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Favorite Things in my Minimalist Stuff

favorite things - minimalist living - home organizationImage: stay2gether

Usually you don’t here minimalists talking about their favorite things.  Minimalist living and simple living are usually talking about things we don’t need.

… but we still need things.

In fact, some really awesome things make it possible to have less things.

Some things really make life better.  Their value far outweighs their need to be taken care of and picked up.

Since cutting our belongings down to what would fit in 4 carry-ons, 2 suitcases, and a few backpacks we have really narrowed down on what our favorite things are.

… so these are a few of my favorite things.  (raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens... I love kittens)

If I was stranded on a deserted island, these are the 10 things I would want with me … you get the idea…

My Top Ten Favorite Things!

1. KindleKindle - Simple Living - Favorite Minimalist Items

We got a kindle a few years ago when we first simplified and it is on the top of my favorite things list.  We have loved it from the start.  Our first kindle came to a sad end this past fall during our vacation when it got bent in a bag 🙁

However, we haven’t had any trouble with it otherwise.  We googled the closest place to  replace our toy and within a day or two we had all our books on the new kindle.

We got our kindle originally for just books and when we replaced it we just got the base model.  I have heard mixed reviews on the ‘fancier’ kindles and I don’t need ‘bells and whistles’ that might only sometimes work.  Our replacement kindle cost $69 and holds hundreds of books.  Many books we have found and downloaded free or gotten in bundles.  The total price for our library is a huge deal and it all fits in my purse 🙂  Many new books coming out are also cheaper in kindle version or have crazy sales.

This is my favorite Minimalist Living Tool!

2. Water bottleWater Bottle - Simple Living - Favorite Minimalist Items

When I leave the house I grab the kindle and my water bottle.  It seems like a simple thing but it has saved me a lot of money (for both me and the kids needing drinks) as well as helped keep lots of trash out of the dump.  It is one of my favorite things for so many reasons.

Even going out to eat I usually don’t get drinks because I have my water bottle with me.  This can save 1/3 of the cost of a dinner … it is amazing how much drinks can cost.

Not only that, having it around is a good reminder to keep drinking and helps me feel better all day.

3. BackpackBackpack - Simple Living - Favorite Minimalist Items

This thing carries my groceries back from the market, it helps me carry my books to class, and it has been our luggage for weekend trips.  Really… it carries all my other favorite things 🙂

We take this thing everywhere to carry water bottles for the family, snacks and sweaters.  … and TP and hand sanitizer… because the bathrooms here are special.

It is the perfect size, good quality, and has a chest and hip strap to help with heavier loads.  It even is a cool color.  Can’t get better than that!

I also love that this has the side pockets for water bottles.  That way we can access two of them without opening the bag or taking it off.

4. Comfortable jeans (2 pairs)Jeans - Simple Living - Favorite Minimalist Items

If I went into my closet looking for my favorite things by far my favorite and most worn part of my wardrobe is my two pairs of jeans.  I got them both used a few years ago and they have lasted wonderfully.

They can dress up and dress down.  They work in winter with shoes and a sweater.  They work in summer with flip-flops and a sleeve-less top.  I teach in them, I relax on the weekends in them, I travel in them, they don’t get dirty or worn quickly  … I love jeans 🙂

I used to own several pairs before we simplified but I realized I really only wore my favorites most of the time anyways.  I like to have 2 on hand in case one gets dirty or torn, but two seem to be enough for me.

5. Ipad and Jigsaw Puzzle AppIpad and puzzle app - Simple Living - Favorite Minimalist Items

Ever since the ipad came out we have thought it would be a great tool.  I have not been interested in other tablets by other companies because it really seems like the ipad is the best …. sorry to those of you who have other brands.

It is also the most expensive and I never wanted to spend the money.

Then, before we left for China we decided to get one to help with teaching over here.  Before we got here we knew so little about teaching, and we knew nothing about our classes, nothing about the books (which turned out to be no books), and nothing about the classrooms.  We figured if we had the ipad we could at least have that in the classroom for media.  As it turns out our classes are over 40 students and we haven’t used the ipad for them as much as it would be nice to.

But, we did discover the Jigsaw Puzzle App.  This is to puzzles as the kindle is to books.  I love puzzles, but haven’t done many of them since we had kids.  It is hard to leave hundreds of little pieces out for a few days as I work slowly at a picture.  But the puzzle app is so much nicer!  It only goes to 400 pieces but it is clean and easy to pull out and work on whenever.  The kids can do lots of smaller puzzles (you can pick the piece amount and the picture).

