Why Decluttering is NOT the Same as Minimalism

This article is part of a series of posts on @mnmlgrlblog on Instagram & mnmlgrl.com related to #minimalisthome & #minimaldecor



The word 'Decluttering' is used very often by organizers & downsizers in particular and by people who follow the MarieKondo method of getting rid of unwanted stuff from their home. Decluttering clearly indicates exactly what the process will do for you - it will remove the clutter from your life. If you follow one method or the other to declutter your home or your closet, it might also mean that your space is more organized than it was before.

However, I can't emphasize this enough - Decluttering will NOT make you a minimalist.


What is Decluttering?

Decluttering is a process: Decluttering is a process to remove clutter. That which doesn’t serve a purpose or bring happiness into your lives. Minimalism goes deeper than removing unwanted items. Minimalism encourages you to ask what value each of your possession brings into your life and keep only the most valuable of all your possessions while getting rid of the rest.

Decluttering is a motivator: The process of getting rid of old, broken things or things that you don’t like or want anymore can be very exciting after you get over the initial jitters. Seeing that you can live with less can be freeing and it may motivate you get rid of even more and live simply, with less. Living with less is freeing and gives a feeling of lightness to the one who decluttered. Decluttering however, can be addictive. Beware of replacing your shopping addiction with a decluttering addiction. That being said, decluttering might help you explore living minimally.

Decluttering will reduce confusion: Clutter creates mess & confusion. Rifling through papers & things to get to what you need can lead to decision fatigue and can also be tiring to see all the time. Clutter can also make or exacerbate anxiety and nervousness. Decluttering can help relieve some of this be eliminating clutter and keeping a clear space around you.

Minimalism Vs Decluttering.

Minimalism delves deeper into our lives: Decluttering focuses on things. Minimalism focuses on your relationship with things & their place & value in your life. Minimalism challenges societal standards of what signifies a good life, a good home etc. Minimalism helps you break free of the assumption that a successful life and a happy person has a certain number or certain kind of possessions. Being a minimalist means finding & keeping only the most valuable of your possessions. Decluttering, on the other hand, allows you some space for keeping stuff you may/may not need, may/may not bring value.

Minimalism shifts your perspective inwards: Decluttering removes the clutter from your homes, but your relationship with your friends, family & yourself might never change because decluttering doesn't provide you the platform to evaluate the value of things & people. The process of unearthing and keeping only the most valuable possessions in your lives removes distractions from our lives and encourages you to look deeper into your relationships and inner life. Going minimal allows us to see our true selves and brings our relationships and inner lives to the forefront instead of giving outward expressions of our lives to take centre-stage.

Minimalism focuses on the big picture: Most minimalists are very intentional about what they keep in their lives, and how their lives align to the bigger picture – whether it is by helping the environment, the local community or leaving a legacy of joyful memories for your future generation.

Here's Why you Should Declutter Anyway.

Having explained how decluttering is diff that I highly encourage you to declutter anyway. Decluttering can jump start your exploration into minimalism. It can give you a taste of how it might feel like to live simply. Minimalism involves assessing and reassessing the value of a possession and decluttering helps you get into the habit of evaluating the value of things too. Decluttering will prep you into making tough decision of letting go of what doesn't serve you or is weighing you down.

Thanks for reading my thoughts, I hope you give decluttering a shot. If you have decluttered or minimized your life already, please comment below your experience. Did you discover minimalism through decluttering? Do you stick only to decluttering your life and not delve deeper?

Share your before & afters or room makeovers and it might just feature on @mnmlgrlblog on Instagram or mnmlgrl.com!

For more on Minimal homes, please check out:

A 5 Step Guide to Declutter & Get your home ready for Diwali! +Tons of Non-Toxic Cleaning recipes!

5 Things you Need to Know Before you Live in a Minimal Home

5 steps to declutter gifts, sentimental items, heirlooms & vintage items.

How to ethically declutter - animated guide

Guide to minimizing closets

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - my experiments with DIY and minimalism

The Ultimate list of 8 ideas to get your family to go minimal

Is Organizing just well planned hoarding?

Why am I unable to declutter?



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