Alexander Fufaev
My name is Alexander FufaeV and here I write about:

My Path to Advanced Minimalism

Minimalist body care

February 2023. Every small minimalist change granted me more independence, money, and time, which I began to feel drastically over time. This increased quality of life, this feeling of happiness with every item I got rid of, made me almost addicted to freeing myself from my possessions further.

Just two days after sleeping on the thick mattress and slatted frame, I realized that my fear of mold forming under the mattress was unfounded. I could simply lean the mattress against the wall once a month and air out the underside. By eliminating this concern and selling the slatted frame, I could no longer store anything under the bed. Dust also stopped accumulating under the bed because the mattress was directly on the floor.

Several weeks later, I went a step further and decided to replace my thirty-centimeter thick spring mattress with an eight-centimeter thick foam mattress that could even be folded into a one-square-meter cube and was much easier to move around the room. When the delivery person handed me the cube at the door, I was amazed at how light my new bed was.

I didn't sell the old mattress yet, but left it leaning against the wall in the room, in case I didn't like the new sleeping experience. And it was indeed a completely different sleeping experience. It was noticeably firmer. But as I knew from the advanced minimalists: I had to give the new sleeping place some time and get used to it. And it worked: after eight nights on the new mattress, with my mattress topper for added softness, I got so used to the new firmness that I didn't want a softer mattress anymore. Therefore, in the next few days, I sold my spring mattress to a young woman via eBay Classifieds.

My big, thick pillow seemed exaggerated on the thin mattress, so I replaced it next with a smaller, flatter pillow that was only half the size. I also ordered two black pillowcases. I had looked closer into the healthiest material for pillowcases and decided on satin. This material supposedly withdraws less moisture from the skin. That was the main reason for my choice, as I often suffered from dry facial skin. I hoped that the satin material would counteract this problem. I also extensively researched the choice of color and decided to buy black pillowcases. Dark colors are relaxing and promote restful sleep.

After a few days of adjustment, I realized that the decision for a flat pillow was one of the best changes recently. This helped me eliminate my occasional neck pain upon waking up.

For my bed, I also had three duvet covers and three fitted sheets. I thought that two sets should suffice - one for use and one for changing. And it turned out that it did. So, I reduced the number of bed linen sets to exactly two.

My three-door BRIMNES wardrobe from IKEA was noticeably emptier after the decluttering session. Only two of the five shelves next to the clothes rail were still in use. A basket with my belts, bow ties, ties, and an umbrella sat on one shelf, and on the other shelf lay the bed linen.

The emptiness in my closet prompted me to sell it and instead acquire a compact clothes rail with two small shelves underneath with the money. Out of pure curiosity, I assembled the clothes rail without tools, using only a kitchen knife. That prompted me to sell my toolbox. I rarely used the toolbox and decided to borrow tools from neighbors, family, or the hardware store in the future. "That will also help me train my social skills," I thought.

Two of my favorite pants were slightly loose at the waist and constantly slipping down. To solve this annoying problem, I went to the tailor at Kröpcke and had both pants adjusted for forty euros. Although I hesitated at first because I didn't want to spend so much money on adjustments, which cost more than the pants themselves, the investment paid off. I even liked the pants better after the adjustment. It was amazing how a small change gave me more confidence when strolling through the city with perfectly fitting pants.

The colorful bow ties and ties could only be worn with the remaining white shirt. However, none of the bow ties and ties really matched, and after careful consideration, they didn't really fit my style either. Although I wanted to stand out with them, I felt uncomfortable wearing them in everyday life. I only kept a black bow tie to wear for festive occasions.

The two belts had also become unnecessary as my pants held up well without them. All that remained was the umbrella. After some thought, I realized that I didn't really need it anymore since I had a rain jacket that left me with both hands free and didn't attract attention like an umbrella. So, I decided to give away the entire basket on eBay Classifieds.

Since I only had one monitor, I replaced my desk with a shorter and much lighter table. It had black metallic legs and a beautiful dark wood top. To assemble it, I only had to screw in the legs.

