MINIMALISM 101: What the heck is minimalism?

MINIMALISM 101: What the heck is minimalism?

After publishing my first blog entitled Benefits of Minimalism: 12 Amazing benefits of living with less”, I realized that while some people are familiar with the term “minimalism”, a huge majority of readers, including my own family and friends, have never heard of the concept of minimalism.

One of my friends even asked, “What the heck is minimalism?”

I swear I tried to explain it in the simplest terms.

The next question was “Are you a minimalist?”

Not yet. But I am aspiring to be one. A successful one.

I still have a lot to learn, but I am taking things one step at a time (remember, I tend to burn out so easily!).

One first step. That’s all it takes.

Thankfully, I have taken the first step, and I am loving it!

REMEMBER THIS: Once you go minimalist, you never go back!

But really, what the heck is this thing called “minimalism”?

So, since I am a new student of minimalism and I am still in the process of learning, I thought it is wise to share other people’s thoughts on minimalism so that we can both get a better understanding of this worthy movement.

I picked a group of successful (more experienced) minimalists who lead different lives, yet have made a big difference in their lives and their communities.

Below are some of their insightful (thought-provoking) take on minimalism:

Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.

– Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, The Minimalists
Excerpts from


By incorporating minimalism into our lives, we’ve finally been able to find lasting happiness—and that’s what we’re all looking for, isn’t it? We all want to be happy. Minimalists search for happiness not through things, but through life itself; thus, it’s up to you to determine what is necessary and what is superfluous in your life.

– Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, The Minimalists
Excerpts from


It’s a way to escape the excesses of the world around us — the excesses of consumerism, material possessions, clutter, having too much to do, too much debt, too many distractions, too much noise. But too little meaning. Minimalism is a way of eschewing the non-essential in order to focus on what’s truly important, what gives our lives meaning, what gives us joy and value.

– Leo Babauta, Zen Habits
Excerpts from


It’s simply getting rid of things you do not use or need, leaving an uncluttered, simple environment and an uncluttered, simple life. It’s living without an obsession with material things or an obsession with doing everything and doing too much. It’s using simple tools, having a simple wardrobe, carrying little and living lightly.

– Leo Babauta, Zen Habits
Excerpts from


I am often asked the question, “So what is minimalism anyway?” It is a question that is received from all different angles – from people I have just met and from people I have known for many years. I typically answer with a short, simple explanation: “I am intentionally trying to live with only the things I really need.

– Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist
Excerpts from


The word minimalism has a negative connotation to many. They believe being a minimalist means you are sacrificing things. It means you are not taking advantage of all that is available in the modern world today.

Being a minimalist means you value yourself more than material things. It means making decisions based on what you need instead of getting everything you want. It does not mean the things you buy are cheap. It means they are something you need, regardless of how much they cost.

A person can decide how much of a minimalist lifestyle they want to lead. They can do it in stages as well. Most people begin by going through their home and getting rid of things they no longer need. Over time, they are able to pare their life down to a much more minimalist style.

– Joshua Becker, Founder, Becoming Minimalist
Excerpts from


Be more with less means: Be more you. Give yourself all the space, time and love to remember who you are. Living with less clutter, busyness, and stress will help you make the room to do what you need to do. Simplifying my life gave me the space, time, and love to be more me, and the following practices led me back.

– Courtney Carver, Be More With Less
Excerpts from


Don’t get rid of stuff just because you can. If you do this, the most likely result is that you’ll be sad and lonely without your things and will just end up buying new versions of them, which supports conspicuous consumption, costs you a bunch of money, kills the rain forests, and wreaks havoc on the world in general. Don’t put yourself in the position to yo-yo when it comes to this many things.

What I would recommend is slowly testing out the waters and seeing what you can and cannot live without.

– Colin Wright, Exile Lifestyle
Excerpts from


A minimalist is, simply defined, someone who decides to be intentional about what things (possessions, people, ideas) they include in their life. Practically, this means minimalists generally own few things and strive to live smaller, simpler lives (fewer things = more joy!).

Adopting a minimalist mindset is one of the most powerful ways I have changed my life; it has reshaped how I spend my days and helped me find the freedom to follow my dreams.

I realised that minimalism was a tool to help me achieve all these things. I stopped viewing minimalism as a restrictive lifestyle and instead as a choice to live the life I want most.

– Jennifer, Simply + Fiercely
Excerpts from

These are just some of the minimalist authors that I have read so far and I genuinely appreciate their knowledge and wisdom. I hope you do too!

I am pretty sure there are thousands (if not millions!) of successful minimalists out there and I couldn’t wait to learn from them!

What are your thoughts about minimalism? Do you have any ideas or resources to share?

I would love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. xoxo

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