At one point or another most minimalist have had the experience of living alongside non-minimalists. For some of us, it is a pleasant experience and we can get along in harmony. Other times it can be frustrating to live in peace together when one person is trying to move towards a simplified life that might include less stuff, and another person is comfortable where they are at. A question that came up on my last blog was, how does living with non-minimalists affect your lifestyle? In my opinion, it really depends on the individual’s relationship with the said non-minimalist.
MY EXPERIENCE LIVING WITH NON-MINIMALISTS
I have had the experience of living with many non-minimalists since I made the decision to move towards minimalism myself. These people have included roommates, partners, and family. As a whole, the easiest non-minimalists for me to live with have been my roommates. I think this is due to the level of closeness I have with partners and family members, and the fact that I just want what is best for them. It is easy for me to tell a family member what I think is best for them to do and try to help them.
At one point I was living with a close friend who wasn’t really practicing minimalism but never really had much stuff either and I found myself comparing myself to them and competing with this person and it wasn’t healthy. I was frustrated that I wasn’t as good as this person who wasn’t even trying, but soon I learned that I was setting expectations that were way too high for myself way too soon.
TIPS FOR LIVING WITH NON-MINIMALISTS
Don’t try to change them
This is one of the biggest things I can say about this topic, you can’t force people to go minimalist. Minimalism is a lifestyle choice, and it isn’t for everyone. If you are living with a non-minimalist and you feel like they are hindering your journey focus on your own space and your own possessions. And remember, its not a competition, treating it like a competition can turn things toxic really fast.
Explain your lifestyle
Tell people why you do what you do. Tell them what minimalism is all about and why you chose this lifestyle. Tell them about all of the benefits you have experienced, and any roadblocks you have encountered. Leave them with this information so that they can make their own decision.
Live as an example
The best thing you can do when living with non-minimalist is live as an example of what minimalism is. This sounds like a lot of pressure but in reality, it’s just you living your day to day life. Show then the difference minimalism makes in your everyday life.
Ask permission before you chuck things
Most people have some kind of attachment to objects whether they are minimalist or not. Everyone is sentimental in some way. Before you go and get rid of something, ask someone who might be connected to that thing if they might want it first.
Try to make it fun
If you do have a child, make tidying up fun! Don’t force minimalism onto them, make it a choice and make it a fun experience. If you look online there are plenty of ways to make tidying fun for kids!
Everyone processes things in their own time. Whether people decide to join you on your journey or not is their own choice, but the hope is eventually you can you live in harmony with your non-minimalist friends and family.