Lately, successful people are embracing the minimalist lifestyle. If you’ve been on social media at all these last few years, you’ll have noticed several influencers taking part in the increasingly popular trend of decluttering their lives. One of the common ways they do so is by employing the now famous KonMari method described in Marie Kondo’s bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
If you’re an observant person, you may have seen that millenniums, in particular, are placing more value on experience than they do on material objects.2 Following the philosophy “less is more” helps minimalists succeed both in their business and personal life.
So, how do you become a minimalist in such a materialistic world? Below is a list of famous people who have fully embraced the frugal aspect of this lifestyle. Hopefully, they will inspire you to lead your best minimalist life.
Steve Jobs: Simplify complexity
Not only did Jobs apply this philosophy to his business, but it was also very much a part of who he was. Former Apple CEO John Scully once said in an interview, “I remember going into Steve’s house and he had almost no furniture in it. He just had a picture of Einstein, whom he admired greatly, and he had a Tiffany lamp and a chair and a bed. He just didn’t believe in having lots of things around, but he was incredibly careful in what he selected…”
Albert Einstein: Lead a simple life
For Einstein that meant he owned very few pieces of clothing, gave away most of his money, and couch-surfed whenever he traveled somewhere. All of that doesn’t mean he didn’t enjoy a few guilty pleasures here and there, however. He was known for splurging on cigars, coffee, and musical instruments.
Jane Siberry: Live life free
Canadian singer and songwriter, Jane Siberry is a devout minimalist that lives on the road. She carries with her no more than two bags, a guitar, and a laptop while she tours the world sharing her music. Not only that, but Siberry now has all of her records available on her website for free.
Apparently, Jane got tired of being pressured by the major-label executives and cut all ties with them, selling most of her possessions a few years later as well. Nowadays, she owns a single house and spends most of her time roaming the world.
Robert Pattinson: Support charity work
Twilight star, Robert Pattinson, may be a celebrity but it appears that he doesn’t much like spending money and has no interest in material things. The British actor, model, and musician may be a minimalist in his spending habits, but he’s very active in his charity work.4 He’s a known supporter of several organizations and in 2015 became the first ambassador for GO Campaign.
Vincent Kartheiser: Live a frugal lifestyle
Known for his role on TV series Mad Men, actor Vincent Kartheiser slowly began selling and giving away the things he didn’t want or need. At one point, Kartheiser didn’t even own a toilet, if you can imagine that. Though he did go to some extremes, his frugal lifestyle is quite a rarity in Hollywood.
Currently, he lives in a beautiful minimalist apartment in Brooklyn with his wife, Alexis Bledel. He still doesn’t own a car and prefers to walk or use public transport.
Leonardo Da Vinci: Be generous and feed those in need
As Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” His character was described as kind and appealing by his contemporaries, “…he was so generous that he fed all his friends, rich or poor….”
Michael Bloomberg: Cut down on spending
The former New York City Mayor is very wealthy but apparently, owns no more than six pairs of shoes. Though not much more in known about Bloomberg’s minimalistic choices, he does seem to cut down on spending in spite of his incredibly deep pockets and give away his wealth.5
Marcus Aurelius: Support living in minimalism
Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor in the 2nd century A.D. He’s best known for his Meditations on Stoic philosophy, a philosophy that supports living in rather extreme minimalism.
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking”
Henry David Thoreau: Give up luxuries
American essayist, Henry David Thoreau, was also a poet, philosopher, and a minimalist. Thoreau often wrote about the benefits of living a simple life; giving up luxuries in order to quiet the mind.
“Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.” – 1817
Socrates: Pursue virtue instead of material wealth
Said to be the founder of Western philosophy, Socrates believed that the best way to live was in pursuit of virtue instead of seeking material wealth.
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”