What are the minimalist essentials?

Maintaining a minimalist home comes with a ton of great benefits – from reducing your stress levels to making it easier to keep your house clean.

But if you’re new to the minimalist movement and you’re not sure where to start, it can be difficult to know what you need to keep and what you can get rid of.

As you’re working through the clutter in your home and reducing the amount of stuff you have, make sure you have these minimalist essentials on hand.

minimalist home essentials list

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Minimalist Essentials

Making a list of must-have items is a great way to stay organized as you clear out the clutter.

Use this room-by-room guide to help you decide what items you’ll need to keep inside your house to ensure you have everything you need to live a minimalist lifestyle.

Kitchen Essentials

Decluttering your kitchen will probably be a big job.

And once you start looking at everything you have stored in this space, you’ll quickly realize how much of the stuff you have in your kitchen you don’t really need.

Once you have your kitchen decluttered, you can start sorting through the stuff to find the must-have items you’ll need to maintain a minimalist lifestyle.

At the very least you’ll need these items in your kitchen:

1) One plate, bowl, mug, and cup per person in the household

Make sure each person in your household has at least one plate, bowl, mug for hot drinks, and drinking glass.

Two place settings per person is also a good idea to accommodate for guests and reduce the frequency you’ll need to wash dishes.

minimalism checklist

2) One set of utensils (butter knife, cutting knife, fork, and spoon) per person in the household

Your kitchen should also have one set of utensils for each person, in addition to one or two extra sets for guests.

3) Skillet and pot

Most recipes that are cooked on the stovetop will either need a skillet or a pot. Having one of each is sufficient for cooking most meals.

Alternatively, you could get an Instant Pot, which is basically a skillet, a pot, rice cooker, steamer, slow cooker etc. depending on the version you get.

living with only the essentials

I love my Instant Pot and use it everyday!

The Instant Pot is not only a time saver. It provides a healthy and delicious way of eating through pressure cooking!

Because it’s so easy to cook meals in the Instant Pot, there’s extra incentive to not eat out and spend money.

4) Spatula

Scooping and stirring can both be done with a spatula, making it a good choice for a minimalist kitchen because it can be used for cooking a variety of dishes.

5) Baking dish and pan

Cooking food in the oven will require either a baking dish with sides or a flat pan, so it’s important to have at least one of each in your kitchen.

4) Measuring cups and spoons

Make sure your recipes are accurate by having a set of measuring cups and spoons in your kitchen.

5) Can opener

It’s difficult to open canned foods without a can opener, so having one of these utensils is essential.

6) Reusable food containers

Make sure none of the food you make goes to waste by having reusable food containers on hand.

Glass containers are a good choice because they can safely be reheated in the microwave or oven and are better for the environment.

minimalist apartment essentials

7) Reusable water bottle

Reduce the waste that comes along with disposable water bottles by having a reusable bottle on hand.

You can even take your bottle with you while you’re out to reduce the waste that comes with purchasing drinks while you’re out and about.

minimalist basics

8) Sponge and dish towel

If you don’t have a dishwasher, you’ll need to make sure you have the utensils you need to keep your dishes clean, like a dish sponge and a towel.

In addition to the essential items on this list, it’s also a good idea to think about the things you do in your kitchen on a regular basis.

If you enjoy a cup of coffee every morning, for example, having a coffee maker is an essential item for your household.

When you’re planning what to keep in your kitchen, try making a list of the utensils and appliances you use on a regular basis to help you determine what to toss and what to keep.

Essentials in Your Bedroom

Keeping your bedroom neat and organized is so much easier when you only have the essentials in the room.

And since this room in your home is typically only used for sleeping, there isn’t much you need to include in the space when thinking minimally.

These must-have items are all you need in your bedroom to maintain a minimalist look:

9) Bed

You’ll need a place to sleep each night, so the most important thing you need in your bedroom is a bed.

10) Sheets and a blanket

Having two sets of sheets is a good idea because it allows you to easily swap between the two without cluttering your room.

11) Dresser

Store clothing and other essentials in your dresser to reduce the amount of clutter in your space.

Ideas for a Minimalist Closet

Cleaning out your closets is another big decluttering challenge.

In fact, maintaining a minimalist closet probably means you’ll need to get rid of several pieces of clothing, shoes, and accessories.

