17 Things You Don’t Need as a Minimalist

Angela | Arrow
by Angela | Arrow

Some things may seem so common and trivial that you cannot imagine your home without them, and yet they have no real use, and are just cluttering up your space.

Here are seventeen things you probably own but don’t need in your house. If you are into minimalism, consider whether you truly want these in your home.

1. Exercise equipment

So many of us have had aspirations of having a small home gym, but have realized with time that we do not really exercise, and the equipment is just gathering dust in the corner.

Free yourself from the mental burden of seeing these things every day and the guilt that comes with it. Instead, get a pair of running shoes and commit to going on walks or jogs with a friend, or maybe try out a gym membership.

Dining table

2. A formal dining table

As a residential designer, I have had so many clients request multiple dining spots. However, most of those spaces end up unused.

If you already have a dining area in your house, you might be tempted to put in a large table. However, take a minute to consider if you are truly going to host that often, or if you will most often eat your meals elsewhere, like in the kitchen.

3. Clocks

When was the last time that you looked at a clock on the wall rather than your phone or your watch? Those are so convenient that we do not really use actual clocks anymore. T

ake a look at your clock and think if it still serves its purpose or has become just another thing on the wall.

4. Specialty serving platters or dishes

Many of us have these shoved in the back of our cabinets, waiting for the special occasion that comes around a couple times a year at most. Consider replacing those with some very basic multifunctional serving pieces that you can use on any day of the year.

5. Unknown keys

Do you have keys lying around that you are not sure what they go to? Spoiler alert: for whatever you are trying to open, they are never the right option, and that item will have to be broken into anyway.

Sanding carbinet

6. Broken furniture

Do you really have time for all those repair projects? If an item has been sitting there making you feel bad about putting it off all the time, either fix it now, or let it go.

7. Excess linens

An extra set of towels or bedsheets is fine, but you should definitely decide how many you want. Those stained, ripped or smelly must go, and the season specific ones should be replaced with more basic, universal sheets.

8. Unused decorations

If you are still holding on to decorations you have not brought out in years, throw those out. Each holiday when you are decorating is an excellent opportunity to review your possessions.

9. Single-use kitchen items

The salad spinner, the cheese grater, fruit juicer, and the pizza cutter – all these gadgets can easily be replaced by a different kitchen tool or just good old mechanical effort.

I am even considering getting rid of our microwave since I can heat anything up on the stove or in the oven, but my family is not supporting this idea.

Putting pillow in case

10. Throw pillows

These are cute and fun, but so unnecessary. A great tip is to only purchase or make your own pillowcase covers that you can swap out depending on the decor that you're going for in the space.

Another minimalist hack is to fold a standard pillow in half, put it in a standard pillowcase, and tuck in the excess – and instantly you have a new mini pillow.

11. Single purpose rooms

Craft rooms, guest rooms or music rooms are a pretty common occurrence, but often end up unused. Moreover, do your kids really need a bedroom each? If you were to combine kids in one room, that space again could be repurposed.

12. Expensive chemical cleaning products

DIY natural cleaners are really the way to go – they are just as effective, but so much healthier and more affordable.

13. Backup packaging

You might feel the need to keep some of the boxes you get for gifts or packages, but we often end up having way too many. Look at your stash and think carefully how much you are really going to use.


14. DVDs or VHS tapes

Streaming services offer an entire library catalog of movies and entertainment right at our fingertips. Even if you do not want to pay, there is always free content on YouTube. Physical copies are redundant today.

15. Coffee tables

Coffee tables look good, but they create a horizontal surface, and I always say that horizontal surfaces should be left clear unless in use. In reality, these tend to be clutter collectors. Make your life easier by getting rid of those.

16. Cookbooks or recipe cards

I am not at all a pro in the kitchen, but even I have recipes that I use often enough to know by heart. Of course, there might be some family recipes you want to pass down, but if you are still keeping recipe books you have only used a couple of times and did not find too useful, you can probably let that go. The internet is full of wonderful recipes you have never tried that will not add to your clutter.

17. Leftover craft supplies or building materials

After a project is done and we have some product left, we are often tempted to keep it, since we have already spent money on it, and it might be useful in the future.

However, we tend to only buy more and more stuff, and never seem to use up the excess. So just sell or give those away right away, so they do not take up space in your home.

Things you don’t need

Consider this list before buying things you don't need, and take a good look at your current living space with these in mind.

What is something that used to seem important to you, but you have found to be clutter? Leave a comment below!

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3 of 51 comments
  • Tammy Duncan Tammy Duncan on Dec 26, 2023
    Just be sure that those recipes your family enjoys are written down and shared, not just in your memory. Some day you may not be there to make them when a family member or friend wants them.
    • Pat Pat on Jan 14, 2024
      I made my daughters scrapbook recipe books for Christmas. I took their favorite recipes of mine and also included some from my mom (in her handwriting) in there. Some from their great grandma also. They loved them.
  • Pam Pam on Dec 27, 2023
    Streaming may be the thing nowadays, but it can get expensive. Besides when you have the DVD or VHS, you can watch what you like WHEN you like and not be tied to schedules. Heating up on the stove or in the oven just means greater electricity or gas use. Two minutes of electricity or 15 minutes?Fifteen minutes of gas use, or none at all? Reheating in the microwave also keeps the food closer to how it's supposed to be. Stove top or oven reheating dries out the food or even burns it.