The minimalist lifestyle is a method of living a more meaningful life, more defined by experiences and relationships than possessions and stuff. It’s not just a popular movement-it’s a more rewarding lifestyle that begins with decluttering and ends with a more fulfilling life.
The minimalism lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and it can be a bit challenging to take on. It’s been around for quite some time now-and benefits of this lifestyle include less clutter, more free time, and more happiness. There are a few types to choose from, take your pick!
Are you interested in simplifying your home or lifestyle? Do you think you could live a minimalism lifestyle?
What Is a Minimalism Lifestyle?
Minimalism is defined by “less is more”, or simple living with fewer possessions. It’s living intentionally, through experiences and people, rather than belongings. The minimalism lifestyle prioritizes quality and not quantity. Most find it a more meaningful and fulfilling lifestyle rather than the conventional-type, consumerism lifestyle.
However, minimalism goes beyond material possessions and also involves simplifying our commitments, schedules, and priorities. It encourages us to focus on what truly matters and eliminate unnecessary distractions. This way, we can create more time to participate in activities and relationships that align with our values.
History of the Minimalism Lifestyle
The minimalist movement actually began back in the 1950s-60s when minimalism was termed with art, then fashion, and clothing. It then moved into the architectural and home design world, which inspired the actual minimalist lifestyle. Minimalism has actually existed for several centuries, and it can be seen in records of religion and religious practices where the goal was spiritual wisdom and focus – therefore reduction of belongings was of great importance (and still is to this day!).
The minimalism lifestyle has picked up speed over the last few years, inspiring Millennials to convert from consumerism and influenced by streaming services with content about downsizing and decluttering. The minimalism lifestyle is alive and well today!
Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle
There are so many benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle! It may be challenging to convert to a minimalist lifestyle at first, but once you’ve done it for a while and gotten yourself pretty established, you will experience some of the following benefits of a minimalist lifestyle:
- Less stress
- Less cleaning
- Less work
- More free time
- More money saved
- Less clutter
- Less environmental impact
- Easier living
- Less comparison to others
- More experiences
- More joy
- More meaningful relationships
- More peace
This all sounds pretty great, right? Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of this lifestyle, let’s look at where it came from.
The Minimalist Lifestyle Movement
The minimalist lifestyle movement, having started with art in the 1950s, shows us that less is more with just about everything in life. It sometimes begins out of necessity, but it focuses on decreasing the effects of financial issues worldwide, debt, social awareness, and even environmental concerns. In the complex world we live in today, the minimalist lifestyle movement makes things simpler and more meaningful. It may be a movement, but its effects can be seen worldwide.
Characteristics of a Minimalist Lifestyle
There are many things that set the minimalist lifestyle apart from others. Sometimes it’s the physical appearance of people, but usually it’s the lifestyle practices that you notice. What’s interesting to note is that some of the characteristics of this lifestyle-are also considered benefits! Here are some of the characteristics of a minimalist lifestyle:
- Less stuff in the home
- Less time spent cleaning and organizing
- Less money spent on belongings, clothing, accessories, etc.
- Living intentionally
- Quality more valued than quantity
- Focus on necessities
- More meaningful experiences and relationships
If you’re not convinced by the benefits and characteristics of a minimalist lifestyle, let’s look at some different types and what they look like.
Types of Minimalist Lifestyles
When we talk about a minimalist lifestyle, it’s a pretty broad category. Minimalism isn’t a one-size-fits-all type thing, and there are different varieties of minimalism. We’re going to look at some different types of minimalist lifestyles.
The Japanese Minimalism Lifestyle
The Japanese minimalism lifestyle was inspired by the Buddhist practices of living a simple life. It’s focused on uncluttered living, cleanness, and focusing on the essentials. Japanese minimalists connect to Earth and live in harmony with nature, are grounded, and are more at peace with the world. They incorporate natural accents and materials in their homes, keep their homes simple, and utilize energy flow in every room. This helps them stay connected to nature and find their Zen.
Extreme Minimalism Lifestyle
The extreme minimalism lifestyle is just that-extreme! This minimalist lifestyle is also defined by “less is more”, even when it comes to the size of their homes. These minimalists live in tiny homes, where furniture and possessions serve multiple purposes, which means they have the minimal amount of belongings to get by efficiently and with less stuff. There are only the essentials, no clutter, and focus on a more meaningful life.
Family Minimalism Lifestyle
Family minimalism is a great lifestyle to pursue with children. It’s challenging enough to raise children these days, so leading a family minimalism lifestyle can create better relationships, better bonds, better learning experiences, and even better success in life. Kids raised in a minimalist lifestyle are more well-rounded, learn better, and appreciate the more meaningful and important things in life better than those raised with all of the conventional stuff.
Student Minimalism Lifestyle
The student minimalism lifestyle is usually based on necessity-dorm rooms are small spaces and usually shared with other students! Students really have to prioritize what to keep on hand due to the limited space as well as limited budgets-not everyone can work and attend classes. So the focus is on the essentials-a comfortable place to sleep and study, nutrition on hand (although it may not always be healthy!), and an efficient way to get to the bathroom for hygiene.
Are Minimalists Happier?
It depends on who you ask! There’s no one simple answer, because sometimes we need to look at why one becomes a minimalist. If it was done out of choice, it usually does seem to increase happiness. If it’s because of the loss of a loved one or a job-it may not be such a happy change, especially at first. But it does seem with time minimalists do have more joy than others who live the conventional life.
Why People Go Minimalist
There are multiple reason for why people go minimalist! It could be major life changes like a new child or a child leaving home, marriage or divorce, job change or loss, even just becoming tired of the “rat race”. Living a minimalist lifestyle means living more intentionally-which means less stuff, less stress, and more living.
The helpful video below explains how and why you can let go for a more simple life.
How to Start a Minimalist Lifestyle
The minimalist lifestyle isn’t for everyone! It can be difficult to make the changes to a minimalist lifestyle, but anyone can do it. Here is how to start a minimalist lifestyle:
- Start small-one step at a time
- Discard, sell, donate
- Clean and organize
- Identify your priorities
- Learn the difference between “needs” and “wants”
- Focus on the “needs”
- Consider your impact on the environment
- Realize life is more important than “stuff”
- Living Minimalist – The Easy Practices for a Fuller Life
- Simple Life – My Experienced Guide to Happy Living
- Hygge – Wellness, Contentment, and Simplicity for Life
- Debt-Free Living – Smart Choices for Personal Independence
- Minimalist Travel – Guide to Success From a Happy Traveler
- Gezellig – Experiencing this Calm, Warm, Togetherness
- Zero Waste – Guide to Living This Sustainable Lifestyle
- Ananda – Person and Practice to Reach a Higher Self
The minimalism lifestyle can be a big change, but it doesn’t have to be a lot of work. There are no rules to converting from the conventional, consumerist lifestyle to that of minimalism-you can choose your path! With so many benefits to reap from the minimalism lifestyle, why not start today? There’s so much more happiness and peace to have!