There are a lot of misconceptions out there about Minimalism. And a lot of people won’t even try it out because they feel like they can’t follow all of the rules.
Now, I don’t think that anyone has actually ever written down a list of rules that people have to follow if they claim to be a Minimalist…
But there are a lot of common practices that have become somewhat synonymous with Minimalism. And because of this, people tend to think that every Minimalist out there follows these “rules.”
So in this post, I will be showing you which Minimalist Rules I Break, and explaining why I don’t think that there really are any hard and fast rules when it comes to Minimalism.
On the contrary, I think it is important that you customize anything that you do in your life to fit your needs and wants.
Now before we get into the rules that I personally break, I just want to encourage you that if you have ever considered trying out Minimalism before but felt like the list of rules was too daunting, I want you to think again.
Don’t let any of the “rules” that you think that you are supposed to follow keep you from trying.
In my life, I have found Minimalism makes things easy and simple, so I encourage you to give it a try if it is something you are interested in.
And if you want to see evidence of the rules that I break, be sure to check out the video!
12 Minimalist Rules That I Break
So without further ado, let’s get into the 12 Minimalist Rules that I Break:
1) Wall Decorations
To start off my list, the first rule that I break is that I have things on my walls.
And… I don’t just have things on my walls… I have family pictures on my walls. (Que gasps of horror from all the Minimalists in the world!)
Often people think of blank walls when they think of Minimalism. And they think that if Minimalists don’t have blank walls, they have carefully curated, pricy art displayed.
Well, I happen to love family pictures.
They make me happy when I see them, so I want them to be displayed in a place that I can see them all the time.
I do try to have them displayed in an appealing way, but I definitely have pictures of us and the prominent decoration in my house.
So yes, I know that family pictures aren’t the most Minimalist thing to have on your walls, but a big part of Minimalism is making space for the things that you love.
And since I am a Minimalist, I don’t have a lot of other things on my walls that will distract me from the things that I love the most.
2) Throw Pillows
And I just disagree with this rule. I happen to love throw pillows!
I think that throw pillows add a lot of texture and interest to your couch or chair.
And in addition to liking the way that they look, they also add comfort to our couches because our courches are old. Really old.
Ross and I have been together for 13 years and he got them as hand-me-downs even before we started dating. And since they make the couch a lot more comfortable, I wouldn’t want to take the pillows off of the couch just because it isn’t “Minimalist enough.”
To maintain a more minimalist look with the throw pillows, I did get them all the same color. But I got several different textures to make it more interesting to look at.
3) A Television
Just like with the throw pillows, TV’s are on just about every list of things that you can throw away and you will never miss.
The reason that I have not decluttered my TV is that I like to workout at home. And it’s a lot easier to do a workout on a larger screen.
I also like to have a TV because sometimes we like to watch documentaries or sermons if we aren’t going to church, and it is easier for everyone to see what is going on when you have a larger screen.
Ironically, I don’t have any sort of TV services that I use though. We don’t have cable, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or anything like that… we just use the TV itself.
Now if I were just starting out and I didn’t have a TV, I probably wouldn’t purchase one.
But since I already have it and I use it on a regular basis, I’m not going to get rid of it just to make myself more of a Minimalist.
Often Minimalists will try to have the least amount of furniture possible that serves the needs of their immediate family.
For us, this just wouldn’t be practical because we like to host friends and family, and we don’t only want to have enough seats for those of us who live here.
5) Board Games
If you saw my Decluttering My Closet video, you probably noticed that I have a lot of board games for someone who claims to be a Minimalist.
One of my friends was just recently giving me grief about how many games I have and telling me that I need to declutter some of them if I want to be a Minimalist!
But the truth is that we love playing board games. We play them very often (about once a week) and now that the kids are getting older, they are learning to love games too.
So like I’ve mentioned before, Minimalism isn’t about having to least amount of stuff possible, it is about making space in your life for the things that you truly love.
And since we are Minimalists in other areas, we have plenty of space for all of our games.
Ok, it’s confession time.
I have a lot of jackets. A LOT.
You know it’s bad when Ross is telling ME to declutter things.
But, here’s the reason I don’t feel bad about having a lot of jackets: I am cold all. the. time. I wear a jacket in my house all year round, and I wear a jacket out of my house 9 months of the year.
So because of this, I do like to have a lot of different colors, weights, styles, and textures of jackets because I don’t want to have to wear the same jacket every single day.
(If you want to see all the jackets, check out the video!)
Plus, I kind of feel like it’s Ross’s fault that I have so many jackets because I don’t even like to shop! But he likes to take me with him when he goes to the Columbia Store… and every time he does that, I come home with a new jacket…
I don’t know how it happens.
The moral of the story is, yes, I have a jacket problem! But I am ok with it, even if it makes me less of a Minimalist.
Not unlike the jacket problem, I also have a lot of blankets!
This is partly because I am cold all the time, and it is partly because Ross is NOT cold all the time.
So in order for us not to argue about the thermostat, I keep blankets stashed around the house so that I can cover up whenever I am cold.
8) Cups, Plates, Bowls, Mugs
I have more cups, plates, bowls, mugs, and silverware than I technically need to feed my family.
The reason for this is that we like to host and it is hard to feed extra people if you only have enough things for your family.
Yes, I know that I could get some paper plates for when people come over. But I do like to reduce my impact on the environment as much as possible so I prefer to just have extras for when people come around.
Along this same line, we have a lot more tea mugs than we need for our family of four. This is because we drink a lot of tea, I like the way that a lot of the mugs look in the cupboard, and many of them are from special people or places.
I do get rid of old mugs as we get rid of new ones, but for the most part, we will always have more than we “need.”
I also like to be able to offer people tea when they come over, and it’s hard to do that if I only have enough for our family.
And yes, I call them “tea mugs” because I’m not a big fan of coffee… so there’s that…
9) Baby Clothes
Since I’m not sure if I’m done having kids yet, I don’t want to have to rebuy anything if I decide to have more children.
I have heard Minimalist Influencers say that you should get rid of all the baby clothes if there are more than just a couple of years in between your kids because you can always go to a thrift shop and buy more for cheap.
Well, last time I checked, free is cheaper than cheap, so I will be holding on to mine until I am good and done!
In the meantime, we loan them out to friends to use with the understanding that they will give them back to us when they are finished with them.
10) Sports Equipment
We are a very active family that likes to do pretty much every outdoor activity that there is.
Because of this, we have a lot of gear.
And as long as we continue to use the gear, we won’t be getting rid of it to make ourselves more Minimalist.
11) Meal Planning
If you have seen the way that I plan out my entire year of meals in advance, you know that I do not plan in the typical Minimalist way.
Most minimalists will tell you to eat in the simplest way possible (even if that means feeding your family the same meals every week!) so that you can save time and energy in the kitchen.
But this just wouldn’t work for my family. We are all foodies and we love eating a wide variety of food. So we just wouldn’t enjoy it as much if we had to eat the same thing every single week.
A lot of Minimalists will say to have a very simple budget with very broad categories so that you aren’t over-analyzing or over-budgeting.
Well, we do just about the exact opposite of this! You can check out how we budget, here.
As I was creating my outline for this post, I asked myself, “Can I even call myself a Minimalist when I’m over here breaking all of these rules?”
But I think that I can because Minimalism is all about simplifying your stuff (not having extra clutter), simplifying your schedule (not doing extra things that are not that important to you), and simplifying your life (being able to take the time to do the little thing that you weren’t able to do before).
And I think as long as you are doing those three rules, it doesn’t matter how many rules you follow or you break!
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