The Minimal List

how many ______ does a minimalist have?

When I first started my journey to minimalism I would search for a magic list for each area I was going to tackle in my home. 

“How many items does a minimalist have in their kitchen?”

“How much makeup does a minimalist have?”

“How many books does a minimalist have?”


I spent hours scouring search engine, getting enveloped (and lost within) pinterest searching for these non-existent lists that covered every single room in the home. Why weren’t they out there?

Well, for one, the thought leaders of this lifestyle really don’t have a one size fits all list of the basics. It really became less about the basics and more about the essentials.

The thing about generic lists, is they are so impersonal with something that is deeply personal… Meaning, how can a stranger come up with a list that would appeal to each individuals needs? It’s just not possible. So I started creating my own essential lists for each drawer, cabinet, closet, category and room… based on my own situation and our needs. 

I think it’s ok to look for inspiration and use an “essentials list” as a starting point and then add or remove what makes sense for you. I call an essential list a “Minimal-List” and that is the minimum items you need in your area to have it function for you and your family based on the purpose of the room.


I have a bunch of essential lists in my monthly membership (The Haven Makers Collective), but if you want to create your own personalized lists, read on.


Create Your Own Minimal-Lists

When you’re creating your minimal lists, I want you to think about the main function of the room or space and write down what items you can think of, off the top of your head, that support these purposes. Remember to keep the list to things you use, love and need.


What is the main purpose of your room?

Are there any other functions you need to account for in your room?

What items do you need to have in your room to support the functions?

Do you need multiples or can you do with only one?

Is there something that you love the look of, that tells a story about you and/or your family?


Let me give you an example… when I was doing a major purge of our kitchen, I really minimized down to the basics. What is the main purpose of the room?

The main purpose of our kitchen is to cook, serve and eat meals. a secondary function is a collection site for papers and small tools and battery  storage. So I added the essentials to the list. These were simply items I could think of off the top of my head that would support these functions, as I got into the actual work of it all, I made sure that the items were playing an active role. 


Do you need multiples or can you do with only one?

Well, I had two waffle irons, a newer broken one and an old one that I got from my Grandparents home. I mean, we love waffles, but we don’t need two on the go, so I tossed the broken one.


Is there something that you love the look of, that tells a story about you and/or your family?

Another example was our mugs… I had two shelves of mugs. I ended up minimizing down to a small grouping of “special” mugs because they make us smile… and then 6 basic ones. I’m sure as more time passes, I’ll be whittling this collection down more, but for now, this is enough.


And there you have it, a simple way to create your own essential list… I’d love it if you shared your wins with me on facebook! And if all else fails, do an internet search for “essential list for bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, etc.”

If you want to get even more ideas and inspiration, join our community on facebook or like my page.

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