When we moved into our condo we purchased a lot of things we thought we needed. It was a small condo (650 sqft) but we filled it quickly as most new couples do. As we moved into our tiny little “home” later on (aka our multi-family, where we live in the smallest unit that is about 900 sqft) we upgraded some old items, but also started receiving multiple housewares as gifts from family and friends.
We went from having a tiny condo that was comfortably full, to a large unit that quickly was filling up. That unit came with a large barn and basement, and within a year both were brimming. How, we asked ourselves, did we manage to fill in so much!?
Through the years, we’ve been swapping out, ditching and avoiding a handful of common items most people couldn’t image NOT having in their homes. Even more recently, as we move towards a more minimal and mindful life, we’ve been cutting out more items and honestly I have to say, they aren’t missed.
So here are the top 10 things we’ve trimmed or downsized from our lives. Now some of these might be really important for you, but for us, they were just wasted space and weren’t missed or had better alternatives for our lifestyle.
1.) Conventional Coffee Maker
It would be fair to say that practically every household in the USA has one of these somewhere. It’s considered as much a standard here as owning a couch. It’s Americana at its industrial finest. We had one when we moved into our condo until we were gifted a coffee press. Then everything changed.
Not only did the coffee press take up a considerably LESS amount of countertop space, but it also produced a far better tasting coffee in my opinion. We ditched the giant conventional coffee pot and have stuck with the press ever since, saving precious kitchen space.
2.) Nice Area Rugs
We own cats.
End of story.
No, but seriously, wool area rugs can turn a drab room into a luxurious oasis. Just not our drab room. We fell into the ploy of dropping 400$+ on really nice area rugs once we moved into our home, and I will never again waste the money. Ikea has fabulous options for well under 200$ that have stood up well to our gremlin fur children.
I was convinced we needed cabinets filled with matching glassware. Tall glasses for beer, fancy stem wine glasses and every shape and sized tumbler you could find at a Crate & Barrel. When I began minimizing the crap in my life, I realized glassware was somewhere I needed to include. I tossed out so many clouded, chipped, mismatched glasses. I felt horrible for doing it, but honestly I didn’t need 40 glasses for only 2 people.
We ended up replacing them with was something I already had….MASON JARS. I don’t even like that whole southerny-cabin feel but they are truly a multi purpose item. We use them to drink from, to store food in, to measure and even as occasional flower vases.
4.)Plate and Serveware
Much like the glassware, I was addicted to collecting ‘interesting’ serveware pieces. and everyone seemed to love gifting us some sort of bakeware. We would get boxes of the stuff for holidays, on top of what I would find in artisanal boutiques on our travels. What I realized was that I was using the same 10 pieces for hosting and for everyday use, and the rest of the hoard was just collecting dust in the basement. We tossed out the pieces that never got used or barely were taken out and ended up keeping mostly the serveware that was handmade by someone. Pieces with history or with a story not only presented beautifully as they were unique and colorful, but they became conversation pieces oddly enough when people asked where they came from.
You don’t need a ton of these items, and we never missed the 95% that we gave away or tossed.
5.) Excessive Makeup
I was a collector. The latest eye shadow. The newest lip color (even if I KNEW it would look like death on me). I purchased it all. I went from drugstore to high-end makeup once I hit my mid 20’s and discovered the difference in a lot of products I was using. I was experimenting with styles and colors. It was fun, but it was taking a lot of vanity and bathroom space.
During my minimalism ‘awakening’ I even avoided touching that section of my life for fear of that “missing out” feeling. How the hell do I know when I might need some Tinky Winky Purple eyeshadow? That blush was purchased in France! I can’t part with it….
I tossed that shit out like the damn plague once I realized how toxic much of it was, and after spending some time finding my style, and ethics for it, I never looked back. After a few years I realized you only needed a handful of items for makeup (if you wear it) and that often we stick with the same color pallets and brand time and time again.
Dear Lord have mercy, I was a problem child for this shit. I spent GLOBS of money of luxury perfume. It was bad.
I stunk of bad life choices….
I didn’t even know for many years that perfume had a shelf life…After overhauling the makeup in my toxic detox, I forced myself to tossed out any and all perfume that had not been either
A.) worn within the last month or
B.) was not natural based.
So 99.9% of it went bye-byes. I have since then replaced my collection with 3 perfumes, natural based of course, which I rotate every week. Going from 25+ to 3 seemed a good start…
7.) Decorative Candles
People LOVE giving these as gifts…
If you burn them, great! You can completely ignore this section, but for people like us who just couldn’t bring themselves to light up that deer shape wax masterpiece….shame on you.
They collect dust, they look old and foggy after a while and honestly they aren’t helping anyone by wasting away on a mantle. We tossed out or finally burned all of the candles minus some tea lights we do use and none have been missed.
8.) Travel Mugs
We now own maybe 6. I still think that is too many but two are mega sized for flip jobs, two are water bottles/coffee thermos and the other two are wildcards.
We owned a lot more though, a whole drawer full! My husband would get them at work conventions, we would receive them as gifts, etc. We didn’t use most of them and after tossing them out, only the 6 were ever really needed any point in time.
9.) Throw Blankets
Gifted or purchased, we vetted the hell out of our massive collection of blankets and now have one super high quality wool one for ourselves, and 3 freebies the cats and dog have free control with.
I might add this to a list of “top 20 worthless items that cost you unnecessary money.”
Seriously, after switching to wool dryer balls, I’m never going back. Dryer sheets are wasteful and honestly the wool balls work just as good. For added scent on those days you want everything to smell pretty, just add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
So that is my quick top 10 things we ditched or downsized. What are some things you realized you no longer needed for your home?