Minimalism has become trendy in the 21st century. It’s en vogue, it’s woke, it’s something to be proud of.
While this is great overall, there are companies out there jumping on the bandwagon—selling us “minimalist” crap that are anything but!
That’s why it’s a good practice to ask ourselves from time to time if we’re truly being minimalist or just blindly following “minimalism” trends.
To know if you’re a true minimalist, find out how many of these things apply to you:
1) You’re worried about the climate
If you’re worried about climate change, it stands to reason that you will be worried about your impact on the environment. You’ll conserve energy and water, you’ll be frugal, and you’ll try to recycle your waste wherever possible.
If you’re concerned about the environment, you probably shouldn’t doubt yourself too much. Your concern will show in your everyday choices because you’re well aware that minimalism has a good impact on the environment.
2) You hate marketing
You know just how all brands try to guilt you into buying their products by making you dissatisfied with your life, or making you feel like you’re missing out. And you hate it with a passion!
You probably pity the people who blindly fall to this manipulation, too.
Some brands sell “minimalist” fashion but they want us to buy hundreds of them by their aggressive marketing. We can’t blame them. They need to earn. But god damn, they want us to buy and buy and buy some more!
3) You don’t envy people with expensive cars
Cars. Who needs them? Okay sure, some of us actually do need them.
But expensive cars? Bleah! Only Batman has the right.
Cars take a lot of money to operate and maintain, they contribute to traffic jams, and worst of all they are bad for the environment.
Even if you’re using an Electric Vehicles, lithium extraction still harms the environment.
There’s probably little they have to offer you that you can’t handle by taking public transportation or riding a bicycle.
If you would rather walk or ride a bicycle to work, you’re probably a minimalist at heart. If you don’t envy people with Ferraris, then you’re probably a hardcore minimalist. You’re also probably happier than most people.
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4) You’re turned off by people who are “extra”
Too much makeup, too many clothes, too much bling?
You don’t get it.
Not only are they tacky, people who wear this are for sure spending big bucks and loads of time preparing for their look.
Imagine how many clothes they keep in their closets! Clothes that need to be arranged, washed, ironed.
It’s too much work and for what? To have something to post on IG? Which brings us to our next thing on the list…
5) You are repulsed by influencers
There are celebs like Kim Kardashian who you hate for indirectly promoting unrealistic beauty standards.
And then there are influencers who make it seem like they’re normal people like you and me, which could be more dangerous because it will make us think “Hey, if they can have it, I can have it too!” We’re in the same league, after all, right? Wrong.
IG and Facebook have affected our brains to the core that we can’t even recognize it. They influence us day by day and these influencers (even the ones promoting body positivity and minimalism), will eventually want to sell us something. Social media has a big impact on consumerism.
They will sell us drinks, books, and skincare products. We can’t blame them. That’s how they earn money, after all.
6) You don’t want to spend time on your phone
There are studies that show that phones are as dangerous, that they’re as addictive as cocaine.
Phones have become so addictive and they’ve shaped our lives more than we think. Our attention spans are shorter, our mental health is getting worse. It’s also turned us into hardcore consumerists.
If you’re a parent, you have a strict policy on phones and computers. You’d rather be a “bad parent” than let your kids get addicted to gadgets. And you apply this rule to yourself, too.
7) You don’t subscribe to the Hustle Culture
The world has become so crazy that we now glorify busy. We always have to be doing something. Oh, it’s not enough. We have to be doing something great like becoming a CEO.
Of course, it’s a given that we also have to manage a house with two kids, have time with our amigos, and join hundreds of clubs.
Resting is for losers now, huh?
And that’s what we call progress!
8) When you purchase something, you ask yourself “who truly benefits from this?”
It’s just hardwired in your brain to ask “Who gains from this?” even if it’s just a glass of water. Especially if it’s free!
So Coca-cola sponsors a dance event. They give big prices for High School kids. Seems cool. They’re GIVING something.
But you ask yourself “Hmmm…who truly benefits from this?” And the answer is “ Coke, of course!”
They shoot these events and market the sh*t out of it as if they’re the good guys.
9) You hate big brands
Coke, McDonalds, Facebook, Gucci, Apple…
They’re influencing our lives because they can. Sure, they all started with good intentions and you still believe they all have good intentions but you know that anything big can become dangerous because they have the power.
As much as you can, you try to go against the grain and be wary of buying from big brands, especially if you’ve already heard bad things about them.
10) You buy local
Instead of buying stuff from miles away, you choose the ones near you.
Not only does every purchase support your local economy, your carbon footprint will also be lesser because you won’t have to travel or have items shipped to you.
11) When it comes to fashion, you prefer to have a Capsule Wardrobe
Capsule wardrobe is cutting down and keeping your wardrobe up to 37 pieces only. If you haven’t worn an item for more than six months, you won’t wear it ever so you prefer to just sell or donate them.
You choose basics (the ones you really love to wear) and just mix and match the items. It might seem restrictive for others but 5-7 pants is definitely enough for you. Not only does it save you money, it saves you time. You don’t have to mix and match 100s of items!
12) You hate cleaning
So you gotta admit it. One of the reasons you want to go, full-on minimalist, is because you’re lazy!
You don’t like to clean so if there’s less stuff and less space, it solves everything!
Imagine cleaning a 5-bedroom house and three cars. You want to own your time and not become a slave to your possessions.
13) There’s no need for you to have many friends
Now that you’re much older, you know time is the most precious gift in life.
You don’t want to have too many circles of friends. You want to keep the ones who you consider real friends. These are the people you’d sacrifice your Netflix marathon for. The ones you’d travel an hour or two just to see them.
The rest are your acquaintances and while you know it’s important to be with people, you don’t put too much pressure on yourself to maintain these friendships.
14) “Quality over quantity” is your life motto
Just like with your friendships and wardrobe, you apply this rule to almost every aspect of your life– from groceries, to goals, to your travel itinerary. “More” is tedious, “more” distracts us from enjoying the moment. Quality over quantity, always.
You know the most important things in life and as long as you have them, you don’t need much else!
15) You’re okay with not being rich
Most people say they do the hustle so they can “help others’ ‘ but in fact, they just want to get rich. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. They can even be filthy rich if that’s what they desire.
For you, however, time is the most precious thing. You’d rather have just enough money so you can enjoy life because you know it’s almost impossible to become rich without sacrificing a lot of time.
They may pressure you to get richer but you’re actually okay with your life even if you’re not a CEO.
16) You want meaningful experiences
A meaningful life is what you’re striving for!
You prefer to experience life and be immersed by it. Instead of visiting a place just to take photos to post on IG, you prefer to truly be present.
You prefer to sit down and enjoy your meal with strangers. To really get to know the place. And you’re open to being transformed by your experiences.
This means you’d spend time truly living in the moment rather than just touching the surface. This applies to travel and everything else in life.
17) You don’t care about the Joneses
It’s not like you don’t want to keep up with them or you’re just bitter. You truly just don’t care what others say about you and your life!
So they probably think you’re stupid for pursuing your passion in music instead of getting a 6-digit salary and a wife. So what.
They think you’re a broke loser? So what.
Their opinions of you truly don’t affect you one single bit.
18) You’re not worried that you’re doing nothing
Relaxing instead of setting another goal? Hellz yeah!
You know you’re not lazy so you allow yourself to enjoy your breaks doing nothing because that’s what breaks are supposed to be. You can’t fully recharge if you’re preoccupied.
You need breaks.
You don’t want to work to death because after that, you’ll want a reward. You’ll party hard, you’ll buy stuff, you’ll stuff your mouth with junk because you feel like you deserve it.
You don’t want this lifestyle. The best reward for work is doing nothing and you’re not guilty about it for even one second!
19) You care where your items come from
Are they from a sweatshop from China?
Are they made of palm oil that endangers certain species?
You are conscious about these things thus you don’t want to just put things in your cart on a whim.
You know that just by existing, you’re contributing to the destruction of the planet but you’re trying your best to have the least impact. You do this by your everyday choices.
20) You care where your items go
The world has a 2-billion ton trash problem and each one of us contributes to this.
This makes you think twice before you throw anything, and think thrice before you add to cart.
21) You don’t like attending and throwing big parties
It makes you feel bad when people get excessive. Some weddings cost more than a hundred bars of gold. That money could have been used to end world hunger or something!
Having fireworks and a thousand balloons can make us feel royal but so does inviting a good local band to play our favorite music. You try to choose what’s good for Mother Earth.
22) You count your pennies
You’re not being Mr. or Ms. Skimpy.
You just know that money is time and security so you’d really rather not spend a lot on anything. Spending way more than what’s necessary stresses you out.
You don’t deprive yourself from pleasures, though. You’d spend a few dollars on a good wine from time to time but you won’t spend hundreds of dollars on a dress.
23) You’re the opposite of high maintenance
You don’t need a lot to be happy.
You don’t pout when your SO doesn’t give you an expensive bouquet of flowers. In fact, because you’re a minimalist, you’d be a little turned off if they do give you expensive flowers unless they’re in a pot and you can grow them in your garden.
You like to sit on the sidewalk to enjoy authentic street food, you like to sleep in tents, you’re okay with cheap hotels. You don’t need a limo to make you feel special.
You’re truly a simple creature.
24) You’re organized
Sometimes a little too organized. You have a menu for the week and even prepare half of them on Sunday. You arrange your books from A-Z.
Because of this, you’d rather not have more stuff. Seriously. You don’t want to be too obsessive. Adding more stuff means needing to organize more stuff. Nah, you’re good!
25) You are truly content with what you have
Don Draper said that happiness is just a moment right before you need more happiness.
You’re glad you’re not one of those people. In fact, “Content” is your #1 personality trait.
You’re truly content with your relationships, your career, your lifestyle, your house, your pets. You’re not a maximizer and you’re happy you aren’t.
Some of the richest people still want more and are never truly happy. You think they’re the saddest people in the world.
If the signs on this list perfectly describe you, then you’re — without a doubt — a true minimalist.
Go and multiply (or don’t, because that’s bad for the climate), but make your tribe bigger! Influence others to be truly minimalists because not only will it be good for the planet, it’s good for our general well-being too.