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We’ve recently received a few hits to the blog from users searching for “Extreme Minimalism.” Denise & I are by no means “Extreme Minimalists.” This brought something to my attention though – is it possible to take minimalism TOO far? I would say if you find yourself relating to any of the below situations, then YES it is possible to take minimalism too far.
If you’re not balanced
Life is a balance, and minimalism is as well: Beauty, happiness, and simplicity. If you flow too much in one direction or the other you wind up out of balance.
Flowing too much in the direction of simplicity could lead you to feeling deprived.
You don’t want to reject every single item that comes into your life. You want to instead carefully choose what you allow into your home. It’s similar to dieting: If you deprive yourself, you may find you’re unsatisfied and later down the road you may splurge.
Flowing too much in the direction of beauty could leave you overindulging.
Too much beauty and you may wind up overindulging. Your home may become filled with “things.” Instead, carefully select the pieces and items that bring you the MOST joy and beauty.
Flowing too much in the direction of happiness could leave you desensitized.
For clarification here – happiness is never a bad thing. BUT, if you’re giving in to every whim and fancy *thinking* it will bring you happiness, could wind up numbing you from the things that truly do bring you joy.
If you’re unhappy
Minimalism and simple living is NOT for everyone. Some find that the restrictions can be overwhelming and the weight of downsizing drags them down. This could be from a few reasons – you may not be ready yet, you may not enjoy the simple lifestyle, or you may just need to modify and try something new. Experiment and explore – something else may work better for you. Take a look at this post to help you find what works for you.
If you’re constantly stressed
Minimalism and simplicity are supposed to help LIMIT stress. If you find you’re stressed out even more from the change, stop and relax. See the paragraph above. Modify your journey and find what works for you. You don’t have to own only 100 items to be a minimalist – there are certainly way more levels and options available. Take a moment and be grateful for all that have accomplished.
If you find yourself continually replacing things
It’s a great feeling to purge our unnecessary items. It’s a not so great feeling to purge an item you realize you need more frequently than you thought, forcing you to replace it. We’ve likely all faced this situation once or twice during our downsizing – and fortunately many items tossed this way are easily replaceable or something else can be substituted in – but if you find you’re CONSTANTLY replacing items it may be time to reevaluate. You don’t want to wind up needlessly spending thousands of dollars (if you have that much money to spare, we’ll gladly help you out here).
If you’re not enjoying life
The whole point of simplifying and downsizing is to allow us the room to welcome more joy into our lives. If you’re not enjoying life because you’re dealing with any of the above reasons (or a reason not listed here), then is it really worth it to sacrifice your happiness?
Are you an extreme minimalist?
Let us know! What works for you and what doesn’t work for you? Did you intentionally become an extreme minimalist or did it just fall into your lap?
If you’re not an extreme minimalist, could you be?
Join the discussion on Facebook!
Blessings & happiness,
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).