Becoming a minimalist means changing your mindset…starting to collect experiences and interactions with people, instead of continuing to collect trinkets as you meander through your life. It also means letting go of many of the possessions you’ve accumulated through the years. Not an easy task for many people.

Being a minimalist has some attractive features…for someone like me, not the least of them is how easy it must be to clean the house or apartment when you don’t have collections of “stuff” covering every smooth, flat surface in every room!

But seriously – removing all the clutter from one’s life has got to be freeing. Not relying on the trappings of our culture to define yourself, not worrying or caring about whether you’ve got the latest and greatest kitchen gadget or tool in the garage…and not being envious of the neighbour who does! Keeping track of one’s belongings is also way easier if you don’t have as many belongings to track…

I was doing some research into minimalism and came across an article that suggests that there are six types of minimalist, some more “pure” than others. I’ve put the comparison into a table for you because I loved the way the author described each type in terms of a signature move we might be able to identify in people we know.

Comparing Six Types of Minimalist

(Borrowed from Taryn Williford’s article, where you can read a great description of each of the six types.)

 SIGNATURE MOVE:THEY MIGHT LOVE:
AESTHETICThrow out mismatched hangers for a pricey modernist setAn elegant continuous line-drawing print
ESSENTIALThrow out all but a dozen hangersReplacing reading material with audiobooks or e-magazines
EXPERIENTIALThrow out all their hangers cuz their clothes are in a back packTaking a class to learn a new hobby/skill
SUSTAINABLEMake hangers from wire and wood found on their landLearning to make something from scratch
THRIFTYAsk drycleaner for extra hangers to take homeA multi-tool that can refinish furniture or repair things
MINDFULContemplate which of their hangers sparks the most joyReading motivational books about spiritual decluttering
Perhaps aesthetic minimalism?

What about you? Are you a minimalist? Do you fit into one of the six types described above? I’d love to hear from you!

My podcast, Beyond Retirement, has a couple of episodes dealing with downsizing and minimalism. You can check it out here or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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