By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
3 things you don't really need from a family who knows
"Theres no reason to have drawers spilling out with clothing, closets filled to the max, and still head out every weekend because you 'need' something," Wiest wrote for Thought Catalog. - photo by Payton Davis
When the Dannemiller family took up an experiment to abandon consumer culture for a year, they missed out on aspects of life many people consider necessary, according to The Huffington Post.

However, the Dannemillers felt like they gave up little.

"In fact, my wife and I had spent a year serving as missionaries in Guatemala and experienced firsthand how anything beyond food and shelter is a luxury for those living in poverty," Scott Dannemiller wrote for The Huffington Post. "So our experiment wasn't really a sacrifice."

But Dannemiller said you don't need to go as far as Guatemala to see people living on the bare necessities.

Here in the U.S., people "live under manufactured stress, never realizing that our never-ending quest for more is what is ultimately giving us the feeling of dissatisfaction," he wrote.

So the Dannemillers took what they learned from 12 months of shopping for just what they needed and refraining from giving extravagant gifts and compiled a list of things you only think you need.

New clothes

Brianna Wiest of Thought Catalog created a list of 12 things people have in their lives that may be holding them back, including "clothing you don't wear."

"Theres no reason to have drawers spilling out with clothing, closets filled to the max, and still head out every weekend because you 'need' something," Wiest wrote for Thought Catalog.

Scott Dannemiller agrees.

"Clothing is one of the big areas where we often confuse 'need' with 'want.' And I'm not the only one," Dannemiller wrote. "The average American gets rid of around 70 pounds of textiles per year."

To get rid of your excess clothing, Wiest suggested evaluating your wardrobe daily to determine when enough is enough.

Alessia Santoro of Buzzfeed also suggested giving some of your clothing away to others.

More storage

Dannemiller wrote the average American home contains 300,000 items, and America is home to 50,000 storage facilities.

"Our problem isn't that we don't have enough storage it's that we have too much stuff," Dannemiller wrote for The Huffington Post.

Jennifer Abel of Consumer Affairs agrees.

According to Consumer Affairs, the number of storage units have doubled in the U.S. over the last 14 years.

To prevent yourself from throwing more items into storage, Dannemiller suggested people ask themselves "What horrible thing would happen if I didn't have this thing in the future?" and "Who would get the most use out of this thing?"

Abel did write, however, that death, divorce, disaster and dislocation might justify more storage.

The approval of others

Wiest of Thought Catalog wrote that how many friends a person has means little in regards to likability.

"The number of friends you have does not equate to your overall likability," Wiest wrote. "It is not a status symbol."

But the idea itself can be hard to shake. Dannemiller explained that overcoming the idea that worth is linked to how others perceive you provided one of his family's biggest challenges during the experiment.

"Here's a news flash for you: There is no bigger lie," Dannemiller wrote.

Continually seeking approval doesn't just hurt people's work lives, but also impacts their emotional and psychological health, according to an article on Tiny Buddha.

"The need for approval is negatively impacting your performance you procrastinate, avoid doing important things, feel anxiety and fear and get stuck in worry and rumination," life coach Sacha Crouch wrote for Tiny Buddha.

To kick the bad habit, Crouch suggested keeping a personal journal and building more awareness of your approval seeking behaviors.
Sign up for our E-Newsletters