But if you’re not sure what to keep and what to ditch, think about these must-have items to keep in your closet:

12) Socks

You’ll need at least one pair of socks for each day of the week (more if you wait longer than one week to do laundry).

13) Underwear

The same applies for underwear – at least one pair of underwear for each day of the week.

14) Workwear

Depending on the type of clothing you wear to work, you’ll need at least two pants and/or skirts and at least five shirts for a typical workweek.

You may also need basic accessories, like a belt and a nice pair of shoes.

15) Casual clothes

In addition to having clothing to wear to work, you’ll also need some casual clothing to wear while relaxing.

One pair of jeans and one pair of lounge pants, along with two to three basic casual shirts and a pair of shoes, is a good starting point for filling up your minimalist closet.

list of everyday necessities

16) Workout clothing

Two workout shirts, one pair of shorts, and one pair of pants are the basic essentials for anyone who works out on a regular basis. You’ll also need to consider keeping workout undergarments and shoes.

17) Seasonal clothing

In addition to clothing you can wear year-round, you’ll also need a handful of seasonal clothing that you can rotate into your wardrobe as the weather changes.

In the winter, you’ll need warm socks, a pair of gloves, two warm weather shirts, and a warm coat.

In the summer, you’ll need one to two pairs of shorts and two to three warm weather shirts.

During the cooler months in the fall and spring, you’ll also need a jacket.

18) Bags

Most people need a day-to-day bag to carry their essential items, like a purse, backpack, or briefcase.

It’s also a good idea to have a suitcase or duffle bag for traveling and a wallet to hold your money and credit cards.

Reusable shopping bags are also handy to keep at home to reduce shopping waste.

Related: Capsule Wardrobe Planner: How to Build A Minimalist Wardrobe

Home Office Essentials

Even if you don’t have a dedicated home office, you’ll still need a handful of items to help you take care of day-to-day activities, like paying bills and staying in touch with friends and family.

Keep your office storage to a minimum by sticking to this list of essential items:

19) Computer

From paying bills online to keeping up with emails, having a computer at home is pretty essential these days.

But whether you have a full desktop, laptop, or tablet is up to you.

minimalist everything i own

20) Phone

To stay in contact with friends and family, you’ll also need a phone.

The phone doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it just needs to be able to make and receive calls.

21) Basic office supplies

Taking care of basic tasks, like jotting down a message, is essential at home.

That’s why it’s a good idea to have a few basic office supplies in your house, like a writing utensil, paper, and scissors.

Other Home Essentials

While keeping your home clutter-free is a key aspect of minimalism, there are a few must-have items that you’ll need to keep around.

From keeping your home clean to preparing for an emergency, there are several other essentials every minimalist home needs, including:

22) Tools

Keeping your home maintained would be impossible without tools.

And while you don’t need a full toolshed to tackle most home repairs, there are a few essential tools to keep on hand.

A hammer, wrench, screwdriver (with both Phillips and flathead options), pliers, and a set of allen wrenches are the most basic tools every homeowner should have.

23) Emergency supplies

Make sure your family is prepared in case of an emergency by keeping an emergency kit in your home.

At the basic level, the kit should include a first aid kit, flashlight and batteries, matches or a lighter, and a candle.

minimalist living checklist

24) Cleaning supplies

You don’t need a ton of different tools and cleaners to maintain a clean home.

Instead, you just need a few simple essentials, including a broom and dustpan, cleaning cloth, mop, bucket, and trash can.

I use microfiber cloths to clean every surface. It’s soft, absorbent, and most importantly, doesn’t scratch surfaces!

minimalist goods

25) Laundry supplies

In addition to keeping your home clean, you’ll also need a way to keep your clothing clean.

A washer and dryer are great to have at home to make laundry day easier, but at the minimum, you’ll need a hamper or laundry basket and an iron.

26) Yard care supplies

If you have a yard, it’s important to maintain your home’s exterior and landscaping, which means you’ll need to have a few tools on hand for outdoor work.

A shovel, rake, water hose, and lawn mower are all essential tools to consider keeping for outdoor work.

27) Personal care items

To keep yourself clean and cared for, you’ll also need a handful of personal care items.

The items you choose to keep in your home will depend on your own self-care routine, but at a minimum, you’ll need a toothbrush, razor, washcloth, towel, and soap.

28) Hobby supplies

Just because you’re trying to live a minimalist lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.

Keeping a small number of supplies related to a hobby is fine, especially if you can store those items away when they’re not in use.

