mnmlist: rethinking necessities

by Leo Babauta

One of the basics of minimalism is that you eliminate as many non-necessities as you can, to make room for what’s important.

If you don’t need a ton of clothing, you get rid of much of it. If you don’t need that new gadget, you don’t buy it. Within reason, of course.

You learn to be content with what you already have, with the necessities, with doing things you love rather than having things.

But it’s funny, because often things we assume are necessities are not necessarily so. The problem is that we categorize things as necessities because we’re used to them, and we can’t see how to live without them. And it’s difficult to make big changes.

Some examples:

These are just a few examples — think about all the things you consider necessities. Are they really? What’s really needed, beyond food, shelter, basic clothing, and loved ones?