10 Questions About Minimalism Answered

Barry Fralick
4 min readFeb 11, 2022

10 Q&As from a lifetime of minimalism.

Photo by Nikolay Tarashchenko on Unsplash

I’ve been into minimalism for most of my life so it feels pretty normal to me.

However I can see how some people find it extreme, or strange, or simply don’t understand what the hype is all about.

And yea, I get it. From the outside, it looks like it is a set way of living with set rules not to be broken. But I don’t think that’s true and if that were the case, I wouldn’t consider myself a minimalist. I don’t like rules.

These are questions and answers from a lifetime of minimalism. Hopefully, they will help your understanding of the lifestyle.

Do I have to get rid of all of my stuff?

No. You can have as many things as you want. I have stuff, granted I live out of a travel bag in my own home, but that’s a different story for a different day.

There are no limits when it comes to minimalism and you don’t have to pare down to 50 belonging. That would be ridiculous for most people.

Have as much as you want, or feel comfortable with. It’s more about getting rid of stuff that’s considered clutter, or things that you don’t find essential, or love. The things that distract you from living.

Does everything have to be white?

No. Minimalism the aesthetic and minimalism the lifestyle are two different things that often get conflated. Color is allowed.

You don’t have to decorate your home like a hospital if you don’t want to.

Do I have to wear the same outfit every day?

No. I mean, basically, I do. But that’s because I like being comfortable and I don’t like shopping. I also don’t like having to pick out clothes in the morning. I just want to be able to get dressed and go.

But you can wear what you want.

What if the people I live with aren’t minimalists?

So what? This isn’t about them. It’s about you. My wife isn’t a minimalist. And she has stuff. Plenty of it.

And yes, there are times it causes friction. Sort of like a saver being married to a spender, but it’s not a deal-breaker. And at the end of the day, I get to choose how I live and the same goes for her.

Again, minimalism is a personal choice and doesn’t have to involve the people you live with. Just do what’s right for you.

What happens if I get rid of something I need later on?

I won’t lie. It happens. But for the most part, if you haven’t used an item in 6 months or 6 years you probably won’t need it for another 6 months or 6 years.

Most people need a lot less than they think and you would be surprised at how little you can get by on. And if you do run into something you need later on you could always borrow the item from a friend, or purchase new — if it’s something you are going to need long-term.

Not ideal. I know. But it’s not the end of the world.

Will minimalism make me happier?

I hope so. It makes me a happier person but there are no guarantees.

I don’t know if it will make you happier and happiness generally comes from within but you might find your life calmer. And you might find yourself more at peace. And those things might make you happier.

Aren’t people going to think I’m weird?

Of course they are. But who cares?

Everyone is weird and the first thing to minimize is worrying about what other people think. I think hoarders are weird. Like why would you want all of that stuff? So of course people think minimalists are weird.

But it doesn’t matter what I think or what anyone else thinks. Just do what makes you happy.

Will minimalism save me money?

Probably. It saves me money.

I only buy what is necessary and or things I absolutely love. I don’t buy knick-knacks, trendy clothes, or the latest consumer products.

The items I do buy are high quality and I’m careful when making purchases. If I’m thinking of buying a product I am unsure of I’ll wait a day, or week, just to make sure I really want or need the item.

Basically, minimalism helps you be a more prudent consumer.

Is minimalism just for rich people?

What? Why do people think this?

I’m not rich. I make an average living and live in an average home. I don’t think minimalism has anything to do with economic status whatsoever.

That’s like asking, is hoarding for poor people? It can be but there are plenty of wealthy people that have a lot of junk.

Minimalism is for whoever wants to be a minimalist regardless of economic status.

Isn’t minimalism boring?

Yes. It’s boring as hell.

If having the extra time to read, write, reflect, spend time with family, take walks in nature, and experience the best of what life has to offer instead of being enslaved to consumerism and needless stuff seems boring to you then yes.

If having to work fewer hours every week because you spend less money is boring then yes. If having more free time to do whatever it is you please because you’re not dealing with endless amounts of clutter then again, yes.

Minimalism is very boring.

Thanks for reading. @ me on Twitter

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