How to Know if You’re a Minimalist

Michelle’s non-minimalist closet…

I wasn’t always a minimalist or interested in becoming a minimalist.

I used to love collecting things. My apartment in university was full of odd and mismatched pieces of furniture that I never used but couldn’t part with, and my closet bulged uncontrollably, belching clothing onto the floor if I dared leave the door open.

My journey into minimalism started organically. I didn’t decide one day that I was going to become a minimalist.

In fact, I didn’t even realize that I was becoming one until I was already well on my way. Here are some of the signs I recognized in myself, that meant I was becoming a minimalist, whether I meant to, or not.

Having Too Much Stuff

This was the first sign. Everywhere I looked, my apartment was overrun with my stuff. That tends to happen to university students, especially ones like me who weren’t particularly well off financially. Since I didn’t have any money to buy furniture, family members would give me their cast off furniture.

This worked well at first, but eventually it became too much, and I started to feel smothered in my apartment. I didn’t want to have all of this stuff around me, it felt cluttered, and claustrophobic, and entirely too busy. Everyone hates clutter, I always had too, but this was different. My skin would crawl at the sight of so much stuff encroaching on my personal space. So I began to purge, removing anything and everything that didn’t serve a real, genuine purpose. Once my apartment started to empty out, I felt better.

Having too Much of Everything

Even the things I needed, I started to hate having a large amount of. In university, every time a room mate moved out, my fiance and I seemed to inherit their kitchenware.

By the time we moved out of the city, we had enough glasses, plates, dishes, and frying pans for six people. While this hadn’t bothered me before, it started to irk me. Now, I’m down to four of each type of cutlery, and two frying pans. While this cookware was necessary, having so much of it was entirely unnecessary. I’ve extended this concept to my wardrobe, my linen closet, and my bookcase.

Enjoying Having Nothing

Once I’d gotten my possessions under control, I started to really enjoy the sight of bare walls, bare counter space, and bare floors. These days, I’m on a quest to always remove, remove, remove. Remove that clutter on the counter and enjoy the clean, empty space. Remove the kitchen table that we never used and enjoy the look of the extra space left behind. Remove the three wall hangings and enjoy the look of one in it’s place instead. The less stuff that’s in my home, the happier I am.

The less stuff I need to live my life, the happier I am. I will sometimes come across people who insist that they can’t live without this hair product or that type of pillow. That somehow they would be unable to function without these things in their life. I’m glad that I am needing less and less stuff in my life every day to function normally, and happily.

I’m Still a Fledgling Minimalist

I’m not a full on minimalist yet. I have a TV, I don’t strive to live with less than 100 items, and I have a cache of scented candles hidden in my laundry room. I don’t think things like this look good, and while I don’t think I could live here, I’m intrigued by the idea of it. I probably will never be a full fledged minimalist like some people, but then, I never set out to be a minimalist, so wherever I fall on the minimalist spectrum, is fine with me.

Where do you fall on the minimalist spectrum?

Do you have any of these symptoms? I want to know!


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