Minimalism Quotes – Inspiring Wisdom for Simple Living

Minimalism is a lifestyle of living more intentionally and cherishing the things that really matter.  When I read minimalism quotes, I find that I can better focus on myself and the relationships and importance of the things I keep.  

Minimalism quotes are based on a “less is more” principle and embrace living intentionally.  Minimalism mindset quotes and ideas about the difficulty of letting go of thought processes are interpreted to reflect on connections between simplifying and how stuff affects us.

Have you ever read a quote that made you want to re-evaluate your lifestyle or been inspired by the great thoughts of historians but not entirely sure of their meaning?  These minimalist quotes from notable historical and current figures can guide you to think on a deeper level and consider what matters most to you.

 What is a Minimalism Quote?

A minimalism quote is a short passage or phrase that is often attributed essence of simplicity, emphasizing the focus on what truly matters in life while letting go of unnecessary distractions and possessions. They express that minimalism is not just about decluttering physical spaces but also about prioritizing and aligning our lives with what brings us genuine joy, fulfillment, and purpose. Minimalism quotes are memorable and impactful expressions of wisdom, insight, humor, or inspiration.

Minimalism is the principle of “less is more,” or doing more with less.  Minimalists focus on living life more intentionally, focusing on people and experiences rather than belongings.  Minimalism quotes refer to minimalist practices in work, life, or beliefs. They stir our thoughts to make us think differently and allow us to seek out true meaning in the things we surround ourselves with. It is only then that we can focus on how we could be living.

A Woman in a Simple Brown Sweater - Minimalism Quotes - Gone Minimal
A Woman in a Simple Brown Sweater

Minimalism Mindset Quotes

“The intention of voluntary simplicity is not to dogmatically live with less. It’s a more demanding intention of living with balance. This is a middle way that moves between the extremes of poverty and indulgence.”

Duane Elgin

Duane Elgin is an American author and educator who has written several books about sustainability and consciousness.  What he is saying here is that living in simplicity by choice is not about it being the right choice and other choices are wrong-but finding the middle ground between two entirely different lifestyles.  It’s done by choice and through balance.

“I’ve learned that minimalism is not about what you own, it’s about why you own it.”

Brian Gardner

As a lifestyle guru and author, Brian Gardner is trying to tell us that it’s not just about owning less, but finding joy and happiness in the things we do own.  Minimalism is focusing on experiences, feelings, and relationships with people-as well as the relationships we have with the things we own.

“I think we’re confused about what’s going to make us happy.”

Sam Harris

Author, broadcaster, and renowned skeptic Sam Harris is known for arguing that our sense of self and consciousness are different from what we thought.  It’s not religion, it’s not conventional, and it’s all part of a spiritual journey that begins with realizing things are not what they seem. 

We need to break away from our inner thoughts and dialogues and stop identifying ourselves with emotions, focusing on spirituality and meditation to find out who we really are inside.  This can help us truly identify what actually makes us happy.

A Woman Smiling at Her Dog - Minimalism Quotes - Gone Minimal
A Woman Smiling at Her Dog

“But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.”

Marie Kondo

 Marie Kondo is known for her Netflix series “Tidying Up” and “Sparking Joy,” and through her work of guiding others to declutter and reorganize she helps people find their joy.  She’s not just referring to physical items in this quote-she’s also speaking of memories and experiences. 

Analysis of Major Ideas from Quotations

Minimalism and the Difficulty of Letting Go

We often attach memories and emotions to items we collect for remembrance, which makes it more difficult to declutter and get rid of those items.  We’re afraid that by letting go of stuff, we’re also letting go of those memories.  When we adapt to the minimalist mindset, we learn that experiences and memories stay with us regardless of what we hold in our hands.  Once we realize this, it’s much easier to let go.

Minimalism and Thought

As humans, we tend to have very complex thought processes, and we often complicate things unnecessarily.  We burden ourselves with heavy feelings and emotions that bog us down and make us feel exhausted without lifting a finger.  Thought doesn’t need to be so complex or heavy-handed, nor does it need to occupy our every waking moment. 

When we utilize a minimalist lifestyle, we simplify many things including our minds.  Humans can learn to let go and pursue more meaningful things like relationships and experiences without having to overthink every single thing.

A Simple Happy Face Balloon - Minimalism Quotes - Gone Minimal
A Simple Happy Face Balloon

Minimalism and Simplicity Quotes

“The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn’t simple.”

Doris Janzen Longacre

Doris Janzen Longacre was a writer and speaker who wrote “The More-with-Less Cookbook” to guide readers through creating more enjoyable meals without depleting resources.  Simple living, as in being more self-sufficient and less dependent upon traditional resources, can bring a great deal of joy and creativity but it’s also challenging.  There are obstacles to overcome, hardships to endure, and being independent means not seeking assistance from outside sources.  It’s fun and rewarding but it’s certainly not simple.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Leonardo da Vinci.

We all know da Vinci for his artwork, most notably the Mona Lisa.  His works are truly sophisticated, yet simple in their detail and structure.  Complexity makes things more difficult to understand, and not more cultured.  Keeping things simple makes things easier, more meaningful, and potentially more sophisticated.

