Simplifying The Essentials

Simplifying The Essentials

Whenever minimalism is talked about, the focus is on simplifying the large (and obvious) parts of our lives like our homes and our wardrobes; rarely do we talk about the small stuff, like our daily essentials. It wasn’t until a friend pointed out how little I carried with me that I realised just how much I’ve streamlined my daily essentials. I take the bare minimum (to avoid carrying a bag): keys, phone, card. Perhaps sharing how I managed to simplify my belongings will be useful to those of you who wished they could carry a few less possessions.


I carry what I need in my pockets as much as possible. If I really must carry a bag it's either my tiny Matt & Nat Drew bag or Kanken Mini. The former is for evenings out when I want to take something extra (a lip tint or mirror), the latter is for when I'm running errands and need room to carry supplies. The Drew bag has just enough room for my phone, door key, and card holder; I can squeeze my purse in too, surprisingly. My Kanken Mini is roomy enough to fit everything I need: keys, phone, and purse, a water bottle if I need it and enough room for a spare tote and groceries. The key is finding a bag that's just the right size for its purpose; an oversized bag almost always ends in over-stuffing.

Simplifying The Essentials


Everyone seems to have keys they have no idea what they open. I removed all non-essential keys, splitting my studio ones from my apartment ones (using this key holder), and only carry the keys I absolutely need to. That means no tiny suitcase keys or miscellaneous unknowns. Frustratingly, I still end up with more than I'd like to carry since I need two to get into the apartment building and two to get into my post boxes. But there is a solution; if I'm going out for the evening, I'll unhook my two door keys and just take those instead of the whole bunch. It's a simple solution yet really cuts down on what you have to carry. A key wallet, key holder, or free key system might work for you.


As a point of contact, a camera, and a resource, a phone is pretty much a daily essential for everyone. There isn't much anyone can do to simplify this need (aside from get rid of it altogether, which you may be prepared to do) but if you're looking for a phone case that's low waste and eco-friendly, try Pela - I've heard good things.

Simplifying The Essentials


Most days I take just my card holder, preferring to pay by card than by cash. However, a wallet can be a useful thing to have - it just has to be the right size. Having a compact wallet means no chance of stuffing it full of receipts, business cards, and slips of paper. I downsized to the slim Matt & Nat Seva Wallet, which has room for notes, change, and cards if I need them. It's small enough to fit in a pocket and squeezes nicely into the front of my Kanken Mini. If you're looking for something even smaller, the Wills Card Case is ideal.


The Curve card is the single biggest way I reduced what I carry around with me; one single card with everything I need on it. The Curve card is free (no fees or charges, the £50 black card has extra perks though) and combines all your cards, credit and debit, into one. You choose which card to pay on using the app but if you do charge the wrong card you'll have up to two weeks to change it. Cards without contactless payment become contactless and you're able to use your credit cards where they're not usually accepted. If you lose your Curve card you can freeze it in the app (and unlock it again if you find it) without having to cancel and replace everything, making it a safer option. The app breaks down your spending into categories, ideal for keeping track of spending and budgeting. If you want to learn more, Money Supermarket has a great article. I haven't been asked to promote this, I just really like the card and think you might too. Sign up with the code AEKO485D, you'll get £5 and I'll get £5.

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Simplifying The Essentials