There's no doubt that getting rid of the excess in your life has its benefits: more space, more clarity, more confidence that the things you own actually serve a purpose.
It also feels good to call yourself a minimalist. It's like being a vegan in 2001; it's a little bit mysterious. You feel pretty cool telling everyone about your new lifestyle choice, and people seem genuinely curious.
I get it. It's exciting.
But I think in all our excitement, we've forgotten to address the ugly side of minimalism—the side that makes your life (and the lives of those around you) just a little more difficult. This tongue-and-cheek checklist will help you assess if you or your partner has taken minimalism too far:
1. You get preachy about your new lifestyle.
Yes, a funda-minimalist is a thing. You know how annoying it is when someone wants to tell you all about their new routine and you're completely uninterested? Yeah, well it's a bit annoying when minimalists do that too. If someone likes the way you’re living, they’ll probably ask questions. No need to force information on them.
2. Your neighbors can't stand you because you're always borrowing their stuff.
Leave your neighbors alone! Though it's great that minimalism opens up mental and physical space in your life, it's a pain when you're constantly at someone else's house asking them to borrow that gadget you threw out last week.
3. You're jealous when somebody owns less than you.
You've become so counterculture with your new approach to owning possessions that you're no longer jealous when somebody owns the latest and the greatest. You now get upset when their house has more empty corners and bare shelves than yours.
4. Your guests have nowhere to sit.
Did you really throw out the chairs in your house? If you want your friends to keep visiting, make sure they can sit down.
5. You're continually repurchasing household essentials.
I know how good it feels to get rid of the unnecessary items, but please make sure they're actually unnecessary. Stop throwing your toaster in the bin every weekend and deciding you need a new one on Monday. Only get rid of the excess, not the essentials.
6. Your partner is terrified to make any purchases.
This is a classic sign you've taken it too far. When your partner is terrified with every purchase they make, it's time to reconsider what you consider clutter.
7. Your idea of a good weekend is decluttering the house…again.
Didn't you already do it last weekend? Go and spend time with someone other than your garage or spare room.
8. You don't want a partner because they take up too much room.
I'm not saying you should want a partner. I'm just saying that if your reason for not dating is that you're worried that another person will make the house too cluttered, you're being a bit silly.