What is minimalism?


It feels like everyone is talking about minimalism right now. The principle of less is more is trendy. Finding happiness in a simple life sounds like a

And I know from my own experience: it actually often is. I'm also a minimalist, at least that's what I often say about myself when someone asks me what's important to me..

Sometimes I find myself not quite sure whether I can really claim that I am a minimalist. A little uncertainty then grows in me as to whether I'm a real minimalist or just Judith, who would like to be a minimalist..




What is a real minimalist?

Or to put it another way: What makes a real minimalist Can everyone call themselves that with a clear conscience or are there no-go criteria for minimalists or must-haves without which nobody can be a real minimalistn? 

So I get up and go through everything I can find to be real minimalist. The result is a little surprise and then again very minimalist. 


How do minimalists live?

In fact, I was a minimalist very early on. I just didn't know. After graduation, we sold everything we had, bought a trailer and traveled the world as street musicians. Today I see my first steps as a minimalist at this time. Because I felt free and without ballast.

Freedom and shedding ballast are still the buzzwords that I come across most frequently when I search Google MINIMALISM. More and more people are aligning their lives with minimalist principles. They want to enjoy their life without the treadmill of everyday life: freely and creatively.

In literature, minimalists are often portrayed as idealists: a bit freaky and far removed from reality, but very lovable. For society they are often visionaries and dropouts - artists stop there too.«  

In my environment I recently asked the question: How do you imagine minimalists? The answers were very similar. In summary, this is the overwhelming opinion::



  •     clear out their apartment
  •     own next to nothing
  •     never go shopping
  •     only need very little
  •     are happy with no property or status
  •     live in small dwellings
  •     repair and share
  •     ride bicycle
  •     eat healthy and clean
  •     treat themselves and their environment with care


    Okay, according to this list, I'm not a minimalist. At least not 100 percent.

    So I'll make my own list:



    •     create space
    •     develop new perspectives and thoughts
    •     love the principle LESS IS MORE
    •     make your life beautiful
    •     see themselves as valuable, even without status
    •     have a lot of time for the good life
    •     feel good, even without Gucci & Co.
    •     consume little money and enjoy more freedom in return
    •     are in their element


    One thing is definitely clear with these lists: A minimalist gets along well with less. The question is, how much less does it take to pass as a minimalist? 


    Is it enough to clear out the apartment to be a minimalist?

    Queen of tidying up Marie would say Kondo. Yes absolutely. Her credo: external order equals internal order. The Japanese Marie Kondo has been so successful with her tidying up principle since 2011 that a term for tidying up closets is named after her: konden.

    The KonMarie method is so simple that it is hard to believe that a minimalist didn't come up with this idea much earlier. Basically, there are only a few cornerstones that, according to Marie Kondo, you should take into account when tidying up your closet.


    The KonMarie method

    • Create categories: Don't go after rooms or corners. Instead, target a category, like books or clothes.
    • Throw everything in a heap: Lump all things of one category, regardless of where you got them from (basement, attic), in a heap. 
    • Only keep what makes you happy t: Pick up every part of your category and feel if you are feeling lucky. Only then do you keep it.
    • Find a permanent place: Things that you want to keep are given a permanent place in your home.

    Voila, according to Marie Kondo you are now a happy person as soon as you have cleared 2/3 of your household. The fact is, Most minimalists see order as a basic requirement in order to take further steps into the minimalism heaven.

    The belief behind it: Like a door opener, order makes room for new thoughts. And for questions about the good life.

    •     What am I doing here 
    •     Why I'm here 
    •     What am I going to do with my life? 
    •     Who do I want to be and how do I get there?


    So is it enough to declutter to be a minimalist??

    From my own experience, I now know that tidying up is at least a good start. The junk is gone and there is a lot of overview and space for it: maybe for a fresh start, maybe for further small steps into a minimalist life.. 


    A minimalist has to live sustainably?

    Today half the world feels like living sustainably. But what exactly is meant by that?

    Basically, living sustainably means thinking about the environment and the consequences for it in all actions. It is about burdening the world as little as possible with what you do.

    A consumer frenzy mentality has been proven to be a burden for people in the classic low-wage countries. Every T-shirt that can be bought for 5 euros can hardly ever shine with a positive ethical balance in terms of fair production. Usually quite the opposite: Quite a few people pay for this 5 euro shirt with their health and dignity.


