20 things I do not own as a minimalist


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Ever since I’ve been on a minimalist journey, I have been able to simplify my life a lot. This includes my material possessions, as I have been decluttering regularly for years. I now realize that there are a lot of things that I do not own now as a minimalist, that other people tend to have in their homes. 

I find it interesting to do an audit of the things I have.

It helps me be more intentional about the things I decide to keep at this point in my life.

That’s something that can benefit you if you want to live more simply and let go of some of your belongings.

It will make you realize what you like and what you don’t like. 

And it will help you want less and reduce your consumption.

Here is my list of 20 things I do not own as a minimalist!

These are things that I purposefully choose not to have to live more minimally.

But also because I want to live more sustainably, and producing excess and unnecessary stuff has a big impact on the planet.

This blog post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy something through such links, I will get a small commission without any extra cost for you. Please read my Disclosure for more details.

20 things I do not own as a minimalist

1 – Seasonal decorations

I don’t own any seasonal decor because I don’t want to store things for a whole year to only use them for a few weeks.

I don’t think it is worth it.

If I fancy decorating a little for Christmas, I will borrow a few decor pieces from my parents, but that’s it.

I do not ever decorate for Easter, Halloween, the New Year, or any other event.

I love looking at seasonal decorations in other people’s houses or the store, but they’re not for me. 

Seasonal decorations are some of the things I do not own as a minimalist.

2 – Exercise equipment

In my home, you cannot find any work-out equipment, because I never work out at home.

I don’t have any yoga mat, any weight, or other exercise equipment.

If I want to work out, I go outside, go walking for a few miles or ride my bike.

I don’t think that we need a lot of equipment to have a great workout session.

There are thousands of videos online that can teach us how to exercise at home, with no fancy equipment.

3 – Special event clothing

I never buy party clothes or clothing that I will use for just one event.

I only own one elegant little black dress that I love to pieces!

It is super functional, I can dress it up or dress it down.

And I have never felt the need to wear something else when a special event or a party comes up. 

Read more:

4 – High heels

I think that everyone does, but I hate uncomfortable shoes.

I find that most high heels fall into this category.

They’re not functional nor practical, and they hurt my feet at the end of the day.

If I need to wear a fancy pair of shoes, I can wear my black flats.

I also have two pairs of boots that have a smaller heel which is more comfortable.

Nobody should suffer for a pair of shoes, right?

5 – A dryer and dryer sheets

In France, where I live, very few people own a dryer as we’re more used to air-drying our clothes.

I have never used a dryer in my entire life and don’t plan to.

I love air-drying clothes either on my balcony or on a drying rack inside when it’s too cold out.

It saves a lot of electricity!

My energy bill is a lot lower and that is a great way to help the environment and make my wardrobe more sustainable.

This also means that I never buy dryer sheets which saves waste at the same time. 

Read more: 10 natural and sustainable alternatives to dryer sheets for soft, fresh, and static-free laundry

A dryer is a thing I do not own as a minimalist.

6 – An iron and an ironing board

One of the things I do not own as a minimalist is an iron.

I never iron my clothes.

Like, ever.

I don’t mind if my clothes are a little bit wrinkly.

If I want a piece of clothing to look perfect, I will let it dry on a flat surface and it does the trick.

I’m happy to live like this because I don’t want to have even more chores to do, so if I can skip one, I will! 

7 – A conditioner

I don’t own any conditioner and have never used one.

I have never understood why so many people use one after washing their hair.

Of course, some types of hair require the use of a conditioner, but not everybody needs to use it.

I don’t want to put more chemicals on my hair and body, so I only use shampoo to wash my hair.

I’m used to doing that and my hair has always looked good. 

Read more: 15 things to declutter for a minimalist bathroom

8 – Air fresheners

I never have air fresheners at home because I find they’re all full of nasty chemicals.

Using them can put our health at risk, potentially causing asthma, headaches, skin problems, or worse.

It is important to stay away from these harmful chemicals if you want to make your home healthy and non-toxic.

If you want to refresh the air in a room, open the window or diffuse some essential oils instead. 

9 – Conventional cleaning products

Like air fresheners, conventional cleaning products aren’t good for our health.

And I don’t want to bring pollutants into my home.

I also don’t want to support companies who make us think that we need a cleaning product for every possible surface in our homes.

