The downfall of minimalism

Minimalism changed my life in so many ways since I discovered it about 6 years ago. I first heard about it in the same way most people did: Marie Kondo and The Minimalists. I guess The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up really was life changing for me. I read it when I was still in college and was living in a small studio appartment. I wasn’t a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination but I did own many things a college student probably didn’t really NEED. After reading the book, I immediately started decluttering. It wasn’t a choice as much as it was a desire, a need, an urge.

From then on I kept decluttering as the years went on. I moved to a bigger flat, but owned less things. Having open space was so so liberating. I also started being super intentional about the things I brought into my life. Do you really NEED a kitchen table? Can I do without another spatula? Who uses a microwave anyways?

In being intentional lies the beauty but, at least for me, also the downfall. I’m a stereotypical virgo, a true perfectionists and after a while, when all the decluttering was done, the need to buy more stuff was replaced by the need to buy the perfect stuff. The shopping addiction got replaced by the curation addiction.

I no longer spend hours and hours shopping ‘for fun’, but I have to admit, I can spend hours and hours researching the PERFECT white T. Because if I am only going to buy one, it needs to be THE ONE, right? My point being: how intentional is too intentional? The perfectly curated wardrobe, the well-researched interior items. Maybe being this intentional is my downfall. It can get overwhelming to find the most practical, most sustainable, most beautiful, most perfect items all the time. I do realize this sounds like a very first world problem, but let’s be honest, minimalism in itself is a privilege.

The need for perfection and curation sometimes takes over my life. It stresses me out when my 1 year old son plays with our dinner chairs, because they were expensive and because they need to stay perfect. Sometimes I catch myself eating dinner in my underwear as to not stain my one, perfect, white sweater.

I still love minimalism and do stand by it. It’s a way of life that can bring a lot of peace. But somewhere along the way I lost myself a bit in the process. After all, minimalism isn’t really about stuff in the first place. True minimalism is to not be held back by your stuff. Let’s try to not be held back by perfection either.