Think You Need It? Think Again.

There are some things we claim we couldn’t live without. Our phone, our laptop, our comfy shoes, our best trousers, that shirt for all occasions, our diary. They’re the first things we pack when we go on a trip and the first things we use when we come back home. But are they really indispensable?

I recently had to unexpectedly leave all of these ‘vital’ possessions in my family home and come home without them (I live 640 miles away from my family). I really thought I couldn’t live without my best clothes, my laptop and my beauty products. I thought I’d lose all sense of identity and integrity. I thought I’d left behind the most important things I owned.

I thought wrong.

In the past month that I’ve been living without these things, I’ve needed none of them. I’ve used another laptop, worn other clothes and have gone without using beauty products. I haven’t thought about them or missed them.

We often think that some things are irreplaceable. We’re scared to throw them away in case we’ll need them later. We think we will never find anything like them again. Truth is – we won’t need them or look for them or even think about them ever again. Everything is replaceable. (And if it’s isn’t, you’ll keep it in your memory forever, anyway.)

woman throwing rubbish away

Do you keep things you don’t use because you’re scared you’ll need them in the future?



16 thoughts on “Think You Need It? Think Again.

      • I like the way you think!
        I remember more than once not having something I thought I needed and ending up discovering a solution.
        I also remember once seeing a triathlete standing on the sidelines at the starting line. When I asked him why he wasn’t going, he sadly shared that he had forgotten his shoes. Then, later, I noticed another man running across the finish line with no shoes. When I asked this man whether if he usually ran barefoot, he said no: he had just forgotten his shoes.
        To me the difference is one of willingness – being willing to be open to whatever happens and then dealing with it.

      • That’s a great story! We can’t always have the best circumstances, but that’s no excuse not to live life! Thank you for sharing!

  1. Yep, I’m guilty of keeping things because I think I’ll need them in the future. I justify it by saying it’s a waste to have to get those things again in the future when I’ve already got them now. So silly.

    • I’m in awe of this more and more as time goes by, because I declutter more and more each season. It’s amazing how much stuff I get rid of each time!

  2. Decluttering and accumulation–it’s a crazy cycle. I feel that I have donated so much over the past year, but I never seem to run out of more things to get rid of. I’ve scaled down my shopping expeditions quite a bit (I haven’t even shopped much in the past few of years), but, apparently, not enough. I don’t get it. I have a lot more work to do on the accumulation side of things.

    • I know what you mean. I’ve been decluttering for four years, and clear out bags of stuff every season. I guess the real work is to stop buying stuff and start using what we already have!

  3. I wholeheartedly agree with you!
    I learned this living for 4 months in Peru, with on and off electricity and running water (a whole 3 weeks without either) it does give you a different perspective of ‘need’.
    These days, I’ve learned not to say ‘I need something’, as most things in our society are not really needs, but wants and desires 🙂
    Although right now… I would like a cup of tea….
    Great post!

    • You’re absolutely right: our needs are met, the rest are wants! I have had several experiences of living with no running water – I love it! I actually find it makes life easier!

  4. I really enjoyed this post and definitely goes with my philosophy of living. At the end of our days we won’t be grateful for the things we had it will be for the memories of living.

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