The last decade has seen a spike in attention towards living simply. As our lives are more and more complicated with social media and an always-on society, the draw of more simple times pulls at us in different ways.
For some, that means cleansing themselves from Facebook and Twitter. Some move into tiny houses or small apartments. Others look to manage what they can control – including their mindset, their relationships, and their physical environment.
One thing all of these groups have in common is that they are focused on earning time – making decisions that increase the amount of time to enjoy life now. If you can string together a day, a week or a month of small wins these can add up over time and win back more time to focus on what matters most for you.
These quotes are some of my favorite of all time – ranging from books on minimalism to philosophy to inspirational leaders. With the right mindset, you can set your own direction and stay on that course. Here are some of my favorite minimal quotes.
People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them.Epictetus, Enchiridion
Happiness is not having what you want. It is wanting what you have.Rabbi Hyman Schachtel
The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.Marie Kando, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Quotes
Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.Dalai Lama
There’s another benefit to a minimalist wardrobe. Because we choose items that are timeless, we don’t need to worry about being out of style.Fumio Sasaki, Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
The people who are rebelling meaningfully don’t buy a lot of stuff.David Foster Wallace
The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are.Mother Teresa
Purposefully owning less begins to take us out of the unwinnable game of comparison.Joshua Becker, The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own
Decluttering and Reduction
We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.Marie Kando, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Quotes
Remember, your memories are not stored in the object; the memories are in you.Joshua Becker, The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own
Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.Epicurus
Minimalism is the pursuit of the essence of things, not the appearance.Claudio Silvestrin
The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.Marie Kando, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Quotes
I have yet to see a house that lacked sufficient storage. The real problem is that we have far more than we need or want.Marie Kando, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Quotes
You don’t need more space. You need less stuff.Joshua Becker, The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own
Storage experts are hoarders.Marie Kando, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Quotes
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.William Morris
Time & Achievement
My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.Francine Jay, Miss Minimalist: Inspiration to Downsize, Declutter, and Simplify
There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.Leo Tolstoy
Declutter your mind, your heart, your home. Let go of the heaviness that is weighing you down. Make your life simple, but significant.Maria Defillo
Minimalism is built around the idea that there’s nothing that you’re lacking.Fumio Sasaki, Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.Socrates
Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.Steve Jobs
Silence is sometimes the best answer.Dalai Lama
More was never the answer. The answer, it turned out, was always less.Cait Flanders
Minimalism is a tool to eliminate life’s excess, focus on the essentials, and find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life
Be a curator of your life. Slowly cut things out until you’re left only with what you love, with what’s necessary, with what makes you happy.Leo Babauta, The Effortless Life: A Concise Manual for Contentment, Mindfulness, & Flow
The goal is not to remove every person from my life who does not serve me. The goal is to bring greater intentionality into each of my relationships. I want to find people who will lead me, mentor me, and love me, but I also want to keep in my life people whom I serve and love and pour my life into. Because both are required for a balanced life.Joshua Becker, The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.Dalai Lama
Minimalism is the constant art of editing your life.Danny Dover, The Minimalist Mindset
Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: ‘Is this the condition that I feared?Seneca on Practicing Poverty
The only guarantee, ever, is that things will go wrong. The only thing we can use to mitigate this is anticipation. Because the only variable we control completely is ourselves.Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is the Way
Want to know how to make yourself instantly unhappy? Compare yourself with someone else.Fumio Sasaki, Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
Desiring less is even more valuable than owning less.Joshua Becker
Instead of focusing on how much you can accomplish, focus on how much you can absolutely love what you’re doing.Leo Babauta, Zen Habits
Sometimes, minimizing possessions means a dream must die. But this is not always a bad thing. Sometimes, it takes giving up the person we wanted to be in order to fully appreciate the person we can actually become.Joshua Becker, The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own
Minimalism is just the beginning. It’s a tool. Once you’ve gone ahead and minimized, it’s time to find out what those important things are.Fumio Sasaki, Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
Do you have any favorite minimalism quotes?
8 CommentsWhy not add to the conversation below? Your voice is welcome!
October 23, 2018
Love these, especially:
Happiness is not having what you want. It is wanting what you have.
Want to know how to make yourself instantly unhappy? Compare yourself with someone else.
It’s so true.
October 27, 2018
The comparison one is crazy true. For people who are very goal oriented comparison can be a source of ideas and inspiration as well. The hard part is looking at someone as a teacher vs looking at someone from a comparison standpoint. (I’ve definitely fallen into both).
October 23, 2018
Love these especially:
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” – Dalai Lama
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” – Socrates
October 27, 2018
The capacity to enjoy less is true underrated skill. I think of kids who get Christmas gifts but then end up spending their time playing with the box it came in. That’s the level of enjoying less I want to get to haha.
October 26, 2018
Some good ones in here. The one that kind of stuck out that I don’t agree with is “Storage experts are hoarders.” I don’t see that the case at all. Every example of a hoarder I’ve ever seen is the exact opposite of a storage expert, so I really don’t see that storage experts are the same people but just with an ability to organize their stuff.
To me storage experts just understand the importance of the axiom, “A place for everything, everything in it’s place.”
October 27, 2018
Good thought there – “A place for everything, everything in it’s place” is a solid alternate opinion there. For me, when I have a bunch of things in storage that I never, ever use, I feel like a hoarder – even if they are organized. With a garage, and attic and a storage unit nicely organized, when does it change from being organized to being a hoarder?
To me, it’s dependent on if the things are used. If they’re all for “what if I need this someday” then it’s for a hoarder. If they’re actively used then it’s smart organization. Any thoughts on where the line is between those?
November 6, 2018
The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.
This quote resonates with me so much right now. Currently in the process of decluttering and I’ve been finding it a little hard to let go of things. So now every time I have to let something go or want something I should think of this quote.
April 9, 2020
I seized the opportunity during my self-quarantined to explore ways to reduce clutter. Going minimalist is surprisingly relaxing. It makes me feel as if I have more freedom. I’m happier today than I was 2 months ago