The minimalist lifestyle is not an easy lifestyle to convert to in the beginning. There are several things to consider including the characteristics of minimalists to figure out if it suits you and your family. Let’s talk about what a minimalist person looks like and if it interests you.
A minimalist person is one whom values experiences, openness, and living in the moment. Objects and physical possessions are only tools for living rather than prizes to accumulate. Minimalists often enjoy more simple living with greater appreciation for people and places.
Have you ever wondered what being a minimalist person is like? What is minimalism, anyways-and how do you go about seeing if this lifestyle can work for you?
What Are the Characteristics of a Minimalist Person?
A minimalist person usually has a few common characteristics. While everyone is unique and will have some individual preferences, here are a few of the most popular ones:
- Values experiences
- Sees possessions as tools rather than prizes
- Enjoys doing more with less
- Sees the moment as something special
- Believes in their ability to figure things out as they go
- Can be satisfied with simple living
- Feels good in clean, open spaces
How Do You Spot a Minimalist?
There are several things that usually make a minimalist stand out from the rest of the population. It’s not always by their physical appearance, but by their lifestyle practices. Engage them in conversation and you’ll learn a great deal about minimalism. Here are just a few responses that might indicate someone is a minimalist:
|Turned Off by Consumerism||Minimalists are not interested in stuff. They don’t purchase things to collect, decorate, or demonstrate their worth. They would rather spend their money on experiences and travel, the things that enrich their lives and make it more meaningful.|
|Works Toward Contentment||They don’t care to chase titles or promotions. They work on improving themselves, spending meaningful time with others, and pursuing happiness. Minimalists realize that belongings and titles don’t bring happiness.|
|Discriminates Between Wants and Needs||Minimalists know what they need to live and survive. They don’t want the latest and greatest, they are happy with what they have. We don’t need new cars or mansions, we need basic transportation (or work from home!) and shelter for safety and protection from the elements.|
|Willing to Do Without Things||As an extension of wants versus needs, there are things minimalists know they (and we) don’t need. They’re willing to do without fancy purses, shiny shoes, media rooms, and even smartphones. Minimalists can make do with much less than those who embrace consumerism.|
|Takes Time for Meaningful Things||It’s the experiences and feelings that really mean something-not the gifts or belongings or collections. Minimalists spend meaningful time with others sharing emotions and visions of beauty in landscape rather than shopping at the mall or streaming video game livestreams.|
Minimalist Personality Test
There are multiple online quizzes available to help you figure out if you have the personality of a minimalist. The basic questions include these:
- How much of something do you own?
- What are your shopping habits?
- How do you clean and declutter?
- Do you hang on to stuff?
- Is it hard for you to throw things out?
This of course isn’t all-inclusive, there are many caveats to these questions that will really make you think about your “stuff”. I challenge you to take one of these quizzes and figure out your minimalist vs. packrat personality!
Life has become so hectic and challenging that many turn to minimalism in hopes of simplifying their lives.
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism is the general approach to thinking and life where one values clean spaces, simple living, and experiences over physical possessions. How one lives minimally can look different to each person, and even how that lifestyle evolves over the years can change, just as they change and grow.
What Does Minimalism Mean?
Minimalism is defined by simplicity, fewer possessions, and living intentionally. It means practicing this thoughtfully each day, as one builds and experiences a life that benefits from these characteristics. How each person chooses to experience minimalism can vary greatly. Its main benefit is how it can positively impact each person, in their own way.
What Are Characteristics of Minimalism?
Characteristics of minimalism include living intentionally, simply, and owning less possessions than those who are not minimalists. There is more value placed on quality than quantity. And it goes beyond living in a tiny home-it’s a mindset.
What Is an Example of Minimalism?
It’s decorating your home with minimal artwork, plants, rugs, pillows, etc., if decorating at all in some cases. It’s carrying around the simplest bag as a purse-no frills, designs, or shiny objects. Then there’s minimalist clothing-simple textures, single colors, and again no frills, designs, or fancy stuff. In a nutshell-less is more.
Is Minimalism a Trend?
Minimalism has been picking up speed over the last few years and is definitely gaining in popularity lately. Life has become so hectic and challenging that many turn to minimalism in hopes of simplifying their lives. It can definitely be more rewarding to live more with purpose than with stuff.
Why Is Minimalism Bad?
How could it be bad? Less clutter and less stuff means less stress! You end up saving money because you’re spending more time on valuable experiences than on possessions. But honestly-minimalism isn’t for everyone. It’s a difficult lifestyle to embrace at first, there are no rules to minimalism, and it’s often misunderstood by those who don’t live the minimalist lifestyle. So good or bad is in the eyes of the beholder.
Minimalism can mean different things to different people, just as perspectives and invidual experiences differ. Though, in general, being minimalist involves prioritizing experiences over things, living simple over a complex life, and living in the moment, focused on enjoying all that is available right then and there.
