Is Minimalism Ever a Bad Thing? Here's How to Think About It

Is Minimalism Ever a Bad Thing? Here's How to Think About It

The minimalism movement has been around for a while. Living in a minimalist lifestyle is in, living in a minimalist home is in, and the minimalist aesthetic is something many people strive for.

But can minimalism ever be a bad thing? For some people, Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up isn't exactly life-changing — it just makes them feel restricted and claustrophobic. 

With decluttering on the brain (hello, spring cleaning!) Here's everything you need to know about when minimalism is a good thing and when it's not so you can strike the right balance for you. 

Is Minimalism a Bad Thing?

No, minimalism is not a bad thing. Actually, the act of living with less "stuff" can be incredibly positive and help serve as a reminder of what's actually important in life—friends, family, and investing our time in things we really care about. 

Minimalism can also help lower stress levels, since living in a clean, clutter-free environment can be incredibly calming. In fact, one of the reasons why hotels make sure to use white bedding is because it creates a clean, minimalist feeling, ensuring a better night of sleep.

Finally, the very act of decluttering and minimizing clutter in your space can be satisfying and create more physical and mental space for things that actually "spark joy," in the words of Marie Kondo.

So if you're on a spring cleaning spree in the hopes of living a more minimalist lifestyle, try not to overthink it too much. For many people, minimalism, and the act of living a life without excess, works out really well and they find a life with fewer things—and even a neutral, capsule wardorbe-type clothing style to be very fulfilling. As a nice bonus, you'll probably save money living with less stuff. 

For some people, minimalism is great. For others, it isn't really their thing.

When Can Minimalism Be a Problem?

Minimalism becomes a problem when you feel like you can't be yourself, or you feel like you're trying too hard to fit into a mold that society has laid out for you. 

Whether in an act of rebellion or because they actually mean it, these days people are happy to declare themselves "maximalists." This means they're living surrounded by stuff (and hopefully stuff they love!) and love to wear colorful outfits and tons of bracelets, necklaces ... or some version of this narrative. 

If you're not a loud and proud maximalist but also not sure if you're totally on board with the minimalist movement, consider this: Minimalism isn't for everyone! In fact, some people have actually expressed regret over getting rid of things they later needed, and have been slowly learning to "embrace clutter." 

The good news is that you don't have to be a full-blown maximalist or minimalist. There's something in between! Try to strike a middle ground by getting rid of and donating things you truly don't need, and keeping anything truly valuable to you. This is especially true of your style—don't stick to neutral tones if they're not your thing. Colors are great! 

Still not convinced? Marie Kondo, who didn't necessary invent minimalism but certainly popularized it, said she's stopped focusing as much on tidying and has started focusing a lot more on what really matters. See? Minimalism isn't everything. The most important thing you can be is yourself. 

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