Sometimes minimalism can be taken to extremes. If your quest to live minimally keeps you awake or cold at night, you might be going too far. There’s a fine line between a minimalist lifestyle and having the things you need. That’s why I choose moderate minimalism.
First, we need to define moderate minimalism. Here’s how I define my own quest as a moderate minimalist:
I’m A Moderate Minimalist
I don’t live in a tiny house. I don’t own less than 100 things. I don’t travel the world with nothing more than a backpack. I don’t take minimalism to its extreme.
Although I’m a critical consumer, I’m not an anti-consumer. I believe in buying and owning the things that I need without living extravagantly. I believe in reasoning the value of each purchase I make. Will it save time? Will it save money? Is it an investment? These are important considerations.
I Believe In Less
I have a life-long plan to continually downsize so that I might leave a smaller footprint on this planet Earth. I believe that owning less leads to finding more peace, more love, more happiness.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let’s discuss reasons to choose moderation over extreme minimalism:
6 Arguments For Practicing Moderate Minimalism
- You’ll be more dependable: I own a car. Why? Because I have a kid and a career. I need to be dependable. Walking and biking are great options, but they won’t cut it if you need to be somewhere quickly.
- You’ll be able to practice greater generosity: Living in a super-small space with less than 100 things might sound intriguing. But it makes it very difficult to play the role of a good host. We are more generous when we can welcome others to a good meal or a place to stay.
- Your family will be safer: Not owning extra items such as flashlights, batteries, matches, and extra food and water is irresponsible. If there’s an emergency situation you might be to blame for your own demise. Worse yet, you could endanger your own kids.
- You’ll be more comfortable: I know that discomfort can push us to be better human beings. But freezing at night because you only have one blanket is plain dumb. It’s okay to own enough to be comfortable. I have extra dishes, clothes, and linens. I won’t get caught in the rain without a raincoat and good shoes.
- You’re not a trend: Becoming an extreme minimalist just because it’s trendy is silly. You’re a human being, not a trend. Don’t be like everyone else just to appear cool. Be yourself. Be unique.
- You’ll be helping the world: In America, most people are not even moderate minimalists. By being aware of how much you buy and use, you’ll be doing a great thing. Not only will you be doing your part for the environment, you’ll also be setting an example for others.
How To Start Being A Moderate Minimalist
So now that you know what a moderate minimalist is, and why it makes good sense to become one, how do you start? It’s simple. You start by evaluating your current situation. Be honest with yourself. Do you have more than you need? Or maybe you’ve been restricting yourself. The secret is in finding a happy medium for your circumstances.
We all have differing needs depending on our age, the size of our family, our career, and whether or not we own a home. Consider your situation and create a baseline for your needs. Then you’ll have to decide what to let go and what to keep.
If you want more help, I’ve written dozens of articles about simple living, uncluttering, and minimalism. Check out my All Posts page.