Great entertainment, little space, and mental exercise.  It has earned a place on the favorite things list.

6. LaptopLaptop - Simple Living - Favorite Minimalist Items

Probably the real obvious in this list of favorite things… I am not sure I could live without my laptop.  All my communication, my hobby (writing), answers to my every question, the research for teaching, and the price comparing for travel.  It also holds my Rosetta Stone to learn Mandarin 🙂

It easily could suck my life up completely, but I have been limiting it and decided a few weeks ago not to do any work after the kids go to bed.  I love my laptop but don’t want to be connected to it all the time.

7. Sun glassesSunglasses - Simple Living - Favorite Minimalist Items

I got these free with a gift card over a year ago and I love them.  I think I am getting old or wimpy because I hate being out in the sun without my sun glasses.

… and in a pinch they also work as a headband.  Not sure how fashionable it is, but it sure is easy.  It makes them one of my favorite things.

8. LipstickLipstick - Simple Living - Favorite Minimalist Items

I am not someone who spends hours getting ready for the day.  … sometimes I wish I was, but any attempt at ‘dressing for success’ has only lasted 1 day.   My usual beauty routine includes a clean face and Chapstick (and the jeans from above).  On the weekend, or a night out, or when I remember before I head out to teach, I throw on lipstick to give a ‘slightly’ more put together look.

It makes me feel ‘pretty’ and is fun.

Best results for the least work… in my opinion and pretty important in the list of favorite things.  If I get really crazy I pair it with mascara.   There is minimalist make-up 🙂

9. ChocolateDark Chocolate - Simple Living - Favorite Minimalist Items

My vice.  Preferably dark.  This definitely fits into the ‘love’ section of my belongings and not the ‘need’ but I love treating myself to a piece.  I brought quite a bit with me from America to China.

There needs to be at least one food in the list of favorite things.  Eating is pretty fun!

… somehow my husbands photo editing gave me a make-up look.  There are such great perks to having a photographer for a hubby 🙂

10. Flip-FlopsFlip-flops - Simple Living - Favorite Minimalist Items

For .99 cents on end-of-the-season sales where else can you find as the perfect foot wardrobe for about 6 months of the year?

I just started wearing them to teach in now that the classrooms (without air conditioning) are so hot.  So comfortable!

I have never really understood high maintenance foot wear that hurts the feet all day.  Maybe if I was sitting all day instead of standing I could do better.  I much prefer to wear a dressy shirt and flip-flops and hope for an ‘average grade’ of ‘professional enough’.  Can’t live without this item in the favorite things list.

There are my ten!  What are your favorite things?


  1. Kathy Kathy

    My top 10 would be very similar to yours! I have to have about 4 pairs of jeans though because mine get nasty daily from working. I have an iPad mini & I love it! I have the Kindle app for it, and I don’t even use my Kindle any more so I handed that over to my daughter. I’d never heard of the Jigsaw Puzzle app, so I went and got that one–the kids will love it! I am getting better at carrying a water bottle with me. I keep two bottles in the barn and we just keep refilling them all day. I don’t carry it to town or to eat, but most places you can get water with a meal for free around me.

  2. Amy Amy

    It seems to me that having a kindle, iPad, and laptop is a lot of duplication.

    • It would for 1 person. I can see your point. The ipad is probably the least necessary, but the app is really fun when we have free time. We share them around the family 🙂

  3. Brenda Brenda

    I love my kindle too. All the free books are amazing! Miss you all!

    • miss you too! Finished ‘Sparkly Green Earrings’ last weekend 🙂 Super good!

  4. Elizabeth Elizabeth

    This is a great list, Lorilee. I think my kindle, laptop, and phone are my necessities right now (tech wise). Add in a couple of pants or shorts (depending on the weather), a cardigan for chilly nights, and a good pair of comfortable shoes and I’m pretty set to go anywhere!

  5. Sally Sally

    My kindle is one of my absolute favourites as well, I have saved so much paper since I got it because I used to buy new books then give them away. The kindle is cheaper than doing that as well.

    The water bottle is another excellent one, drinks for a family of 4 (us) are quite expensive.

    The only two on your list not on mine would be the flip flops (“thongs” we call them in Australia) which I have never found comfortable (prefer birkenstock slip ons) and the ipad, which we don’t have. I would probably add my handbag, which is recycled denim, very comfortable, and a good size for all my daily needs.

    • birkenstock slip ons would be pretty comfortable too 🙂

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