I’ve written a few posts on how minimalism has positively affected my life and the direction in life I want to head towards. I think embracing this lifestyle change has obviously been positive for me but I want to touch on the hard part of minimalism.
If you’re new to minimalism, I wrote a post on the 5 things that I have learnt from minimalism which might give you a better idea of how I interpret minimalism.
For me, I think the hardest part of the minimalism journey is “noise” and analysis paralysis.
It seems over the past few years, avoiding advertising is becoming harder and harder.
Whether it be through advertisements that come across your screen as you’re scrolling, on the car radio, ads before a youtube video or the side of the bus as it goes past. It feels like constant noise all the time. Even plain every day conversations between colleagues, friends or family can include discussions on the latest X or latest purchases that can easily derail your minimalism journey or thoughts.
I say this is hard because changing your previous consumption patterns requires a lot of retraining of your thought patterns and habits. And boy are habits hard to change, especially ones that require you to actively pull yourself back or having to stop yourself to think.
There are active ways now that allow you to avoid advertisements including changing browsers, paying for ad free services (our attention has become so prized!) and even unsubscribing from newsletters you no longer want to receive, especially clothing stores.
Analysis paralysis for me occurs when I want to buy something usually but can also occur when I want to get rid of something. I spend so much time now thinking about items that I want to buy that sometimes, I really do think I over think it!
If I have an item that seems to be on its last legs, I still have a conversation to myself that I can still use it instead of replacing it when perhaps replacing it might be the better long term option. I’m not sure! Do I really need it? Or trying to figure out if there’s something that I already have that could substitute it. Decision fatigue is real.
Thoroughly thinking through consumption patterns is a great way to figure out where you are and how you can improve but getting analysis paralysis is not so productive. It’s also not a very minimalist way to deal with a problem.
What are some of your annoying thought habits when you want to buy something?
17 thoughts on “The Hardest Part of Minimalism”
Some good tips here. It is hard letting go of “stuff” but as you say the long term benefits are worth it.
I have to have that conversation with myself quite often :)..I definitely think we need less than we think we do. Agree with thinking through consumption patterns.
We do but I know there is also this fear of letting the excess go and all the reasons we tell ourselves not to let it go.
I get analysis paralysis too! Maybe that’s why I decided to pare down my material stuff as much as I could. Like, before I buy something, I think REALLY HARD on which item will be ‘the one’. All that really does give me fatigue. Anyway, thanks for this post!
Maybe it’s not analysis paralysis and we should be calling it purposely chosen!
I agree with Stuart, I get analysis paralysis buying or giving away things. Maybe I could spend more time minimizing my possessions rather than so much time researching which is the Perfect item to buy or the Perfect person to give something!
Haha, I’ve always thought that I should be doing that too. Oh, gift giving bothers me so much as I always try to get something useful.
Once I send off my Supergringa in Spain memoir off to a publishing contest in early September, I plan to do just that as school starts again for my child. Total home office purge!
It’s going to feel so good.
I can relate to my wanting to their something out if it still has a use! Or at least parts of it may be useful. Moving to a new house helped rid us of this type of built up clutter! There are a few regrets- ie. things I could have used but tossed, but on the whole felt lighter for de-cluttering.
Moving house must be the time to go through everything- new beginnings. I guess they don’t call it spring cleaning for no reason, time for me to get to it again.
Many folks seem to find the impetus to spring clean, Carol. Especially those in the colder climates where they have been stuck indoors for a while.
Sorry – I get you and Sophie confused all the time…. ahhh….
I am Sophie!
It is not possible to edit a comment on someone else’s blog so I couldn’t correct my mistake. My apologies.
I always mix up your blog and The Eternal traveller. I don’t know why. Unfortunately it is just a sign of ageing!
No worries about it!