The problematic aspect of the minimalist movement

I love that minimalism has won as much ground as it has these days. Questioning the whole buy-and-throw-out mentality, that is endemic to our society, can only be interpreted as something good.

However, most of the minimalists you see talking about the subject on the web, are neglecting a crucial part of the conversation. They love to talk about throwing out most of what they own, only to forget the fact that they’ll soon need to buy some stuff again because they just trashed a lot of useful items.

I have been through this whole cycle myself. Me and my wife went through a long period, where we threw out most of our stuff as a fun weekend-activity. Getting rid of stuff had a cleansing feeling to it. It was liberating, and I can understand how people get hooked on the whole throwing-stuff-out fascination.

While you are in the middle of getting rid of most of your possessions, you get the sense that there is real gold at the end of some rainbow – that throwing out stuff will actually make you happy.

…. and I’m sorry to announce: it obviously won’t.

It does feel liberating to have more space in your apartment, once you have less clutter in there, and it does give you a certain high to think about how little you need to thrive in everyday life. You’ll learn a lot about this.

But like many other things; the high you get is very temporary, and it won’t result in long-term happiness.

What does bring long-term happiness is an ever-increasing feeling of freedom – at least for me – and throwing out stuff won’t in and of itself result in freedom.

So if you really want to contradict the buy-and-throw paradigm; stop buying and stop throwing out things just for the sake of it. What really matters is paying attention to what you actually need to be happy, and what you can be perfectly satisfied without. Then you stop buying the things you don’t need, and then freedom begins 🙂

Have a nice day.