5 Signs You Might Be A Minimalist

Minimalism is a very personalized lifestyle – it’s about finding a system that works for you. Though it varies person to person, there are some essential aspects to it. These are five signs that you might be an unintentional minimalist.

minimalism signs

1. You’re Not Attached To Stuff

It’s important to get things that you like, but it can be common in our western culture to get very attached to things. When you refuse to let your sister borrow your shirt because it’s your favorite shirt (though you know she will treat it well), you may be a bit too attached to that shirt. Minimalism is about only owning things that you need, but getting attached to material possessions is never a helpful mentality.

2. You Don’t Buy Much

Because minimalism focuses on the essential, becoming a minimalist usually means that you won’t be shopping very often. I rarely visit malls anymore, and I only go food shopping once every week (for produce) or every other week (for bulk items). I use my clothes until they are unusable, whether that means holes, rips, or tears. I don’t buy multiples of things I don’t need. I have one pair of pajama pants, and I don’t need a second, so I won’t buy another pair of pajamas until the pair I have is no longer usable.

minimalism signs

3. You’ve Defined Your Essentials

You know what you want and you know what you need to thrive. For me, essentials include a simple capsule wardrobe, basic hygiene products, a good backpack, my laptop, camera, and a good book and/or notebook. In terms of belongings, this is all I really need. If I was settled down in a permanent living situation, I would simply add dishes and some basic furniture to this list. Viola!

4. You Don’t Have Unnecessary Stuff

Not only do you not buy much, but you get rid of belongings when you realize that you don’t use them or don’t need them any longer. By continuously culling your belongings, you’re creating a clutter free, clean, and minimalist surrounding. I’m constantly getting rid of things that I don’t use regularly anymore. I recently purchased a keep cup, and as soon as I brought it home, I got rid of my old reusable coffee cup (I donated it to a friend who didn’t have one).

5. You’re Debt Free (or paying off debt very quickly)

A minimalist lifestyle helped me save money faster than any other savings plan I’ve ever tried. I was shocked to look at my bank account after payday, and realize that I still had money left over from my last paycheck. I danced a little jig when I saw this happening weeks in a row, and saw the number in my checking account consistently growing. Saving money and paying off debt is one of the many benefits that makes a minimalist lifestyle one of freedom and happiness.

These are just five of many reasons you may be a minimalist. There are so many benefits to minimalism, I definitely recommend trying out a minimalist lifestyle. It’s helped me go from broke while working a 9-5, to traveling the world and happier than I’ve ever been.

Your Turn!

  • What aspect of minimalism is most appealing to you?


  1. Great piece. I very much enjoyed it. To me, it’s so strange to even think we’d be at a point in our evolution where we’d be talking about such things as minimalism, but with a Keynesian economic model in place that states that we must spend to grow an economy, I’m not surprised.

    A minimalist? I wonder how long this word has been used in this way. I would venture to say the majority of Americans were minimalist before WW1. Why? Because credit was not so readily available to common folk.

    The roaring 20s was the first perfect example of living beyond our means as credit was given out like candy. Only wise folk didn’t utilize it and as a result didn’t suffer or lose as much during the great depression.

    I’m not an economist, but I’ll bet if there wasn’t all this available credit (debt) everywhere, the majority of us would be minimalists or at least essentialists. It’s natural.

    To me, being a minimalist is the best way to remove the shackles of debt slavery or serfdom. Yes, these are real terms that exist. Part of the exhilaration one feels when waking up and voluntarily becoming a minimalist is actually understanding what he’s done as a person to become more free and independent.

    Once again, great piece – thank you!

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  3. Keep the things you would grab in a fire…
    Remember it’s only stuff. Scan your photos and other important documents. I ask myself if the house burned down tomorrow would I grab it before the cat…no need.

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