As I continue to learn and apply minimalism to my own lifestyle, I have been in a few akward situations because most of my entourage is not exactly of the minimalist style. Some friends live a fairly simple life but a few others are what I’d consider to be hoarders. While my wife wouldn’t fall into that category, she remains the type of person that would prefer to almost never get rid of items on the fear that it might become useful a few months or a few years from now. It has made reflect quite a bit on the impact that it has on me and how to handle this as best as I can.
Change Is Good But…
One of the big reasons why couples that meet in high school or even later don’t end up making it is because the two end up evolving in very different ways and over time those differences create conflicts or simply differences in values that end up being important.
I think it’s important for me to remember that just a few years ago, I was almost identical to my wife in regards to a minimalist lifestyle. I didn’t see the point of living with less, probably had never even heard of the expression, etc. I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress in the past 2 years but that happened mostly by reflecting and thinking and for most of that time, I didn’t really even let my wife know that I was making this progress. It would be unfair to expect or hope that my wife would have made the same mentality changes during that time. For that reason, I think it’s critical for me to not forget where I was just a few months ago.
Minimalist With My Own Stuff
As much as I’d like to start cleaning up the entire house, I think the best approach is to start off with my own things. There’s plenty to do in terms of diminishing the number of items in my wardrobe, diminishing the number of paper and documents by throwing away and moving to the clouds when necessary, etc. I can also cut back on buying new stuff for non-necessary items.
My Hope Is
Rather than trying to convince my wife, friends or family to go from hoarders to minimalists, my hope is that they will start to see the benefits of my lifestyle and while they may never become pure minimalists, I do think that as long as we are both progression towards similar goals or paths, we will be more than fine. After all, as much as having less items and clutter in my life is critical, the much bigger part is what I already have with my wife and baby boy:) Over time, we will have more discussions about these types of things, find common ground
Have you had any experience with friends, family or a loved one who is either a hoarder or not exactly living the minimalist lifestyle?
image credits: AllRoadsToHome