Shhh…I’m a secret minimalist 

  
I was overwhelmed by the response to my blog yesterday on what to do about people who insist on buying you gifts you don’t want, and incredibly grateful for all the fantastic ideas for gift alternatives.
The responses also highlighted a personal question for me: why haven’t I told anyone I’m a minimalist (or at least trying to be one)?

Our friends know we have sold a lot of our stuff and decluttered our home but they definitely don’t know to what extent and they don’t know it’s because we want to live a different life than one that consumerism sets out for us.

One friend who is reading the fantastic book ‘Stuffocation’ also knows I went to see The Minimalists talk in London earlier this year. Again, they don’t know about the extent of our lifestyle change.

Certainly no one knows about this blog.

And after a bit of time pondering the question, I don’t have one specific answer as to why we haven’t told them. I can think of a few reasons.

1. We don’t want to be seen as oddballs. We live a world where buying and borrowing money is just what you do and jumping off that merry-go-round is an affront to social norms. In a way we’re opting out of ‘normal’ life and even though we think it’s a good thing, others may think it a little strange.

2. We feel that we’ve found a better, more rewarding way of life but if you start telling people that, it’s inadvertently saying that their life isn’t as good. I don’t want to come across as preachy to my loved ones by extolling the virtues of our new found freedom from clutter.

3. Maybe I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I’m a minimalist because it shows my old life in such a bad light. I was such a consumer before that people are already shocked that I’ve sold so much and by admitting I want to be a minimalist, I have to admit that everything I did was, sort of, wrong before.

4. The final reason for not telling anyone is because I’m worried they’ll think we’re doing this to be mean with money. We’re not, although there are financial benefits are apparent. We’re already known for liking a bargain and I’m sure they’ll be people who believe this is just another way for us to keep our cash in our pocket.

As this journey continues I’m sure I’ll feel more confident about talking to people about it, and I’m also sure they’ll be supportive – after all these people love us and just want us to be happy in whatever way we choose.

I just need to get over my own feelings about it first. I’ll find my support among all you lovely online people while my confidence grows.

And as for the blog, for now it’s a secret!

M

25 thoughts on “Shhh…I’m a secret minimalist 

  1. They’ll find out about the blog … one by one ….. and then you’ll HAVE to pop out of your almost empty closet and admit all 😉

    My next door neighbour found out about mine because her daughter who lives on the opposite side of the country read it and put two and two together about where we live, now I have to be a little more careful what I say!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have things. But they have earnt a place in our house. They are external memories, not many but a few bits we have picked up on our travels.

    I also have been on this journey and my family think it is weird that I say I would rather we all made a meal and sit down together than have more things. I dont like dusting is my excuse. But really, I need head room. Too much stuff in a room makes me feel ill.

    I am positive that a lot of people think that they would like to live where ever they go on holiday. But cant answer why, other than the sunshine. And a lot of the time it is because their house is packed to the rafters with stuff. That they feel really relaxed when away as their isnt so much to distract the eye.

    My friends laugh as I have 2 side boards in my lounge with only one drawer used for pens a note pad and a measuring tape. lol but I have to have 2 for symmetry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love the symmetry – even if you don’t use the sideboards! Definitely agree about living the way you would when you go on holiday and sure that more people would benefit from ditching the clutter. Thanks for stopping by. M

      Like

  3. You might find telling close friends and family one by one an easy transition – you don’t have to tell everyone. It’s funny how people react differently, You might find some very supportive and others just not that interested. Either way you’ll still probably get lots of unwanted gifts!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve just read ‘Stuffocation’ and it was a really interesting read. I read it whilst in the US and to be honest it gave me even more respect for them, as I could see how it might be difficult to step out of the box and do something different in a culture where consumerism is king.

    On the subject of telling people you’re a minimalist, I think that whatever people’s opinions are by explaining that you simply feel happier and freer with less stuff, is probably enough to help them to understand what you are doing. You’ll probably find that a lot of them might secretly or openly envy you and join you in simplifying their lives too.

