When I was growing up, accumulating things seemed like a right of passage through to adulthood. The choice between having and not having something was a no-brainer to me. You always want to have the thing.

My constant refrain while out shopping with my mum was “But mummy I need it! I NEED IT!” And I believed this. I could not distinguish between wanting and needing – I felt like I needed everything. And it’s easy for this mindset to continue with the only thing holding back the purchase being how much money is in your bank account.

So I am making a list of things I don’t need to remind myself that, no matter how much money I have, I do not need everything on offer. And I’ve found this incredibly freeing.

Everyone’s list will be different, for some people having a waffle-maker will bring joy to their lives every day and to others, it will only take up space. My list won’t be the same as yours, but it might help you to start thinking about what you don’t need.


  • I do not need a bread machine
  • I do not need a waffle maker
  • I do not need a smoothie maker
  • I do not need more than 4 pots
  • I do not need more than 1 frying pan
  • I do not need matching mugs

    Clothes and Accessories 

    • I do not need a watch
    • I do not need any more than 8 pairs of shoes (trainers, summer flats, winter flats, flip flops, heeled, winter boots, hiking boots, wellies, slippers)
    • I do not need more than a capsule wardrobe



    • I do not need a games console
    • I do not need a desktop computer
    • I do not need a landline
    • I do not need any DVDs
    • I do not need a Sat Nav



    • I do not need any more cushions
    • I do not need to change my interior “look” constantly
    • I do not need friends’ freebies that don’t fit in my home
    • I do not need decorative tat that has no meaning to me
    • I do not need any ‘Seasonal’ decor e.g. Halloween cushions



    • I do not need more musical instruments than my Guitar & Piano
    • I do not need any more gym equipment (I don’t use it)
    • I do not need any magazines (unless work related)
    • I do not need any massage/exfoliation/pampering gadgets



    • I do not need any makeup other than my staple 5 (mascara, eyeshadow, concealer, lipstick, perfume)
    • I do not need any hair products other than shampoo, conditioner and serum
    • I don’t need any nail care other than clippers, file, remover, and my favourite colour


    Phew… that feels better! I should say again that this is just the list of things that I personally don’t feel I need. It may be that a Halloween cushion would bring you never-ending joy and happiness whenever you look upon it, in which case, by all means get one immediately!

    What so-called “essential” can you live without? Let us know in the comments!

    Header image: An art installation by Chinese conceptual artist, Son Dong (Installation: Waste Not) showing the accumulated household objects over one person’s lifetime. 

    February 01, 2016 — Tara Button