Want versus need

Now that you’ve probably all recovered from the silly season, I want to talk with you about want versus need. I recently spotted a neighbour arrive home with a department store bag, and I wondered what she bought, what she needed. I’m guessing she went to “the sales”. Which made me think about what I could possibly need this year. If the fridge broke (it’s quite old) I might need a new one. My bikini won’t see next summer so I might be replacing that. But I can’t think of anything I actually need. In terms of wants, there’s not much I want other than a few household renovations probably.

How about you? I want you to make a list of

  • up to 5 things you need this year.
  • up to 5 things you want this year.
    I orginally asked for 10, but 5 will make you think harder 🙂
  • Post your answers – we’ll review in December!


    18 responses to “Want versus need

    1. Hi Lissanne

      Here’s my list:


      * Closer relationship with God – I’m the one needing to do the work
      * More time enjoying my husband’s company
      * Patience with myself and what I am achieving
      * Energy – that will come with doing more exercise!
      * Jeans – just worn through the backside of my last pair
      * Cosy winter boots – Victoria’s cold in winter!
      * Veggie garden – safe satisfying and tasty goodies
      * Three chooks and chook house for eggs, fertiliser and pest control
      * Multi grafted fruit trees – prolonged season for food, jam etc
      * Dedication to finishing quilts and other craft projects


      * Begin small on line business
      * Learn how to make a2 fetta, cheddar and mozzarella cheese
      * Second-hand hand-operated milk separater so that I can make my own a2 butter and have luscious cream for chocolate mousse!
      * Straw-bale home with air-water machine, grid connected solar power and hot water on acreage with chooks, a2 proven cow, fruit and nut orchard and square foot veggie garden
      * Financially free ie no rent or mortgage payments, as self sustaining as possible
      * Loose 25kg by walking and other exercise
      * Drug free ie from prescribed medication – don’t use any other
      * Finish all my UFOs
      * To successfully teach my beautiful boy with love and kindness and reverence for his energy and spirit
      * An extreme makeover!


    2. Hi, here is my list:
      Ten needs:
      1. More time
      2. Storage space
      3. Ideas for sorting things
      4. Shoes, I wear them out real quickly, because I am on my feet all day long.
      5. Clothes, I wear these out to, with having children, all sorts of things happen to them.
      6. Efficient way to get rid of my weeds in my sensory garden.
      7. To purchase and plant and maintain a fig tree, mulberry bush, and some other yummy fruit tree’s.
      8. Get lots of mulch, and also get a mulch space/bin that I can put back into my vegie /herb/flower garden
      9. Pea Straw
      10. A pump to recycle grey water back into my garden because in Adelaide South Australia we are on water restrictions

      Ten Wants
      1. A job that I love
      2. A cleaner
      3. A great baby sitter that won’t go off and do something else.
      4. Fabric to sew some delightful gifts for Christmas next year.
      5. Some great baking tins/ casserole dishes etc…my girls keep dropping them when they are helping to put the dishes away for me.
      6. Away to chase the pigeons away from my clothes line and to stop them chasing my pet cat and dog around the back garden.
      7. Space to be more creative in/studio space would be nice
      8. Make some hand made cards for gifts, from my creative idea’s etc
      9. A chicken run with chooks and a chock shed
      10. A shed where I can store equipment in etc…not too big about 3 metres by 3 metre.

    3. What is totally hilarious is that you both want chickens. SO DO I! But my apartment won’t allow 😦

      10 is so many things! So I am going to change the brief to 5 things… make you all proritise

    4. Mmmm………Interesting!!! Hi Lissanne. Im actually really struggling with this exercise. My family will be the first to tell you Im the queen of needs and wants, yet if I really think about it I’m having to think hard what my needs are!! A blowervac immediately came to mind (nice and girly!!!Ha!!) to get rid of the gum leaves that fall on my driveway but then I thought its not really a need when I can sweep or rake!! I must have my positive hat on tonight!! Well, now that I think about it, yes, I do have a NEED. Can someone offer some advice on storing road bikes. My husband and I are cyclists and we have alot of bike stuff mounting up. They need to be stored inside the home as we dont have a garage…mmm.. another need/want….their flowing out now!!! Thinking of hanging the two bikes off a wall ,one above the other and making a cupboard with bi-fold doors to the ceiling for easy access on the outside. Love to know what you think. Warm Regards,Leigh-anne. Ps. Love the book, bought it for myself for my christmas present as most mums do!!

