Can you call yourself a minimalist?


I chatted with a new friend over lunch earlier this week. It was lovely to share our experiences and to reflect on what had brought us to our particular version of minimalism.

Are we minimalists?

Would we both call ourselves ‘minimalists’ in the sense that so many people understand? Do we live in clean, white spaces, with shiny, clear surfaces? Well, not exactly, but there were some similarities in how we chose to live our lives:
– seeking to focus on what’s important
– reducing or eliminating the things that no longer added value (yes, we declutter)
– taking time out to be less ‘busy’

We both have tiny wardrobes

Plus, we both had ‘tiny wardrobes’ and had been inspired by the wonderful Courtney Carver from

In our discussion, we considered the many and varied writers, bloggers, podcasts and other forms of communication that influenced our thinking. Each of us had come to simplicity via different means; each was following her own path. We didn’t put a label on our respective approaches but it can helpful to read about different types of minimalism if you’re curious to find out more.

Different types of minimalists

Melissa Carmara Wilkins writes beautifully about different types of minimalism, setting out the aspects that differentiate – say – ‘Experientialists’ from ‘Essentialists’ or ‘Enoughists’ from ‘Eco-Minimalists’. Read her fabulous article here:

Can you call yourself a minimalist?

So, can you call yourself a minimalist? You may not identify specifically with any of the types Wilkins describes, but let me tell you this:

  • If you want to carve out a life of authenticity, where you live your values (and not follow the path of others) you might be a minimalist.
  • If you’re freeing yourself of unwanted clutter to enable you to focus on what matters to you, you might be a minimalist
  • If you are seeking to embrace a life of simplicity or wish to be debt-free, you might be a minimalist
  • If you’ve given up ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, you might be a minimalist.
  • If you’ve said goodbye to your ‘fantasy self’, you might be a minimalist.

Maybe we are maximalists

So, you can call yourself a minimalist. Of course you can! You’re minimising the aspects of your life that no longer add value to maximise the things that matter. So, maybe that makes us maximalists….?

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