An image of a bright doorway and a sofa.


Minimalism is captivating. The allure of less. To have fewer things, but to experience more. But it’s common to make mistakes amidst the captivating force of minimalism. Here’s a rundown of three minimalist mistakes:

Impulsive Decluttering

It can be tempting, to use decluttering as reaction to negative emotion. But impulsive decluttering is destructive, it can lead to trashing things which we actually need. If we’re not careful, we’ll find ourselves running to the thrift store where we donated that one thing which, once we returned to normal, we realised we need. Impulsive decluttering isn’t really decluttering, it’s impulsivity channeled into a facade of ‘progress’. To avoid this issue, sit with your emotions before decluttering, allow yourself to feel and reflect; only then can you go into decluttering, with a calm and efficient mindset.

Trying to Match the ‘Minimal Aesthetic’

The minimal aesthetic. Those deceptive images of clean ikea furniture, monochrome and neutral colour ways, a small stack of three books. Trying to fit an aesthetic of minimalism inevitably leads to purchasing more, and minimising for the wrong reasons. Trying to meet the minimal aesthetic can be expensive and unsustainable. Those attempts to meet material goals will inevitably lead down a negative psychological pathway, the likes of which should be combated by adopting a minimalist approach. Instead of trying to meet an aesthetic, consider what’s important to you: perhaps functionality, history, meaning, comfort. Whatever you find to be important to you, seek to keep important and useful objects, rather than aim for aesthetic value.

Forgetting the Minimal Mindset

Surfaces clear, shelves stacked in perfect alignment. Drawers contain neatly folded clothing in convenient patterns. But, internally, a chaotic flurry of emotions and thoughts. Drowning in the past and future and struggling to stay afloat in the present. If our internal world is cluttered, then the external world may never feel minimal. The flaw, here, is imagining minimalism as solely about material objects. The reality of minimalism is that it is also comprised of thoughts, feelings, and concepts. No ‘magic number’ of objects can make up for a lack of minimal mindset. The minimal mindset takes time and dedication to self-improvement, and is a key part of the minimalist lifestyle.

Minimalism isn’t solely material, remember that you are a person, before you are a minimalist, and embrace the fluid chaos and emotional torrent which comes with being human, as part of your path to minimalism.

Have you made any of these mistakes while practising minimalism? How will you tackle hurdles in your minimalist pathway?

Featured image: Inside Weather via Unsplash.


  1. Yes at times I have fallen into impulsive decluttering. I tend to do it when I’m overwhelmed and suddenly feel that decluttering and removing items will help ease me. You have given me an idea of during that surge to put items in a box and place it out of sight so when I’m more clear headed I can go through it and take a closer look before actually removing things

    Liked by 1 person

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