simple living

examples and inspiration



low-height cartons or boxes of different sizes. special places for objects that are needed frequently and rarely

boxes in shelves

lightweight shelves that are quick to assemble without tools. there are cheap shelves with only two different types of parts that are sticked together and they can be surprisingly strong

velcro band cut to custom lengths for cables


for one person: air mattress. add a bit of air every month. can feel comfortable and even pretty similar to a foam mattress, but cant get dirty as much and is much lighter, easy to carry, easy to throw out and replace if needed, cheaper ($25), doesnt need a frame (can be moved out of the way)

other options are sleeping mats for camping plus typical bedding sheets or sleeping bags or sleeping linen (a blanket to be used inside sleeping bags)

microfibre to avoid dust particles in the room


vacuum: compact, one that is easy to handle, corded or battery driven. vacuum technique: straight lines changing direction at the end. check with a flashlight the dirt that is left

for hard floors: a compact flat or rag mop, no fancy stuff. for large spaces check out professional gear that is used for cleaning schools or something. mopping uses water to solve and loosen dirt that the vacuum can not get. always vacuum before mopping. technique: prepare two containers, one with clean water and one empty for dirty water. wet the floor to let dirt mix with the water, then mop over it to loosen it and soak up the dirty water, then release the water into the dirt water container and repeat until the floor is dry enough



camping equipment is generally a lightweight option

dishes: clear steel is very light and robust. glass is more scratch resistant than ceramic

cups: opal glas has a bright translucent white and is more robust than porcelain and doesnt affect the taste and practically doesnt degrade, like ceramic. enamelled steel can be good as well.


for silence: water-ammonia absorption refrigerator, often marketed to hotels as mini bar fridge. they are absolutely silent, not even bubbling, electricity hum or anything. energy requirment is ok. can be used in small apartments to not have the noise of a compressor in the room. there are also peltier/electricity based refrigerators which use much (3x) more energy and sometimes have a fan


mobile induction hotplate: cheap, light and mobile. no installation or special power connectors required. induction is more energy efficient and does not leave a glowing hot area

mini oven: not microwave/oven combination, which are much more expensive, heavy and much less effective. put aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven or otherwise food crumbs will burn in and it either needs regular cleaning or the stains can never be really removed


bag holder stands for big plastic bags. may seem ugly to some, but they collect a lot of trash before having to empty them and need little cleaning. eventually smaller bags that are emptied more frequently for some types of trash


synthetic materials

temperature control, resistant, less effort required to clean, quick drying, no ironing required, stretch materials ease movement, generate almost no dust, lightweight even when wet, cloth-eating insects hate it


most clothes like pants and shirts can be rolled up, which requires the least amount of space, is easy to sort in and take out (easier than for example clothes hangers) and is easy to find pieces when searching through clothes. this technique also works well for packing a suitcase

separate places for clothes that are needed frequently and rarely or for different situations

clothes stored in unstacked boxes, perhaps even old shipping cartons which is extra cheap, in a shelf. clothes can be accessed and sorted in quicker than with other methods and it takes minimum space. sealing plastic boxes can be used to protect from humidity, dust, smells or insects


neoprene shoes (aquashoes, watersport): light, water resistant on the full surface, easy to clean, no shoelaces or velcro (both which offers surface for dirt to collect), stretch material, flexible and thick-enough sole, good grip and natural feel, very cheap. downsides: no protection for if anything falls on the feet, might wear down quicker


drying clothes without a dryer can work in 1-3 days and save the considerable electricity costs of using a dryer



exercise is important for keeping up the efficiency and strength of the heart, lungs, blood flow and many other parts of the system. less breathing is required even when resting or with less air in the environment, movement and good posture becomes easier, bone structure hardens. within limits, trained bodies are healthier than untrained bodies and aid a longer live, there is a lot of evidence for that

"what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable"

powder food

like soylent, plenny

at least potentially/eventually optimal nutrition, if not often then at least sometimes to make sure of getting all vitamins since it contains all. it works: many people are already using it to replace most meals

no other type of food has a comparable combination of optimum nutrition, space saving, low price, simple and fast preparation, never be hungry because having meals available is easy, quick consumption and long shelf-life (a year or more)

makes almost all kitchen appliances unnecessary (fridge, freezer, stove, microwave, blender, ...)

lower detrimental environmental effects than other foods (trash, transport, ...)


