In this busy world full of things and choices, a lot of people are starting to gravitate towards a more simple lifestyle. Minimalism is becoming a popular concept, and a lot of people call themselves minimalists. But what is a minimalist person?
This post will give you clarity about the definition of a minimalist lifestyle and will show you how much of a minimalist person you might already be.
What is a minimalist person?
Let’s start by getting this point straight. What even is a minimalist?
The definition of a minimalist, according to vocabulary.com, is as follows:
In general, a minimalist person focuses on simplifying every aspect of their life. The goal behind this is to live a happier and more fulfilling life by surrounding yourself only with the things that give you value and meaning.
It doesn’t mean, however, that a minimalist person owns nothing and lives in a tiny house. If you walk into my apartment, you won’t see blank walls and no furniture. It means that a minimalist person regularly asks themself what they actually need in life, which items are the most valuable and actually make your life simpler.
What is the minimalist lifestyle?
In similar terms, living a minimalist lifestyle means living your life with intention. We all want to live a joyful life, but a lot of people take different approaches on their road to happiness.
The minimalist lifestyle approaches fulfillment by actively only choosing the things in your life that serve you.
It is about owning only the things that make your life better, and not letting your possessions take control of you.
By doing this, you can remove the distractions in your life and focus on your values and the things that have actual meaning to you.
How do I know if I am a minimalist?
Let’s take a deeper look at the things that make someone a minimalist person. Here are characteristics of a minimalist person and signs how you might already be living a minimalist lifestyle.
1. You get stressed out by mess and clutter
This first point is a great sign that you have the desire to simplify your life. Maybe you already noticed, even only subconciously, that too many things lying around makes you anxious.
You might already be taking steps to reduce the mess and clutter for a clearer mind. Or maybe you know it bothers you, but haven’t found a way to deal with the clutter in your life. Either way, this fact alone shows that you could benefit from being a more minimalist person.
If you need an easy start to getting rid of the mess, start with this post on 37 things to declutter right now.
2. You don’t like going shopping
Are you that friend who would always rather meet up at the park for a coffee instead of going for a shopping spree at the mall? And if you do go to the mall, you usually don’t buy anything. Mostly because you’re not finding any value in the things that are offered and because you have very specific criteria for the things you would want in your life.
A big part of minimalism is bringing things into your life conciously. Most minimalists won’t impulsively buy something. They know exactly what they want, and if something won’t bring value to their life or make it simpler, they don’t want it.
3. You question everything that enters your apartment
Clutter doesn’t just pile up in your home because you didn’t even notice how many things you bought in the last weeks. A minimalist person questions every single item they want to bring into their life. If you have been living a minimalist lifestyle for quite a while, this happens automatically after a while.
Once you have realized how much happier a lifestyle with less can be, you want to keep it that way. The goal isn’t to always be decluttering, but to not bring any more clutter in. So with each thing you think about getting, you ask yourself: “How will this make my life easier? Is there a better alternative?”.
If it’s a bigger investment, most minimalists will also think about it for a few days. A good starting point could be to wait at least a day before you make a purchase.
4. You hate tidying
Ok, this probably applies to all of us. However, a minimalist person hates tidying so much, they make sure they never have to.
If you also can’t think of much worse than tidying your apartment, this is also a sign that being a more minimalist person would be valuable to you. By only owning the things that bring you joy, and giving each of them a home, you don’t even have to really tidy anymore.
Are you constantly getting rid of stuff so you don’t have to tidy them up all the time? You are probably well on your way to becoming a minimalist person.
5. You pack incredibly light
Do you go on a 2-week vacation with only your carry on? You hate taking too many things with you and always pack light? Yup, you’re probably a minimalist or well on your way to getting there.
Minimalists know exactly what they need and what they don’t. You probably won’t see a minimalist person taking 4 different pairs of shoes, just in case. When it comes to travel, they narrow it down to their essentials. Because in the end, you want to focus on your vacation and not drown in the decision fatigue of deciding on your outfit of the day.
6. You have a few favorite clothing items and wear them all the time
I think by now we all know of the concept of a capsule wardrobe. The thought of only owning a limited amount of clothes that you really love appeals to you. Maybe you still own 10 pairs of jeans, but you only really wear the same two. Or you might be further in your minimalist journey and have reduced your closet to your favorite two jeans.
Most minimalists have a closet full of the clothes they love the most and wear constantly. There’s no shame in outfit repeating. Having a “uniform” or a few go-to outfits takes out the hassle of getting ready in the morning. It’s one less decision to make and gives you a clearer mind for the more important ones that are coming.
7. You have considered selling everything you own and start new
Have you ever thought about just getting rid of everything you have, move somewhere else and restart your life? Obviously, this isn’t the most sustainable way to start a minimalist lifestyle. And it’s also pretty drastic and not necessary.
But if you have felt this urge because you get so tired of the clutter surrounding you, you are taking the first steps towards becoming a minimalist.
Do you get overwhelmed by all the stuff in your apartment, and need an easy place to start downsizing? I always recommend starting with your paperwork, because it’s easy and usually has no emotional meaning attached to it. Get started with this post on how to organize paper clutter!
8. You find ways to give you more free time
Having the time for the things that matter to you most is one of the big reasons for living a minimalist lifestyle. If you don’t have to constantly tidy and deal with the stuff in your life, you have so much more free time for the things in your life that bring you joy.
9. You only follow 73 people on Instagram
Yes, a minimalist approach also applies to your digital life. More and more aspects of our lifes are moving into the digital world. That’s why it’s essential to be intentional about your digital life.
Minimalists are very mindful about their social media time and what they consume on the internet. If you keep unfollowing people because their content doesn’t give you any value, that is your first step toward digital minimalism.
Why should you even become a minimalist person?
Simplifying your life is your first step towards a free mind and intentional life. Choosing the things you surround yourself with ensures that you are only surrounded by the things you love and enjoy.
The benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle are:
- Having more time because you are mindful of what you spend it with
- Spending less money because you only buy what you need and brings you value
- Living according to your values and having a more meaningful life
- Having more space in your apartment and maybe even being able to downsize and pay less rent
- Living a happier life because you focus on experiences instead of material things
- Experiencing more fulfillment because your life and surroundings align with your beliefs
What are some of the things that define you as a minimalist? Share your statements in the comments below!
Want to revisit this post later for inspiration on being a minimalist? Pin it to your Minimalist Lifestyle Board for later!