Minimalists come in so many shapes and forms. There are no hard and fast rules that dictate all of minimalism. But, there are twelve key habits that every minimalist follows.
The reasons people become minimalists and the way they live their day to day lives is as unique as a falling snowflake. Even minimalists have trouble agreeing on a core set of values. So whether you’re a seasoned minimalist or just starting to learn about the lifestyle, these habits should be embraced.
Both hardcore minimalists and casual messy minimalists will both see themselves in these core everyday habits of minimalists. Let me know if you can think of any other habits every minimalist agrees on.
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The goal of minimalism is to focus on what is truly important in their lives. Prioritizing what is essential, what brings them joy, or whatever they choose to keep is something every minimalist does. There are varying degrees that people practice minimalism, but all prioritize on some level.
You engage in constant re-assessment of what items deserve a place in your life. Items have a way of aging themselves out of relevancy in your life. Regularly decluttering and keeping your clutter at bay is essential for living a minimalist lifestyle.
The desire to simplify may or may not exclusively be in regards to possessions. Every minimalist wants to simplify something. You could be seeking to simplify your space, your schedule, or even your mind. But minimalism is always about simplifying something.
Being mindful means you are fully present in the moment. Getting rid of distractions in life through simplifying your space or schedule or mind, allows you to be more focused on the present.
Seeking value and enjoyment through experiences is the cornerstone of minimalism. Exploration over accumulation has become one of my mantras through my years as a minimalist. It would be hard to imagine a type of minimalist who didn’t put experiences above possessions.
Every minimalist wants a better relationship with someone. Sometimes that someone is themselves. Use minimalism to spend more time with loved ones or yourself. Relationships grow and change and fizzle but the value people bring into our lives has more meaning than items.
Active decision making is part of every minimalist journey. You make conscious choices about what to keep and what to eliminate in order to live fuller lives. Choosing to think about what belongs in your life is absolutely minimalist.
Finding joy in simple things help minimalists end the cycle of consumer purchases to fill a void. Buying things is such temporary relief from unhappiness and it quickly leads to stuff overwhelm, causing more misery. Being content with a sunset view or a warm cup of coffee or whatever your day brings is minimalism in action.
Minimalists recognize that striving for perfection is a social construct leading to excess. Every minimalist sees through the perfect instagram photo. Instead minimalists focus on striving for calm, clarity, or connection.
Anyone willing to open their mind to minimalism is seeking new knowledge. Breaking free of a consumerist society and living life on different terms requires learning. As a minimalist journey progresses the love for learning new things expands deeper because you have more time and energy to pursue that information.
Whatever a minimalist is working on, that is where their focus goes. You can’t do anything about the past, the future is unknown, but you can focus on the present. Eliminating distractions allow you to focus on one thing at a time without stress.
In some way shape or form, every minimalist is attempting to reduce stress in their life. Getting rid of objects is not the goal, the goal is to feel a certain way. Minimalism is simply the tool to reduce the stress in whatever area of your life is currently causing the stress.
Every Minimalist Follows These Principles
There will never be an official doctrine for minimalism. No official scripture or creed will ever exist. But, across all subgroups of minimalism there are core values.
I believe these values are embraced by every minimalist sect. All of these concepts are practiced to varying degrees and with fluctuating emphasis during a minimalist journey.
If you consider yourself a minimalist, let me know if you agree. Are there any of these concepts you don’t follow or believe in?