Things I Gave Up For A Minimal Life

Things I Gave Up For A Minimal Life

In the process of working towards a more minimal lifestyle, the unavoidable task of ridding our lives of clutter and non-essentials becomes a reality. Although there are a lot of areas I'm still working on to make our apartment streamlined and functional, there are a few things I have already long since given up.

Beauty Supplies

I am content with a stripped back minimalist beauty bag so passing on unused or unwanted make-up to friends and family is easy. I just don’t need drawers full of make-up, a couple of neutral palettes, a few blushers and highlighters, one or two bases, and select nail varnishes satisfy my beauty needs. There’s only so many products one person can own before it’s impossible to use them all up before the expiry dates. However, I must admit I find giving away skin care products much harder to do. I enjoy the option of mixing up products and since my skin isn’t fussy I can switch up products regularly without any complaints. This is definitely a part of my life I need to work on letting go of.


I donated bags upon bags of clothing a few years ago when I moved into a new apartment and realised I would be happier with living with less, and I continue to do so whenever I feel my rails are getting cluttered. I stick to a minimal wardrobe plan, buying as-and-when I need new clothing, shopping secondhand, and really considering any purchases that aren’t “essential.” Building a minimal wardrobe is a process and I regularly find I have a bag to donate to charity every few months as I work through replacing, transforming, and upgrading my current clothing.

Magazines and Books

I’ve never been a huge magazine reader, if I’m totally honest I think they’re a waste of money and paper, removing them from my life altogether wasn’t so tough. When I invested in an e-reader, I started to limit the amount of books I purchased to only the ones I wanted to collect or books I was unable to get a digital copy of. I went through my entire collection and removed any I no longer wanted or was sure I wouldn’t reread; I passed books on to friends and family, and created a “free library” in our apartment’s communal area for neighbours to take what they wanted.


We do not have a television in our apartment because it feels, to us, an imposing force that almost always distracts from the people in the home and saps the joy from a room. When I walk into our living space I don’t want to see a black screen looming on the wall or in a corner. Although we have never owned a television, that’s not to say that we do not watch television; we have always kept television viewing to a minimum, watching select programmes, series, or films when it suits us.

Cards, Unwanted Gifts, and Souvenirs

Gifting and the minimal lifestyle is tricky; people often gift you with presents that, although bought with kindness, are frequently not appropriate for your style or are of no use to you. Getting rid of these unwanted gifts, travel souvenirs, and greetings cards can feel tough on the emotions, we often feel guilt about giving (or throwing) away things other people have bought for us even though we know we will never use them or put them out on display. I used to feel awful when receiving a gift I didn’t know what to do with but now I donate to charity or give to friends who I know will be happy to own them, and quickly recycle any cards we receive; that’s a far better solution than hiding them away in a cupboard.