Three Ways To Be A Minimalist When Your Partner Isn't

Three Ways To Be A Minimalist When Your Partner Isn’t

If there’s anything I know about, it’s being a minimalist when your partner isn’t

I’m not saying that I’m an expert by any means. We clash over things on a daily basis. It’s almost ridiculous considering everything else going on in our lives and the world. It makes you wonder…why are we so obsessed with stuff? (I’ll touch on that in a later post.)

Like I wrote in a previous blog post, living in a tiny space helps to open your eyes to all the clutter that has surrounded you. It helps you par down and keep only the most important things.

There’s only one problem with that, though.

Once you’ve gone through the process of decluttering, it’s hard to go back. Almost everything you buy or consider buying is scrutinized (do we actually need it? Where will it go? There’s no space for that!).

Now, most people would not consider that a problem. And it really isn’t…unless your partner is not a minimalist.

Most of the arguments I have with my partner revolve around stuff. Every single day I wake up, it seems like we have more stuff than the day before. I’ll clean up a space only to see it a mess one hour later. It seems what is important to me isn’t necessarily important to everyone else.

So, how does a minimalist keep their sanity when their partner isn’t a minimalist?

1. Set boundaries
One of the most important things you can do in a relationship is set boundaries. When you’re a minimalist, it’s important to express how excess stuff makes you feel. With me, it causesΒ my anxiety to spike and I’m no good to anyone that way. If you spent all morning cleaning the kitchen, you must tell your partner how much it means to keep things the way you left them. There should be a deep understanding of what your beliefs are and how you feel when they are brushed off. If your partner cares about the relationship, they will respect your boundaries.

2. Understand your partner’s boundaries
Just like it’s important to set your own boundaries, you must respect your partner’s. If they are not a minimalist, they won’t understand the idea of less is more. A compromise must be attained. I suggest sitting down to have a solid conversation on what’s important to both of you. If they prefer more over less, maybe you can achieve a compromise. For example, something unused gets donated after every new purchase. Whatever you come up with is fine, as long as you talk it out to find something that suits the both of you.

3. Show by example
Most of the articles I’ve read on minimalism in the home touch on how their partner wasn’t a minimalist but became one after seeing how freeing it could be. I’m not saying that it happens to everyone, but if you continue to free your time and space with less things, eventually your partner will notice the shift and (knowingly or not) will start to minimalize themselves. Think about it- who doesn’t want to live in a beautiful, cozy and free space? If you have children, explain the importance of donating to those less fortunate. I was surprised by my daughter’s response when I asked her if she wanted to donate any toys. She happily offered a few that weren’t being used much. Children also pick up on the energy of a home and naturally want to feel happy and free.

It’s okay that your partner is not quite on board with being a minimalist. What matters is that you try to figure out a way to be happy with your own lives and as a family.

Let me know your tips for simple family living!

22 thoughts on “Three Ways To Be A Minimalist When Your Partner Isn’t

  1. Great post Patty! I think your point about the value of setting boundaries in this regard is interesting and potentially really helpful to others on this path and or considering making these changes. Keep up the great work😊😊😊

  2. We’ve spent two years renovating our house, after buying it in a terrible state. Now it’s almost done, we’re starting to look at all the stuff we’ve had in boxes that whole time – and have never even used! Time for a minimalist clear out, methinks.

    1. As hard as that may be, Logan, you’re right πŸ˜‰ Like I mentioned in the article, it’s a constant struggle but eventually, it gets easier. Thanks for your insight!

  3. Great post. Especially the “show by example” point. You know, there was a study (or numerous studies? Not sure) that showed that when people see other people caring for a space (be it a public park, a house, etc.) and that space being clean and clutter-free, they will feel a need to uphold that as well. On the other hand, the same people will be more inclined to litter when they see others doing the same and the space being generally neglected or already littered. So there’s definitely something to that.

    1. Thanks,. Sylvia. That makes a lot of sense. No wonder many days I don’t feel like picking up around here…it’s neglected by others! πŸ˜†

  4. Great post, Patty! Yes, it’s a struggle in our house. My husband is more of a minimalist than I am (even though I feel like I’m constantly getting rid of things – 3 young kids makes it hard to be real minimalists πŸ˜‰ ) . We clash over things sometimes and have tried to work on compromise – more work to be done in that area!

    1. Yes, I hear you, Heather! Too many people in the house with all their stuff. It’s a journey, not a destination. 😊😊

  5. I am not a minimalist but still struggle with how much stuff my husband acquires. I think creating boundaries is a great idea!

    1. Yes, minimalism can be thought of as on a spectrum…you can live out of your car or may just be parting with a few things in certain areas. There’s no denying too much stuff is hurting us! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I laughed out loud when I read the blog title! I live a minimalist vegan lifestyle and my partner is an omnivore who loves to shop. It’s frustrating whenever he tells me he wants to buy something new every week just because it’s on sale. But you’re right, there’s gotta be a compromise. Hopefully, he will realize and try to incorporate some of the good aspects of my lifestyle into his. And I’ll learn not to bug him too much about his πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing this!

Comments are closed.