We see minimalists and simple-living bloggers posting about the things we don’t need, but what about the things we do need? Sometimes it seems like minimalism would have you give away everything, including the kitchen sink and your own mother. Today, I’d like to address 9 things even minimalists need.
There are some things that we really shouldn’t go without in this world. What do you do if you need to fix something and you don’t have the tools? What if you get caught in a downpour? What if your power source goes out? What if you run out of money? What would you do in any of these situations? I think it’s better to be prepared than to be sorry.
Some Things Even Minimalists Should Own
- Clothes: I’ve seen some blogs that claim we only need one set of clothes. I’m sorry, but that’s just stupid, and it doesn’t promote very good hygiene. I own five or six sets of clothes. I don’t think it makes much sense to own any less than three sets. You also need to own the right clothes. If you live where it rains, you should have a good raincoat. If you live in the tropics, you need shorts and sunglasses. If you live in Alaska, you need extra-warm clothing. But please, have enough underwear to change every day.
- Tools: Have you ever had a friend that always calls you when they need something fixed? Often it’s because they don’t own any tools. Let’s use a little common sense. Everyone should have a few tools in their home, no matter its size. If nothing else, have a couple screwdrivers and a crescent wrench. If you own a home, you’d better have a hammer and a shovel, too. You never know when you’ll have an emergency. Be prepared by having the basic tools you might need.
- Heat: If you don’t keep warm enough… you will die. It’s that simple. You need a sleeping bag, blankets, or at least a big coat. Don’t skimp so much that you wind up with hypothermia. Have what you need to keep yourself warm.
- Light: I always have a flashlight at home, and one in my car. You never know when the power is going to go out. What if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere? Don’t tell me you can just use your phone. I guess you could, until it goes dead. Matches are a must, too. They serve two roles: heat and light. Every good minimalist should have matches.
- Food & Water: My brother is a bit of a prepper. He stocks dried food and gallons of distilled water. He might go a little overboard, but we need food and water to survive. It’s not a bad idea to have enough food and water to last you a few days. You never know when there’s going to be a zombie apocalypse.
- Storage: Some minimalists pride themselves on not needing to organize their stuff because they have so little. I don’t care how little you have, you need a place for your stuff. If you own a home, like me, you might need more storage than someone who travels the world. But even the world traveler needs storage.
- Music: Okay, this might be my own preference, but we need music. Life is better with music. Whether you listen or play, have music. It might be in the form of an iPod. It might be a battery-operated radio. It might be a ukulele. But for the sake of your sanity, have some music in your minimalist life.
- Money: Unless you live solely on barter, which isn’t very practical, you need money. In fact, I’d go one step further and suggest you have good credit. Just because you have a credit card or two doesn’t mean you have to use them regularly. But it’s nice to have backup in case of an emergency. It makes renting a car a lot easier, too.
- Memories: This one could use its own future post. I’ve seen some minimalists recommend that we get rid of keepsakes that have been passed down through our families for generations. I think we should limit what we keep, but I’ll never let go of the quilts my grandmother made. Why would I ever want to sell my uncle’s old mandolin? Sometimes, the things our family members and close friends give to us are important. They hold memories. They serve purpose. They connect the generations. Hold onto those things.
Don’t Let Go Of Things You Need
Now that I’ve nearly ruined my credibility as a minimalist, I’d add that we should be reasonable. Don’t own too much of anything. Set some limits. Keep it simple. But don’t be silly and restrict yourself from owning the things that might save your life. And don’t give up the things that truly bring happiness. Otherwise, you may as well give up your very soul.
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