Do you feel a rush when you donate a lamp, a bag of clothes and a couple of puffy chairs to the thrift store?

It sounds like you might be a minimalist

Are you ready to keep only the things that bring joy to your life and eliminate the rest? Most minimalists believe that letting go of unnecessary possessions leads to a happier life.

Take for example, Joshua Becker. He became a minimalist after spending a day cleaning his garage, surveying the pile of dusty possessions while his son played alone in the backyard.

“The juxtaposition of the two scenes dug deep into my heart, and I began to recognize the source of my discontent for the first time,” says Becker, founder of Becoming Minimalist, a website devoted to intentional living.

You don’t have to live with nothing to be a minimalist. But you do have to appreciate what a minimalist lifestyle brings. You may be halfway there just by the way you think and live. Here are 8 signs that you’ve already got the makings of a minimalist.

1. You Don’t Need to Fit In

“I’m not afraid to live a counter-cultural life,” says Becker.

If you’re already walking or biking in a city where most people drive, living any kind of alternative lifestyle or people sometimes label you as “eccentric,” you’re off to a good start.

2. You Deplore Mindless Consumerism

Do you scream, “You don’t need car payments!” at TV commercials with beaming drivers who’ve seemingly found happiness just by purchasing a shiny new car?

If so, you’re already pulling away from mindless consumerism.

3. You’re Naturally Frugal

There’s plenty of overlap between frugality and minimalism, says Becker. If you’re frugal, you’re probably not a shopaholic or impulse buyer, so your home may be less cluttered than most.

That’s less stuff to get rid of when you take the minimalist leap.

4. You Don’t O.D. on Possessions

Growing up poor taught her that material possessions aren’t the key to happiness, says Lauren Tingley, creator of Simply Well Balanced, a motherhood blog with a focus on minimalism.

“I was comfortable living with less, and I already knew that items don’t bring happiness because growing up, my family was very happy,” Tingley says.

5. You Steer Away from Stress and Conflict

Watching his parents argue about his mom’s knickknack collection taught Derek Hales, a minimalist in Phoenix, that having too much stuff is stressful.

“I saw the extra time, money, and energy that went into just storing these items, let alone using them,” says Hales.

6. Too Much Stuff Makes You Anxious

Minimalism was the “perfect cure for my anxiety,” says Tingley, who reduced possessions to a minimum and cut back on an overload of activities. Now her home stays clean with minimal effort.

“I am now able to be the happy and healthy mom I always hoped to be, since I don’t have a never-ending to-do list,” says Tingley.

7. You Like Space

Lauren Crain of Houston became a minimalist because she wanted to create more space, not just in her home but inside her self.

“With fewer things, I can focus more on loving, appreciating, and using the things I have,” says Crain.

8. You Don’t Fear Change

“Becoming minimalist is definitely a life-changing decision,” Becker writes on his blog. “I’m not afraid of it. I look forward to it.”


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