Something I find interesting, is what things some people find necessities while others don’t. Here are things that I do without:
An iron – Yeah, I’ve never owned an iron. I’ve rarely used one. When something has to be ironed, I usually beg someone else to do it for me. My seminary graduation robe? Yep, my mom ironed it for me (thanks, Mom!). In the days when I had a dryer, I would just take my clothes out of the dryer out immediately, and that was good enough for me. Now that I don’t have a dryer, I do need to invest in some wrinkle release.
A washer and dryer – Like I said above, I don’t have a dryer. In fact, I don’t even use a dryer anymore (though I’ll still be drying my sheets and towels that way, but will save them up to do one load a month). Not having a washer in unit is already getting old, but a short walk for laundry is good for me. I don’t mind hanging my things to dry, and enjoy the fact that I’m saving over $0.80 a load (not to mention the “costs” of shooting more coal smoke into the air we breathe). I don’t need these things.
Coffee pot - I don’t drink coffee. I’m glad I never started. I’m going to have friends over in a couple of weeks that might prefer I serve coffee, but I’ll just let them know if they want it, they have to bring the pot and coffee themselves. Actually, I only have one coffee cup, so that could be a problem too…
Coffee table - You may have noticed in my apartment tour that I don’t have a coffee table. Not having one was a conscious decision: I felt like it would clutter up my small living room. I still think that way, though it would be nice to have a place to put the stack of books I’m currently reading while I’m in the middle of reading (I do have a place to put them “away”). Probably should invest in some TV trays as that could solve that problem.
A bed big enough for 2 - I don’t invite others into my bed (at least not before he puts a wedding band on my finger!), so my single bed is enough for me. I wouldn’t mind a bigger bed, I suppose, but it’s definitely not something I need.
Knick knacks – I have two picture frames (both with pictures from my brother’s wedding) besides the ones on the walls, and a vase with some fake flowers in it. Besides that and a few candles (that I use), I don’t have anything that would qualify as “knick knacks.” It’s very freeing.
More than 1 sharp knife – I have one knife that I got when I went to college that I’ve always loved and used exclusively. I looked up where to buy more like it, and that’s when I found out it’s actually a really nice knife, a J. A. Henckels. No wonder I like it! That said, I couldn’t justify buying more, but I will put it on my wish list.
Internet access - This also was a conscious decision on my part. If it was important to me, I could work it into my budget. I even had a generous person in my life offer to pay for my internet, but I politely turned them down. I have nothing against the internet, but it’s a big temptation for me. I can spend way too much time on it watching TV, spending time on Twitter and Facebook, and checking my email. I spend 40 hours a day in front of a computer…I’d rather use my free time to exercise, write, read, and serve others.
Plastic bags – By which I mean what we always called “Walmart bags.” Actually, this is a bit of a lie…there currently is one Walmart bag in my apartment, left over from the move. I’ve been using reusable grocery bags almost exclusively for over a year, and will definitely be keeping this up.
Now for a couple of things I hope to soon do without:
Paper towels - I bought two rolls when I moved in, and promised myself they will be the last. I bought a pack of rags that I can use for situations I would usually use a paper towel. This isn’t an easy transition, but I think it’ a good one.
Traditional cleaning products – I have already made my own kitchen cleaner that works well (equal parts vinegar and water). When the bathroom and toilet cleaners I have are used up, I plan on making my own of those as well. I still have a full container of laundry soap, but when I use that up, I’m actually looking forward to making my own laundry detergent. I haven’t made up my mind if it’s worth making my own dishwasher detergent or not, but I’ll make that decision later, as I still have a huge tub of the stuff that will last me a long time.
I’m not someone obsessed with natural things. How can I be when I still drink Diet Dr Pepper? But I do enjoy saving money and introducing less unnecessary chemicals into my home. It’s a journey, and I’m taking the next steps down the road.
What do you do without that others find a necessity?