The external speakers along with the accompanying subwoofer caused an unsightly tangle of cables under the new table, visible from every angle in the room. I tried out the built-in speakers of my monitor and found that they didn't sound much worse and were perfectly sufficient for me. Therefore, I immediately put the external speakers up for sale.

I also thought about my smartwatch, which I wore daily and charged on the table in the evening. I had learned to ask myself whether a daily use item actually enriched or rather burdened my life. I also asked myself this question in the case of the smartwatch. What did I use it for? To occasionally collect my sleep data and check the time, both of which I could just as easily do on my phone. On the other hand, I always had to put it on and take it off, charge it, update it, and adjust it. When I worked on the laptop for extended periods, the band pressed against my arm on the table and felt uncomfortable. Although I had turned off notifications, the watch occasionally vibrated anyway when it needed to be restarted for an update or the battery was almost empty. In a documentary on YouTube, I watched an experiment on how the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radiation from the smartwatch affected sleep. And indeed, the radiation can affect sleep. This careful consideration of the disadvantages of the smartwatch led me to sell it.

I also replaced my wireless keyboard and mouse. I sold both and used the money to buy a keyboard without a numeric keypad, giving me more space on the compact table and making it easier to transport in my backpack. At MediaMarkt, I chose a wireless mouse with almost silent clicks. This way, I wanted to distract people in the library less with my mouse. But the loud clicks also bothered me a lot.

I owned two pairs of in-ear headphones: wired headphones and wireless Bluetooth headphones. I mainly used the wired in-ear headphones to edit YouTube videos. However, I encountered several problems with wireless headphones that did not occur with wired headphones. The first problem was the Bluetooth radiation to which I was constantly exposed directly on my head. This probably led to frequent headaches when I wore them for a long time. The second problem was the uninterrupted input. With wireless headphones, it was very easy and convenient to listen to music on the go or to consume a podcast on the train. I wanted to create the opportunity to be alone with my thoughts to generate new brilliant ideas or process what I had learned. The third problem was an ear infection I got from wearing the in-ear headphones for a long time. All these problems disappeared after I sold the Bluetooth headphones and used wired headphones only for video editing.

I set aside my large mouse pad with a universe cover, which also served as a base for the keyboard, for a few days to see if I could do without it - just like I worked in the library or cafes without a mouse pad. To reduce friction on the surface and have fewer annoying crumbs under the mouse, I increased the cursor speed. So, even a small movement of the mouse resulted in a quick movement of the cursor. After a few days, I had gotten used to working without a mouse pad and sold it through classified ads.

I was able to sell my air purifier to Jule. She had pollen allergies and asked me at karate how well such an air purifier worked against pollen. I suggested she buy mine and try it out, which she did.

With the money I earned from selling technology and clothing, I replaced my broken backpack with a high-quality, waterproof black backpack without a huge no-name logo. While I couldn't avoid a small logo on the new backpack, when I was in Borsum, I painted over it with a black permanent marker.

I replaced my yellow 750ml water bottle, which I once received from Jule for my birthday, and my large light green 500ml thermos mug with a dark gray 500ml thermos mug engraved with my name. So, I only had one container instead of two in which I could store both hot and cold drinks, which also looked damn chic and unique.

In the bathroom, I replaced my plastic razor with expensive razor blades with a safety razor. After several unsuccessful attempts to shave my soaped neck with the safety razor, which ended in a veritable bloodbath, I decided to switch back to my razor and give away the safety razor.

Furthermore, in the bathroom, I replaced my electric toothbrush with a manual toothbrush from the cabinet, which I had only used once to polish my shoes, and learned a technique from YouTube on how to brush my teeth as effectively with a manual toothbrush as with an electric toothbrush. So, I never had to recharge my toothbrush again, which I sometimes forgot and therefore didn't brush my teeth. This also eliminated a charger in the bathroom cabinet.

In the mornings after waking up, I often noticed a very white tongue and a dry mouth. When I realized that my tongue was less coated in the mornings when I didn't use the antibacterial mouthwash, I decided to dispose of it and not buy it anymore.

