ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Personal Finance»
  • Frugal Living

6 Items Every Minimalist Should Own

Updated on May 12, 2013


Minimalism in my opinion is all about simplicity. Ways to make your life easier through owning less, working less and doing more. Exchanging the lifestyle of working 40 hours a week to pay for twice as much as you want to working 20 hours a week to pay for what you need. Minimalism is becoming a lot more popular lately. You are seeing it in design, advertising, fashion and even entertainment. A lot of new products in the technology world are revolving around minimalism as well. Products like the iPhone and iPad are geared around a simplistic user experience. What I really love about minimalism is how easy it is to get into. All you really have to do to start is limit your possessions. Start cutting out the unnecessary things in your life. Replace items of high quantity and low quality with few items of high quality. Here are a few items that I believe really symbolize the minimalism movement. I hope you agree!

1. Moleskine Journal

When it comes to replacing quantity with quality, you can't really go wrong with Moleskine journals. As a writer there really isn't a better tool for gaining inspiration than writing ideas as the day progresses. Moleskine really adopts a simplistic view into their journals and they are all built with really good quality paper and binding. They come in multiple colors and multiple styles whether that be plain paper, ruled paper or graph paper. They are usually sold in 3 packs and you can get them for about 15 dollars. That may seem kind of steep for a notebook but you have to take in consideration that the idea of minimalism is to have few items of exceptional quality, and that is exactly what this is. A normal writer takes pride in their writing and usually won't scribble their way though a huge amount of notebooks a month. I can usually make a 3 pack last about 6 months, filling one up every couple months. If you are a writer that is transitioning into minimalist, you can't go wrong with Moleskine!

2. TOMS Shoes

TOMS has really hit the mainstream the past few years, and probably for a reason. I know there is a huge argument whether or not TOMS is a good business plan for foreign countries, as they have put a few local shoe makers out of business by giving free shoes to people in need, but overall I think they sum up the idea of minimalism really well. They canvas style shoe is a traditionally worn shoe by locals in Argentina. They are the most simple pair of shoes you can make other than flip flops and simplicity is what minimalism is all about. They quality of the shoes are actually pretty great considering what they are made out of. People that I know have had a pair of TOMS for as long as I have known them with little wear to the shoe. They offer a huge variety of styles, prints and colors on their website which is pretty awesome considering as a minimalist you like to express yourself and show your simplistic style. I think TOMS is a great pair of shoes that every minimalist should own!

3. iPod Watch

This is a really great idea that demonstrates another great aspect of minimalism. Taking a few different concepts and combining them. Pretty much what this is is a 6th generation iPod Nano that has been built into a watch band. They make tons of these all over the web. You can download a clock app and use it as a watch on a normal basis and then plug in your headphones and listen to music whenever you want. As a minimalist musician, I really only play acoustic instruments and instruments that require a low amount of set up requirements. I also enjoy listening to my music on a really simple basis. I use apps like Pandora to discover new music and download music of my own that I love. Having an iPod watch would really help me do all of this in one place while still having a practical use behind the iPod. Like I said before, they have tons of these so you can customize it to really project who you are as a person and people will often ask you where you got it. As a minimalist, the iPod watch will take multiple things you want and need and put them all in one place!

4. Mountainsmith Backpack

This may be a personal thing, but I feel that once you have adopted a minimalist lifestyle you have the ability to travel a lot more. When traveling, you need a place to put all of your stuff. I have been looking around for the best style, size and practicality of a backpack that will suit all the needs of a traveler with a minimalist style. This is what I found. The Mountainsmith Minimalist backpack offers tons of storage, a smaller size and a few colors to really customize your traveling experience. I know it requires an extreme minimalist to be able to fit all of their possessions in one place, but this will help keep all your important things all in one place. A minimalist should never have to take more than a backpack and a carry on to an airport when traveling. If you need more than that, you aren't quite a minimalist just yet. The quality of this bag is amazing and the price really isn't that bad. I have seen them around 80 dollars on a few sites. The reviews I have read on this product state that you really don't have to buy more than one in your life as long as you have a casual lifestyle. If you are a minimalist traveler, give this bag a look!

5. Paper Wallet

I think paper wallets are so cool. They are the definition of what simplicity is. Paper. If I could make everything that I used on a daily basis out of paper I would. You would think that with a wallet made out of paper that you would have to get a new one very often. You will be surprised. They do wear down over time, as do leather wallets, but you can make a paper wallet last a few years. As you can see from the picture I posted, they come in many different colors, prints and styles. Paper wallets give you all of the features that a normal wallet does too. If you are really clever, you can learn to make paper wallets of your own! As a minimalist, I want something really cool that presents an idea of simplicity. Owning a paper wallet does that for me. Since a wallet is something you usually only have 1 of, you really can't fit this into a quality vs quantity argument. Check out a few of these wallets and see if they are right for you!

6. Samsung Chromebook

Last but not least, my favorite tool. The Samsung Chromebook. As soon as you load Chrome OS it screams minimalism. The OS is really easy to navigate and only has the essentials that a person needs. It gives you an amazing battery life, up to 7 hours! I really only charge mine maybe twice a day and I write with it on battery power. You get 16GB of local storage, great for temporarily storing photos and documents and 100GB of cloud storage that you can access from any device. This is an online based machine, although you can access email and Google Docs offline. As a minimalist writer, I am never really offline. This machine gives me all the essentials I need that easily fit into my budget. The quality is actually really great too. You get an HDMI out, USB 3.0, SD card reader and another USB port. The keys are very nicely spaced and they replaced the function bar that you see on a traditional Windows PC with a fully function hot key bar. Minimalism is all about having only what you need. With the Samsung Chromebook, I don't really need anything else!

Let's Take a Vote!

Which Minimalist Item Do You Like the Best?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Lord Metroid 4 years ago

      None of the above seems at all relevant to me.

      The closest I can think of is my slim leather wallet that have lasted for two decades already and probably have another decade or two before it wears out. A present I got from my deceased grandfather, an item I appreciate and use every day.

    • MountainManJake profile image

      MountainManJake 4 years ago from Seattle

      Thanks relawshe! I would rather live small, have a low mortgage and a car that's paid off where I can spend my quality time flying or traveling instead of paying bills the rest of my life! Thanks for the feedback. You can expect new hubs to come next month!

    • relawshe profile image

      Rachel L 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Interesting ideas in this hub about minimalist ideas! I agree with what you're saying about living with less things that may cost a bit more at first, but will last longer, and enjoy their higher quality, and don't just amass more and more material possessions. I'm a fan of the "tiny house" movement, (I've written a hub about it!), and folks who live small also embrace a minimalist but meaningful lifestyle, and they claim to be richer for it. What a great way to live your life!

    • MountainManJake profile image

      MountainManJake 4 years ago from Seattle

      Thanks macteacher! I am glad minimalism is catching on.

    • macteacher profile image

      Wendy Golden 4 years ago from New York

      I like some of your minimalist ideas. I aspire to minimalism but am not quite there yet. I especially like the notebooks and the Chrome Book. I'm kind of attached to the Mac Book Pro - but I would definitely consider a Chrome Book. The price certainly beats anything that Apple is offering. Thanks for a useful hub. :-)