We don’t need different products to clean kitchen counters, windows, sinks, or the stovetop.

I only use one multipurpose cleaning product, which is a mix of water and white vinegar.

You can also use baking soda to clean various places in your home. 

Read more:

Some of the things I do not own as a minimalist are conventional cleaning products.

10 – Specialty kitchen gadgets

I do not own any toaster, coffee maker, blender, food processor, rice cooker, or any other specialty kitchen gadget.

I only have an electric kettle that I use every day and a multipurpose hand blender, but that’s it.

I don’t need anything else to cook.

Kitchen appliances take up so much space in kitchen cupboards!

Not owning them makes my kitchen easier to tidy and clean, which is what I prefer as a minimalist. 

Read more:

11 – Cookbooks

While I love the idea of a cookbook, I do not own any because I know that I would never use it.

I have some go-to meals that I like cooking and I don’t need a cookbook to make them.

And if I want to change things up and cook something new, I usually go online.

I can look for great recipes, according to what I want to eat and what ingredients I have in my pantry and fridge. 

12 – An air-conditioning unit

Where I live, we usually don’t have any AC in our homes as the heat is rarely unbearable.

If it’s too hot, we’re used to opening the windows or plugging a fan to cool the room down.

I actually tend to get sick every time I’m near an AC and it uses a lot of energy to run, so I don’t plan on owning one anytime soon. 

13 – A fancy phone

I own an old smartphone which is 8 years old and I got it as a hand-me-down.

It is not perfect and doesn’t have any fancy functionalities, but it does everything that I need at the moment.

I only use it to make calls, send text messages, take pictures, and browse the web.

I don’t need it to do anything else, so I plan on keeping it until it is no longer usable. 

As a minimalist, one thing I do not own is a fancy phone.

14 – Mobile data

As I mentioned in the previous point, my phone isn’t anything fancy.

I also choose to have a very basic mobile plan.

It includes unlimited text messages, 2 hours for calling, and only 50 Mo of data.

But I always use the Wi-Fi at home, and I rarely check the internet when I’m out, so it is enough for me.

The great thing is that my mobile plan only costs me 2€ per month, which saves me tons of money each year.

15 – AirPods

If I want to listen to music, I always use classic earphones.

I don’t understand the trend of AirPods.

I get it, it is way more practical than normal earphones.

But I don’t think that it is healthy to put Bluetooth devices into our ears, right next to our brains.

We don’t know the long-term effects they can have on it, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

While I understand the appeal of AirPods, I choose not to own any for health reasons. 

16 – A smartwatch

Smartwatches can be very useful as they have many functionalities.

But this is something that I choose not to own because I don’t need any.

I have a normal watch that I rarely use but that I still love.

And I find that my phone is a multipurpose tool that does everything I need.

I wouldn’t be able to justify having a smartwatch.

For me, it would be another piece of technology I would need to care for, and I don’t want to. 

17 – An e-reader

An e-reader is a great minimalist item because, once you have one, you don’t need to store any physical books anymore.

However, I prefer reading physical books.

I love the texture of paper when I’m reading, there’s something special to it.

That’s why I don’t plan on getting an e-reader anytime soon, even though it’s super practical, especially when traveling. 

I prefer reading physical books instead of ebooks on an e-reader.

18 – Cable TV

I have never paid for cable TV in my entire life. I find that it is always very expensive, and I cannot justify paying for it as I wouldn’t spend enough time watching it.

Instead, I have the basic channels that my TV offers.

But my favorite way to watch a TV show or a movie is through Netflix, which is affordable and offers a great selection of entertainment. 

19 – CDs and DVDs

As a minimalist, I do not own any CDs and DVDs because I always look for music and TV shows or movies on YouTube and Netflix.

It is a blessing that the internet allows us to do so many things, all in one place!

Thanks to it, we can now declutter all the CDs and DVDs, because we can find all these media online.

Of course, if you love yours, keep them.

But I choose not to have any as they take up so much space in my home. 

Read more: 11 things to let go of in the living room

20 – A car

Not owning a car is not doable for most people, but at this time, I don’t need any.

I live in the city so I can walk or take public transportation everywhere, which is very practical.

Not to mention that walking or taking public transit is a more eco-friendly way to travel!

And for the rare occasions when I need a car, I can borrow one from my parents which I’m super grateful for.

I love this lifestyle because owning a car can be very expensive.