easy to forget. feeling thirsty means it is already too late


avoid bad air quality. emissions of coal power plants, neighbors burning wood for heating and industry emissions are significant killers. and do not smoke unless you know about the risks and accept it as the kind of slow suicide it is. dont smoke marihuana but use vaporisation or baking. the dangerous effects that smoking has on health are established beyond reasonable doubt. five million people world wide, more than six times as many as from other types of suicide, die from direct consequences of a smoking habit each year (who, 2016)

take a strong flashlight, darken the room, turn on the flashlight, what is floating in the air - lots of dust? is it everywhere in the room? that is what you are breathing. is that bad? might be. fine dust particulates are known to create lung cancer (any residues from combustion, exhaust, asbestos, textile dust)

if you spend a lot of time inside, an air purifier device effectively removes dust from the air. they are currently quite expensive unfortunately

air rooms by opening windows for a short period of time a few times a day, for a quick gas exchange without cooling down the building substance too much, which takes much energy to warm up again. this removes co2 build-ups and excessive humidity, which promotes mold growth


tower computers or mini-pcs have benefits in extendability and replacable parts. the parts are more widely available and easier to replace. laptops might not last as long and if one part breaks, like just a fan, the part might be irreplacable or hard to get and it might be easier to buy a complete new laptop

for tower computers

front accessible drive exchange cages. useful for inserting harddrives to make backups. uses a fast sata connection without requiring special usb cases and cables for each drive. hard drives do fail, and if they do then often without warning, your drive could fail right now, so make backups if there is anything on it you care not to loose

prefer passive cooling components or large fans and ssd drives to ideally have no noise emissions. i get the best cooling with a single big fan in the case which is at the top of the case, blowing upwards, right above the cpu cooler

black isolation tape to cover leds


ergonomical chair

get a good chair in case you spend much time sitting. a chair molds the body. good chairs can cost 300 euro or more but they usually last a long time (10y or more)

monitor desk mount

for external monitors, a metal arm to reversibly attach to the table and monitor. up to 30 euro. the monitor must be compatible with "vesa" screw holes, which many are. takes very little space on the table, perhaps 6 square centimeters, and can offer a maximum of ergonomic flexibility, the monitor can be rotated out of the way if needed and it cant fall over


enough external backup harddrives to have at least two extra backups of all data you would not want to have lost. mix flash storage, magnetic storage and optical mediums like m-discs if possible

there are mice that make less audible clicking noises. "silent mouse"

typical keyboards are excessively big with lots of unnecessary keys but smaller ones are available. fewer keys means easier to clean

the standard qwerty key layout is not the most efficient, you might want to try the qgmlwb layout or use the more common colemak layout. see carpalx for more information. i used dvorak for several years before i switched to qgmlwb and given that qgmlwb is more colemak like, i would probably recommend colemak. the less obscure the layout is the better, because using an uncommon layout has downsides when being on computers of other people or for on-site coding challenges for job interviews


audio hardware

use headphones with a flat frequency response and no sound coloration, so the sound sources can as much as possible control how it sounds, without a fixed standard distortion build into headphones. etymotic and akg may be good brands for this. noise insulating in-ear headphones are available that are like actual earplugs, and protect from interferring noises from the environment

speakers are better at producing low frequencies, but room configuration, materials, placement and position in front of the speakers have great influence on the sound that is heared. i find speakers impractical since the room reflections add a significant room dependent standard distortion that can be changed little. and loud music can easily annoy neighbors, especially subwoofers

external sound card, or a dac (digital to analog converter, basically a sound card) and headphone amplifier combination (may be built in). sound cards can make a huge sound difference. audio equipment can be very expensive, a dac can easily cost between 50 and 10000 euro. quality is influenced for example by a combination of resolution (how much can be reproduced at the same time and how clearly), dynamics (how quickly it can change frequencies without slurring so to say) and frequency response (if x goes in how distorted does it come out). as a sound enthusiast i would buy in a 500 to "what you can afford" range, it is a matter of priority


when outside and it is or might be raining, a zip-lock bag with a tissue inside for electronical devices. things like smartphones can sometimes break with a single drop of water and the tissue inside is important for when water unfortunately does enter the bag (if that happens it can pool but a tissue works against that)



steel doors for outside facing doors with a lock bar behind them for high security. but it may also make it harder to get out

doors can have the same color as the wall to not stand out from the rest of the room distractingly


daylight energy saving light bulbs with a high color reproduction index (cri). led lights are currently not necessarily good at color reproduction but also work. daylight white could be what you prefer, as it is just similar to daylight from a window or something. a spherical white chinese lantern creates a nice diffusion in all directions but a simple table stand light illuminates the room well enough, is mobile, and the lighting direction can be easily changed or the bulb exchanged if different light characteristics are desired. i have a collection of bulbs that i change based on needs

id card locks

the benefit of id cards is that if anyone looses the card, it can be deactivated. traditional keys can usually not be invalidated, the lock has to be changed, and everyone has to get a new key. id card system also cant usually be lockpicked, but maybe they could be hacked

fingerprint locks require the registration of the fingers first and might not be as secure because the system can be fooled. also you would not want to have people looking to get your fingers

change locks if you move somewhere new, who knows who still has keys to the old locks



