Furniture-Free Extreme Minimalism: How to Live Without Furniture

I know that living without any furniture is pretty extreme. It might even be seen as insanity. But what if I can make it work? What if I can thrive and be happy without many things?

I currently live a Furniture-free Extreme Minimalist lifestyle. I used to live with a few pieces of furniture several years ago but I finally made the decision to let them all go. If you want to see how I am unfolding my journey, feel free to watch my Extreme Minimalist Apartment Tour video.

If you are curious about how Furniture-free living is even possible, I’m here to share all about it.

5 Reasons why you should consider living without furniture

The decision is always up to you. You do not have to force yourself to commit to Extreme Minimalism or a Furniture lifestyle. I accept your unique unfolding without resistance. So you do you! I’m simply here to share my insights.

  • Because this is your home and not a home for your things. Give yourself permission to enjoy the spaciousness of a distraction-free home. Allow yourself to focus on the things you love and live worry-free. 

  • You wholeheartedly deserve a natural chemical-free home. Your body is a temple and it should be nourished and not attacked. You deserve a thorough detox from chemically treated mattresses and furniture. Your home should flow with good energy, free from insecticide and flame-retardant fumes. Of course no one can live 100% chemical-free but what’s wrong with trying your best to be natural?

  • We all need to be more kind to this Earth. Here's a chance for us to give back. We can stop contributing to unsustainable manufacturing and harvesting of natural resources. We can also spread compassion by refusing to buy things made from animals.

  • A furniture-free home allows you to move freely and invite more movement and flow to your daily routine. You can enjoy a peaceful yoga session without bumping into your things. You can also host a group meditation at your home and practice with the community!   

  • Use your precious time, energy, and resource on the things that really matter. You will save valuable time and money when you have to move to a new home. Your budgeting will be in good hands if you don't spend on costly furniture. 

How to get rid of furniture the eco-friendly way

Since you probably own furniture, you might wonder what to do with them. I was wondering the same when I first started my furniture-free journey and I wanted to know if there was a Zero-waste solution. I sold most of mint condition furniture to local buyers using resell apps and websites. The rest were donated to a local charity. You can also ask friends, family, and co-workers if they are interested in pick-ups.

Facebook Marketplace

AptDeco

LetGo

Mercari

Ebay

Goodwill & Salvation Army (donations)

Don't stress about it, do it slow

If you are strongly motivated to transition to a Furniture-free home, I suggest that you take it slow. At one point in your life, you made the decision to buy the things you currently own because you loved the thought of owning it. I want you to revisit those precious thoughts and remind yourself to give appreciation for the things you own. If you feel the urge to discard everything all at once, practice some breathing exercise and self-reflection to release those impulses. Life-changing transformations can never be rushed or forced. 

What to use as an alternative

Bed

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A mattress bed is probably the most space consuming item in your home. As an alternative, you can go for a foldable futon that is both space-saving and lightweight. Keep it folded during the day and use it as a floor cushion or a mini sofa. Try to get certified organic cotton or buckwheat filled futon to avoid chemical flame-retardants and other carcinogenic treatments. I used a futon for several years but found my new love for wall mounted hammock. If you are an outdoorsy person who can be comfortable sleeping in a hammock, I recommend trying one indoors as a bed. Go for organic cotton or other natural materials.

 
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Sofa

If you are wanting to go Furniture-free, prepare yourself for floor sitting. You will most likely spend most of your time sitting on the floor like a Yogini in a meditative pose. Use a runner rug to create a cozy lounge area in the living room. Place the side of the rug in front of a wall so that you can have something to lean on. I recommend getting natural materials like 100% jute, linen, straw, hemp, or bamboo. You can also place zafu cushions and blanket throws on the rug for extra support and maximum coziness.

 
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Chairs

If your satisfied with your sofa that's great but if you want something that can be easily moved around, I recommend getting zafu cushions or rattan floor cushion. I also found this awesome recycled foldable stool that I use when guests are staying. 

 
 

Dining Table

If you have a kitchen counter, you can grab quick bites while standing. But I know you like to enjoy your meal slowly and mindfully. You can practice eating on the floor while sitting on a zafu.

Eating on the floor actually has numerous health benefits including, better digestion and helps with relaxation.

Writing Desk

I use the kitchen counter as a makeshift standing desk but I also like sitting on the floor while working. If you enjoy moving to different spots while working, try a foldable wooden laptop desk. You can easily tuck it away while it is not in use and it is sturdy enough to hold a desktop computer. I am currently using a collapsible floor desk for my shared iMac.

 
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Bookshelf

If you are a book lover and already have a good amount of collection, I recommend using a floating wood shelf. I don't own any hard copy books because I use an ebook reader, but my sister made this shelf using leftover wood plank and a thick jute string. You can also stack your books if that works for you. 

 
 

Drawer

If you have a good amount of storage in your closet, the best way to organize your clothes is to hang them. You can place knickknacks and accessories in recycled shoe boxes or cardboard boxes. I own less than fifteen clothes so I hang my outerwear and neatly fold the rest of my clothes on the bottom of my closet. I ranger-roll underwear, socks, and accessories so I can skip all containers. 

How to be mindful of what you reintroduce 

The purpose of furniture-free living is not to live without anything. I am not trying to pursue a monk-like living. It is about letting go of things that no longer serve you and reintroducing the things that are nourishing. When you are left with little possession, you are forced to be mindful of what you put back into your space. That's why a furniture-free living is a form of extreme minimalism, that can help reset your possessions as well as your way of thinking.It is largely about what comes after the decluttering process.

This is your chance to surround yourself with the things that truly nourish you. 

Ask yourself these questions when you are ready to find an alternative to furniture.

  1. Can I live comfortably and feel abundant with the things I currently have?

  2. I want to buy this thing. Who made it and how was it made? How is the quality? Will it last for a long time? Is it sustainably made? Is the product packaging recyclable?  Is this material natural? Is it non-toxic to my body and to this Earth?

  3. This is not sustainable or ethically made but I really need this to be happy. Am I going to feel guilty and shameful?

  4. Am I being guilt trapped into buying this because someone told me that living without furniture is wrong?

  5. Is it worth my life energy, time, and money?