10 Unexpected Things You Can Live Without as a Minimalist

Samurai Matcha
by Samurai Matcha

I'm Aki, a minimalist school teacher living in a small village in Japan. Today, I'd like to introduce a list of 10 things I don't own or buy as a minimalist. I’m sure you’ll be surprised by just how many things you can live without as a minimalist.

This video is for those who want to learn tips to become a minimalist and make your life simple and healthier. So, let's get started.

Using a book box instead of a bookshelf

1. Bookshelf

One of the things I don't buy as a minimalist is unnecessary furniture. I don't even have a bookshelf. Bookshelves not only take up room space, but they can also tempt you and become a disruption.

For example, have you ever had something you needed to do, and all of a sudden you catch yourself reading manga or other books instead? Then you realize, “Oh my gosh, I was supposed to be working or studying at this time but...” 

In order to make sure that doesn't happen, I use this box to store all my books. By putting books in this box, they will be out of sight and out of mind.

Also, putting them in a box will help limit the number of books you own because of its size. Although I know I can reduce the number of books I own by reading them on my Kindle, it's nice to hold and read a regular book once in a while. 

Things I don't own as a minimalist

2. Kitchen utensils

Another thing minimalists don't buy is too many kitchen utensils. It's typical to use forks on a daily basis. I used to use forks all the time too, but then I realized I didn't need forks if I could just use my chopsticks.

You can eat practically anything with chopsticks. I know using chopsticks can be really difficult and uncomfortable for people who are not used to using them, but when you get used to it, it's really convenient, and it's a nice minimal tool to use. 

Minimalist list of things to get rid of

3. Mats and rugs

I don't have a rug in my room, nor a bath mat. I used to have them, but dust and hair can easily accumulate on them, and they're troublesome to clean.

If I really wanted to lay something on the floor, I use these tatami floor pieces. They’re easy to move, and even if dust piles up on them, it's really easy to clean. 

Using a mop instead of a vacuum cleaner

4. Vacuum cleaner

If you don't have any mats or rugs, you won't feel the need to use a vacuum cleaner either. My daily cleaning can be done with a dusting mop and a large lint roller. If you want to clean the floor more thoroughly, wipe it down with a wet cloth. 

Things I own as a minimalist

5. Sofa

Sofas are very comfortable, no doubt! However, if there is a sofa in your room, it tends to take up a lot of space, and it's usually too heavy to move around, so I don't use it.

If I really want a sofa, I use my Gokumin folding mattress instead. I typically use it as a bed, but when I fold it like this, it can be used as a sofa as well. Then, I can sit here and read a book or play the ukulele. 

Using a laundry net instead of a laundry bag

6. Laundry bag 

I used to use a collapsible laundry bag and then put all the laundry into the washing machine. When I need to wash delicate clothes, I sometimes used a laundry net.

Separating clothes was a lot of work, so I came up with a more efficient method. I hang a laundry net in the closet and put my clothes in that instead.

Now, I put my laundry into the laundry net, and when enough clothes accumulate, zip it closed, then throw it into the washing machine. 

Things I don't buy as a minimalist

7. Store-bought fabric softener 

I don't use store-bought fabric softener. Although fabric softeners can make laundry fluffy and smell really nice, they reduce the water absorption of fabric, and some chemicals within the softener can sometimes cause skin problems.

Instead, I make my own fabric softener. It's easy to make; just mix citric acid and essential oil in water.

Citric acid neutralizes the pH content remaining on clothing, so it can become fluffy, while the essential oil adds a soothing floral scent. This softener is gentle on the skin and isn't harmful to the environment either.

Things minimalists don't buy

8. Paper towels

I used to use paper towels. However, I felt like it was a waste when I had to throw them away every time I used them. So I was looking for a substitute for the paper towels. Then, I found this Sarashi cloth.

It is said that Japanese houses in the old days always had this Sarashi cloth in the kitchen. It's a long cloth, and you can tear pieces off by hand like this. It's water absorbent, so you can use it like paper towels or a dish towel. It can be used for various purposes. 

Replacing a music sound system with earphones

9. Music sound systems

I recently got rid of my Bose speaker because my room is not that big. I don't need speakers in order to listen to music or watch YouTube videos. My MacBook speakers are enough for me to do those things.

If you're the kind of person that lives in a small space, and you don't mind the sound quality, maybe all you need is just your laptop and some earphones. 

Cooking rice in a clay pot

10. Rice cooker 

Rice is a staple food for Japanese people, so until now, I used to use a rice cooker or an electric pressure cooker to make rice. However, I haven't used it recently. That's because I realized how delicious rice was when cooked in a kettle or a clay pot.

In a previous video, I prepared rice in an iron kettle over fire. It turned out to be so delicious. So, recently, I started using this clay pot to cook my rice. It takes a little time, but it's worth it. I really like it because it makes rice taste delicious.

Things you can live without as a minimalist

Things you can live without as a minimalist

Today, I introduced 10 things you can live without as a minimalist. I hope you find these tips helpful and that they are beneficial for your lifestyle.

By getting rid of things you don't need, your life becomes simpler. It's OK to let go of things little by little. You can slowly review your possessions, whether you really need them or not. Let's have a simpler and more comfortable life together.

Join the conversation
2 of 4 comments
  • Diane Diane on Sep 08, 2022

    I may have missed this, but what about company?

  • Paula Bois-Brady Paula Bois-Brady on Sep 19, 2022

    My grandmother always used cloth towels and newspaper. I bought some unbleached muslin and cut it into paper towel sizes and hemmed them. I use them in kitchen, I wash the kitchen ones after finishing my dishes and hang them to dry, they are always fresh. I dont sunscribe to news delivery, minimal store flyers come my way so I only use paper towels for greasy pans etc. I have a bucket to soak and rinse out heavy dirt, over my garden. I use Dawn dish detergent for everything, it's biodegradable.

    I bought a dozen each of 4 different colors of microfiber towels for other household cleaning tasks. Grey for car washing. I don't go to car wash. Blue for windows. Green for floors instead of Swiffer disposables. Yellow for dusting.

    When i run out of all towels. DO NOT use fabric softener, I do use my gas dryer. They come out great.

    I also installed a bidet attachment on toilets and made and use flannel pads. I used cloth diapers cut and hemmed. I rinse and air dry and use one each day ( i have 2 bathrooms) you can store them just like diapersthen when I have used my stack of sixty I do a super hot wash to sterilize them. If you have several people you can designate different colors or hang on a hook. It might seem strange at first but you get used to it.