You have to pay for maintenance, repairs, parking, gas, and insurance. 

Final thoughts on things I do not own as a minimalist

There you have it!

I hope that this list of 20 things I do not own as a minimalist could inspire you in some way!

My goal with this is to help you become more intentional with your material possessions and decide what you do not want to own. 

Excess clutter to manage can be overwhelming!

Practicing minimalism and decluttering the things that don’t add value to your life is a great way to live more simply.

If you want more inspiration, check this list of 70 things you can get rid of in your home, to embrace minimalist living. 

If you liked this article, you might also want to read this one: How to stop being materialistic and overconsuming?

Tell me in the comments, what things do you purposefully choose not to own?

I’d love to know!

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  • Nikki Lamprecht

    Very interesting read! I think people, including myself, own things we don’t really need and that actually just take up space.
    I’ve stopped using conditioner a few months ago (by accident actually) and now I see no use in it anymore. My hair is still the same 😂

    • Eva

      Haha yes, I too find I still own some things that aren’t absolutely necessary and that I rarely use. But decluttering is a long process 😉
      Oh I agree with the conditioner! If your hair doesn’t need you to use one, just stop buying it, you’ll save money! 🙂

    • Kelly

      I have decluttered my kitchen by donation items that I have not used with in the last year. Now I have room for basic kitchen essentials and food items.

  • Jill

    We recently moved and things that we haven’t used in awhile did not make the move and I’m very happy about that. We do not buy CD’s or DVD’s I get my music from YouTube . I make my own cleaning solutions .

  • Dawn christy

    I aim to get rid of a couple of items a day
    And if not up to it o just do one item .. it all mounts up as what ur getting rid of over weeks month a d a year.. slowly does it

    • Eva

      That’s such a great way to declutter and get rid of a lot of things because our small actions do add up over time! Thanks for the suggestion!! 🙂

  • Lindsey Priest

    I’m 75 and I’ve downsized 3 times and each time it feels better and better!!
    You spend the first half of your life getting stuff and you spend the last half of your life getting rid of stuff, so skip the getting part, save that money and have some good times with it!

  • Angtei Ralte

    I never considered myself to be a minimalist, but as I read your article, I realised I only have two of the things you mentioned (heels and mobile data)…maybe I AM a minimalist…funny 😀

    • Eva

      You can have whatever makes you happy or makes your life easier, and what is essential can be different for everyone as we are all unique! I think everyone can be a minimalist as long as they’re intentional with what they have (and do). 😉

  • Jackie

    I enjoyed your post. I too, do not have seasonal decor, use conditioner, have CD’s & dvd’s and cable.
    I find some things are just not worth the money and bother.

    I’ve gotten rid of all my special occasion clothes and high heels. I can’t tell you how long it has been since I wore my high heels. I’m estimating 10 years. So why have them.

    Minimalism is a great way to live.

    • Eva

      Thank you so much, Jackie! I’m glad you’ve found the post helpful. 🙂
      Yes, I cannot agree more with what you said! Not wearing a pair of heels for 10 years is definitely a good reason to get rid of them, haha!

  • Eleanor

    Love it! Thanks for sharing.

    A freezer or a combined fridge/freezer uses a lot of electricity. When we thought about how often we cook from the freezer? It’s about once a month. Certainly not enough to warrant the power but more importantly for us, space it takes up in a small kitchen.
    Hence we are going back to a standard fridge only.

    • Eva

      Thank you, I’m happy you’ve found it helpful! 🙂
      Wow, I feel the same. I barely use my freezer, but unfortunately, fridges without freezers are incredibly rare to find where I live! It’s so cool that you can choose this option; it’s definitely not worth consuming all that energy if you’re only using it once a month. I cannot agree more!

  • Alex

    I loved reading your article. Each point makes sense and many resonate with me. In terms of books I wanted you to say that you don’t buy books but use your local library instead 🙂

    You have got me thinking I must devclutter my clothes!

