What do I really need?

Day 8- 19 DVDs
Day 8 - Purging 19 DVDs | Photo by Jonathan Blundell

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.

I’ve been purging things from my house each day this month — and there’s still so much that I don’t need (or even use on a regular basis).

We have three shelves of DVDs in our guest room. Each of them have 50+ DVDs on them.

And I’ve probably watched 3 of them since Thanksgiving.

As I went through them all the other day I kept saying, “Well I really like that one… I’ll keep this so I can watch it with my kids… this one is really good about (fill in the blank).”

But do I really need them? Will I really miss out by not owning 200 DVDs?

What do you think?

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Jonathan Blundell

I'm a husband, father of three, blogger, podcaster, author and media geek who is hoping to live a simple life and follow The Way.

2 thoughts on “What do I really need?”

  1. We only buy DVDs that we know we will watch again and again and again. If it's something we like but think we'll only watch it once or twice a year then we don't buy it and just rent it from Netflix when we want to see it. That helps a lot with the space and also saves money since most DVDs are $20 a piece! 🙂

  2. Thanks!
    We haven't bought any DVDs in some time — maybe 3 or 4 in the past 3 years. 99% of these DVDs were bought during college or my bachelor days. I did take another 25 or so to Half Price Books Thursday night (before this post actually posted) so we've cut down our numbers even further. Thanks for the pointer though!

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