At its core, minimalism is all about getting rid of the things that you don't need (and didn't even like that much in the first place) in order to thrive with just the essentials. And that's a mentality you can probably get on board with—even if the thought of downsizing your home or living with 100 possessions doesn't quite do it for you.
Although it may seem like just another unattainable buzzword, items that have a ton of utility make this low-stress lifestyle easy. We asked around to bring you the multipurpose essentials that every aspiring minimalist needs. Try swapping them in and see how it feels to live a little simpler. Who knows, you may be building a capsule wardrobe and totally clearing out your storage unit in no time.
What if I told you that it's possible to replace your entire cleaning cabinet with one washcloth? No, seriously. "I'll use mine to do everything from sanitize my kitchen before cooking to sweeping the floor after I have guests over for dinner parties," says mbg's senior food editor, Liz Moody, who is sure to thoroughly wash between uses. The secret of the E-Cloth lies in its teeny tiny microfibers that are designed to trap bacteria without any chemicals. Just add water and get ready to take on your entire house. E-Cloth Starter Pack ($24.86 for 5)
2. Davines hair & body wash.
Gone are the days when two-in-one body products were synonymous with the questionable Axe in your boyfriend's shower. This elevated scrub does double duty to cleanse your hair and body in a wave of camellia and apple goodness. It's perfect for traveling or cutting down on shelf space in your shower. Pair it with a double duty lip and cheek stain like this one from W3ll People and you're good to go. Davines Su Hair & Body Wash (from $11)
3. Apple cider vinegar.
ACV is the golden child of the wellness world—a show-off product that has a million and one uses in everything from food to beauty and back. After a quick survey around mbg, I learned that we use ACV as a hair treatment, fruit fly exterminator, armpit detox, and broke-girl kombucha. One bottle, infinite possibilities. Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (from $5)
4. 20 Mule Team Borax.
The founder of New Minimalism, Cary Fortin, swears by this natural laundry brightener, stain remover, and all-around household cleanser. "It works magic on kitchen and bathroom problems like soap scum, rust stains, and mineral scales," she says. "You just sprinkle some on the problem surface, use a scrubbing pad or sponge to scrub it in for a few seconds and then rinse it off with warm water." Sold! 20 Mule Team Detergent Booster Borax (Starting at $12)
5. The Light Phone.
This no-frills phone is a little pricier and more of a commitment, but if you're trying to cut excess and distraction out of your life, it's a great thing to work up to. You can forward your calls to the sleek, palm-size device, but there's no texting or apps allowed. I used one on my morning commute for a few days last week and it helped me stay present as I eased into my day. I replaced my normal Instagram scroll and email catchup with a quick gratitude practice and rolled up to work feeling restored and optimistic. The Light Phone ($150)
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