Minimalism Lifestyle Defined by Real People Actually Living It

The minimalism lifestyle is one that is often defined with myths and misconceptions about what minimalism is.


What better way to define it, then ask a community of 40,000 minimalists what they define it as. After all, they are the real people living it!

More often than not, most people default to the minimalist design aesthetic, which is not what the minimalist lifestyle is all about.

Because I feel that everybody’s minimalism is completely different I decided to ask the cozy minimalist community on Facebook and Instagram in order to get their opinions on what a minimalist is.

There were some common threads in a lot of the responses.



Some of the things many can agree on is, a minimalist:

  • is someone that is careful about what they spend their money on. 
  • it’s about not having excess, not too much and not too little.
  • doesn’t tie their happiness to things.
  • prefers quality over quantity 
  • owns what they use and love
  • is on a personalized journey and gets to to define their own level of enough

Here are the responses from our community:

After you read through them, feel free to add your own definition below in the comment section and I’ll add you to the post!

Someone who doesn’t buy any excess. Someone who thinks like an essentialist and does “less but better”. Focuses on what’s most important and what aligns with their values. 



Living with less. But my less is different than your less. 



When someone is very intentional about what material things they allow into their life, and about what activities they let’s fill their time. 



For me, it means quality over quantity. Keeping empty space in my house and on my calendar. Gretel

I just started over the last year and for me it’s become a feeling of peace. As I go through what is 31 years of homemaking, I started letting go of things that don’t bring me peace. Spring will be a year since I started purging stuff and every day I feel closer to that peace. 



I’m  a very intentional shopper. I don’t buy something just because I like it. I have to absolutely love it and already have a space for it, not create a space. Also, kitchen gadgets are a no-go for me. 



I think it’s someone who connects with the honest reality that possessions don’t bring happiness, but some objects can connect with us on a personal level. Maybe they bring memories or serve a function to make our lives easier, or maybe it’s art that makes us feel something. I think a minimalist is someone who realizes that what we connect with our experiences, and accumulating possessions dilutes that! bare.bone.minimal on instagram

I’ve been working to identify this for myself too – A minimalist uses and appreciates everything they have on a regular basis. Except for seasonal, nothing is stored for the “just in case” or “it still works, so I should keep it”. A minimalist finds peace in their home, not work. Anna F

Minimalism is a journey and each person, group or family gets to define their own meaning and destination of it.

I think for me it’s about not letting material things to define me. Emily

My concept of minimalism is owning what you need, and only your favorite things. I used to get decision fatigue from wondering what to wear in the morning but now it’s easy, only my favorite clothes get to live in my closet. I have a ukulele because learning a new skill is good for my mental acuity and mental health. I also consider it a favourite thing. My house does not look there, just really clean and organized. Even with my books but most of my books are on my Kindle and the only the very favorite live on my bookshelf. So basically, own just what you need but do it well, make sure only the very best, favorite enter through the front door. And continually edit! It’s amazing what ends up leaving after a second or third go through. Birdie 

I believe it’s someone who only owns what they used and practices intentional spending.  Grace

Oh for me it’s very different, not keeping things I don’t love and not being a hoarder  just because I come by it naturally. Growing up my family kept everything because you might need it, it was free, or it was given to you. Althea

I don’t know, but I just went through my closet again and it feels amazing! I will always apply minimalism to life! Beffy

Making a conscious decision to not bring in unnecessary items into my home. Ridding my home of excess so that the things I do have are used, enjoyed and necessary. I do it for the financial benefits but also for my peace of mind. It calms my anxiety and gives me control over my home. Jennifer

For me, it was acknowledging that all the different scenarios for how my life might go were too far-fetched to ever come to pass. It was accepting reality. This is how I live and that’s not going to change much. I can’t use something for a fantasy life that I don’t actually live. Sharon

Yes, being determined to rid yourself of things that weigh you down and not bringing unnecessary items into the home. My rule, “if I don’t eat it, it doesn’t get purchased”. (Some exceptions apply). Donna

I don’t think it is a true definition, more of a feeling. And it’s not always about the amount of possessions. I think it’s based on an overall simplicity. Laura

I’m not a minimalist yet, but began this journey when I realized my children DO NOT want my stuff. Lynette

To me, it has a lot to do with how much is brought into the house, whether that be new purchases or accepting used items from Neighbors. I see plenty of so-called minimalists that trash and replace items all the time so it can look fresh and minimal. And once a person gets to a certain point in their efforts, how much leaves the house in the form of waste or donations. Melissa

Someone who only has things they use and things that truly bring happiness. All those unnecessary things that clutter our spaces and our minds were paid for with our time, time we will never get back. Paula

Tearing down one’s possessions to only what one uses or enjoys. Then, going forward, adopting a mostly one in one out strategy to keep things manageable. That would be my definition. Shawna

Someone who strives to live without stuff and clutter all over the house! Tamya

 I became a striving minimalist when I realized my stuff was stealing my life, and my time and my happiness. Trish

Your latest podcast was just what I needed. I’m preparing our house to sell and build a new one. I found myself getting caught up in Trends. You saved me from myself. Leah

Yeah, I don’t use that word. Too many “rules” people out there. Rhonda

A desire for peace. Agnes

Someone who understands happiness is not about stuff. Ann

For me, being a minimalist means getting rid of what you don’t need or use. And buying only what you do. Spending money on experiences rather than junk. Saving for trips. Not having to have the latest trendy things. Also quality over quantity. Tamin 

I’d love to have you add your own thoughts! Did we miss anything? Tell me in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.