Here are the not-so-minimalist things I own while still practicing the overall theme of minimalism. As I’ve mentioned before, I consider myself a realistic minimalist. This means that I practice some of the basic principles of minimalism without getting too in the weeds on rules or a set number of belongings.
Minimalism is a philosophy that you can mold into what works for your lifestyle and preferences. Don’t worry about how many books Marie Kondo told you that you can own in her book. The items you do own should reflect what’s important to you and your family.
Own what you love and forget the rest. Here is the list of items our family loves and use regularly where the traditional practice of minimalism would not work for us:
All of our close friends can tell you that our kitchen is far from being minimalist. At one point we were hoarders of all things related to cooking and hosting parties. My husband and I relish having a large group of friends over for dinner, drinks, or to watch the Carolina Panthers play Sunday football games.
If you name any kitchen appliance or gadget, at one point there was a high likelihood that we owned it. We had the quesadilla maker, waffle cone press, mini pie press, among all the traditional kitchen staples. While we still own many of these things (I’m not giving up my waffle cone maker!), we have paired them down to the things that we use on a more regular basis.
While we still practice minimalism in the kitchen where we can, we do love to spend our time in the kitchen and make food easily so the kitchen appliances are in full abundance! Not to mention we are huge coffee fans in this house so the coffee machines are in full supply.
Surprisingly, we do use 80% of our kitchen appliances on a regular monthly, and sometimes weekly basis. There are some workhorses for sure but with our love to cook and host our friends and family, we knew the kitchen was not a place to downsize significantly.
This has been the area where I feel the most challenged in reducing the inventory. While we are not minimal in the toy area, I will mention that our kids do play with 95% of the toys they do have. Their toys are primarily stored in bins and kept to only a few places in our home.
My kids are still young so this has been a challenge. I know this time is temporary so I do my best to not get caught up when there are a lot of toys out on the floor.
My five-year-old daughter has always had a hard time letting go of her things. She is a hoarder with a capital H. I know this is the mentality of small children and they tend to struggle with changes or transitions. If I left it up to my daughter, we would still have her baby toys out in addition to the toys she plays with on a daily basis.
While I’ve managed to keep the toys somewhat minimalist, I still believe my kids have a lot of toys. In order to combat this and keep the management of toys down, my husband and I try to be thoughtful when adding a new toy to the collection.
In another post, I’ll share what I do to store and manage the toys we do own. We do not spend significant time picking up toys. I value my time and energy tremendously and it very important to me to keep the time cleaning up after toys to less than 5 focused minutes.
I was not always an avid reader, but in recent years I have picked up the habit. From time to time, I will reach for a good fiction story but my heart is drawn to self-discovery and personal growth books. As a result, I am starting to develop quite the book collection. Many of these books have had a great impact on my life and I anticipate I may read them again.
For books that I read and do not plan to read again, I try and share with friends and family. Knowing that the book will have a new loving home brings me so much joy. I also love to give gifts so that’s an added bonus.
I also try to buy books electronically occasionally but there is something about the feel and smell of a hardback book. Have the weighted book in my hands allows me to focus more on what I’m reading. Not to mention, I generally read at night, so no worries about blue light with an actual paper book.
I have not even begun to bring up my collection of cookbooks. While not insanely large, I do keep a good amount of cookbooks even when I only cook routinely out of a handful. The Taurus in me has a true love for food and entertaining so these books allow me to do just that even as a minimalist!
This has my husband written all over it! We have quite a collection of electronics and accessories. Just about every room in our home has a smart plug or smart light bulb. We have smart home speakers, the smart tv; everything in our home is smart.
To some people this may seem excessive, for us, it’s a matter of automation. These electronic devices allow us to streamline simple tasks that we complete routinely on a daily basis. It also allows us to stay on top of the many different schedules and lists that we maintain for our family.
More to share on this in the future as well! If you have not automated your home yet, I promise you I can convince you its worth. This is coming from a true skeptic!
While we do not buy things in bulk, we do have a large variety of pantry staples. We collected a variety of oils, vinegar, nuts, grains, flours, sugars, and tea to name a few.
On any given day I can make you almost any cookie, cake, or bread recipe. We have a variety of spices to season your savory dish in just about any way you like. This again goes back to my husband and I having a love for cooking. I love being able to “whip something up” using what I already have in my pantry and my fridge.
During 2020, I rediscovered my love to make things with my hands. In addition, with planning to do a combination of homeschool and virtual public school, I wanted to be able to provide the possibility for our kids to use their creativity.
This resulted in a large purchase of craft supplies. It’s not enough to fill a closet but we still have a great selection of materials to make almost any simple craft. I love being able to say, I have all the supplies I need on hand when trying out a new project.
I love it, even more, when my daughter decides on a Sunday morning that she wants to make a new craft. Knowing that she is using her imagination and has the freedom to create her vision fills my mother’s heart.
Essential Oils & Candles
While reading The Cozy Minimalist by Myquillyn Smith, I learned that a cozy home is not only made up of its design but also its sounds and smells. As a result, I focus more on creating a cozy environment in my minimalist home using scents.
I prefer essential oils since they are generally less toxic and less messy than candles, but you can find me lighting a candle frequently in the Fall and Winter seasons. Having a variety of scents to choose from allows me to follow my mood or lift my energy depending on what I am feeling. I like to experiment with different scent combinations so having a variety of essential oils to choose from allows me to again use my creative energy.
Additionally, I am a big advocate of multi-purpose items and essential oils are just that. Not only do we use them to add fragrance to our home but we use them for skin care, cleaning, and more.
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