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10 Characteristics of a Minimalist Person – Good or Bad?

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What are the characteristics of a minimalist person and is it good or bad to be a minimalist? Well, it probably depends on who you ask!

There are many driving forces fueling the popularity of minimalism these days. Certain aspects are rooted in mindfulness and spirituality, some people want to become a minimalist for ethical reasons, and others simply desire a clutter-free home.

Whatever the motivation, there are common characteristics that most minimalist people share.

Also, it’s important to note that living a minimalist lifestyle can be quite different than minimalism in interior design or fashion – read this post to find out more about what minimalism is and isn’t! (It’s so much more than just white walls and empty rooms – it’s an entire way of life!)

A minimalist person in neutral clothing sitting on her wood floor at home
Marissa is the founder of A to Zen Life, a real minimalist, and the mother of two young boys.

10 Characteristics of a minimalist person

A minimalist lifestyle gives you more time, more energy, more freedom, and more opportunities to pursue your passions.

So what defines a minimalist person? Here are ten traits of people who practice minimalism.

1. they know the value of time 

Time is everything.

It’s truly the most valuable resource we humans have at our disposal. What we do with our time defines how we live and directs our daily habits and pursuits.

A minimalist person understands that time is an essential commodity and seeks to use it in the most efficient way possible. They put it towards the things that matter most to them and look for ways to stop wasting time on things that don’t matter.

A minimalist person understands that life is too short to waste time.

Time is most precious of all non-renewable resources.

– Marissa @ A to Zen Life

2. they appreciate space

In physics, time and space is a mathematical model connecting the three dimensions of physical space with the fourth dimension of time.

TBH, space matters.

A minimalist person understands the importance of time and space and makes room for more of the better things in life, such as relaxation, freedom, and contentment!

They prefer to live in homes free of clutter and excess. Having an open and clutter-free space is important to them to boost creativity and relaxation and maintain outer calm and inner peace. They only keep things that serve a purpose and are content with what they have.

Most people look at empty space and want to fill it up, but a minimalist person is content to leave that space empty to have more breathing room and peace.

READ MORE: 50 Minimalist Apartment Tips Balance Simplicity and Style [Checklist]

3. they Prioritize experiences over things

A minimalist person prioritizes experience over owning things. They understand that experiences bring true happiness and material things lose appeal over time.

Life is about creating and savoring memories with friends and family to a minimalist.

They would prefer to go on trips, visit new places, eat good food, or enjoy their favorite hobbies than buy the latest gadget or keep up with the latest fashion trends.

Collect moments, not objects.

4. They go for quality over quantity

Minimalist people prioritize quality over quantity. They would rather wait longer, buy less, and then practice mindful shopping habits in order to buy one high-quality item that will last a long time instead of going for lower-quality items that are cheap or break easily.

This is especially true for minimalist people when it comes to clothing.

They prefer to maintain a smaller wardrobe of clothes that they love instead of chasing trends, which usually means ending up with a large wardrobe full of clothes they never wear.

5. They aren’t afraid to say “NO”

We live in an age of hyper-consumerism filled with messages that your health, beauty, happiness, and social acceptance rest upon owning this or that thing.

From a minimalist person’s perspective, this is all nonsense.

They don’t care to keep up with the Joneses because they know that happiness does not come from buying stuff. Therefore, they are not afraid to say “NO” when it’s counterintuitive to their goals or values.

  • NO to that new luxury car
  • NO to the latest iPhone
  • NO to designer bags
  • NO to toxic relationships
  • and so many more things to say no to
A minimalist person smiling and staring into the future, while drinking coffee in the kitchen

6. They practice gratitude

Contentment is the antidote to the unquenching thirst of consumerism. We’ve been taught to believe that more is always better. It’s like constantly being on a sugar high and the only way to taste sweetness is more sugar.

We work hard to earn money, and then we spend that money on stuff we think makes us happy, but that happiness wears off fast. So then it’s on to buy the next new thing so we can chase that feeling of happiness again.

Instead of running that endless hamster wheel, it’s better to develop an attitude of gratitude.

Minimalist people are content with what they have and value people and experiences rather than material objects. They go for few material possessions, live simply, and don’t spend money unnecessarily.

7. They dislike clutter

A key trait of minimalist people is that they dislike clutter.

Clutter can lead to elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which in turn increases feelings of anxiety, stress, and overwhelm – which minimalist people strive to avoid at all cost!

Their homes are usually clean and tidy, with only the most beloved or essential items on display. They prioritize simplicity and intentionality in all areas of life.

READ MORE: 15 Decluttering Questions to Ask Yourself and Make Choices Easier [PDF]

8. They reduce waste

Minimalist people tend to be more mindful about their spending habits and waste in general.

To reduce food waste, they might plan their meals and use a shopping list to only buy things they need, so nothing goes to waste.

And speaking of a shopping list, they might also keep a list of things they want to buy and wait 30 days to make sure they really want it, which helps reduce impulse buying and wasting money (you can read more about how to stop impulse buying here).

9. reject trying to “fit in”

Minimalists don’t care about fitting in with the rest of society because they are not interested in chasing other people’s dreams. They are perfectly content living a life that is different from the mainstream definition of success and abundance.

People who say that minimalists are weird probably love to spend money, own fancy things, and live in huge houses filled with stuff they never use.

That’s why minimalists are usually very independent individuals who march to the beat of their own drum and don’t care if other people call them boring or not, because they know who they are and are satisfied with that.

10. They choose simplicity

Minimalists are drawn to simplicity and practicality. They prefer to live with less stuff because they know that it will make their lives easier and less complicated.

They aren’t afraid to slow down and stop to smell the roses – they appreciate the beauty of simplicity!

Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.

Leonardo da Vinci

Final Thoughts

So there you have it!

If these characteristics resonate with you, perhaps minimalism is worth exploring further. Who knows, it might just be the key to unlocking a happier and simpler life for yourself! 

So, in your view, is it good or bad to be called a minimalist person? Let me know in the comments below!

More posts about minimalism and simple living:

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A minimalist person's home with a pretty chair and plant for home decor.

One Comment

  1. I believe there are a great many ideas I can learn from you although my goal isn’t to be a minimalist! My home is pretty uncluttered and I’m working on the little area (my bedroom) that is not as much as I would like it!! I also love the book MINIMALISTA by Shira Gill. I own other decluttering books. My idea of minimalism is different for my life!! My style of decorating is English & French Country which does not include lots of room & white sparse walls!! I also love fashion, this is one of my Bachelor degree’s!! When I told Shira I own a lot of clothing and that it makes me happy Shira told me I’m not to get rid of anything that makes me happy and that I love!!! So I’m finding in all my reading that all minimalist don’t have the same idea’s as you do!!! Thank goodness!! You are the one isolating yourself by not being accepting of others ideas of minimalism in there lives!!! I love many of your ideas and will continue to happily read your post !!! This one article was a bit off putting to my surprise!!!

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