Minimalism is not a one size fits all approach towards life. Each of us chooses to live our own version of minimalism that can help in reaching certain goals and dreams.
To understand the differences here are 14 types of minimalists. If you’re already a minimalist or aspiring to become one, remember: there is no best version of minimalist. Each of them has its advantages and limitations. You can be a mix of all of them or just one type. In the end, it doesn’t matter.
Before we become other type of minimalist, we’re all beginners at first. Beginner minimalist stumbles upon minimalism principles because it’s not content with life as it is, and knows deep inside there is a better way. Beginner minimalist seeks beauty, joy, freedom, and more meaning in his life. And minimalism can help with that.
Is someone who is aware it currently has way too much and wants to take steps to simplify his life. For a gradual minimalist, minimizing and decluttering is constant work in progress, and they may take a longer time to reach the state they want to be in. As their life change, so does their approach to minimalism. Their focus is on getting rid of excess on their own time.
Fewer, but better is a principal guide of the essentialist. Own less, but higher quality things. Have fewer obligations, but do them well. Surround yourself with a small number of people, but with every one of them have a deep connection. Live only with essential things. Quality > quantity.
The journey into minimalism, for backpack minimalist commonly begins by living minimally while traveling the world. Almost everything they own can fit in one backpack. Backpack minimalists choose a life that allows them to be ready for any adventure that awaits. The pursuit of experiences is far more valuable than the pursuit of things can ever be. They have a home base where they keep the rest of their belongings – the most prized possessions.
Similar to a Backpack Minimalist, yet different. Sometimes they don’t have a home base to which they could return, as the backpack minimalist does. They ensure they never spread out their roots too deep. Life is not about sticking to one place, and they can’t be tied down. Often working from their laptops, able to work from anywhere in the world. This type of minimalist includes a wide range of personalities, from adventure seekers to freelance digital nomads.
Google Scandinavian or Nordic home and you’ll understand what the main goal of Aesthetic Minimalist is. It isn’t necessarily about owning less, but having less on display. Visual appeal is crucial – fresh, clean space allows for a decluttered mind and a stress-free life. Sharp lines, basic colors, and few belongings are the main décor in the home of an aesthetic minimalist.
An aesthetic minimalist may not be focused on reducing its possessions like other types, but the space in which it lives is simple, clutter-free, and beautiful to the eye.
Having and knowing enough is the most important trait of this type of Minimalist. It’s not the purpose to have it all, just what is enough and no more. Enough food, clothing, space, time, money, experiences. Enough is different from person to person, and what seems like deprivation to some is an abundance to others.
A frugal minimalist is focused on spending a minimum amount of money and will only spend on necessities. A minimalist life can help them reach specific financial goals (early retirement, financial independence, building passive income). They aren’t worried about the latest fads and products. They live on a tight budget and initially may struggle with letting go of things as they adopt a simpler lifestyle.
This is no ordinary minimalist. The challenge to live with less borders with Spartanism. They constantly search for ways to reduce the need for particular items so they can get rid of them completely. An extreme minimalist knows how many items he owns and may be able to fit all of them into one suitcase and backpack.
Organized and clean desktop and phone screen. Minimum distractions, notifications, and apps/programs – only the most important they use daily. They practice inbox-zero and don’t have any pending messages or notifications. Their digital presence is minimized. Even severe peer pressure can’t break them, and they stay away from most social media to prevent new trends from distracting them.
Reducing the carbon footprint on Earth is the reason why the Eco-Minimalist started the journey. The bigger picture is more important, therefore eco-minimalist reuses and repurposes items. They buy eco-friendly, organic, ethical, sustainable products even if they are more expensive. Sometimes they follow a zero-waste or vegan/vegetarian lifestyle and buy second-hand. Their activities and lifestyle have the least impact on the world. Reduce-reuse-recycle.
The main focus of mindful minimalist is to reduce mental and spiritual clutter to a minimum in order to find inner peace. Listening attentively, gracious movements, stillness, and mindfulness are the key. By letting go of material things, they free themselves from guilt, stress, anxiety, or other sour feelings.
Health gurus, fitness enthusiasts, and body mechanists in search of a back-to-nature lifestyle to encourage better biomechanics of the body. While most minimalists share the living with less philosophy, furniture-free minimalists go one step further. Furniture-free proponents suggest that this is the most effective way to get in those daily squats and body movements for which many of us normally pay gym.
Balance is the key. Living with less while also being practical. Moderate minimalists are not as extreme as others on the list. They keep things that are useful and that they like, even if it’s more than enough in some categories.
Minimalism looks different to each of us, and sometimes the reason we start is not the same as the reason we keep going. Although we’re all different, all of us can agree, that experiences > things. I’m not just one type of a minimalist, and you certainly don’t need to be either.
What matters is that we’re intentional with what we own and how we live our lives. Our choices affect our relationships, finances, and the world around us.
If you found value in this post, please consider buying me a coffee or simply share this post with your friends and family.
Every dollar is greatly appreciated and will keep the True Change Today blog 100% advertisement-free.