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Uploaded:2020-11-05
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Through weekly video essays, "Making It Work" showcases how *real* people have upgraded their personal or financial lives in some meaningful way. Making your life work for you doesn't mean getting rich just for the sake of it. It means making the most of what you have to build a life you love, both in your present and in your future. And while managing money is a crucial life skill for everyone, there's no one "right way" to go about it — you have to figure out what works best for *you,* full stop.

Video by Grace Lee
https://www.youtube.com/c/WhatsSoGreatAboutThat
https://twitter.com/whatssograce

Based on an article by Bree Rody: https://thefinancialdiet.com/7-minimalist-principles-total-bs/

Video narration by Dacey Else

The Financial Diet site:
http://www.thefinancialdiet.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefinancialdiet
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TFDiet
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thefinancialdiet/?hl=en
Making It Work is brought to you by CreditRepair.com.

Start rebuilding your credit today. Over the course of a year, my partner and I started caring about minimalism.

I cleaned out my closet and developed a reliable system that helped me curb my clothing collection. I committed to actually using up all the soap and personal care products I had before buying another one, simply because I wanted to try a new scent. I'm ashamed to say it took more than a year.

I donated a lot of my books and decorations and encouraged my partner to do the same. We're finally starting to see the effects now. And we've become a lot happier in our space.

However, there are elements of minimalism, especially as an aesthetic, that continue to disturb me. This advice isn't just concerning because I disagree with it on a personal level. It's advice that to me destroys the entire concept of minimalism and perpetuates the toxic cycle of caring way too much about your belongings.

Worst of all, I fear that this counterproductive advice will result in fewer people actually trying out the more useful elements of minimalism. These are some pieces of advice I believe you should take with a grain of salt. Number 1, no labels-- the first time I saw this piece of advice, I thought it was a joke.

But time and time again, lifestyle and decor bloggers have pedaled the notion that labels on household products clutter up your vision and present a non-uniform view of the room. More astoundingly, the most common remedy I've seen recommended is to transfer as much as you can into label-free containers, such as pure white plastic soap dispensers and giant Mason jars. This is incredibly wasteful and inefficient.

Instead of getting rid of containers you already have in favor of sleeker options, work at reducing the amount of packaging you're actually bringing into your life, if possible, rather than swapping every package for a prettier package. Number 2, don't own more plates and cutlery than you need. As someone whose cupboard was once overflowing with ugly novelty mugs, I understand the appeal of trashing 90% of them.

Here's some advice. Stop. Breathe for a second.

Excessive plates and cutlery are indeed a source of clutter. But always keep at least four of everything on hand. Instead of getting rid of all of our extra plates and special utensils, we ended up storing most of them instead.

Having people over for meals is one of the simplest pleasures in life, when we're able to do so safely. So don't take that away from yourself because you're obsessed with only owning two plates. Number 3, only spend on things you absolutely love or need.

This is one of those rules that is great in theory. The problem is, if you're a person who already buys too many unnecessary things, you're probably already expert at justifying these purchases. In my worst of times, I could tell you why I absolutely loved or needed to buy that $30 bottle of lush bubble gum scented body wash or that extra cookbook that I'll make two salads from before it starts to gather dust.

How you sort out your issues of overspending and desperate justification will differ. But overall, this is an ideal, not a rule. Number 4, clutter is the devil, and you should avoid it at all costs.

A lot of minimalism advice recommends bare walls, collections and knickknacks hidden away, creating a sense of openness. When I think of this, all I can think of was when my family was moving in my teenage years, living in a sterile house with my mom where I couldn't even have a picture of my parents on my bedroom wall. Excessive clutter is annoying.

But a little bit of clutter is just practical. Even if it means that my home will never look like a crisp and modern art gallery, I would rather not have to hide away the little bits of my partner's and my personalities. There's really no benefit other than aesthetic.

Number 5, neutrals or bust. I'll admit I'm a big fan of neutrals. I've probably worn color about a half a dozen times in the last two years.

And the sight of a sleek black and gray bedroom set makes me drool. But while there's a case to be made that it makes the laundry process a little more efficient, preferring a neutral aesthetic has nothing to do with minimalism. I can't think of anything more pretentious than insisting upon replacing every thrifty piece of furniture and well-loved piece of clothing you own with an overpriced, square, black or white version of it, because it creates a cleaner look.

Again, the idea that visual distraction is unminimalist fails to get at the heart of why some people need minimalism in the first place, because they have too much shit. Owning a cool gray couch instead of an ugly, green one isn't going to fix that. Number 6, spend more on fewer things.

Again, this is a great ideal to hold. Spending very little on a lot of things is the mentality that often results in a closet full of fast fashion castaways and a cluttered collection of unnecessary living room accessories. But this mentality often frames luxury as a necessity, that your life will be better if you replace those four poorly cut sweaters with one $200 super sweater, the main problem with this being a guided principle in minimalism is that it's just a different side of the same materialistic coin.

There's a fine line between investing in quality and turning your life into a showroom. You can simplify things like your wardrobe without placing a cultish emphasis on high prices. So what can you do to create a more minimalist life and habitat?

Focus on finding ways to create more discipline and moderation in your purchasing and collecting. Evaluate why and when you buy things. Throw things out more often.

Apply the capsule concept to as many things as possible, not just your wardrobe. Take walks. Have quiet time.

Do whatever it takes to appreciate what you already have around you, rather than spending all of your time adding to your countless collections. And don't be afraid of a little clutter. If you're one of the millions of Americans with an inaccurate or unfair credit score, think about working with CreditRepair.com.

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