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Things you don't have to own as a minimalist

Thu, 20 May 2021 19:55:44 +0000

Things you don't have to own as a minimalist

When I first got into minimalism, I had a very clear vision of what my life was gong to look like.
The minimalist aesthetic can be deceiving, and I certainly fell for it at the beginning: I saw empty wooden floors. I saw rows of jars full of grains and dried legumes, all perfectly labelled and looking all the same. I saw muted-coloured clothes hanging from a rack made out of a tree branch.
I thought my new minimalist life had to look a certain way.

But as I went through my decluttering joinery and I got rid of things and added new things, I progressively realised that some items I already owned were perfectly functional and I loved them, but they didn’t fit the aesthetic I had in my mind. I realised I am extremely particular with clothes and I don’t like to wear what ever minimalist seems to wear. I accepted the fact that I was never going to own less than 30 things overall.
I started thinking maybe minimalism doesn’t have to look the same for everyone.

Here are some things that I don’t own and you don’t have to own as a minimalist.

  • A white shirt or t-shirt
    Every female minimalist YouTuber out there seems to have one. Sure, it’s versatile, goes with everything, can be dressed up and down, and white is everyone's colour, right? Wrong. I am definitely not a shirt person and don’t particularly like myself wearing white. Just because you see so many minimalists wearing a casual white tee and blue jeans, doesn’t mean that has to be your style, too.
    (Thank you ecofriend.lia and Lefie for breaking the stereotype.)

  • A Chemex coffeemaker
    As fancy as it is (and don’t get me wrong, I definitely thought about getting one), you can make coffee in many other ways, especially with a coffee maker you already have.

  • Multiples of the same outfit
    In spite of what Matt D’Avella, Steve Jobs and many other minimalists might have made you think, you don’t have to wear the same outfit every day. You also don’t have to own five of the same t-shirt or pants. You can keep the amount of clothes you own to a minimum, yet have variety in your wardrobe.

  • A Kindle
    I only have one because was gifted to me. It has come in handy living in a bus, but I still own heaps of physical books and if I lived in a house I would keep them and display them in my huge, extremely heavy, super sweet bookcase. If you love or use something, keep it.

  • A capsule wardrobe
    This is definitely a great concept, and it’s handy when everything in your wardrobe goes with everything. But I’ve always found capsule wardrobes to be so curated that don’t allow space for clothes that might be a bit more eccentric or colourful. Plus maybe you are really into fashion and you own a lot of clothes, which is of course also ok. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can have all the clothes you want and still call yourself a minimalist.

  • A certain number of items
    YouTube is packed with “I only own 33 items” videos. You don’t have to count how many items you own. I don’t know how many items I own. Hundreds, probably. Minimalism is not a number.

  • Anything from Everlane, Organic Basics or Allbirds
    All the minimalists I follow seem to be sponsored by these brands. Their design definitely aligns with the classic minimalist aesthetic, but again, you don’t need to buy from specific brands in order to be a minimalist, unless of course you like and support them.

Bottom line is, there is no recipe for being minimalist.
The whole point of minimalism is that it has to work for you. Minimise your possessions to the point that it makes life easier for you. You might hate a black&white wardrobe. You might love cooking and need heaps of kitchen appliances. Maybe your hobby is woodworking and you have a shed full of tools. Or arts and crafts. Or sport equipment.
Personally, I think as long as you actually use all those things, that’s great.

What’s your stance on the minimalist aesthetic? Do you own any of those things? I’m curious!

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