    Since I’ve started decluttering, my 12 year old daughter has really got on board and has decided to let go of hundreds of things this year. I’m really proud of her, but I have to admit that I have more difficulty letting go of her stuff than she does! Now when we do go shopping together (which we inevitably have to do sometimes) we really think about whether we actually want to buy things that we see and whether we really need them. I’m hoping it will help her make good decisions in the future, but who knows.

    Anyway, I’m sure that if and when you feel ready to tell people, you will find a way that you feel comfortable with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ann, that’s lovely that your daughter is on board and you can share it with her. Such an important life lesson that she’s learning, stuff isn’t important. It sounds like you’ve done a fantastic job of leading by example. Maybe some of my friends will join me. M

      Like

  5. I’m very much like you, but I don’t feel the need to “come out” as a minimalist. I have always quietly lived my life how it suits at the time without the need to explain to anyone. I’m not sure anyone would even notice that I’m more minimalist now other than my house has less stuff in it! Just go with what you feel happy with – like Claire says, people will still buy you stuff anyway – you just deal with it differently now! It’s reassuring to know there is someone else out there not ready to declare “I’m a minimalist”! Thanks for a really good post. Teresa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the kind comment Teresa. I think I’m maybe overthinking it, which admittedly I have a tendency to do. I’ve got no interest in trying to ‘convert’ anyone so it shouldn’t make a difference to them what I do – each to their own! M

      Like

  6. There are times I want to let people in my life know, but like you, I don’t want it to sound as though I am judging their life and/or lifestyle. That’s not my aim. So if I keep quiet and show instead of tell, maybe people will catch on.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Having ‘come out’ as gay, coming out as a minimalist was a lot easier as I was never in the closet about my journey. It might feel easier, when you’re ready to start talking about minimalism to strangers or people who you don’t care about their reaction. As for painting your former life in a bad light…it was right for you then. Just as minimalism is right for you now. You had to have your life the way it was to get to where it is 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, I have just found your blog and read a few entries. This one stood out in particular. I’ve been a closet minimalist for some time now. I find it hard to open up to friends and family apart from my husband, my mum and a couple of friends. This is just because the people around me are obsessed with shopping and that’s a big part of their everyday life. I don’t want to sound judgemental if I were to share my ideas with them. I just know they wouldn’t get it. I’ve been thinking of starting a blog, mainly to express my thoughts in writing for my growing daughter but I’d love to share with other people too. I like how you have done yours. It’s amazing to find other people who have similar views about life. My husband and I have pretty much decluttered our house and now paying off our debt. My next aim to try to pay the mortgage off. Just the thought of it is so great.
    Thanks again for your blog, I’ll keep reading the rest of it. And maybe you will hear about mine sometime soon.
    A minimalist from Essex

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! Lovely to hear from you. It definitely helps to have people to chat to on here who have the same ideas and mindset. I know what you mean about not wanting to sound judgemental so we just keep it to ourselves – for now anyway. Sounds like we both have the same plan re mortgage and stuff. It would be have another UK based blog to read so let me know when you decide to take the plunge! M

      Like

      1. Hi, thank you for such a quick reply. I am very pleased to find fellow minimalists here in the UK as I have been mostly reading America based blogs which are great as well. I’ll keep in touch.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi, I have just found your blog and read a few entries. This one stood out in particular. I’ve been a closet minimalist for some time now. I find it hard to open up to friends and family apart from my husband, my mum and a couple of friends. This is just because the people around me are obsessed with shopping and that’s a big part of their everyday life. I don’t want to sound judgemental if I were to share my ideas with them. I just know they wouldn’t get it. I’ve been thinking of starting a blog, mainly to express my thoughts in writing for my growing daughter but I’d love to share with other people too. I like how you have done yours. It’s amazing to find other people who have similar views about life. My husband and I have pretty much decluttered our house and now paying off our debt. My next aim to try to pay the mortgage off. Just the thought of it is so great.
    Thanks again for your blog, I’ll keep reading the rest of it. And maybe you will hear about mine sometime soon.
    A minimalist from Essex

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s