Am I A Minimalist Or Not? How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome with Minimalism
I can’t remember exactly when I discovered minimalism. It might be five years ago by now. I remember learning about tiny homes right after I bought my first condo, and I remember telling Mr. Green that it was too bad we had already moved in because now I wanted to live in a tiny house. I am someone who has moved a lot. I have moved long distance five times now and locally more times than I can recall.
When I have lived alone, I’ve preferred studio apartments to anything else, and I still have that attitude. So, of course, I was going to dive head first into minimalism. It felt like I was already living that way and now had found a community championing that lifestyle. However, once we had moved into our Arizona apartment, it became clearer that we were kidding ourselves. We were not minimalists.
We had 45 boxes packed and moved for us plus our furniture. That sounds like a huge amount to me. We have fewer closets in this apartment than we did in our most recent one-bedroom condo in Chicago, and now everything that didn’t have a traditional place to live in the new home is under the bed. We need a new vacuum, and there is nowhere it will fit except under the bed.
I began to have a lot of non-minimalist thoughts, and I started wondering if I was just as obsessed with buying shit as the rest of the country. Here’s what I learned after that panicked, existential episode.
Not everyone’s definition of minimalism has to match yours
When we were packing up our Chicago condo for the move, I remember feeling helpless and overwhelmed. Essentially, we packed everything we wouldn’t need two weeks before moving and then let it sit and didn’t bother packing the rest until a couple of days before we moved.
And I felt so weird because I had finished packing all of my non-essential belongings within a couple of hours. I had about 10 boxes full of stuff that just belonged to me and weren’t clothes/food/bath type things. I was pretty much done right away and wandered through the condo like a ghost with unfinished business. My unfinished business was packing. It could not have been that quick of a process.
I was entirely confused as to why Mr. Green owned more shit than I did. I started to doubt that we were minimalists or that he was a minimalist. We both call ourselves minimalists, but here he…