Minimal Me…Living Without

by Tania Ginoza on January 27, 2013 · 23 comments

I’m an introvert and love to nest, a homebody at heart. My home is my mini castle and it is not unusual for me to spend the whole weekend in. As the years have gone by, my perspective has changed on what is a nice to have and what I can live quite happily without.


Household items, furniture and transportation we deem necessary is dependent on where we live, our lifestyles, the size of our family, our careers and interests. Here’s my list of things I can live without.

Things I used to have but am now living without

  • Dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Landline
  • Cable tv in the bedroom
  • Oven
  • Dining room table
  • Toaster oven
  • Double kitchen sink
  • Bedroom door
  • Double bathroom vanity
  • Bathtub
  • Garage
  • Extra bedroom
  • Dining room table
  • Buffet
  • Coffee table
  • Stereo equipment with a radio and CD player

I line dry my clothes, purchased the Mercedes of dish racks for hand washing, bake in a combo convection/microwave and enjoy my meals on a counter stool at the kitchen island. My very deep but single kitchen sink can accomodate my biggest dish and crockpot but takes up very little valuable counter space. My bathroom is teeny tiny with a small shower because I hated the thought of an area of my home I use for maybe half an hour a day (at the most) taking up too much real estate and cleaning time. My ottoman becomes a little table with the help of a tray. The bedroom is separated from living and dining by a long walk in closet with no doors taking up valuable floor or wall space.

Dryers do fluff up towels and make clothing with stretch bounce back to shape so I do miss having a dryer a little bit but not enough to buy one. I also love looking at pictures of round midcentury tables and sometimes feel a twinge of regret for not giving up a bit of island space to have room for a table, but only for a moment.

Things I have but less of

  • A rice cooker
  • A salad spinner
  • Pretty dishes and glassware
  • An electric kettle
  • Fridge

We often see rice cookers on non-essential lists but in Hawaii steamed rice is a staple for many of the local Asian and Pacific Islander residents who grew up here. Potatoes and bread are eaten occasionally, while rice is served at every house party and almost every meal. Five cups and larger were pretty standard at one time but I’ve downsized to a three cup cooker.  My salad spinner is a smaller version by Oxo and it stacks easily right in my colander for easy storage. If I see a pretty bowl or glass I’d like, I buy just one piece. There is no need for a full matching set of dish ware and there is nothing wrong with drinking sparkling water out of a gorgeous wine glass. While I do miss my large Tiger airpot, my smaller scaled kettle is working just fine. My fridge is not quite as narrow as an apartment fridge but is a bit smaller than most.

I’m not a minimalist or even frugal by any means and still have way too many clothes, accessories and lunch bags (don’t ask, you don’t want to know) but as I wrote out this list, I was surprised at how many things I have easily learned to live without.

What items have you lived without?

On my FB page, I asked my friends what household items they have lived or are living without and the most common item was a microwave. My fellow Mauians also mentioned dryers. Landlines, electric can openers, tv and coffee tables were also on the list. Many felt the dishwasher was a keeper.

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