The first time I went to the zero-waste store in the Südstadt, I bought a small glass jar and filled it with the unpackaged toothpaste tablets that were also sold there. I always wanted to try toothpaste tablets as an alternative to toothpaste, especially because they contain no preservatives and are completely unpackaged. You simply take a tablet in your mouth, chew it until it foams with saliva, and then brush your teeth.

There were toothpaste tablets with and without fluoride. Although fluoride was recommended by most doctors, there were still educated people with healthy teeth who were against it. And healthy teeth were the reason why I trusted them. Out of curiosity, I decided to try toothpaste tablets without fluoride to see how my teeth would change over time.

In the zero-waste store, I also bought baking soda and citric acid, which I wanted to try for cleaning. According to a minimalist on YouTube, these two household remedies are sufficient to clean the entire apartment - from the toilet to the sink to the windows.

Life Upgrades:

  1. My sleeping place doesn't need a slatted frame. I sleep just as well on the mattress directly on the floor. After getting used to sleeping on the floor, I reduced the thickness of the mattress from 30 centimeters to 8 centimeters. This made my bed much easier to transport, stow away, and move around the room.
  2. I replaced my wardrobe with a clothes rail. This saves me the complicated dismantling and assembly of the wardrobe when moving and saves a lot of space in the room. If the clothes rail were to break in the future, it would be much cheaper to replace than a wardrobe. Furthermore, a clothes rail requires fewer resources to manufacture than a wardrobe.
  3. I no longer own any tools. I can loosen or tighten most Phillips screws with a knife. If I need special tools, I ask the neighbors, my family, or borrow them from the hardware store. This promotes social cohesion in society and allows me to improve my skills in dealing with other people.
  4. I reduced the number of towels and bedding sets to two each - one for use and one for change.
  5. I always prefer a compact desk without drawers that is easy to disassemble. This makes moving to a new apartment easier, faster, and cheaper. Having no drawers also means nothing I could store or accumulate there.
  6. I no longer own an umbrella. Instead, I use my rain jacket, which is more versatile. It not only protects against rain but also against wind and allows me to have both hands free. And with it, I can't accidentally poke anyone in the eye while strolling around the city.
  7. I no longer own any belts, neither as accessories nor as trouser holders. Instead, I have my pants perfectly tailored to my body by the tailor, so they fit perfectly without a belt and don't slip. Comfortable, well-fitting clothing has a positive impact on my self-confidence.
  8. I always prefer built-in speakers instead of external ones to avoid a lot of cable clutter.
  9. I don't use a smartwatch (or a regular wristwatch). It only adds extra worry to my life because it needs to be charged, updated, and set. It also floods my head with unnecessary information, distracts my attention in company and during work. Furthermore, Bluetooth and WLAN radiation negatively affect sleep. Instead of enriching my life, it burdens it.
  10. I prefer a wireless keyboard without a numeric keypad to have more space on the table and to make it easier to take with me, and a wireless mouse with very quiet clicks, so that neither me nor others are distracted when I work, for example, in the library or in a café.
  11. I no longer use wireless in-ear headphones for three reasons. Firstly, I want to avoid constant radiation directly on my head. Secondly, wireless headphones are much easier to wear on the go, which makes me more inclined to clutter my brain with more inputs. And thirdly: Regularly wearing the headphones gives me itchy ears. This itching, combined with moisture buildup in the ear, has led to an ear infection for me because I repeatedly forget to clean the headphones regularly.
  12. I don't need a mouse pad. To reduce friction on the surface, I increased the cursor speed of the mouse.
  13. I don't have a water bottle, but only a thermos mug that is suitable for both cold and hot drinks.
  14. I no longer use an electric toothbrush. Instead, I use a manual toothbrush with which I can brush my teeth just as effectively. This eliminates the need to regularly recharge the toothbrush, and I have one less charger, which contributes to cable clutter.
  15. I no longer use (antibacterial) mouthwash. Why? So that my tongue is not so white in the morning. But that's not the only reason. Many mouthwashes are sold in plastic bottles, which leads to additional plastic waste. In addition, many mouthwashes contain questionable chemicals, artificial flavors, and dyes that I want to avoid. Besides, I save a bit of money and space in the cabinet. Occasionally (e.g., in the morning), I rinse my mouth with baking soda to eliminate bad breath.