“A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.”

Eleanor Roosevelt.

Former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt was a feminist and human rights activist who challenged people to do more, be more, and demonstrate more caring towards others.  Her quote encourages us to simplify our lives, given that complex daily living does not mean more meaningful living.  Simplifying things has the potential to save us more time, which we can use for living more intentionally.

A Man Sitting by the Mountains - Minimalism Quotes - Gone Minimal
A Man Sitting by the Mountains

“You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs, an American entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple, Inc. lived a minimalist life at home and at work, even with the electronics he designed.  Complex thinking starts with simplicity, then working your way up to more advanced thought and ideas that can make huge differences in peoples’ lives.

“We go on multiplying our conveniences only to multiply our cares. We increase our possessions only to the enlargement of our anxieties.”

Anna C. Brackett

An American philosopher, Anna C. Brackett was a feminist and educator who broke down boundaries that created new opportunities for women.  She refers to adding things to our lives that supposedly make life easier and more convenient when in actuality it only adds to our responsibilities.  The more conveniences we add, the more things we have to worry about-which adds stress.

 Reflection of the Connection Between Minimalism and Simplifying

According to researchers Lloyd and Pennington of the University of East London, minimalism is embracing simplicity, self-sufficiency, social responsibility, ecological awareness, and spirituality. Minimalism goes beyond decluttering and owning less, it’s about simplifying our lives.  When we get rid of the excesses, we free up both physical and metaphorical space.

A Simple Bouquet - Minimalism Quotes - Gone Minimal
A Simple Bouquet

The less stuff we have, the less we have to maintain.  Simplifying things through decluttering and minimalist practices really do have the potential to make our lives better and much more meaningful.

According to researchers Siyun and Jiwei of Jinan University, Haiying of Guangzhou Brand Innovation and Development Research Base, and Yaxuan of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, the practice of minimalist consumption emphasizes connections with people and maintaining relationships because possessions do not advertise success or happiness.

Minimalism and Stuff Quotes

“Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital.”

Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama is the Tibetan spiritual leader who represents Buddhist traditions and values about liberation from existential pain and finding nirvana.  We can do this by being happy and satisfied with what we possess rather than pursuing more.  The less we want or desire, the more likely we will find happiness because we’re not chasing the “more.”

“Bottom line: If our lives are burdened with clutter, we’re giving the best of ourselves away to the things that matter least.” 

Erica Layne.

Erica Layne, a writer and minimalist, is telling us that stuff is ruling our lives.  We spend too much time cleaning, organizing, and focusing on stuff-when we should be focusing on the things that really matter.  People, relationships, creativity, our work, all of the things that make us tick.

A Man Holding a Light Bulb - Minimalism Quotes - Gone Minimal
A Man Holding a Light Bulb

“One can furnish a room very luxuriously by taking out furniture rather than putting it in.”

Francis Jourdain

Francis Jourdain was an interior designer who knew that more furniture doesn’t lead to more luxury.  As a furniture maker, he knew that luxury comes from truly comfortable and useful pieces and maximizing a living space rather than filling it up with stuff.

“This is the beautiful secret of minimalism: It may seem like it’s about stuff, but once you’ve cut through the clutter and adopted a new frame of mind, you learn that it’s barely about ‘the stuff’ at all.” 

Erica Layne

Here Erica Layne reminds us that when we switch our focus from the stuff we’re trying to maintain to the things that really matter, we can finally figure out that it’s getting rid of the stuff that adds meaning to our lives.

“Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.”

Edwin Way Teale

Edwin Way Teale was a naturalist and writer, and what he’s telling us here is that when we focus on the things we really need and rid ourselves of the useless wants, we can reduce our daily workloads.

In this helpful video, learn seven inspiring and life-changing quotes about minimalist

Related Insights

Is minimalism a luxury?

Minimalism can be a luxury, depending on how you look at it.  Some minimalists have the “luxury” to minimize their belongings, buy an RV, grow their own food, and live “off the grid.”  Others don’t because of money constraints, children, jobs, and many other things that can prevent them from having that ability.

What is minimalism in simple words?

Minimalism in simple words is living the principle of “less is more.”

What are minimalist values?

Minimalist values include valuing people and relationships, meeting basic needs, honoring your character, taking care of one’s health, practicing creativity, and pursuing personal growth.

How Real People Remember to Enjoy the “Little” Things

I asked friends and family to share two things (Pictures, memories, quotes, books, etc.) that help them remember to enjoy the “little” things. Here is what they shared and what I learned from the poll, and the percentages of their responses. 

Things That Remind PeopleTime Selected
Things That Help Real People Remember the “Little” Things

Other Resources:

Minimalism has the power to free your mind and enrich your life, and even if you don’t pursue this lifestyle, quotes related to it can help you think on a deeper level about what you do with your life.  Minimalism quotes make us think about what things actually mean to us, how we could be living our lives, or what we can do in the meantime to propel us toward our future goals.  Which minimalism quote hit home for you?

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