Something I’ve seen a lot lately while browsing Twitter for new friends to follow is people labeling themselves as an “aspiring minimalist”.
Aspiring? Aspiring to me sounds dreamy, like those far off dreams we have of living on an island and being a surf instructor, when we have never even touched a surf board. It lacks the concreteness of reality.
Why limit yourself?
If you “want very much” to be a minimalist, why not be one?
Perhaps those self-defined aspiring minimalists are just waiting to find the time to go through all their belongings. Maybe they long for a clutter-free home, yet see the process as so grand and daunting, they can never quite seem to spare an afternoon.
I invite them to find 30 minutes to clear one junk drawer.
Perhaps there are some aspiring minimalists who have taken those first steps, gone through the KonMari method with their wardrobe, and yet still don’t feel they’ve quite achieved “minimalist” status.
To them I say, you don’t have to live in an empty room to call yourself a minimalist. (tweet that)
How do you become a “minimalist”?
Minimalism can be a long, slow process. For some it can take years. You don’t have to wait until your mission is complete before claiming your title.
I don’t remember when I first started calling myself a minimalist. I think it was when I realized how much physical clutter affects me and when my perspective on possessions changed. With my new perspective came my new label.
But in retrospect, I’ve always been a minimalist — I just didn’t realize it for many years. I lived in clutter for most of my life, and felt the emotional repercussions of it. I was a minimalist living in a cluttered house.
Do you have to wait until you’ve achieved Christ-like perfection before calling yourself a Christian? Or wait until you’re floating around in enlightenment before calling yourself a meditator? Or until you can bend in ways previously thought impossible before calling yourself a yogi? No. These things are practices, lifestyles, or ways of life. They are ideologies you can choose to follow because they resonate with you.
Minimalism isn’t as extreme as you think it is
We often picture a minimalist as someone who sits on the bare floor of an all-white apartment with maybe, maybe, a glass of water and a lamp in the corner.
Minimalism is not that extreme.
Everyday people living everyday lives can be minimalists. Your neighbor or child’s teacher or coworker might be one and you don’t even know it!
Minimalism doesn’t even have to be a huge change for you. You might find that you only have a few extra things around the house that aren’t serving you — yet what a difference it makes to remove them!
Making the jump
If you resonate with the ideas of minimalism, you are a minimalist. If you’re a minimalist and haven’t started decluttering your home or changing your purchasing habits yet, I invite you to start now. It’s uncomfortable to live counter to what feels true to you. And living with intention feels so much better.