Essentials of a Minimalist Home Tips

A minimalist home is a house free of extra clutter.

And while you can take the idea of minimalism to the extreme, there is a way to create a minimalist home without having stark, décor-free rooms.

At its basic level, a minimalist home features:

Minimal furniture

When laying out your minimalist home, it’s important to consider the fact that most minimalist designs feature only essential furniture.

In the living room, for example, you may only see enough seating to accommodate the number of people living in the home, along with a coffee table and television.

The bedroom may only feature a bed, nightstand, and dresser.

Keeping the amount of furniture in a space minimal is one of the easiest ways to create a clean, decluttered look in a room.

Small accents

Although most minimalist homes don’t feature excess décor, having no decorations would be so boring!

That’s why it’s a good idea to add a few small accents throughout the space to dress up a room.

A vase with flowers, single family photo, or simple wall hanging is a great way to decorate a space without adding clutter to a room.

everything i own minimalist

High quality

Since you’ll be reducing the amount of stuff in your home to only the essentials, it’s important to put more of a focus on the quality of the things you have instead of the quantity.

A few high quality pieces of furniture and accents that you love will mean so much more than a cluttered room full of low-quality elements.

Clear surfaces

You won’t find nick knacks and unnecessary clutter on the surfaces of a minimalist home.

Instead, you’ll notice clear flat surfaces and empty space. Kitchen counters are open and clean, for example. And coffee tables are devoid of extra clutter, like stacks of books and magazines.

Solid colors and plain patterns

Most minimalist homes don’t feature outrageous colors or patterns in their décor.

Keeping your color palette and home design simple allows you to easily match your furniture and textiles without clashing, creating a design flow that moves from room to room.

How to Create a Minimalist Home

If all the qualities of a minimalist home appeal to you, you may be wondering how to get started.

The good news is that you can have a minimalist home if you put in the time and effort.

The bad news is that if your home is currently cluttered and full of unnecessary stuff, it may take a while to reach your goal.

Follow these steps to get started decluttering your home and working your way toward a more minimalist lifestyle:

1) Tackle one room at a time.

There’s no way you can declutter and organize your entire home over night.

That’s why it’s important to tackle small tasks to keep you from getting overwhelmed.

Focusing on decluttering one room at a time can help you stay on track, then expand your decluttering as you work your way through your home.

2) Evaluate your furniture.

Since the furniture in your home is often the biggest element in any room, taking a good look at the furniture in each space is essential.

Removing pieces of furniture that aren’t used or needed can instantly make the space feel cleaner and less cluttered.

3) Keep the floor clear.

Another simple way to start minimalizing the stuff you have in your home is to check the floors in each room.

The floor should always be clear, with the exception of the furniture in the room.

Scan each room and pick up everything that’s laying on the floor. Get rid of everything you don’t absolutely need, then find a storage spot for the things you plan to keep.

4) Move on to surfaces.

Once your floor is clear, you can start examining all the flat surfaces in your home.

Every table and countertop inside your house should be blank, with the exception of a few simple decorations.

As you clear the clutter off your flat surfaces, make sure to remove everything that isn’t absolutely necessary by throwing it out or donating it.

5) Declutter the walls.

Now that you have your floors and flat surfaces clear of clutter, you’re probably starting to notice a big difference in the look of your home.

But you’re not finished yet!

Next, it’s time to evaluate the wall décor in each room.

Think about ways you can reduce the number of things hanging on your wall to give each room a more minimalist look.

Try to keep only one or two pieces of art in each room to ensure the space doesn’t look too cluttered.

what do minimalists buy

6) Find hidden storage.

After clearing the clutter out of each room, you’ll probably have a few essential elements you want to keep in each space.

The key to keeping the minimalist aesthetic is to find ways to store your stuff out of sight.

Look for simple storage solutions that allow you to hide your everyday items, like baskets and shelves.

You can use the items when you need them, then hide them away when they’re not in use.

7) Keep editing.

Maintaining a minimalist home never really stops.

You can always reduce the stuff you have or declutter the space even more.

After you’ve completely decluttered your home, try going back through each room with fresh eyes.

You’ll probably notice new things you can remove or different ways you can store your stuff to help keep the space clean and clutter free.

Related Ideas for Minimalist Essentials:

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minimalist possessions

Thoughts on other minimalist essentials to reduce clutter?