Want to Live More Minimally? Overcome These Obstacles to Live Simply

published Mar 17, 2017
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(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Living a more minimal life isn’t easy in a world with so many things. Particularly if you love design. And you know, things. These folks in these real homes have encountered some obstacles to living a more simple life, and they’ve shared them below. They’ve also shared some of these ways they’ve overcome these obstacles. You might find inspiration in what they’ve learned and how they’ve designed their homes.

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Robyn shares a Toronto home with her partner Sam and their two dogs Carl and Prune. She told us about her biggest obstacle when trying to live (and decorate) simply:

My biggest obstacle is my love of decorating and design. I’m constantly seeing things I love and want and think would look really great in my place. When our initial post went up on Apartment Therapy I predicted the responses because a lot of it goes through my own mind. How can you have a bare house and be featured on a design site? There isn’t anything for people to even look at! Reading the comments on that post was tough. For a minute, it made me second guess just how sparsely decorated my home is. Do I need more texture? Should I have more things out on display? Do I live in an IKEA catalogue that’s not even as nice as an IKEA catalogue? Is my home some sort of sterilized autoclave?

Then I remembered why my house is the way it is: I love the peace and tranquility of not having stuff on display. I buy a lot of IKEA furniture because I like the design; it serves its function and is affordable. I love my all-white walls that fill the house with bright, warm light during the day. There’s also the fact that our dogs aren’t exactly well trained which makes rugs and cushions pretty impractical.

It’s easy to see minimalism as a way of depriving yourself of what you want. The same goes for eating well — though that’s a whole other topic. The way I see it, you’re always making some sort of trade-off, some sort of sacrifice. I could do a much better job decorating my home — have more art and rugs and items on display. But why? What does it add to my life? What does it take away from? I just try to dig deep and understand my motivations. It helps illuminate what really matters to me and what I do because of habit or because it seems “expected.”

(Image credit: Adam Stewart)

Drew has been living a minimalist lifestyle for five years, which is on display in his Texas studio. What he believes are some of the biggest obstacles and how to overcome them:

1. Figuring out where to begin
2. Convincing a significant other to a change towards a more simple life
3. Getting rid of items
4. Establishing and sustaining a healthy viewpoint toward consumerism

Ways to overcome:
1. Start small and gradually
2. Use a peaceful, encouraging, honest, and open approach
3. Donate items to those that are in need
4. Further evaluate your needs versus your wants

(Image credit: Lisa Diederich)

Lisa and her husband recently moved from Sydney, Australia to a rental in Nashville, Tennessee. Her biggest challenge:

Staying clutter-free is definitely a challenge. I would love to have more storage in our home to hide little knick-knacks and special-occasion pieces. It can also be difficult to add new decor or update a room because one small thing can make a
huge difference in a minimally styled space. I’m currently having a throw-pillow dilemma.

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

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