    Minimalists are aware of this. They choose very carefully what they need and, above all, what they buy.

    But as soon as you have made up your mind, it goes very quickly. And when your favorite piece arrives at home, it enjoys exclusive lover status.

    Fickleness and a today-so-and-tomorrow-so attitude are not the preferred attitude among minimalists when it comes to new acquisitions. On the contrary: everything is really well thought out and once bought a love forever.


    A minimalist has to live sustainably?

    My conclusion

    As a matter of fact, a minimalist is not always in a consumer frenzy and thus conserves the environment's resources per se.

    Nevertheless, even minimalists don't wear a halo. You also go on vacation by plane. Every now and then they walk past a hip espresso bar and buy a coffee to go, at least that's what happened to me in my minimalist life.

    From my point of view, a loving attitude towards people and nature is important in order to lead a happy and relaxed life. So a clear yes to a conscious and sustainable lifestyle as a minimalist.


    How many things can a real minimalist own??

    »Do I own the things or do the things own me??«

    When blogger Dave Bruno propagated his Challenge of 100 Things in 2008, a murmur went through the minimalist world. Finally someone who spoke to the public about what's going on. Out of the too much for it into That is enough for me.«. 

    However, 100 things that Dave Bruno set himself as the goal of his manure removal are exactly 9,900 more than the average person calls his own.

    9,900 things that have to be removed that are definitely no longer available. Is such a waiver really necessary to be a true minimalist? 


    My personal 100 things challenge

    I just tried it out. At least I start counting 100 things from my household. I reach my limits very quickly. I start in the kitchen. 10 things, Judith, you can keep, I whisper while counting.


    10 things for the kitchen:

    •     One: 1 table,
    •     Two and three: 2 chairs,
    •     Four: 1 coffee maker
    •     Five: 1 milk frother,
    •     Six: 1 glass,
    •     Seven, 1 cup,
    •     Eight and nine: 2 pots,
    •     Ten: 1 refrigerator


    Stop 10 things would be reached here, the end! Not possible!! I give up and realize how little the 100-thing principle suits me.sst.

    There must be something in between. Is there anything between 100 and 10,000 And especially important: What about art Is art considered a thing or is art outside of the challenge, so to speak, not countable!r?! 


    Art counts?

    A work of art is beauty. The point of art is to charge an environment with life, with freedom and with inspiration and for me above all with beauty.t.


    Minimalistische Bilder im Wohnzimmer


    Art is freedom.


    A completely free space with a single piece of art can make a statement for the owner that will keep him free and happy every day.


    How many things can a real minimalist own??

    My conclusion

    A true minimalist can only own 100 things? Hopefully not. Otherwise there would only be a very small minimalist community in the world. Statistically, it is possible to do without 9,900 things, but it certainly does not bring good luck for most people. Being a bit stuck in one's personal affairs strengthens the feeling of security.

    At least I always want to go through life with more than 100 things. Just my family pictures, notes and mementos of my loved ones make me the person I am and want to be, in the little things that tell me every day: It's nice that we have you, dear Judith. 

    For me, the following applies: The sole possession of 100 things is not a requirement for me to be a real minimalist. But it makes perfect sense for me not to live in an environment that is full of useless things.

    Only having things around you that really matter makes the difference between too much and too little in the room.

    According to this principle, 100 things are probably too little and 10,000 too many. The exact number in between is always linked to the feel-good requirement of the person who asks this question.


    Do minimalists have to dress minimalistically?

    Barefoot, a simple sweater or white shirt, jeans and sneakers, the classic minimalist outfit is ready. When I look around my life, this picture is pure fantasy. The reality is often different. 


    What do minimalists really wear?

    Minimalists actually wear only a few items of clothing - but they are very carefully selected. It is noticeable that minimalists drape little Tüddelüt around them: no big watch, no clunkers and no Chanel belt.

    On the other hand, minimalists tend to wear clothes to dress themselves. A minimalist, it seems - feels comfortable and at home, no matter how little his wardrobe gives..

    Apple founder Steve Jobs was a minimalist in pure culture when it came to clothing. Simple jeans and a black sweater, plus sneakers, was his daily minimalist outfit..

    Minimalists, at least the official ones, can hardly be caught in public other than simply dressed in an exemplary fashion. At least this gives the impression that the appearance of a minimalist is a clear identification mark.


    Do minimalists have to dress minimalistically?

