After the Capsule Wardrobe post last week, I received a dozen emails asking:
“What does a minimalist this look like?”
“What does a minimalist that look like?”
The easiest question to answer first is, What does the inside of a minimalist medicine cabinet look like?
Some of you aren’t old enough to remember the Right Guard deodorant television commercials from when I was growing up. But I assure you, I don’t see another human being when I open my medicine cabinet door!
I don’t know about other minimalists, but here’s what inside my medicine cabinet:
TOP SHELF—LEFT TO RIGHT
- CeraVe AM moisturizer with SPF 30
- CeraVe PM moisturizer with ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid
- Boom! — The one and only makeup item that I use on my cheeks and lips for color
- LaVanila, the healthy deodorant (vanilla/grapefruit)
- LaVanila, the healthy fragrance (vanilla/grapefruit)
- MyChelle sun protection with replenishing solar defense SPF 30 broad spectrum
BOTTOM SHELF—LEFT TO RIGHT
- Toothpaste — Colgate Optic White stain fighter
- Tongue scraper
- Honest face & body lotion
- Hello mouthwash naturally healthy with aloe vera and coconut oil
You might be wondering where Len keeps his stuff. It’s in one of the bathroom vanity drawers. The other drawers contain our shared items (q-tips, floss, cotton balls, band-aids, etc.).
What’s in your medicine cabinet?
We don’t have a medicine cabinet.
We have several first aid kits – one in each of our vehicles, one in each of our packs, and one in the pantry.
There are containers of stuff in the cupboard under the hand basin and the hall cupboard.
My vitamin C and vitamin/mineral supplements are on the kitchen bench.
Neither Ailsa nor I really do minimalist, at anything ! 😉
Ted — Like you, we’re fans of first aid kits. We use a large fishing tackle box to house our main first aid kit (it’s ideal). And then we have a small one we keep in a bathroom drawer, and we each have a small one in the attached pack on our bicycles 🙂
I have minimalist tendencies, but you have me beat! We don’t have a medicine cabinet, so I can’t compare directly, but our bathroom drawers contain comparable items, along with hair brushes, a hand mirror and dental floss.
My question is this: Is your husband also minimalist? In our house, there are often discussions about what to keep and what should go – or not come into the house in the first place.
Arlene — My husband is a “recovering maximalist.” 🤣🤣🤣
I made it abundantly clear 39 years ago that the acquisition of “stuff” is a deal-breaker for me.
I’ll have to keep working on that . . .
Love it! We are staying with my in-laws in France for a few days, but when we get back, I’ll take a photo of myour cabinet in motorhome and share it with you. 👍
Fatima — Ohhhh, I’m looking forward to it. Have fun at your in-laws in France 🙂
Cal Newport in his new book, Digitial Minimalism says, “Minimalism is the art of knowing how much is just enough.”
I LOVE the idea of Minimalism as art…because it’s a process…a refining of our desires. I’m sure you’d agree you didn’t wake up Minimalist one day but evolved over time…and will continue to do so.
My minimalism will look differently than yours…which is beautiful and necessary. I love your posts for inspiration but caution others of comparison. Each journey is unique and takes time and effort. The art of living 💕
Donna — Amen siSTAR! I absolutely agree that each journey is completely and totally different.
I love this quote from Iyanla Vanzant: “Comparison is an act of violence against the self.”
I’ve often seen ads for BOOM, but never known anyone who uses it. It’s working, Laurie, as is your peerless pattern of being “pared down.”
Me? Meds and grooming aids in the medicine cabinet and supplements in the kitchen.
Marian — I’ve used Cindy Joseph’s “Boom” since the first year she came out with it. In my experience, it’s unbeatable.
Like you, we keep our vitamins and minerals in the kitchen cupboard. Thankfully, neither of use takes meds — knock on wood!
Don’t have one. They seem to have gone out of style. My “medicine drawers” have all the ablution basics–razor, shave cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, clippers, hairbrush, contact lens “equipment” and a bunch of other boring things. Wife is in charge of NSAIDs, other medicinal pills, supplements, and prescriptions. She has entire shelves in the linen closet for those things. Plus her own drawers for makeup and other beauty supplies. Always seems like way more than we need, but some items only get used once or twice a year, like cold medicine. Not terribly minimalist. 😦
Chris — But at least you know what you’ve got. You’re drawers and shelves aren’t “catch alls.” 🙂
LOL yeah, we have six or seven other drawers for that stuff. 😉
Chris — 😂😂😂
I don’t have a medicine cabinet but I do have drawers in the vanities where the sinks live. Toothbrushes in a holder on the counter, deodorant and tooth paste in the drawer along with floss. Shower cap, hair brush, hand mirror and manicure set in the other. Moving has a way of making minimalism a desirable philosophy and way of life.
Sandi — You’re absolutely right in that “Moving has a way of making minimalism a dsirable philosoph and way of life.” It could be a bumper sticker! 🙂
I’ve been gradually easing a few things out of my medicine cabinet and vanity drawers. I had lots of small shampoo and conditioner bottles, expired lotions and and ointments, supplements and stuff I tried and now don’t use (like melatonin). I’m beginning to see the bottoms of drawers and open space in the cabinet. I’m working on the kitchen cabinets and drawers as well.
