People outside of the minimal fashion world often seem to categorize Minimalists into a nutshell, when actually, Minimalism is a personal experience.
Those outside the culture assume embracing minimalism will leave them feeling empty, deprived and lonely, but ask a Minimalist and you will hear the opposite rings true. To better educate those in the dark, we thought it’d be cool to create a list of some of the “types of minimalists” we define ourselves as.
Where do you fit in?
This is the, “I know the specific number of how many items they own,” type of minimalists. Extreme, yes. Broke? Heck no. Typically a more logic-inclined person overall, these Minimalists appreciate numbers, discipline and self-sacrifice.
The Beginner sees the benefits of Minimalism- the beauty, the joy, the freedom the culture allows, but is still struggling to get the ball rolling on their personal journey.
The Joy Seeker
Typically the Joy Seeker is a Minimalist inspired by Marie Kondo’s best seller, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” The number of items these persons own is not important to them, but rather it is more important that they are carefully culturing and curating a home that surrounds them with only items that make them happy or that are purposeful. These Minimalists may prefer to be labeled as “Intentionalists.”
The Big Picture
The Big Picture Minimalists are similar to environmentalists, animal lovers or activists, in a way. They are typically Minimalists by default rather than intent due to their creating and following a strict moral code in their daily lives. They usually identify as vegan, may drive a hybrid or fuel conserving vehicle, are conscious about wastefulness and recycling and will choose to purchase items at a higher cost to ensure it is a moral choice that results in the best for all involved in the transaction.
They concern themselves with the workers, the animals that may be involved or the effect on the environment. They would rather own less and contribute more to the world with their time and through “voting” with their dollars by very intentionally choosing what to purchase.
Quality Over Quantity
Snooty? Maybe. But there is something to be said for a person who knows what they like and feels like they are deserving and worthy of the best. These individuals choose to own less items so that they can own better items. In a world where many items are created as cheaply and as quickly as possible, I like that concept.
The Neat Freak
These individuals probably do not enjoy the work that goes in to cleaning, but do appreciate residing in a neat and tidy space so they have evaluated their priorities.
There is no magic product one can buy to effectively organize too much stuff. It is bound to bog you down and get in your way. This group knows you MUST de-clutter to find peace.
The Nostalgic Minimalist
These people, be they young or more advanced in age, cling to the nostalgic notion that the world was a better, more satisfying place back when things were slower and a little quieter.
The Mental Health Motivated
I think we can dare to say that all Minimalists are defined by this grouping in one way or another. Some realize it beforehand and use their mental needs as a motivation for a more Minimal lifestyle while others begin under different terms and only realize the health benefits after being submerged in Minimalism for a time. Either way, all agree that Minimalism provides much needed and appreciated mental clarity and rest for weary minds.
Maybe they’ve lost a lover, lost a close family member or suffered a similar life-changing event. In the same way a woman will usually drastically change her hairstyle in such a case, these people feel a need to start over and wipe the slate clean of the memories and the stress. These individuals are recreating themselves.
The Unchained Minimalist
These people appreciate being free to roam without burden of responsibility. Often these individuals find themselves living in a moving home such as a tiny house or camper and traveling about as they get the urge. These individuals may or may not actually want a Minimalist life, but are forced to live this way by their small living arrangements. Eventually, many in this category will find themselves returning to mainstream cultural practices once (if) they give up the gypsy lifestyle. Then again, a few may begin to mentally embrace their new lifestyle and keep pursuing Minimalism.
The name speaks for itself here. These individuals have either suffered through living with an individual experiencing a hoarding mental illness, or they have witnessed second-hand the effects of such a situation.
There is also simply an Aesthetic Minimalist. These individuals just like the look of Minimalist decor, furniture and living. They find it beautiful and while they may not embrace the mental, digital or relationship sides of Minimalism they do like the way the style looks to the eye.
So as you can see, there is no one size fits all to we Minimalists. Minimalists tend to be open-minded people who are willing to consider alternative viewpoints, willing to learn something new and willing to give up a little to gain a lot. And while we are all a little different, all of us can agree, that experiences>things. We are careful about what we own, but that may be where the similarities end.