The not-so-positive remarks about minimalism

The Cromly feature that was published last week had generally generated pretty positive feedback, and we are glad to have had the opportunity to share our minimalist home with others, who might be interested to create one for themselves, and also, to spread the awareness of minimalism as a lifestyle choice.

There were however, a few comments that I saw, embodies misconceptions about minimalism. Among them, include:

“Minimalism probably doesn’t work for hobbyists or crafters – because they simply got too much collectibles and also for crafters, we hoard too many “unnecessary” things as we might need them for our crafting projects.”

As explained in a earlier post,  minimalism to us is a concept of living with less, living with the essentials, and getting rid of the clutter that doesn’t add value in your life.

If those items that you own add value to you, by all means, keep it. 

I have known many friends who are hobbyists and collectors and I totally respect that. In fact, we have visited the place of a friend who has a huge display cabinet for their beloved lego collectibles. We were really awed by it, and can imagine the level of dedication that the owners must have to their collections.

Similarly, if you are a crafter, and you have a habit of keeping items just so that you might need it for your future project, sure, go ahead. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been brainstorming and surfing various sites on pinterest on ideas for art and crafts with toddlers, and a huge part of what we want to do is to create new craft from “existing items”. During this period, I realised that there were a lot of things that I could do with old cardboard boxes, and as such, I still have a couple of them stacked up in the storeroom.

Obviously for seasoned crafters, the items go beyond cardboards. However the point is, if there are items you think you will use it and you will want to keep, go ahead.

Other comments that we saw include:

“I can’t believe that both husband and wife are doing that! Oh my god”

“Like what is this? Sorry but fashion and otakuism subscribes to the direct opposite of this.”

If minimalism is not something that you do not intend to embrace, we totally respect that. Although I do not deny that some of the comments were a bit upsetting to read. But then again, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

What minimalism is to one, might not be the same to another. 

Dave and I are practising minimalism at a different pace, and are at different parts of our journey.

However, the fundamental reason why we decided to embrace minimalism was how the concept gels in with our values – financial prudence and freedom / intentional living / living with less / environmental-friendly…. etc. And it has been a couple of months since then and we have been really happy about it. We find that we are highly adaptable, happier, lighter, we enjoy more time together, experience over stuff.

I do not think that there is only one type of minimalism. I do not think we need to pace ourselves like what The Minimalists or Joshua Becker is doing. Courtney Craver piloted Project 333, but it doesn’t mean that we need to have exactly 33 pieces for 3 months.

It’s up to each of us to define our route to minimalism. If you think that the concept of minimalism doesn’t work for you, then probably something else might.

Of if you think that your definition is different from ours, that’s totally alright.

At the end of the day, our objective is to keep ourselves happy isn’t it?

So what keeps you happy then? Stuff? Experience? Freedom? Time?

It’s different for everyone.

And you have to figure out yours.


  1. I am a crafter, and in recent decluttering I let go of a lot of craft stuff (I retained a lot too). I realised I had quite a bit of aspirational craft stuff – having vintage bag handles in a box somewhere doesn’t make you the maker of vintage bags. It’s like wanting to golf, buying the clubs but never golfing. So I had a good hard took at my stuff and weeded out the aspirational stuff. I now have room to find the stuff I actually use!


  2. Hi Amy,
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, I think it’s trying to get some clarity out of all the stuff we own. It’s always good to have them handy, thinking that perhaps some day we might need it. But more often than not, it might end up just sitting at a corner for years to come and when you finally remember it or end up using it, the quality might have deteriorated to a point that it can no longer be used.


  3. Michelle H · · Reply

    I am glad I stumbled upon your blog. It feels like we are going through the same season of trying to simplify our lives by reducing our possessions and along the way achieve financial independence and a richer life! So many wonderful goals combined at the same time.
    I also really like the idea of embarking on a shopping ban but can’t find the discipline to stop the random impulse buys when I see them. Any tips on how you successfully fought the temptations?


    1. I totally understand how that feels and to be honest, it’s very tempting everytime when you pass by a store and there’s that “ON SALE” sign dangled there. I guess for me, I try to be focus and ask myself if I really do need this item. Also, I will ask myself whether I will utilise that item for the monetary value ( and it does help me to curb quite a bit of frivolous spending!


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