10 Signs You Might Be Becoming a Minimalist

August 9, 2016

10 Signs You Might Be Becoming a Minimalist

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I ditched my microwave several months ago, and I don’t miss it. I wish I could say I got rid of it for health concerns, but the truth is I didn’t like the clutter on my counter.

My family recently downgraded our TV/cable “severely” — to the point where we can’t (gasp) pause, rewind, or record shows, and I still feel like it’s too much. I just want to get rid of the TV altogether.

I fantasize about tossing a good amount of my clothes and replacing them with fewer but better-quality items.

I could go on and on, but the point is…I think I might be becoming a minimalist.

Hopefully, I am not giving minimalism a bad name with these examples (my apologies to you real minimalists if I am), but lately, I find myself daydreaming of a simpler, less-is-more existence.

According to Becoming Minimalist,

“Minimalism as a lifestyle is a movement that seeks to pare down possessions to only the essential. Because life can be lived richer and fuller when unnecessary possessions have been removed, it is a growing trend that includes more than just young, single, 20-somethings. Many families are embracing the lifestyle as well.”

Sounds good to me.

Minimalist Reading

These articles and books explore the benefits and practical steps needed to take if embracing the path minimalism.  minimalism. If you have the slightest interest in minimalism, I suggest you take a look (or listen) to all of these.

The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own
In this book, author and creator of Becoming Minimalist, Joshua Becker, uses his experience of journeying from the typically overloaded family to minimalist to help you find a more fulfilling life that’s marked by having less stuff.

21 Benefits of Owning Less — Becoming Minimalist
Joshua summarizes the benefits of having less stuff.

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store
Cait Flanders went on a one-year shopping ban and documents her eye-opening journey in this book.

Minimalism for Anyone — Financially Blonde
Shannon interviews Cait about her no-spend challenge that led to her embracement of minimalism.

My Unbelievable Journey to Minimalism — Frugal Rules
John shares how he went from minimalism cynic to champion.

A Conversation on Living Simply — The Hippy Home
Gina reminds us that minimalism can look different for everyone.

Related Posts
•  4 Books That Will Make You Embrace Simple Living
•  The Profound Joy in Simplicity and Having Less
•  Parenting and Minimalism

7 Days of Hope + Help for Your Money

Could your financial situation use a little help? How about some hope?

Are You Becoming a Minimalist?

Now, on to the signs you might be becoming a minimalist. Take these with a grain of salt, of course.

  1. You have learned or are learning to value quality over quantity
  2. You choose to forgo items once seen as necessities (Microwave, Keurig Machine, etc.)
  3. You recognize just how much stuff you have and find too much stuff overwhelming
  4. You are frugal, debt-free, or are aiming to be debt-free
  5. You know the difference between your wants and needs
  6. You don’t feel the need to keep up with the Joneses
  7. You are not concerned with others’ opinions of you
  8. You don’t feel the need to have the latest and greatest
  9. You value experience over stuff
  10. You crave /value/desire SIMPLICITY in your life

I’m not sure if I’m walking down the path of becoming a minimalist quite yet or what that will look like for me. At this very moment my living room is in disarray because I am in favor of a pared-down, layout with less furniture, and hubby, well…not so much.

I’ve mastered how to get a spouse on board with the finances. It looks like I might have a similar journey ahead of me.

Do you show any of these signs? Do you think you might be becoming a minimalist? Are you one already? Share in the comments.


  1. David @ Thinking Thrifty

    Well, well, well it appears I’m on my way to being a minimalist! I just find the older I’m getting the less value I see in possessions. I’m debt free, saving for my own (modest) property and just want to get out there growing my own food! Ha. I prefer the simple life these days!

    • Alaya

      Wanting to grow your own food…definitely one to add to the list!

    • Frank

      I myself have been doing this for years now. The amount of stress that is no longer part of my life is nothing but fantastic. About five years ago before I retired, I got down to business. I worked extra hours to finish paying off our modest home. Then I hit what creditcard debt we had and rebuilt our savings. We still have a creditcard for each of us, but only for emergencies. We pay cash and only buy what we need. Replacing thinks only when needed. Our home is not emty, but it is now less fill with things that requires cleaning all the time. Things were sold, donated, or given back to family for their use. Freedom from advertising that makes you believe you need things is something everyone should learn. They only want your money in your pockets. Do you really want to be in debt over things you don’t really need, or happy living your life with less work hours ad more money in your pocket just living a simple life.

  2. Alexis

    I’ve definitely noticed I’m becoming a minimalist after my last move. I managed to pack everything I have into 2 boxes and 5 garbage bags (bags pack better than boxes when you’re traveling via car).

    • Alaya

      Wow, Alexis! 2 boxes and 5 bags?? That’s impressive!

  3. Anjali

    I find that I’m constantly evaluating my space to see how I can simplify living, and just really starting to pare down. Hopefully, this should be an year of change!

    • Alaya

      I think that is a good idea…to evaluate on a regular basis. I know even after making changes, I sometimes think, “This is still too much!”

    • Lisa Zemski

      Prior to the onset of 2020 I was a bit of a shopaholic.. When all the store( except Walmart closed) I was forced into shopaholic recovery. I can honestly say I feel better now. I got rid of clothes I didnt wear and items that were unnecessary. I have saved a huge amount of money which I plan to spend on travel as soon as Covid is clear. I love being a minimalist if only I could get the man on board l

  4. Becky

    Thank you! There is so much about becoming a minimalist, but not so many posts about how you got there. I am in the beginning stages:daydreaming about moving my family of 5 into a tiny home, leaving a smaller carbon footprint, and considering things like becoming a vegetarian. Your post helped me feel like it’s not a fad, but a true purpose and I will eventually get there!

    • Alaya

      That’s great, Becky. Would love to know how your journey goes. Feel free to come back and leave an update!

  5. Brad, CFP®, fee-only financial planner

    I’m a minimalist as described, though I’m sure a lot of people would say I’m not really if we used their terms.

    Technically I’m “fat FIRE”, but I’m very sensitive to *value* and have trimmed many areas of my lifestyle.

    Cable TV is a good example. We have internet through Comcast (our only option) but we don’t have “cable”. Instead, we have their stream service that lets us watch limited live shows on our laptops or Apple devices. We can, of course, link up to the TV so that it feels like cable, but that’s a bit of work, so we almost never do it. (Though, it will happen more frequently now that football season is starting.)

    Another example is that we sold our big waterfront house five years ago and downsized to a townhouse. About 1/2 the size, but 1/4 the cost to purchase. Now utilities are a lot lower, as are taxes and other costs. Plus I don’t have to mow the yard anymore. 🙂

  6. Lori Hunt

    Is it crazy I look at my stuff every other day and ask What else can I get rid of?

    • Barb

      Lori, I am borrowing your statement as a mantra! “What else can I get rid of.” Thank you!!


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