How to Convert Others To Minimalism

Just finished listening to a special Patron episode of How to Be a Minimalist where Katie discussed what to do when you are the only minimalist in your home. She offered some great tips. It got me thinking about my journey to minimalism and how I converted Mr. BMM.

brass-colored 21 foil balloons inside room

To give some background on Mr. BMM he still wears his favorite baseball t-shirt from when he was 14. That shirt can legally drink because it’s 21 years old now! He does not mind spending money on a motorcycle but don’t expect him to buy new clothes until his current clothes fall apart. He loves to go to haunted houses but expect him to spend money on decorations. He is more about experiences over things yet at one point he was a hoarder. Everything was saved just in case.

We were actually both hoarders. When he realized that I was going to declutter my things he firmly stated that I was not to touch any of his things. Trust me, I was going to follow the KonMari golden rule of only decluttering your own things.

After I decluttered all of my personal things I made a simply ask of Mr. BMM. I asked if I could re-organize his clothes and if he agreed I would fold all of the laundry and put it way each week. See Mr. BMM hoardered clothes like so many of us, including me, to the point he couldn’t really close his drawers. It really bugged me that he couldn’t close his drawers so much so that I asked him that simply question. I was shocked when he agreed.

Looking back there was a huge upside for Mr. BMM. He would no longer be asked to help fold laundry or put it away. One afternoon I dumped all of his clothes on our bed. I got to folding, rehanging, and organizing all of his socks, t-shirts, shorts, dress pants, polo shirts, and those one off things like a bathing suit or winter gloves. After I got everything matched up and put away, I took him back to our bed. Remaining on our bed were socks without a match, gloves that were missing their buddy, or shirts that I knew he never wore. Then I made a simple statement, “Here are things that either don’t have a match or that I’m not sure you enjoy wearing. Let me know what items you want to keep and those that you want to discard. It’s completely up to you.” Mr. BMM replied to discard everything. Then he went through his clothes, drawers, and closet just to double check that I wasn’t pulling a quick one on him. Once he confirmed that I did not pull a quick one on him, he has not looked back.

After I took the afternoon to organize his clothes, Mr. BMM has taken on his own personal decluttering journey. The reason why I succeeding in bringing Mr. BMM over to minimalism is simple.

  • I decluttered my own things and never touched his things without his permission.
  • Mr. BMM witnessed me moving through the space and my days with minimal frustrations.

Have you been able to convert family or friends to minimalism? If so, how did you do it?

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