Minimalist list of necessities: A Practical guide

Are you looking for a minimalist list of necessities? Living life with the bare minimum as a choice will have you looking for what us functional and necessary only. It means dealing away all the fuff and only having the things around you that you need. It is a way of life that speaks of simplicity, clean lines, and clarity.

If you have chosen to live a minimal life, you probably want to know what you should be looking at getting rid of and what makes the list of the necessary. In this article, we take a look at those necessary pieces.

What is a minimalist lifestyle?

It is a clean life, without the unnecessary. It is a clutter-free life. A life that accentuates the essential and lets go of the frills. What we do not realize at times, is that our lives can get cluttered in different areas. You can have a cluttered mind, a cluttered home, or even bring clutter into your relationships with people, but that is a topic for another day.

A minimalist will only have what they need. A good rule of thumb is, if it is not functional then let it go. This will help you come up with a list that makes sense for you. A minimalist life means you have more energy to focus on the things that matter most and none for excess. Whether this excess is in your possessions, your wardrobe, your refrigerator, or any other part of your life.

How do I become a minimalist?

Becoming a minimalist means that you need to find a way of being intentional about what you keep. Amassing clutter is easier than you think, and getting rid of it can seem like a mammoth task. The easier road to a minimalist lifestyle is to make sure that you are intentional about only keeping what you need, as you go along.

What should be on my list for a minimalist lifestyle?

Minimalism is hallmarked by a definite sense of purpose and clarity. The first thing to do is to get a pen and paper and make a list! It will help you put things in perspective. Then put everything into categories and narrow it down from there.


Look at electronics, for entertainment, for work, for health, for livelihood. List 10 items and these should include personal electronic devices, so choose wisely. Also check on electronic accessories that you will need such as power strips, cellphone chargers, and cables. These can constitute another 10 items. In total, you will ideally have 20 items that have to do with electricity.


Next, list the necessary furniture, room by room. Make sure that you have at most 20 big items. This should include the everyday common household furniture like couches, desks, and beds. If you don’t need it, get rid of it. This does not include anything decorative or ornamental.

Consumables and day to day items

Then think about consumables and group them into five categories which are food, gardening supplies, cleaning supplies, paper supplies, and hygiene supplies. You then want to make a list of your daily tools. Categorizing what you need will make things clearer. One of each vital component should be on your list.


Get rid of duplicated items. Keep at most three pieces of the same type of clothing. For example, three pairs of jeans or casual clothes, 2 pairs of shorts, and three vests. Shirts and blouses can be as much as 6 or 7, to get you through the week. 

2 sets of gym clothes, 2 pairs of gym shoes, 1 pair of casual shoes, 1 pair of formal shoes for men, or three pairs of formal shoes for women.  5 pairs of socks for men or 3 pairs of workout and “sneaker socks for women.

Also, include at least 5 sets of underwear. Have 1 pair of gloves for colder days, 2 sets of winter coats, boots scarves, and warm shirts.


Think about what you will need to sleep. Big furniture pieces will include the bed, dresser, and storage. Make sure that the total number of big items does not exceed 8. Then think about bedding.

Two pairs of sheets, 2 duvets/ blanket sets, a mattress protector, and 2 pillows. This should do the trick. You want to be able to change your bedding whilst the other is in the laundry, but still only have the bare minimum. Also include two sets of sleeping clothes.


In the kitchen, make a list of about 19-25 items that you will need. This should include cutlery and crockery. It should also include kitchen towels and oven mitts. None of these items should be decorative or merely taking up unnecessary space. Also, include your reusable food containers, have at least 4 dinner plates, depending on the size of your family. 4 glasses and 2 mugs.


What you do for work will determine what you have in your home office. A list can not fully prescribe this number because a woodcarver needs a different number of items compared to a painter. Keep what you use and a second tool or accessory.  


Your toothbrush (and whoever else you live with), 1 face towel, 1 bath towel, and 1 body towel each. You should also include personal hygiene items such as your razor and shaving stick. Shampoo, soap, and other personal items are about 15 or so.  

One last thing

The major compass pointer when it comes to a minimalist list of necessities is weighing between needs and wants. Be brutally honest with yourself and you will find it easy to shed extra layers of what does not matter. Minimalist living is also about getting rid of modern societal pressures and norms.

You don’t have to go by what is in style, let function and simplicity guide you and you will see less clutter in your life. In all your decluttering, don’t forget to include the necessary items for your hobbies.

Take time for your physical and mental health as well with just the right amount of things. We hope that this list helps you declutter your spaces.

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