It’s always sort of funny to us, when someone comes to visit, the things that come up as odd to the outside eye, as what they find as peculiar, or perceived to them as abnormal about our home, or lifestyle. We usually get questions about things we do not have, or how we seem to manage without a certain thing. Of course, we’ve been living our minimalist lifestyle now for about 4 years, so we don’t even think about it, until someone comes along and inquires.
So, we thought we would put together a top ten list of things that you will not find in our minimalist home. You know, things that others seem to think should be the norm, but we now just do without, and are just fine that way.
- Paper towels– these were actually the first to go, and we have been without paper towels since around 2014. We started feeling really wasteful about how many we were using. We saw we were using them, not only for clean-up, but for napkins, and even to jot down notes here and there. When someone comes inside our kitchen and needs to clean something up, the first thing they ask is, “where are your paper towels?” When we tell them that we do not have any, they really seem confused. We keep a stash of cleaning cloths, a stash of cloth napkins, and of course keep notes in a notes app on our phone.
- Ziploc storage bags and plastic wrap– how on earth do we survive without these? Well, we actually store items in glass containers and Beeswax Food Wraps. There are times when people give us things that are inside of storage bags, and we rinse and reuse them as much as we can, until we feel they are not safe to use anymore, and then we place them in the recycling bin, but we refuse those as much as possible.
- Extra dishes– we only have the amount of dishes that we need. We address this in our FAQs but we have about 4 place settings, a back-up for the two of us, so we do not have to constantly wash dishes, but also enough for a couple of guests to dine with us. When we have more than one guest, we usually adapt. Bowls become options where a plate would be the more traditional choice, etc. It always works out. There really is no need for us to have a ton of dishes. Now, coffee mugs, well, we only have the two, so when my mom came to visit recently, she learned that the Yeti wine tumblers also double as coffee mugs. 🙂
- Perfumey, commercial laundry detergent– if you walk into our laundry area, it will look very different than most others. You will find a large container of a powdery substance that has chunks of soap in it, and a jar of tin foil balls. You can learn all about that here. Let’s just say our laundry detergent isn’t going to cause rashes, reduces our carbon footprint, and saves money!
- Water bottles– no, you will never be offered a plastic bottled water in our home. Rather, you will be offered a glass of water. We haven’t purchased a bottled water in years. I cannot recall when we last purchased one. It seems actually asinine that people still purchase bottled water when there are so many better options, especially inside your home. We have THE WORST water. We have beach water. Have you ever tasted, or even tested the quality of beach water? It’s terrible! We have water filters and use glasses and glass bottles and stainless steel containers for travel purposes. Seriously, ditch those plastic bottles if you take anything out of this blog post. Please, for the love of God, Buddha, Mohammed, the sun, or whomever you pray to, stop buying those water bottles.
- Coffee filters– yes, we drink coffee. We drink A LOT of coffee, but we have a reusable coffee filter that you can rinse and reuse. You can purchase them in your local retail store, amazon, or even wash and rinse versions on etsy.
- Dishwasher– that’s right, we hand wash our dishes. We’ve talked about this before, and the ritual of doing so is actually meditative and beneficial. It’s also better for the environment, saves energy and water. We also make our own detergent. You can find that recipe here
- Knick-knacks– we have items in our home, don’t get us wrong, but we don’t have little things sitting everywhere. The really nice thing is that we don’t have things to clean around. Dusting is a breeze! The thing is, all of those knick-knacks that people have, what are they for? Do they bring joy or meaning? We used to have those things, and we just cannot recall them bringing any significance to our lives, except just having to move them to clean, or to pack them up when we had to move. Besides, when you have a pup as cute as Betty White, and living plants that are beautiful and green, you don’t need knick-knacks.
- Cable– more and more people are actually cutting the cord these days, so maybe this isn’t as abnormal as it used to be, but we haven’t had cable in 6 years. There have been a handful of times where this has been an issue but we seem to find some streaming situation or work our way around these events. Reddit can be a beautiful place, by the way! 😉
- Anxiety about all of our stuff– there is such a sense of freedom not being tied down to our stuff. I (Shannon) joke about the line from the film, Heat. Robert DeNiro’s character, Neil McCauley has a saying, “Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.” It’s not as if I am worried about the “heat” per say, but I think there is a sense of comfort knowing that the things that matter to us, should anything ever happen, aren’t the material things. They are each other, our little family, what we have. Our life experiences matter, not the physical things. No one should have to have the stress tied to their stuff. We’re pleased to say that we don’t have that within our household, and unfortunately, that is rare.
If you are on your journey to a minimalist lifestyle and maybe stumbled upon this blog post, or maybe you have been a follower of our blog for a while, please let us know if you are trying new things along your journey, or if there are some takeaways you are trying out. In the meantime, post-covid (and it’s almost here, whew!) feel free to stop by. We’ll offer you a glass of water, or wine, in one of our mugs or bowls.
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