    • Eva

      Thank you so much, Alex! I’m happy you liked the blog post! 🙂
      Yes, I cannot agree more, the library is an amazing resource we should take advantage of! I love borrowing books from my local library, it saves me so much money and it means I don’t have to deal with the books after I’ve read them. Plus, it’s more sustainable than buying new books. Win-win! 😀

  • Deb

    Thank you for this great advice!! We are constantly deluged by advertising that we need this and that, and oh, that thing there to make us happy. No, we don’t! Happiness comes from inside a person. Nothing or nobody can make you happy by itself. Just you.❤

  • Paulette

    Good article. We are the parents that our minimalist kids come to when they need to borrow something, store something they aren’t yet ready to let go, and provide the food and the serve ware for their parties, stay with when visiting, and even live with from time to time.
    I declutter regularly but my husband has a hard time letting go of anything he considers a special memory .
    I haven’t put up a Christmas tree in 20 years but I do have some special holiday pieces, mixed with pinecones, greens and berries from our yard that give our home a seasonal look and feel.
    We are the home that friends and family come to so they can live in a minimalistic fashion but still have access to additional space or things they desire from time to time.
    We don’t mind because we love our children. However one day, when we pass, they will end up being responsible for disposing of a lot of stuff.

    • Eva

      Thank you Paulette for sharing your story. This is so inspiring!
      We don’t need to be perfect or achieve a certain ideal when it comes to minimalism and simple living. We should always do what works best for us and what makes us happy. Sometimes, we also need to compromise on certain things when other family members do not wish to live this way. And that’s perfectly fine! 😉

  • Vinette Pennyman

    I love the advice you all have
    been given, and it sounds great. One problem I’m having is decluttering my clothes. I need help with this,

  • Sandy

    Hello Eva,
    That was my grandmother’s name so I felt like I should send you this thought. I agree with most everything you say, however, I love decorating for the seasons and I love my kitchen gadgets. They make me happy. I am much older than you, which is why I still have cookbooks, and yes, I use them. Some of them have my grandmother’s notes in them, too. However, I would not buy one now.
    I have to say my smartwatch is one of the best things I have. It called 911 when I fell and was unconscious. It also told me I was in A-Fib. I had surgery to help with that, but would have never known if my silly watch hadn’t told me. I dread to think what would have happened when I fell and no one was around.
    I live in the country and don’t always have my cell phone on me when I am out on the property. The horses and the chickens aren’t going to call 911 if something happens. As long as I am conscious, I can use my watch to call 911 or call a friend to come and help if I need it. If not, the watch calls all by itself.

    • Eva

      Hi Sandy, thanks for your comment!
      If you love/use all the things you mentioned, that’s awesome and you should definitely not declutter them! This blog post is about what I do not own; I am NOT saying that others should not own these things as well. We have to do what works best for us and everyone has a different life, different needs. As a result, we all have different things, and that’s perfectly fine.
      Wow, your smart watch must be one of your most precious items; it is amazing what technology can do these days! I’m happy to hear it saved you!! <3

  • Retha Peters

    Hi there. I happened on your blog on Pinterest and took the time to read it briefly. I think we all have free choice in what we choose to
    have in our life and homes. All our lists of non-essentials will differ.
    I happen to find some items on your list essential i.e. a car. In my country, public transport is almost non-existent and I would be
    stranded without a vehicle. I have dry, curly hair…..conditioner is essential and the list goes on. My only rule I live by regarding
    possessions is, if you have 2 of something and only use 1, give the other 1 to someone who can use it.

    • Eva

      Hi Retha, I cannot agree more with you!
      As I said in a previous comment, we all have different lives and needs, and therefore we all have different things. In this blog post, I only wrote about what I do not own, and I am not saying that others should not own these things too. 😉 We all have to do what works best for us, regardless of what others tell us.

  • Selena

    After reading your comments about hair conditioner, I suggest you read about no-poo. It is a not-so-great name for a method of hair care that involves NOT shampooing with anything. My boys have practiced no-poo for years. They were experiencing early hair loss and when I researched causes, I discovered how harmful it can be to use ANY products. They rinse their hair daily with hot water and will very rarely rinse with baking soda or vinegar, but mostly, they use nothing. They are known for having amazing, thick hair. Research it. You may decide you can do without shampoo, too! I enjoyed your article, but I did notice that other people’s belongings made it possible for you to be more of a minimalist. Not judging…just observing.

    • Eva

      I will definitely look into no poo, thank you! I’ve heard great things about it, so I’d love to try it one day!
      Yes, for sure! Borrowing some things helps with not needing to own them, but I think there is nothing wrong with that as long as the borrower and the lender don’t mind and are happy with the situation. It’s a great way to become more minimalist! 🙂

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