Over the last couple of months I’ve received a number of comments and tweets from people who want to share their minimalist ambitions with their spouse or their entire family.

Some were so enthusiastic, they wanted to make all of their friends minimalists too!

This is great, I love that people are so enthusiastic.

However, the idea of making other people minimalist is a difficult question.

Many people relate to objects differently. I’ve met people who live with nothing, and are perfectly content. I’ve met people who would kill themselves if they lost everything — even if this would inevitably lead to them being freer.

Many people still subscribe to the (antiquated, in my opinion) mentality that we are what we own. It’s can be hard to change these minds.

So, here’s my suggestion:

Don’t worry about the other people. You can’t force them to be minimalists.

Instead, set a good example with yourself.

Adopt a 30 day rule for your stuff, get rid of all your stuff and start tolive with 100 things.

Don’t bother your boyfriend about his pile of dusty CDs. Focus all of that effort you’re directing at another person into freeing your own life.

Lead by example.

Show the people who you wish were less attached to their stuff how free you’ve made your own life.

Consider starting a blog documenting your progress becoming a minimalist. This can only help communicate your intentions. Join agrowing community of amazing bloggers writing about being minimalist.

With any luck your partner, your kids, and your friends will start to embrace the idea of lessening their connection to their material possessions, and begin to adopt a freer lifestyle.

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