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Caution: Hazardous decluttering! Or Why minimalism won’t solve your problems

Today We wanted to talk about side effects, to warn those who are just looking at minimalism as a way of life. This house cleaning game can make a huge difference in your life, so be as careful and considerate of yourself as you can.

So what are the dangers behind getting rid of things?

Different motivation, different consequences

Aesthetic motivation .

If you love minimalistic Scandinavian or high-tech design, then it seems that you are separated from it only by renovation, a pile of extra furniture, flowers on the walls, and trinkets of your family. When the stars add up in such a way that you have the opportunity to remake everything to your own taste, you can sell, distribute or take out cubic meters of bad taste, paint the walls white and find that this emptiness just wants to be filled with insignificant but beautiful knitted poufs. Carelessly lying here and there are pillows, blankets and slippers, flowers, and other accessories that will have to be bought again. And if you do not stop in time, then after some time already new “treasures” will become out of fashion junk that spoils your minimalist home.

Ideological motivation.

Or you have read anti-globalization, philosophical, environmental, or other conceptual literature learn how someone strives for world domination and draws you into capitalist games, how you are manipulated by large corporations, what pressure is exerted on you by the consumer society. And, of course, we decided to quit the game. First of all, you get rid of impulse purchases from big brands, so that no one would think that you once “sinned” with this, go to everything local and swear the evil empire is on what the world is. It turns out that this path involves constant struggle, it is not so easy to stop consuming. Following the ideals, you soon begin to see enemies in those who are not as zealous as you are, and the cashier, who automatically puts your “local” curd into a bag, should be suspected of conspiracy with the damned capitalists (of course!). For annoyance, resistance and agitation takes a lot of energy, and communism/purity of nature/simplification or whatever was in mind, is never achieved. This frustration can be very painful.

Self-cognitive motivation.

Sometimes just curiosity takes over. Do I really need that much? I wonder what if I reduce the number of things in the house by 5 times? What is it like to be someone who lives in simplicity? It’s even curious that if I experiment and become more aware of my relationships with things and people, follow my habits, what if I finally begin to internally conform to the values ​​that I like so much?

In itself, decluttering is not as entertaining as the opportunity to listen to voices in your head that speak in every way: “You are already an adult, how can you still get carried away with this?” do not tear it! ”,“ This may still be useful to you! ”,“ Then you will regret your decision ?! ”,“ How can you do this with a gift, after all, people are from the bottom of your heart! .. ”These internal exclamations from everyone your own, and if you think about it, you immediately recognize in these voices the close people on whom you have depended or are still dependent. Deep inner work is unfolding in search of one’s own meanings and desires, one has to say goodbye to people and illusions, face pain, and make difficult decisions. Oh, it’s worth it, but the path is not paved with roses. Like any other, however, a real path.

Shame, guilt, and other unpleasant experiences

Oddly enough, things, their presence or absence, are closely related to us and our feelings. And in order to experience feelings, recognize and experience them, you need contact with yourself, you need skills (which many have almost no, God forbid if you can distinguish positive from negative), you need courage. Things, without knowing it, cause a huge amount of experience!

Here we see a beautiful interior piece in the store, and we like it. It has a nice color, graceful curves, beautiful lines, and even some practical application. And we want it right away. We estimate how much it will cost with a discount, how we will take it and deploy it at home, how we will put it on the shelf …


They could just admire, stroke, take a picture to show it to someone, but then they replaced this sympathy with a keen desire to buy it. On the way home, we are worried about whether she will fit into the interior well, what her husband will say, but we do not give room for doubts, going over all possible and impossible excuses for our purchase in our head, as if she will have to be defended at the Last Judgment. We doubt our right to make decisions so much (which our parents did not give us for so long, for example) that we hold on to this little thing as a symbol of our (finally!) Adulthood, freedom and independence.

And what?

Husband/Wife did not even notice her (here is a callous stump!), Almost with resentment, we express to him a complaint in his inattention to our purchase, but in fact to us and our feelings. The husband/wife begins to defend himself or attack, makes it clear that he saw all this rubbish in the coffin, feels unbearable guilt for no one knows what, begins to reproach for squandering, and we get our ready-made arguments defending our already inalienable rights.

