Back in the time period after World War II, minimalism began to appear in Western art. Today, this “art of minimalism” has reached our way of living. It’s not just a lifestyle choice. It’s a way of looking at life. As a minimalist, you’ll learn to recognize and prioritize what’s most valuable to you and live with them only. Of course, the meaning of “value” differs for every individual. That’s why there are different types of minimalists.
Before we learn about each type of minimalist, we must understand the purpose. When you learn to be satisfied with the least, happiness comes naturally, as you focus on what’s most important to you. You gain freedom from constantly worrying about material possessions and their market value. As you spend less on useless things to keep at home, you’ll end up saving more. Your “minimalism” style will depend on your principles.
Types of Minimalists
Minimalism is not a “one size fits all” approach towards life. Everyone of them chooses to live on less thing, and each one of them has a different approach and intent. What type of minimalist life do you think can work for you? To know that, you must first understand the types of minimalists and how they like to live.
For an aesthetic minimalist, the essential thing is visual appeal. Such minimalists are all over the social media platforms, sharing beautiful images of their minimally decorated home, office area, or more, with white walls, a couple of geometric furniture pieces, and maybe one plant to add colors. A good example of individuals who really hold the minimalist aesthetic highly is The Minimalists. One look at their Instagram and you can see this aesthetic.
For them, minimalism isn’t necessarily about possessing less. They remove visual clutter for an appearance that says, “less is more.” For instance, a woman may apply foundation, concealer, corrector, etc., on the face, only to choose nude shades on the lips – just to appear as if no makeup has been applied.
Essential minimalism, or essentialism, is all about choosing between wants and needs. An essentialist is obsessed with living on bare essentials. They usually have a small supply of everything. They always try to find out how much they can live without, thus zeroing in on how little they need to survive.
For many of them, minimalism is not intentional, and they probably don’t even realize that their lifestyle has a name. From clothes to food supplies, their primary focus is on creating less wastage. Their lives revolve around quality – of their possessions and standard of living. Quantity is not significant.
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The focus of this type of minimalism is to find ways to reduce the harm caused to the world around. It’s principles that land some people into a minimalist life, rather than the other way round. For instance, a vegan might never choose cosmetics tested on animals or candles made out of beeswax.
Their attention is on living a life such that they can protect the world. So their choices or products and brands, too, become limited. They also like to look at how much they are contributing to waste or pollution. Their focus is on the bigger picture – how their activities or lifestyle can impact the world.
Nomadic minimalists are always ready to pack their bags and leave as they are always prepared to travel. Or, they are ready to uproot their lives and settle somewhere else. So, they ensure that they never spread out their roots too deep. Their lives are not about sticking to one place, and they can’t be tied down.
The nomadic life may result from simple, carefree living. Or, the person may just be done with running in the hamster wheel and wants to see the world. They don’t need a luxury “home” and won’t waste money on it. Or, their profession might take them around, and their bags are always packed.
a frugal minimalist is focused on spending the minimum amount of money, and will only spend on necessities. For such people, minimalism may be accidental as they are forced to live on what they can afford. For others, minimalism is a life choice because they have specific financial goals in their mind.
A frugal minimalist’s primary goal is to spend the least possible and yet have a complete life. They might choose to build a wardrobe with a minimal number of clothes, or a simple family car instead of a sports car. They may have a vegetable garden that they tend themselves or shop at thrift stores only.
The prime goal of the mindful minimalist is to evaluate the ‘joy’ factors of everything they own. Most of them are heavily inspired by organizing consultant Marie Kondo, who said that minimalism begins with the question, “Does it bring you joy?” This is how you can start evaluating your possessions.
Mindful minimalism doesn’t start with elimination. It begins with picking out things that they want. Then, they question why they want each item. Is it useful? Does it represent his current life? Or is it only a piece of the past? They get rid of things that don’t bring joy and completeness at present.
Digital minimalists are those people with an enviably clean and organized desktop and phone screen. Their email address is free from unnecessary emails, and they don’t have any pending messages in the notification panel. They have no pointless app on their phone to distract them from work or life.
Digital minimalists ensure that their digital presence is minimized. Even severe peer pressure cannot break them, and they stay away from social media platforms to prevent ‘trends’ from distracting them. They prefer not to register on random platforms using their email address and turn off all notifications.
Final Words on the kinds of minimalists:
There are many types of minimalists, depending on the purpose of minimalism and what they choose to keep or eliminate. Some devote their lives to nothing but art pieces, while others just like to keep quality products around. Some want to give their lives a new start, while others want to live an unchained life.
The truth is, minimalism isn’t easy, which is why most Americans are not interested in exploring it. So, don’t expect to become one overnight. You’ll need to set goals and set your eyes on things – and even activities – that are necessary and sufficient for you to achieve completeness and joy in life.
Remember that to find the right way to minimalism, you have to give up things you like and hoard as memories or in speculation of the future. You’ll probably need stop pursuing hobbies and collections. So, it is a good idea to take small steps instead of taking a big leap of faith in a single go.