This question is really coming into mind more and more since starting WeLiveSimply — but even more so as we start packing to move.
What do I really need?
Leo Babauta writes…
It’s amazing what our culture has done to us: we have been conditioned to believe that luxuries are a necessity, that we need things that most of the world doesn’t even dream of having.
Look around your home right now (or when you get home). What do you see that’s really a necessity? What could you do without?
You already know that most of the world lives with much less than what you see around you. They’d be happy with clean water, shelter, some food. Forget about Macs or big-screen TVs or plush couches or iPhones or closets overflowing with shoes and clothes.
But we also forget that only a few generations ago, our grandparents and great-grandparents also lived with much less, and were perfectly comfortable and happy. Most people had very little other than the necessities and perhaps a radio. Not that long ago, people lived without TVs, cars, microwaves, electric stoves, computers, video game consoles, air-conditioning, washers, dish washers and more. Not that long ago, shopping malls didn’t exist, and ordering from the Sears catalog was a luxury.
What we need is very little: a few changes of clothing at most, a pair of shoes, perhaps a few toiletries (toothpaste, deodorant, soap), some food, a roof over our heads.