What Is a Minimalist Mindset?
Live life intentionally with purpose, not stuff. It’s a simpler mindset that’s not interested in the “rat race”, achieving perfection, chasing titles, or being famous. Embracing experiences rather than possessions.
Are Minimalists Happier?
This is not a simple question to answer-it depends on what influenced someone to become a minimalist. Done out of choice it does seem to increase happiness when this lifestyle is chosen. Sometimes there’s not a choice-it’s because someone lost a job or a loved one. In this case there may not be increased happiness, at least not at first.
There’s no defined way of minimalist living-it’s about figuring out what works for you and your family. Some live in tiny homes on wheels with only the bare minimum for survival. Others live in residential neighborhoods with kids and simple belongings and minimal clutter. Then there are those who travel from place to place, no roots, and only what fits into a backpack. There are no limits!
It’s not a lifestyle for everyone. If you’ve been living the “maximalist” lifestyle, it can be a difficult conversion to make. But anyone is capable of living a more minimalist lifestyle. It starts with decluttering, simplifying, and pursuing more meaningful experiences and passion for life. And once you’ve discovered it, it really can decrease the chaos and stress you’ve been living with!
Learn how to be a minimalist person in the informational TED Talk below.
Becoming a minimalist person takes time. If you’re doing it as a family, it takes even more time to decide and commit to the lifestyle. Take the time to figure out what your needs are, separate them from your wants, then go forth and conquer.
There are no rules to becoming a minimalist – but do take the time to ponder the lifestyle change and whether or not it will benefit you and your family. You’ll never know if it makes you happy until you try!
Take small steps to declutter and reorganize. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, make a list of what you need and don’t need. Start with a single item or a single room to begin the process. Even if it’s just picking up trash it’s a start!
You may even find that once you’ve started it feels invigorating-and before you know it you’re done. Your timeline is yours-it’s what you decide it will be. Remember-a journey starts with one step.
It can be difficult to let go of some stuff-but remember that our memories should be more valuable to us than items we may have assigned memories and value to. You don’t need stuff to remember events and people.
You can help others in need by donating items, plus you’re teaching your children valuable lessons in what really matters. Also keep in mind that getting rid of stuff means less time spent cleaning in the future!
Some Famous Minimalist People
Marie has gained speed with her decluttering and organization skills through “Tidying Up” on Netflix (2019). She inspires people to find the belongings that “spark joy” and get rid of those that don’t. She is also a bestselling author and has been featured in many articles and shows for her KonMari MethodTM.
Donald was a painter and influential American artist whose work would define Minimalist art. He was known for creating large, simple sculptures that emphasized purity rather than symbolism and referred to it as “the simple expression of complex thought”. His work has been shown at The Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and many others.
Joshua is a bestselling author who has written four books about minimalism, decluttering, and finding life with more of less. He writes articles at becomingminimalist.com to help others in discovering and pursuing a more minimalist lifestyle.
Colin is the creator and author of Exile Lifestyle, a blog regarding living simpler and travelling full time. He regularly hosts podcasts, speaks to audiences on various topics, blogs, and writes books about living well. His work has been featured on television, magazines, newspapers, and podcasts across the globe.
Courtney is the creator of the minimalist fashion challenge and Project 333. Her book and website bemorewithless.com help readers simplify, declutter, and find happiness with less. She also writes a blog, offers courses, and hosts a podcast to inspire others to find what really matters. She and her work have been featured on CNN, Forbes, Vogue, and The Wall Street Journal.
Fumio is a famous Japanese minimalist who lives in a tiny home (studio), owns very little clothing, and donated 95% of everything he owned to become a joyful, centered author. He has written books called “Goodbye, Things” and “Hello, Habits” about the minimalist lifestyle and inspires people to be free through having less.
- How To Become A Minimalist – Learn and Live the Simple Life
- Minimalism How To – Guide to Living a Minimalist Life
- Minimalism Documentary – Peek Into the Minimalist Lifestyle
- What Is Minimalism – A Thoughtful, Simple Way of Living
- What Is A Minimalist – Characteristics and Lifelong Benefits
A change in lifestyle doesn’t always mean a great deal of work, even if it’s converting from consumerism to minimalism. Becoming a minimalist person isn’t defined by a rigid set of rules, it’s about figuring out what’s best for you. Many people have made the changes and have found much peace and happiness with their new lifestyles. There are so many excellent resources out there to pick from-so what’s holding you back?
Is Being a Minimalist Good?
Good vs. bad is pretty subjective, but there are advantages in the minimalist lifestyle. There’s money saved, time saved, less stress and chaos, more meaningful life and purpose. Less clutter means less cleaning and that can’t possibly be bad!
Do Minimalists Save Money?
There is definitely potential for saving money as a minimalist. They don’t feel the need to collect things or buy the newest version of things. They save money buy buying less, using less, and living with more purpose than clutter.