates a nostalgia around music.
#3 – Cameras & Gear
When you work from home, you sort of collect stuff. In our case, we have a ton of camera gear. Just like with music, we’re almost completely paper-less in our photography contracts & paperwork, but the endless camera gear (and even just ‘fun’ camera stuff) really adds up. Some of this we use for work weekly – capturing photos for our clients & creating content. Other things we have because we enjoy using them to document our family – such as our Polaroid and film camera. We have 4 digital cameras, 2 film, 6 lenses, two flashes, and of course the camera bags themselves – along with the other small but especially necessary accessories.
So… why am I sharing this with you?
Why would I detail out why we allow ourselves to ‘splurge’ from our minimal lifestyle on just three sort of weird and unrelated items?
Because truthfully, we all fail. Sometimes, failure is an actual mistake- failure can look like pain. But often, failure is just projected on us, an error of foresight, either by what other people have said or what we have said ourselves. It’s especially true in the social media world- we see picture perfect homes and quotes from people who are a success at whatever. So we hold ourselves to these standards that someone else makes, and if our life doesn’t replicate the pre-fabricated idea of these standards (whether it’s minimalism or something else), we tend to just assume that we failed. Then, it’s easy to hide what doesn’t fit the specific mold or expectation and join along with the fake, fabricated game of social media and blogging, without ever reaching our own goals.
Your dreams and goals aren’t ‘less important’ then the popular ideas of success. Make them, plan them out – and give them the room to actually work for you. Let them have space to be both practical and joyful for your life.
Some people might say I fail as a minimalist. I hold on to too much, or prioritize silly things. But I’m not here to live up to social media’s standards- and I know you aren’t here for that, either. Whatever it is you are trying to succeed in – there is space and room for you to do it in a way that both challenges you and fills you with joy. Find the balance that works for you.
What goals do you hold dear?
How does Social Media shape the way you view your goals and how you pursue them?
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