The Problem with Minimalism


After a delightful few weeks off, Ben and I are back in the podcasting chair. In today’s episode we talk about our break (the good, the bad, the unexpected) and a little of what we’ve been up to in July.

Despite best intentions, July has still been a full on month in terms of work projects, one of which inspired today’s episode.

A few weeks ago I was part of a TV show called Insight, and the episode I was (a small) part of dealt with stuff – and more specifically, hoarding. In this poggie I talk a lot about my misgivings of taking part in the show (judgement! privacy! comparison!) and also the bigger issue of presenting minimalism and hoarding as opposite sides of the same coin.

If you’ve seen the show you’ll understand that the guests who shared their stories of hoarding had a vastly different experience of stuff than I did back in my pre-simplicity days, so I felt more than a little uncomfortable about any comparisons that might have been made.

One of the best things to come out of the experience, however, was an even greater clarity on ‘minimalism’ and why I really really don’t love it as a label. Ben and I go in deep on this topic, but essentially there are two reasons I struggle to identify as a minimalist:

  1. It breeds comparisons (“Do I not have enough?” “Do I have too much?” “Why doesn’t my house look like that?”)
  2. It can encourage an obsession with our things which takes us away from living life.

The stories we tell ourselves absolutely have an impact on our happiness and while the distinction between ‘minimalism’ and ‘simplicity’ might seem like semantics to some, I don’t want to add to the pressure and expectation to measure up that so many of us already feel.

So that’s what you can expect in today’s show, and I’d love to hear your thoughts both on the episode of Insight, and the label of minimalism.


Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!


Show Notes:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 1 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most important of all, thanks for being here!


Leave a reply