But what do I really NEED???

Those of you who know me personally know that I moved to downtown Phoenix from the ‘burbs a few years ago and bought a 1913 bungalow. The house is cool, the location is awesome but I really had NO idea how much effort I would need to put into this place to make it feel like my own. My previous house was my first and I built it new so while I put a lot of effort into it, it started as a blank slate and I did not have to UNDO anything that was done by previous owners.

That being said, I have always been fascinated by minimal living, not because I am so “enlightened” but rather because lots of “stuff” just stresses me out. I don’t need a super small space but I do want a space with very little in it. To that end, I started writing down what things I really would want to have if I were in a much simpler place; notice that I am not a militant minimalist but rather I want things that I will use often and none that I won’t. I am not really looking to give up my iPod or TiVo as I USE those; what I don’t want is a bunch of crap I don’t use. Like a pool and a yard. Anyway…

Spaces: Cozy bedroom, bathroom with a tub, kitchen, family room, a small office nook (preferably a wallbed that can double as a guest bed and desk), small place to eat. A place that captures this that is very tempting is a place I checked during their grand opening: Patio 71. To think that I could sell my house and with the profit pay cash for this place is incredibly tempting. Anyway, back to the list…

Non-consumable things: Bed, couch, small desk, extra bed, piano (could be digital but I love my grand :), TiVo, television, iPod, digital camera, cell phone, telephone, cookware, books (though I get most from the library because I don’t want more stuff), computer, sports equipment, clothing.

What am I missing here? I know most of us have more crap laying around than we could possibly use so I was trying to think of things that I use often. I have a friend who started doing traveling medical work a couple years ago and I remember her telling me that there is nothing like realizing what you really need as when you need to move from place to place with only what would fit into your car. I long for trying it someday; maybe I’ll get an Airstream and just park it in the evenings at Wal-Marts and Cracker Barrels throughout Phoenix.

All I know is that I WANT less. Much less. What I don’t know is what I really NEED.

7 thoughts on “But what do I really NEED???

  1. laurak Monday May 26, 2008 at 4:42 pm Reply

    You have a grand piano?

  2. dufus Monday May 26, 2008 at 6:30 pm Reply

    He does indeed. And he’ll melt your heart with Jim Brickman.

  3. Laurak Tuesday May 27, 2008 at 10:30 am Reply

    Will he, really? Good to know…. 😉

  4. Gerald Biehle Tuesday May 27, 2008 at 12:38 pm Reply

    Wayne – I started using the library a lot until I racked tons of late fines. I am now on a selected buy and potentially resell plan, witht he marginals still coming from the library.

  5. wayne Tuesday May 27, 2008 at 1:14 pm Reply

    Gerald: I’m usually pretty good about getting the books back on time (or at least auto-renewing them), but then I have it pretty good that the library is only a couple hundred yards away. And I LOVE the fact that I can jump online, select a book to put on hold, have them email me when it is ready and be in and out of the library in less than 5 minutes. At the same time, I DO like the buy and resell plan; I have some friends who do that with DVDs of TV shows. They buy them used on eBay, watch them and then sell them back for the same price minus the $2 media mail shipping. That way they can watch at them their own pace for a $2 rental for a whole season!

  6. Dave Friday May 30, 2008 at 11:06 am Reply

    Good topic. I am SO done with my yard. I long for a space where my responsibility is done when I walk out the front door. Here are a couple things I don’t think Wayne is going to want to live without: Vacuum cleaner and other assorted cleaning chemicals & implements – scary how much space all that takes up. Luggage – seldom used, but when you need it, you gotta have it. Legos – oh, wait, that’s just me ;-p

  7. wayne Friday May 30, 2008 at 2:58 pm Reply

    You and me BOTH Dave. I should have known when I lived in my previous house all those years; it backed up to the MOUNTAIN and I STILL didn’t go out back. I am more of a front porch guy.

    And yes, you would need room for the Legos.

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