    My conclusion

    I don't know if minimalists have to dress minimalist. If so, I wouldn't be a minimalist that's for sure. 

    Beauty in things is important to me. What I wear and how I wear it also defines me. I feel good when I wear clothes that say something about me and my daily shape. Plain and simple is usually my minimalist motto.

    But there are also those wild days of dressing up. Because we - the days and I - are never the same. And there has to be a little space in my closet for these other days. Reduced every day and always wearing exemplary minimalist clothing that is not in my nature. For 300 days I'll be happy to be a minimalist. The other days I have a small box on which is written in bold letters: Today is a wild day of dressing. :-))


    Are there exemplary minimalists?

    It's one of those things about minimalist role models. Every minimalist is individual. The only thing that all minimalists have in common is that they show the same basic attitude. That of LESS IS MORE. The life lived can then differ greatly from minimalist to minimalist.

    Motto: 10 minimalists 10 minimalist attitudes towards life. Nevertheless, there are different basic trends even among minimalists.


    There is:

    Ordinary minimalists  

    need structure and space around them.

      Consumption-avoiding minimalists

      maintain a rather critical attitude towards today's affluent society. You buy as little new as possible.

        Sustainable minimalists

        protect their environment. You avoid rubbish and only buy selected sustainably produced products.

          Aesthetic minimalists  

          make sure that you only let high quality and beautiful things into life. They don't care how expensive things are, as long as they are beautiful and selected.

            General minimalists

            basically delete everything from her life that does not make her happy. This can include many things and circumstances: ballast, unhappy relationships, unnecessary obligations, bad habits, or stressful attitudes towards life.

            In this group the philosophical aspect is greatest. Personal development and the discovery of one's own purpose in life is the main motivation for general minimalists.

            Philosophy of reduction

            As different as the lifestyle of minimalists can be, everyone agrees on one thing: Minimalism is a philosophy of reduction.

            In this respect, all people are somehow minimalists who reduce their lives, tidy up and live with a sense of beauty.


            What well-known role models are there in minimalism?

            There are many role models with a minimalist lifestyle. Here are two well-known minimalists:


            Steve Jobs

            The Apple founder and minimalist invented the principle of intuitive user interfaces for technical devices.

            His vision: The combination of function and perfect design.

            His outfit: Black turtleneck, jeans and New Balance sneakers ready. 

            His standard question: What does the product NOT need? 


            The art of omission, for Steve Jobs the prerequisite for successful design and for his success. Steve Jobs only let really important core departments work with as few employees as possible, a maximum of 100. He hated bureaucracy. Far too much distraction.

            A minimalist straight out of a picture book. Focused on the essentials every day: on Apple and the further development of its products in terms of beauty and function.


            Marie Kondo

            The perfect way to live tidily forever The best known is in any case the method of Marie Kondo. The Japanese tidying expert is successful worldwide as a bestselling author with her KonMarie method. What makes you different from the others? Marie Kondo provides completely detailed instructions for order in your home and in life in her books.. 


            Other role models

            Minimalist influencers are springing up like mushrooms at the moment. Read here soon:My 5 favorite minimalism influencers (coming soon).


            Is it complicated to be a minimalist 

            It seems like minimalism is a complicated endeavor. My life as a minimalist is definitely not. But on the contrary. For me it is very easy to live a minimalist life. I leave out everything that doesn't feel good to me. What remains is clarity, my art and the happiness of being here now - with my family. 


            Minimalist mindset

            Sure, there are phases in my life that make me thoughtful or sad. I want to keep it, otherwise the nice moments would be completely boring. By the way, I owe this insight to my minimalist mindset. In the past, this knowledge would simply have disappeared in the sea of too much, do everything at once, do even more and do it immediately.

            Since I left out many of these things, I see life as a beautiful journey. Something always happens, sometimes really stupid things, but I can always see the beauty of my life: to be able to live my art, to have my favorite people by my side and to see the sky in the morning.en. 


            My minimalist conclusion!

            No, minimalism is not complicated. And there are no so-called real minimalists either. Everyone defines minimalism differently. What they all have in common is the basic feeling of: I'll just leave that out now.

            Minimalism is an attitude. Everyone can find it in themselves. And yes, minimalism makes you happy. At least me.

            Get on your way. It's really worth it!
            Your JUDITH CLARA

            P.S .: I wasn't always a minimalist.♥ Read more about my path to minimalism here.