They just don’t get it

March 20, 2012 in Minimalist Tips by Lorilee Lippincott

Image: tungphoto

Minimalism and simple living is exciting, isn’t it?  If you have been hanging out with us for a while (or if you are joining us ‘Welcome’) these concepts are freeing, liberating, stress-reducing and just plain exciting.

First there is the flirting with the idea, then as you look around the house and clean up you start to realize that you don’t need all the stuff you have.  You realize that there is ‘stuff’ in your life holding you back.  You take a closet and go through it, or a shelf, or a dresser and find stuff you can pass on to someone else….or stuff that is good for nothing but the dump and has been cluttering your house for too long.  With more minimalist exercise you are getting stronger, gaining steam, smelling freedom. (cue the music, more lighting, and glowing special effects)

Then…

Significant other(s) in your life (spouse, parent, child, other family member) don’t agree with what is going on. They may be for or against the whole minimalist process, but they do feel the strong connection and value of the “insert item here” you wanted to tag for removal from the home.  All this new minimalist strength and momentum can either wither away or be used as a weapon.  Neither of which is good!

Just to clarify some things:

Minimalist and Simple Living = Good

Relationships = Best

Minimalism isn’t a tribe or a religion.  It isn’t something you need to become or convert to.  It isn’t even something you are or aren’t.  It is a tool.  In this world people and relationships are most important.  If the tool doesn’t help the relationships than it needs to be used a different way.

Now, I love minimalist living and think there is ways that it can add to and help everyone’s life and relationship, but everyone may need to adapt the principles differently.

Here are some ideas for you to think on if you are running into relational minimalist tension:

  1. Change yourself first. It may be that the biggest and bulkiest and most unnecessary items in the house are not only yours.  Focus on things that are yours first.
  2. Explain your new way of thinking and minimalism and how you see it affecting and benefiting you and how you see your benefit also affecting the relationship.  For example ‘once I get rid of my collection of 200 painted frogs, I will have 2 extra hours every other week where we can do something together instead of dusting the frogs.  (sorry, reaching for far fetched examples so as not to offend anyone or try to point out how you should apply or what you should keep)
  3. Time. Different people can change in different ways faster and slower than others.  My husband and I didn’t always feel the same about keeping different things, but if something was a question to either of us we kept it.  Lots of those same things are gone now, it just took a bit more time for the other person to be okay with removing the item.
  4. Team effort. Family is a team no matter how your family situation is set up.  Minimalism isn’t a way to point out or accuse someone for having too much stuff or criticism or poke each other for not changing.  Cutting back for the teams benefit and for team rewards can really strengthen a relationship.  (Check out Warren and Betsy Talbots story in Dream Save Do – A No-Nonsense, Step-By-Step Blueprint for Amassing the Cash You Need to Live Your Dream (Live the Good Life), I laughed and was inspired with how they changed their life and their marriage)
  5. If push comes to shove let the relationship win.  However, this is for healthy relationships not for controlling ones.  You have control of your stuff and what you keep.  Keeping the family furniture or the family house is a relationship thing, but you have control over your cloths, books etc.

Live, love and enjoy simple!

321-Stop coming out tomorrow!

All set and ready to go!  It looks super great!

3-2-1 Stop is all about simplifying and I LOVE that! It’s what I’ve been trying to do (very slowly) for some time now, and it has me really excited about it because it walks you through the process step by step, in a straight forward way, by someone who has lived it! It can be done! I am excited to have begun my own journey toward less, and therefore more – of what I really want! — Heather Raising Memories

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