tiled walls and floors. enamelled tiles are best for easy cleaning. practically no mold ever growing there, which can be an issue with other wall cover types. and it is extremely easy to clean and extremely durable

wallpapers are very easily discolorated by mere contact with other objects, for example furniture, and damage easily in general. tiles do not have this problem as much. wallpapers are a hassle to put on and remove, and have to be replaced and repainted regularly and can grow mold easily for example just if the room is left for a long time and not heated. and they never look as clean as stone. appropriately sized tiles last for a very long time without maintenance. too small tiles, like in mosaics, come off easier and are uneven and too big tiles may break

tile gaps in the color of the tiles and as small as possible. using big gaps is a traditional style choice but not necessary. the gaps are less mold resistant and much harder to clean. they soak in liquids. also, wide gaps make it look non-uniform and gives the areas a distracting, never quite clean and comfortable look

if not tiles are used, wallpapers can be avoided by painting the bare wall with a special grounding and paint (water based for example)

floor heating

if the failure rates can be kept low, floor heating should theoretically give the most even heating from the lowest coldest area in the room, the bottom, upwards to where naturally rising warm air collects over the full room area


for big windows eventually matte adhesive foil instead of curtains, because they do not need any attachments on the wall or regular washing and save space that would be lost by having a curtain in front of the window (with some distance to it usually)


short distances less that roughly 8km

use a bicycle. it can be cheap bicycle unless you want to use it for competitive sports. the bike should be relatively light, below 20kg if possible. cheaper bikes are better in many cases since bikes are difficult to secure and inexpensive bikes are as not much of a loss, or win to a thief, if they are stolen. expensive bikes are not necessarily better. i have a 50? and a 2000? bike, and actually, the 50? bike is just as good for almost everything i do (daily commute and shopping for example)

a bicycle is typically a lot cheaper in recurring costs compared to cars (~150-300?/month). parts are way cheaper than parts for cars and maintenance is relatively simple (just clean, oil, replace brake wires/pads, chains or tyres each year or so). but maintenance can still be a chore if the parts arent right: get a bike with common and cheap standard parts (short straight handlebar with standard diameter, special textile tape or insulating tape for grip, stepless gear levers rarely need adjustment and have a simpler design)

longer distances


a train/bicycle combination might be possible

a bicycle with electric assist, called pedelec. note that above a certain speed they might require insurance and a numberplate


electric cars have much fewer parts than other cars and require less maintenance

small cars need less fuel and are easier to maneuver into parking spaces or in the city in general. brands that come to mind are "smart" and "tesla". note how two smart cars can park horizontally to the street where only one standard size car would fit vertically

automatic transmission is way simpler to learn and use. i typically see even long-time drivers making transmission errors, even stalling the car, so what is the point of that. modern automatic transmissions can nowadays be more fuel efficient

avoid leather seats because cows have to be raised with lots of water/feed/antibiotics and killed for that

income and costs

keep recurring costs to a minimum. besides accumulating over time, recurring costs make it harder to settle one-time payments. they reduce financial agility for reacting to unexpected events that need change with the use of money, as well as the ability to save and invest

ask providers to pay contracts half-yearly or yearly instead of in small sums each month. cleans up the bank statement and is easier to calculate with

save money. money attracts money. the more you have, the more you can get. also keep some to be prepared for unexpected payments, for example for moving to another place, replacements for important electronic devices when they fail, car, et cetera. you do not want to go bankrupt

ideally, do not make any debt ever. the worst that can happen without debt is that one is without money, compared to having debt, which is having less than nothing

have an absolute minimum number of contracts with minimum required duration. contracts are dependencies that almost always take effort to get out of and to manage, and are often difficult or impossible to get out of exactly when you want to. if living conditions change, they might be in the way. for example, you might have an internet provider subscription with a minimum term of 24 months, but after 6 months of service a new provider enters the market that is faster and cheaper. or say you have rented an apartment for 12 months, because you thought you would definitely need it while studying, but then after three months the life situation suddenly changes and you want to move somewhere else


learn english and use it preferably. the more people can use language to understand each other the better. language is isolating and is a strong hindrance for understanding the state of other cultures. a language that only 5% of people in the world speak is probably not likely to become the language we all switch over to

for programming, scheme is the most useful, most minimalistic language


pop-up tents build up almost completely by themselves in seconds and are packed back together in seconds

earplugs for silence at day and night

add haptical or visual markers where useful. for example just a piece of tape, maybe colored, maybe phosphorescent (glow in the dark), so you can see where objects are in the dark

if you are ok with taking drugs, research modafinil. it is milder than caffeine while being as or more effective, non-addictive, and can be useful some days

bic cristal pens are cheap and their hexagonal shape gives them some grip

tags: start q1 document guide organisation minimalism life textual