The evening is ruined, everyone was left alone and incomprehensible, one has irritation with which he slams doors a little louder than usual, the other has anger that she never shows, but he burns her from the inside and only mint tea and the Instagram feed are slowly able to calm him down …

A week passes, the piece is covered with dust and has never been used. The husband/Wife was right, we are spenders. Every time we look at her/him, we feel ashamed. We’re not good enough. This is broadcast to us by my husband/wife, an advertisement for underwear, an article about healthy eating. We do not know how to cope with this shame, we just punish ourselves, and then we cannot endure the pain, we go to calm it down with a new thing, a cake, light chatter on the phone, or social networks. And how many of these things are in our homes? How much effort does it take to ignore the aura that we have surrounded them with, to deny our feelings?

It can be hard to stop

Checkboxes have a special respect for deleting from the to-do list, the sound of a completed task in the Wunderlist. The realization that one thing is over, they can take on another, even brings them temporary satisfaction. Such “excellent students” know how to carefully organize the space, and when the trend towards minimalism comes, they get rid of the unnecessary with great enthusiasm, and then the necessary ones, then they buy again to first tick the “purchased” checkbox, and then the “throwaway” checkbox. In general, here, of course, it depends on motivation …

But when we are possessed by some idea, we often do not know the measure. In the era of total perfectionism, there is no worse offense than not completing it to the end, doing it anyhow, not bringing it to mind. It seems that there is some point at which everything will finally be perfect. And then we will be great, and our world will shine, tied with a bow. The pursuit of this ideal is so approved, but so tiring that as soon as we start something, we spend the rest of our strength on turning our head in all directions, waiting for praise or even some kind of sign, they say, everything is enough, already perfect … The sign, as a rule, is not received, we are dissatisfied with ourselves, because how is it possible ?! And instead of every day accepting our home and our life as it is, day after day we go around it dissatisfied, we notice everything that does not yet correspond to the picture in our head,

A separate difficulty is to limit ourselves only to your space and your things because this is how it tends to “save” the family from the abundance of things. What if your loved ones don’t support your love of minimalism?

Some things you might have to regret

The desire to be the best fellow and the most minimalist leads to the fact that people, not listening to their feelings, throw away and give away too much. And then they regret, again painfully attached to something else, mourning that loss. A year ago, it seemed that these old rags of your grandmother did not mean anything, and then the idea came to sew a patchwork quilt that tells the story of the family, and there is nothing to sew. And then you start to collect any rags, and what if they come in handy ?! They ask me all the time if I regretted something from the thrown out, but no, thank God, I didn’t have to, I’m afraid of attacks, like, I freaked out and threw out hundreds of bags.

And if something like that happened to you or happens, take a closer look at what is really going on inside you? After all, the point is not in a specific thing, but in something else, maybe overlooked, lost, which brings such pain. Finding a loss can only be a pretext for self-exploration, a search for the true cause of the experience.

The emerging time and space can be frustrating

When the gaze does not cling to all these cute tweaks, frames, patterns, little things, when there is nothing to clean, disassemble and sort out, when there are no collections with which to entertain guests for hours, it turns out that you can get bored, feel subtle uncomfortable experiences, like emptiness inside, helplessness or sadness.

Instead of organizing space, the task of structuring your time suddenly arises. To plan more in order to get more done, become more productive, devote more time to children, parents, books, study, personal care … Otherwise (oh, horror!) This time will slip through your fingers, what could be worse ?!

Worse, I think, is when children grow up imperceptibly in this race, decades fly by and dear people die. Therefore, structuring the “excess” of time, it is worth paying attention to the space in the fields, meditation, leisurely reading or writing, doing nothing, sadness, rethinking your life … And this may require serious moral strength.

Begins to want honesty and simplicity, not only in the house

Instead of a series of excuses why you do not want to join your friends for the umpteenth time, a laconic “I don’t want” breaks out. In response to many pretentious and enviable proposals, a calm and balanced “no” is born. It becomes possible to interrupt the telephone conversation with the words: “It seems to me that this is enough for today.” Disrespect for our borders becomes a signal to distance ourselves from violators, to save ourselves. Of course, not everyone is ready for this. Someone is offended, someone is angry, someone is jealous that they cannot afford this. Someone, thinking out for themselves who knows what, does not invite us to visit anymore, because he has too many things, and someone with a challenge declares that he will not give us anything else, since we behave like this (how?) …

And without much effort on our part, people leave our environment with whom it is impossible to build respectful partnerships. And we find ourselves surrounded by those in whom there is enough tact and inner freedom to endure all our “antics”, those with whom we are value-wise. But not everyone is so lucky, sometimes building new relationships and finding like-minded people takes years. Thank God, privacy is also becoming a weighty value.

What are the “side” effects of minimalism that you encounter? What consequences did you not expect when you first made the decision to live easier? Share your experience in the comments below!

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