Pat — Woohoo! You go, girl! 👏👏👏
I do not have a medicine cabinet but I have only one each of essentials such as deodorant, shampoo, lipstick, etc. The same in the laundry room and kitchen and it sure makes life more orderly. I’m trying to do the same in my closet, per your suggestions, and I’m getting there.
Rose — My hat is off to YOU 🎩
Looks very neat, Laura. I also use drawers for a few makeups and cabinet for hair stuff.
Amy — It sounds like you’re a woman with a plan 🙂
My reaction is so unexpected, Laurie. There’s a sense of privacy invasion; that’s the best I can come up with. So I’m sitting with that a bit, wanting to understand it better —— as I often do with your posts.
Janet — I respect each of my reader’s opinions. As I do their questions. That’s why I answered the one I received about what my minimalist medicine cabinet looks like.
I apologize that I’ve offended you.
Oh dear. No no. I’m not at all offended. You’ve truly done nothing to warrant an apology, Laurie. In fact, I’M SORRY you got that impression; I wasn’t clear. I’m totally owning my reaction. It’s curious to me. Especially as I read through earlier comments. 🙂
Janet — If you get to the bottom of your reaction, and it’s something you can comfortably share, I’d sure be curious to know.
I don’t want you to see any of my bathroom drawers. 🙂
Shirley — 😂😂😂
After three years of minimalist cleaning and staying organized (due to health issues), I don’t want anybody to see the medicine cabinet, a closet, a drawer, or a corner where cobwebs grow! However, surgery is 3/6/19, and after recovery, look out world!
Sherrey — I’ve made a note of your surgery in my planner and will “Zip you in the Pod” on that day: https://tuesdayswithlaurie.com/2011/03/03/zipped-in-the-pod/
Great post! Love the minimalist movement :))
TwinDollicious — I’m glad this post resonated with you 🙂
My makeup is minimum, but being 80+ I have required eyedrops and pills,
LakeAfton — Yes, indeed.
Hi Laurie. I couldn’t reply again to your reply, so here I am out here in the main margin. You asked “Janet — If you get to the bottom of your reaction, and it’s something you can comfortably share, I’d sure be curious to know.” I always enjoy “getting to the bottom” and have been chewing a bit to see what comes along. First, that word “invasion” is off-putting, written in haste; it’s part of a cliche, anyway. Problematic in so many ways. I wonder if you thought I meant I felt invaded? I didn’t; just the opposite. I felt I had invaded your space. But that was after I had been totally engrossed in seeing what was in there. What makeup did you use? Which moisturizer? Why is that fascinating to me? Why am I even curious? Rhetorical, of course. THEN, I recalled the many movies I’ve seen with scenes where some otherwise sympathetic protagonist wanders into someone’s else’s bathroom and rummages through their medicine cabinet. I ALWAYS have a negative reaction; those protagonists fall from grace at those points. I have no idea where that one comes from, though I do have a combination of Scots Calvinism and Scottish Highlander. It’s a public vs. private issue I’m sure, but why I am so sensitive to it when I skinny dip with abandon, give more TMI stories than is probably polite, and well, ’nuff said. Still curious. Also, rather insignificant in the larger scheme of things. Never hurts to chew on things a bit. They taste better anyway. Thanks for the nudge. Didn’t mean to turn this into a therapy session. 🙂
Janet — And now I know that you “skinny dip with abandon.” Ohhhh, the places our blog posts can take us 🙂
Wow! That’s impressive. 😀
Widdershins — Thank you 🙂
My medicine cabinet is quite orderly and could definitely look “minimalist.” But I’m not admitting anything about the drawers! I am the great saver of ‘bits and bobs.” I hadn’t thought of those “Right Guard” commercials in years. 🙂
Debra — Your drawer comment made me laugh 🙂
I don’t have a medicine cabinet, but I have small hanging shelving units by each sink, and, of course, drawers. All of which get sorted through periodically, but still have too much – partly because I often change my mind about just what I want. Or what I “need”.
Carol — The cool thing is that your drawers get sorted through periodically. That (a) keeps them tidy, and (b) reminds you about what you’ve got in them 🙂
Right guard? Sure, I remember. Even used to use it. Switched to Mennen Speed Stick Regular!
Steven — It appears we’re from a similar era 🙂
Yes, I had long hair like a hippie until I joined the Navy. They sure straightened me out. But you look younger than I. I am 67. Boo. May God bless us and our generation!
Steven — I’m 61. My husband’s 63. He was in the Navy for 20 years. He, too, had long hair before he went in. Now he doesn’t have any 🤣
Oh, I forget how it feels to be so young like you and your husband. So now I keep my hair really short. I heard someone say ‘less is more’. I guess that was probably because they must have been going bald like me, too.
I have no idea I haven’t cleaned it out since we arrived in Wales 🤪 I’m joking , what do you think I am .
Everything but medical things .
Cherry — You make me laugh 🤣
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Sumit Jaitely — Welcome. Thank you for stopping by.
A minimalist “medicine cabinet” content is a must in recently built homes because most bathrooms these days are not built with one included. Everything ends lined up on the counter or dropped into a handy – but small drawer. My “medicine cabinet” is a narrow, decorative glass tray with my and my husband’s essentials laid out there. 😀
MomzillaNC — The narrow, decorative glass tray you use as a medicine cabinet sounds lovely and functional 🙂
Razors, mouthwash, shaving cream, toothpaste, brushes, shampoo………
Sam — Yes, indeed. All of them necessary bathroom staples 🙂