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Meet the Minimalist YouTubers Who Will Inspire You To Look At Your Stuff Differently

March 30, 2018

I’ve fallen into a hole. A minimal-living YouTube hole.

I’ve always been a big fan of [food videos on YouTube]https://food52.com/blog/24124-how-to-make-kimchi-recipe), often spending my evenings catching up on my beloved channels around the world; but lately, I’ve taken to watching shows more focused on the lifestyle aspect of food. What started as simple research into what utensils people keep in their kitchens, and how people meal prep (are you guys interested in that topic? If so, be sure to let me know!) turned into a deeper revelation of how these popular YouTubers live beyond the kitchens.

Clean home, clean mind was the recurring theme here, and as much as it’s about the things (or lack thereof), it’s not about deprivation, but rather setting yourself on a path for leading a lifestyle you’re most comfortable with. I’d love to share some of my favorite findings with you.

Pick Up Limes

I first caught sight of Sadia Badiei’s Pick Up Limes while looking up bento boxes for lunch (her breakfast ideas are both simple and a feast for the eye). The Canadian nutritionist is based out of the Netherlands, and leads a minimal, plant-based lifestyle. Her soothing voice, coupled with her professional, frank knowledge and relatable humor, will send you down a spiral into her archives. Her 30-day guide to minimalism and videos on getting rid of things and maintaining a tidy, minimalist home make these otherwise challenging undertakings seem manageable and—dare I say—enjoyable!

Peaceful Cuisine

I’ve been following Ryoya Takashima’s YouTube channel Peaceful Cuisine for a while now, mostly for his supremely satisfying ASMR food videos. (I may or may not have fallen asleep to a number of his meditative tutorials.) The Japanese vlogger is true to his moniker, focusing his content on food that is friendly to “all people, all creatures and the environment.” That means a lot of nutritious, often vegan-friendly fare from scratch, a lot of coffee (he grinds his own beans, of course), even home design (he constructed his own very functional kitchen) and crafts (he makes his own pottery!). Ryoya Takashima is a true Renaissance man, but his allure lies in his great humility, commitment to quality, appreciation for nature, and living simply. Just try not to binge-watch (and have fun reading along with the multiple followers professing their love for him!).

Jenny Mustard

This Berlin-based minimalist lifestyle vlogger and fashion stylist originally hails from Sweden, and it was her striking countenance that first grabbed my attention (she’s even self-deprecating about her nonexistent eyebrows, in case you’re wondering). I was drawn to her clean, almost stark aesthetic, and the crisp (but always cheerful) way she delivered the news. She answers the oft-repeated question of what she eats daily on a vegan diet in one video, covers her straight-to-the-point method for getting rid of stuff in another, and also elaborates on the Swedish way to do spring cleaning to improve your life (not to be confused with Swedish death cleaning). She is nothing if not frank and generous about her lifestyle, including annoying myths about minimalism and how she makes and saves her money.

Break the Twitch

We’ve all been there. You get situated to plow through some work when, inevitably, you get stuck: Your mind wanders to what you’ll be having for lunch, you pick up your phone to see what’s new on your feed, you aimlessly travel to your favorite online retailer to see what sale might greet you. That’s what Anthony Ongaro calls “the twitch,” and his channel Break the Twitch aims to minimize these distractions by aligning your actions with your values, to live more intentionally every day. Some very helpful videos include how a minimalist reconciles his love of books, popular decluttering methods, and how to avoid this one minimalism mistake.


If you’re looking to be swept away by an easy, breezy, light violet aesthetic, Aileen Xu’s Lavendaire is your channel. The Los Angeles–based artist is refreshingly open about her life as a creative, and the honest struggles that accompany her journey. She tackles existential challenges like how to organize your life to achieve goals, shares common habits of highly successful people, and even practical, day-to-day tips like how to reduce waste.

What simple(r) living YouTubers are you into? Please share them with us below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • ___
  • Maria
  • Beverley
  • LC
  • SW
Hana is a food writer/editor based in New York.


___ April 6, 2018
I am a minimalist. Love Jenny Mustard for some reason. BTT is pretty good too. Hadn't heard of the others. One of my favorite minimalist youtubers not mentioned is Timothy Ward. He talks about the "stuff" but goes beyond. He also mentions being at "poor", for anyone who wants a non-"rich" perspective.
Maria April 6, 2018
Thank you for this helpful article. I think in some cases minimalism can be a reaction to affluence, just as too much stuff can sometimes be a reaction to privation. Having known both conditions, I try not to judge others' lifestyles. Instead, I try to learn from others, and perhaps apply what I have learned to my own situation. I also bear in mind that a carefully curated photo or video is not the whole story. My life, flawed as it is, is the whole story, the one I live with day in, day out. I don't want my life to be a YouTube story, appealing though it may be. I want my less-than-perfect, sometimes messy real life.
Beverley April 6, 2018
LC April 6, 2018
Wow. It looks as if a few pot-stirring trolls have slithered their way into the comments of this nice article. Ignore the hate and know that there are people out here that enjoyed your information and found it thought-provoking.
SW April 6, 2018
Wow. Those comments declined quickly. Just thought I'd add some love here <3 Thanks for the compilation of info! I like Break the Twitch.
Steve W. April 6, 2018
I don't look to YouTube for life lessons. I ignore you.
quack_smacker April 6, 2018
Why are all these minimalists white and affluent?
John G. April 6, 2018
I am not certain but I do not think there is a law the requires a person to be white and affluent in order to be a minimalist.
Joe P. April 6, 2018
Because pop minimalism is a luxury for those with plenty.
John G. April 6, 2018
John G. April 6, 2018
Then you do not understand minimalism.
John G. April 6, 2018
You mention affluent and poor as if there is no middle class or lower middle class. I am not affluent but I am also not poor. I chose to spend my money very carefully. I live well within my means. No fancy house, no new car, no extravagant vacations, no satellite/cable TV. I work my butt off for what I have. Nothing was given to me. I grew up poor. I grew up in a house where we did not have an indoor toilet until I was 14. I lose sympathy for people who say they are poor or broke but find a way to come up with the money for alcohol, cigarettes, latest smart phone and cable/satellite TV. Far often than not people are in a bad financial position based on the choices they have made; not bad luck. The problem is that too many people want to think of themselves as a victim. They do this so they can excuse themselves of being accountable and responsible.
Smartymom April 12, 2018
indoor plumbing is a luxury except in cold weather. I grew up in an affluent family (dad was a lawyer in St.Louis) . Our weekend "retreat", a 500 acre "estate" in the ozarks had an outhouse perched over the creek and a well with a bucket on a rope. I used to joke that the water came from the creek hopefully above the outhouse. This was just the way a lot of people lived not so very long ago. Mr Galt, you might consider getting your teeth out of whomevers ankle and relaxing just a tad
John G. April 13, 2018
You obviously missed my point. I will type slowly so you can follow along. Minimalism has nothing to do with be rich or poor. Period. Anyone stating they cannot be a minimalist because they are poor are making excuses.