If someone practices these 8 habits, they’re likely a minimalist


Living a minimalist lifestyle is more than just owning fewer possessions. It’s a mindset that embraces simplicity and seeks to eliminate any form of clutter, both physical and mental.

Often, it’s the small, daily habits that reveal if someone is a true minimalist. These habits are not about depriving oneself, but rather about making mindful choices.

Being a minimalist means choosing quality over quantity, and finding joy and contentfulness in what you already have. And interestingly, there are certain habits that can hint if someone is leading this way of life.

Here are eight such habits that could suggest someone is likely a minimalist.

1) They own fewer, but higher quality items

Minimalism isn’t about owning nothing. Rather, it’s about owning just the right things.

A minimalist might not have a lot of physical possessions, but the ones they do have are carefully chosen and often of high quality. They believe in the value of quality over quantity.

This deliberate approach extends beyond just material possessions. It also applies to their relationships, commitments, and even the thoughts they allow in their mind.

Instead of cluttering their lives with unnecessary items or redundant relationships, minimalists prefer to keep things simple and meaningful.

So if you notice someone owning fewer items but investing in quality when they do make a purchase, chances are they’re practicing minimalism. But remember, it’s not about deprivation – It’s about eliminating excess and focusing on what truly matters.

2) They embrace a clutter-free environment

Let me share a personal experience with you. After reading about minimalism and how it can benefit mental health, I decided to give it a try. I began with decluttering my workspace.

Over the years, I had accumulated so many things on my desk, most of which I rarely used. It was cluttered with stacks of papers, books I hadn’t touched in years, and even sentimental knick-knacks.

So I set out to clear my workspace. I kept only the essentials – my laptop, a notebook, a pen and a small pot of succulents for some greenery. Everything else found a new home, either in storage or donated.

The transformation was amazing. Not only did my desk look cleaner and more inviting, but my mind also felt clearer. I found it easier to focus on my tasks without the distraction of unnecessary clutter.

From then on, I made it a habit to maintain a clutter-free environment. Now, if you walk into my home or office, you’ll notice clean surfaces and plenty of open space.

This habit of keeping a clutter-free environment is common among minimalists. They understand the link between physical clutter and mental clutter, and they actively work to keep both to a minimum.

3) They practice mindful consumption

In the United States alone, an average person generates around 4.9 pounds of solid waste each day. That’s nearly double the amount produced per person in 1960! Much of this waste is due to our consumption habits – buying more than we need, and discarding items once they are no longer new or trendy.

Minimalists, on the other hand, tend to be mindful consumers. They don’t buy on impulse or because of a sale. Instead, they consider each purchase carefully. They ask themselves if they really need it, if it adds value to their life, and if they can make do with what they already have.

This mindfulness extends beyond just tangible goods. It applies to their time and energy as well. Minimalists are selective about how they spend their time and who they spend it with, focusing on quality over quantity.

So if you see someone taking their time before making a purchase, or being selective about their commitments, it’s quite possible they’re practicing minimalism.

4) They value experiences over material possessions

One of the defining traits of minimalists is their preference for experiences over material possessions. Instead of accumulating stuff, they would rather accumulate memories.

You’ll often find minimalists investing in travel, learning new skills, or enjoying simple pleasures like a walk in the park or a good book. They understand that happiness and fulfillment don’t come from owning things, but from meaningful experiences and relationships.

So if you see someone who’d rather go hiking than shopping, or who chooses a home-cooked meal with friends over an expensive gadget, they’re likely practicing minimalism. Their life isn’t measured by the things they own, but by the experiences they’ve had and the memories they’ve created.

5) They find joy in simplicity

In a world that often equates success with complexity and busyness, minimalists find joy and fulfillment in simplicity.

They take pleasure in quiet moments, in a good book, in a meaningful conversation, or even in the simple act of preparing a meal. They don’t need extravagance or material wealth to feel content. For them, less is not just more, it’s everything.

This shift towards simplicity often leads to a profound sense of peace and contentment. It allows them to appreciate the present moment and find happiness in the ordinary aspects of life.

So if you know someone who seems to find joy in simple pleasures and ordinary moments, who values calm over chaos, they might just be practicing minimalism. Their heart is not set on accumulating material wealth, but on cherishing the simple and precious moments of life.

6) They prioritize their mental space

I remember a time when my mind was constantly cluttered with to-do lists, worries, and random thoughts. It was mentally exhausting, and I often felt overwhelmed.

But when I embraced minimalism, I realized the importance of prioritizing my mental space. I began to incorporate mindfulness and meditation into my daily routine. I limited my consumption of news and social media. I became more conscious of the thoughts I allowed into my mind, focusing on positivity and growth.

This shift wasn’t easy, but it was incredibly rewarding. I found that by clearing my mental clutter, I was able to think more clearly, make better decisions, and feel more at peace with myself.

Minimalists understand the value of a clear mind. They know that our thoughts influence our actions, our mood, and our overall well-being. So they prioritize their mental space just as much as their physical space.

If you see someone taking steps to reduce mental clutter and cultivate a positive mindset, they might be practicing minimalism. Their focus is not just on decluttering their home, but also their mind.

7) They value quality over quantity

Minimalists have a deep appreciation for quality. Whether it’s the clothes they wear, the food they eat, or the relationships they maintain, they always choose quality over quantity.

They would rather have a few well-made items that last for years, than a closet full of cheap, disposable goods. They prefer having a handful of close, meaningful relationships than a large group of casual acquaintances.

Their focus on quality means they are deliberate in their choices. They take the time to research before making purchases, they invest in items that are sustainable and well-made, and they are mindful about who they spend their time with.

So if someone consistently opts for quality over quantity in various aspects of life, it’s likely they’re living a minimalist lifestyle. Their life doesn’t revolve around having more, but around having better.

8) They live intentionally

At its core, minimalism is about living intentionally. It’s about making conscious and purposeful decisions in every aspect of life. It’s not just about decluttering or owning less. It’s a whole life philosophy that influences how one spends their time, money, and energy.

Minimalists don’t just let life happen to them. They actively design their life around what matters most to them. They say no to things that don’t add value to their life, so they can say yes to the things that do.

So if you notice someone consistently making deliberate choices, prioritizing their values, and living with intention, they’re likely practicing minimalism. They understand that life is too short to live on autopilot, and so they choose to live with purpose and intention every day.

The essence: A quest for significance

Peeking into the habits of minimalists, it’s evident that this lifestyle is a manifestation of a deeply ingrained philosophy, not merely a trend or a superficial change.

It’s about realigning one’s life with the essence of what truly matters. It’s about understanding that our worth doesn’t stem from the things we own, but from who we are and what we do with our time and resources.

Minimalism isn’t about living with less for the sake of it. It’s about making space – physical, mental, and emotional – for the things that truly add value to our lives.

The habits of minimalists reveal a profound shift in perspective. It’s about rejecting mindless consumption and embracing mindful choices. It’s about choosing quality over quantity, experiences over possessions, and purpose over distraction.

So if you find yourself nodding along to these eight habits, or feeling a pull towards the simplicity they represent, it might just be your cue. Maybe you’re ready to embark on your own journey towards minimalism, towards a life that prioritizes substance over superficiality and meaning over materialism.

Picture of Graeme


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