My path to minimalism

My path to minimalism, if I ever pin it down to my stuff, makes me realize that there was never really a plan. That would also have been too top heavy for me. I saw what does me good and just tried it out.

In the beginning was my furniture, followed by kitchen equipment, digital equipment, clothing.


View into the living room with pedestals and futon on the left, straight ahead in front of the window a table with 2 chairs, on the right rudimentary chair and desk recognizable

There was some back and forth – with the result that I actually need much less than I thought I did. Two small wooden cabinets were unnecessary. The 35cm deep cupboards used as closet are disposed of. Mispurchases were sofa and dresser. The two small pedestals, which I can use as a bed, armchair and sofa, have proved their worth. A folding futon serves me as an armchair and guest bed. My futon for sleeping I have some months ago because of my split 5. Lumbar arch, swapped for a Kapok folding mattress. This is harder than the futon and helps me to be even more stable at night.


Kitchenette with sink on the left, a hot plate and a drawer cabinet on which an espresso maker sits

It’s just there and limited to the bare essentials. I cook, but out of necessity, not passion. It bothers me a little that everything that belongs in the area of cooking, washing and cleaning, even with minimalist equipment is quite dingeintensive by my standards. It’s not just pots and co., but also supplies for washing, cooking, cleaning. Also there I do not have so much. But one thing leads to another.

Finding the right refrigerator was a disaster. Built-in refrigerator was nonsense and too big. The free standing refrigerator was smaller, but still too big and qualitatively a failure. My mini cooler with ca. 45 liter is now really classy and sits in the closet. Otherwise, I look to cut out as much as possible, especially if it’s equipment that requires electricity. At the end of 2016, for example, I decided not to buy a new hand mixer until I actually need it. So far this was not the case, so I have so far also no.


I really “tinkered” with this for several years. I have been using the combo of pants, T-shirt/long-sleeved shirt and jacket for a while now. But the colors… I love green, now and then it may also be dark red. I used to buy mostly from Trigema, but they hardly have any green left in the range. The thing that I have in sog. fairer and organic clothes I bought was frighteningly quick. Green shirts I got then nevertheless somehow still. But finding suitable jackets was very difficult. So at some point I decided to use the easily available colors black-grey-white for the jackets as well. That de-stresses. A simple solution, but it actually took me years to get to this point.

2 open drawers with file folders and some office paraphernalia

Sorting out was rather unspectacular here. I look through my papers and documents every now and then to see if there is anything in them that can get away. In the meantime, I have only one (narrow) file folder and one quick binder with documents. There is a basic stock of pens etc., only the bare necessities. It’s enough, I’m doing fine.

Update 16.2.20: Since I was asked about minimizing papers: I dispose of papers as soon as the retention periods have expired. Here, too, the following applies to me: I don’t need to keep receipts for things I don’t own ?

Digital devices

The special hearing impaired cell phones were gone in a fairly short period of time. I went back to the apple phone I bought used after a few tries with Windows and Android phones. I still hear relatively best with these, these devices are also hearing aid compatible throughout. Quite practical is the phone call via a messenger, because the voice quality is much better here – even more ideal is video telephony resp. Video chat. By the way, I have never bought such an apple cell phone new. There are some Internet retailers that check used equipment through and sell it with a 1-year warranty. This is more sustainable for the environment and your wallet. Tablet instead of laptop (or. Desktop computer) still works very well after now about 7 months.

Other consumer electronics I do not have. I do not miss it either. I was already 47 years old when I first ever got beyond the usual three public antenna television programs. And even until then, I only ever had a TV set in phases, initially still wondering whether a black-and-white set wasn’t enough and whether it had to be “color TV” at all. ? I have nothing to do with all the nice and darn streaming offers. D.h., the entertainment mega-consumption is still a bit foreign to me – fortunately.

When recently at work discussions and excitement arose about how private cars are insured during business trips, I could sit back and relax. I don’t own a private car, and we have company cars that we can use for our business appointments outside the office. However, company cars do not include private use. So that means an extra walk or two to and from work. But this way I get some physical exercise right away and can save the treadmill at the gym. In addition, I save the costs for the car, the car insurance, the search for a parking space, scraping the windows free in winter, the workshop appointments, the Ruhr area traffic jams and especially a lot of nerves and excitement.

My path to minimalism: just do it

In summary, my path to minimalism has been one of trial and experimentation. Just do it – long thinking sometimes, but not always, leads to action and thus to results. Just get started, it’s worth it. At the end of the day, I don’t care how few or how many things it is. I am interested in the simplicity and stress reduction that comes with it. And that’s where it’s especially worthwhile to really keep taking a close look at whether things are really making your life easier, or perhaps just serving your own superficial convenience. Maybe it’s frustration shopping, status symbol, habit or something else.