9 Minimalist Hobbies For Everyday People

I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to become a minimalist. It’s been a lifelong journey. Along the way, I’ve found several hobbies that fit the minimalist lifestyle. Minimalist hobbies are everyday hobbies. You don’t have to practice minimalism to choose simple hobbies.

medium_1698086365 Minimalist Hobbies - Photo of man in wide open playing violin
Photo Credit

I’ve had many friends over the years. I love all my friends, but some have had very non-minimalist hobbies: Hobbies that are less friendly to the Earth. Motorboats, jet skis, motorcycles, four-wheelers and race cars might be fun, but they’re killing the environment.

Maximalist Hobbies Leave A Bigger Footprint

When I first posted The 10 Step Challenge To Simple Living, a Facebook follower said, “I like your list, but I would replace music with photography.” My response was that I thought that was a great idea. So I decided to post a second post for #8 of the 10 Step Challenge.

Minimalist hobbies require little equipment. They’re hobbies that are easily mobile. They’re hobbies that are friendlier to the Earth than many alternatives.

Let’s Explore 9 Minimalist Hobbies

  1. Music: Music is my favorite. I play a variety of instruments. I’ve slowly moved toward smaller instruments. My favorites are harmonica, mandolin, ukulele and concertina. These are all space-saving instruments that are very easy to transport. Percussion instruments like shakers, tambourines and cajon drums are great, too.
  2. Reading: A book is a simple companion. You can grab a book and take it anywhere you go, whether it’s paper or electronic. If you still prefer paper books, you can trade them in when your done reading them.
  3. Writing: This is another simple hobby. All you need is a pen and some paper. You might prefer a laptop. I do most of my writing and blogging on a MacBook Air. You can write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, songs, or just practice journaling. Lots of choices.
  4. Drawing: A sketchpad and your choice of pencil, pen, charcoal or crayon, and you’ve got what you need. That leads us to #5 of the nine minimalist hobbies.   
  5. Photography: I love taking pictures. It’s a simple hobby. You can use a point-and-shoot camera or a smart phone. If you’re serious, you might have to invest a little more money in your equipment. Either way, it’s a simple hobby and easy to take with you.
  6. Painting: Simple water-color painting doesn’t take up too much space and can be a great way to release your creative energy. Like most of these nine minimalist hobbies, you can create in a minimalist style.
  7. Gardening: I love landscaping. It requires more materials than the other hobbies on the list, but I landscape in a minimalist style. Simple gardening is a wonderful hobby and you can raise your own food, too.
  8. Martial Arts: My daughter and I practice karate together. All you need is a gee and a belt. I like a bo staff, too. 
  9. Games: Simple games like playing cards and chess are entertaining and easy to carry.

What Are Your Hobbies?

When I look at my own hobby choices, most have been simple. Minimalist hobbies are perfect for people who live in small spaces. They’re great for those of us who are concerned with the environment. They’re easy to take with you. I hope you consider choosing a hobby that takes little equipment and leaves a small footprint.

If you’d like to learn more about simple living and minimalism, sign up for our newsletter:

Join Hip Diggs

Simple / Facebook / Twitter / RSS


  1. I’m a singer, so all I really need is my black folder and the music I’m performing. I use a pitch pipe and sight sing when I’m learning something new.
    I love to read, and I’ve gotten so I use the interlibrary loan system for almost all of my reading; I’ve downsized my at-home library to about 60 books.
    I like really hard crossword puzzles; the NY Times publishes digest-size books of them.
    I like to write, but don’t do it every day. When I do, it’s on my laptop.
    I enjoy taking walks with my husband. There’s a large, beautiful city park about 1/2 mile from our house, so we’re lucky to be able to enjoy the trees, gardens, and paths there every day.
    There are some compact games we like to play: Quiddler (a card game), Bananagrams (a Scrabble-type game with no board, just tiles that fit in a banana-size bag), and Farkle (a dice game).
    My husband is a chess player (he teaches the game to kids and belongs to a local club as well). He has a small duffel which holds his board and men, a chess clock, and a notebook in which he records moves/games.
    We like to hear live music, whether at a street fair, open mic night in a coffee bar, or a more formal concert in our nearest large city (that can be pricy, but we budget for it).
    It’s easy to travel with my current book, a crossword puzzle book, and one of the games.

  2. Hi Dan,
    Thank you for your article! So many cool ideas. Some of which I used to enjoy and look forward to getting back into.
    I’m new to the minimalist concept, and am in the process of minimizing. One of the hobbies I enjoy is geocaching. It gets me outside and you never know what you will find and learn during the process. It’s an adventure that I can use my smartphone or my gps to do.
    I’m looking forward to exploring some of the ideas you posted too.

    1. Geocaching is minimal itself as it’s not about the stuff but the adventure. Thanks for stopping by and your comment, Michelle.

  3. Great article! I’ve made it a personal goal to simplify my life and I’m happy to see many of the hobbies listed are ones that I already do. I also like to play roleplaying games (just need a pencil, some paper, and some dice!) as well as knit.

  4. Hello Dan
    Great post.
    In regard to photography, I went a bit “serious” but still into the amateur, just-for-fun category. I got a DSLR camera along with external flashes (remote controllers for flashes) a few more lenses and some other gear (softbox, umbrellas, stands, etc)
    While I have had great fun with photography (portrait photography), at the end I would have been better to stay with a point and shot or at most a compact camera with manual settings.
    To a point I regret I went far with photography.
    Why I say so, you may ask?
    It is because the more you get into a hobby, the more it sucks you and the more you get sold to it. You lose some control and freedom.
    It stops being a hobby and seems more like a serious thing to do.
    There is a point at which people call you “hey, lets do some photos, come on over here at my home”. But at that time you are not in the mood even if the person who is calling you is a good looking young female.. then it is hard to refuse.
    It starts to look like a job! And that’s an awful feeling. In a job, at least you get paid. And the moment you charge for photos is the moment you are chained.

    Years ago I was into radio control helicopters and cars. That’s expensive and while I never get any far more than the basic stuff, I met people who got heavy into it. Those people didn’t look happy. They were very competitive and stressed about the slightest of detail about their toys. Not for me.

    So, whatever one choses as a hobby, my advice is to never ever go far with it.

    Of course, if you are a gifted violin player then you can and perhaps you should go far but my understanding of a hobby is an activity for which we are basically amateur and less than gifted.

    1. Yeah, I can see that going to far can become too much. For me it’s less equipment and more the time issue with hobbies. As for DSLR, I’d like to get one for better video on my blogs in the future.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *