Inside: Can you practice minimalism while enjoying hobbies? Use these tips to balance your interests with your lifestyle.
A guest post by Rose Morrison
Being a minimalist and a hobbyist can seem like a contradiction.
After all, the former focuses on keeping as few things as possible, while the latter thrives on collecting quite a few things.
However, it is possible to be a minimalist hobbyist. There are certain challenges to overcome, but you can find a happy medium between the two.
Use these seven tips to balance minimalism with your hobbies so that you can enjoy the activities you love without having an excessive amount of stuff.
The Clashes Between Minimalism and Hobbies
One common challenge that minimalist hobbyists often face is vilifying the activities they love. Plenty of activities take up space and require gear.
As a result, the products of hobbies clash with a home’s minimalist aesthetic.
Sometimes minimalism gets painted in a bad light. Constantly letting go of items can be heart-wrenching, especially for people who find solace in their hobbies. It contradicts the passion they have for their activities.
In reality, minimalism is a well-intentioned practice. The essence of this lifestyle is all about keeping what’s important and removing clutter.
When something no longer serves you, it’s time to let it go for it to find a new home. But what if you have a lot of interests and things that go along with them?
It’s important to recognize that hobbies can be a beneficial part of your life and even boost your happiness.
In fact, research finds that people who regularly dedicate time to their hobbies are less likely to be sad or depressed. You get to rest and recuperate from your daily stress with this leisure.
The Sweet Spot Between Minimalism and Hobbies
The core that minimalism and hobbies share is owning what adds value to your life.
Hobbies add color to your life and help you enjoy it much more. Minimalism simply asks the question of whether that activity is important to you in your life now.
It’s part of choosing to live intentionally so that the things around you add to your life rather than distract you from it.
If a particular hobby sparks joy, that can be enough of a reason to keep it in your life. There’s no need to be an extremist and overhaul everything in your life.
All you need to do to practice minimalism with your hobbies is manage your possessions and space.
Managing Your Hobbies While Practicing Minimalism
Every person will have their own plan of action when it comes to practicing minimalism while enjoying hobbies. You may lean to one side or the other a little more, but the main point is to do what works for you and makes you comfortable.
Treat these seven tips as suggestions rather than guidelines.
1. Keep Your Hobbies in One Room
Many people let their hobbies sneak into every space in their home. One minute, there’s a tiny figurine on a bookshelf.
Next, there are boxes full of board games around the coffee table. Instead of leaving these items scattered, put them all in one dedicated craft room or hobby area, such as a spare bedroom or your finished basement.
Common areas like the living rooms look best without clutter. The same goes for resting spots like the bedroom. Look for a spare area in your home and create an assigned storage space for your hobby.
2. Use Organizers and Shelves
Now that you have a separate space for your hobbies, the next best thing to do is figure out how to organize your craft or hobby supplies.
Most people want to see the items associated with their hobby, so try to use clear organizers and open shelves. For more delicate items, a display case is ideal.
If you want to keep things secluded, dresser drawers can store more than just clothes in them. For example, artists can keep away their paint palettes, colored pencils, brushes, and paper in these cabinets. Makeup enthusiasts can also use these units to store their cosmetics.
3. Track Your Spending and Collection
Being a hobbyist often entails growing your collection of items. If you love playing games, you may find yourself with more of them than you can comfortably store.
However, this can be a little unhealthy for your wallet and space.
When a specific item piques your interest, don’t just buy it immediately — assess how much you want it first.
Do you need this product? Is this unique to other items in your collection? Do you have the budget to get this product? Do you have the storage space to accommodate it?
4. Find What You Can Let Go
Minimalism often involves purging, which means finding items you can let go of. If you’re no longer using a specific fishing rod when heading to the lake, it might be time to purge it.
The same sentiment especially applies to items that have broken or are no longer usable.
It’s essential to dispose of these items responsibly. For items that are still in good condition, you can typically donate them.
For instance, if you have leftover craft supplies, a school or nursing home may be great options for places to donate excess supplies.
5. Explore Other Minimalist Hobbies
Do minimalist hobbies exist? Yes. For instance, a laptop and a word-processing program would suffice for writing.
Some people go to extra lengths, like getting a typewriter and different fountain pens. However, that depends on the depth of your interest and whether or not you think you’d really need or use those items.
Other hobbies that don’t take much to get started would be knitting or crocheting, drawing, or wood carving. All of these activities require very little to get started. It’s a good idea to make sure you truly enjoy that hobby before purchasing additional supplies.
Some people can have multiple hobbies at the same time. Being a minimalist hobbyist, you can also do the same.
However, you may want to consider activities or interests that won’t consume too much space in your home.
6. Know That You Don’t Have to Go Overboard
Hobbyist culture can often center on filling up your space with the items associated with your interest. There’s almost the notion that you aren’t enough of a devotee to an activity if you don’t have enough items of something.
The communities and subcultures in certain hobbies can encourage becoming a hardcore hobbyist with loads of additional supplies.
However, it’s important to separate hoarding from what you actually need to practice your hobby. It’s possible to like something without having an abundant amount of merchandise or gear.
Rather than getting caught up in accumulating more things, focus on enjoying the activity with just the essentials.
7. Understand That Interests Can Change
Hobbies can come and go for people, especially those still exploring what fits with their personality.
As a general rule of minimalism, if something doesn’t bring you joy anymore, you should feel free to let go of it. It’s important to recognize what has become clutter in your home.
Some people may feel as though they’ve invested too much in a certain hobby. Falling out of love with something you’ve been interested in and starting over can create a bit of guilt.
The best thing you can do is to try to reframe the situation and focus on how the items that you aren’t using anymore can now benefit someone else while clearing up space for what you truly love.
Enjoy Hobbies While Being Minimal
Finding a balance between being minimal and having a hobby can take some time. But at the end of the day, it’s possible to enjoy both lifestyles. Use the tips above to maintain both sides of you!
How do you find the balance between minimalism and hobbies? Let us know in the comments section below.
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