    5. Hi Lissanne,
      Have been thinking about this and if I’m really honest with myself the things I need really don’t require money (although it might help). I need
      * to be fitter and healthier
      * more patient, and more confident with/in my abilities
      * people to take on jobs and roles for my year as president of my service club
      * to learn how to ask for help
      * to get some work/life balance, and to be able to fill the spaces that balance will create

      I want . . . . .
      * Lissanne’s book, but I have to loose 5 kilos first (half way there)
      * more music on my ipod (another I-tunes card is 5 kilos after the book!)
      * to go to Japan for a holiday
      * my water restrictions ravished front lawn to grow back
      *right now, I want someone to make me lunch but that’s not going to happen so I’ll have to get up and do it myself!

    6. Hello Lissanne,
      I’ve been reading your newsletter for a while now but this is my first entry on your blog 🙂
      After much thought – ( most of what I considered to be needs actually seem more like wants now )- they are:
      *More sleep
      *Drink more water
      *More time with my family
      *To keep de-cluttering (I’ve bought your book !)
      *A toilet that flushes properly !

      *To get fit and fit back into my favourite jeans
      *A pergola
      *New carpet
      *To instal ceiling fans I bought (at the moment they are just box clutter 🙂 )
      *To leave work on time at least 80% of the time this year

    7. Lynn, thanks for the blogging! I have to say, I think your first need is crucial to achieving anything else – without enough sleep we are up against it. I think a toilet that flushes properly could be a priority too – although it’s amazing how we humans adapt and get used to stuff!

      I WANT some new flooring too.. but I don’t NEED it! Ah, the joys of renovating!

    8. Here’s my list of 3 each:

      – To be as supportive as I can be for family members going through some hard times (medical issues)
      – New clothes as I continue to lose weight
      – A few upgrades to my earthquake/disaster preparedness supplies and general readiness preparation

      – A new comforter – mine is about 25 years old, and the channel style means that the down moves around way too much, so I get cold. Considering how much use the comforter gets (every night!), it makes sense to get one that won’t annoy me all the time.
      – To finish the landscaping work going on in my back yard, after 19 years of living with dirt
      – To drink more water and less Diet Vernors ginger ale

    9. Jeri, I love that you can do it in THREE! That’s why you’re my favourite professional organiser 🙂

      I would like to give you ‘permission’ to get a new comforter… you’ve had 25 years of great use and I can’t bear to think of you getting cold! Move that one to your ‘need’ list and go shopping girlfiend!

    10. My needs are thankfully few:
      1. New kitchen taps
      2. Keeping an eye on the health of my geriatric pooch
      3. Lose about 20 kg
      4. A new back door: some bright spark installed a hollow interior door instead of a weather-all-elements solid exterior door, so I almost need to peel it open.

      But my wants are many 🙂 :
      1. A vergola extension
      2. Wireless phones to suit my new VoIP connection
      3. Solar hot water unit
      4. Books, CDs and DVDs a-plenty
      5. An iPod so I can listen to ABC radio podcasts and music (my only working DVD/CD player is my laptop, which is portable, but…)
      6. Funky new shoes
      7. Completing a few courses this year
      8. A groovy, Oscar Wilde inspired screen for my bedroom

    11. My needs are things that I am already working on or working towards…
      1. to get routine and order back into my life after separating from my husband.
      2. to spend more time playing with my children – life is not all about getting the work done.
      3. part time work, in school hours, that I love, so that I can buy out my house (from partner) and to finish all the things that were incomplete when the house was built 2 yrs ago – like the retaining wall, paths, lighting in the garage, internal painting and doors on the kids built-in robes
      4. an end to the lows and lethargy that is my depression.

      Now, my wants are a different story. I want …
      1. to win a few million on lotto so that all my wildest dreams can come true;
      2. to invent a stop button for exuberant children (especially at bedtime);
      3. a personal motivator that will always and intuitively be there to give me a shove when needed – may also double as personal trainer, confidence booster and psychologist;
      4. to know all the answers;
      5. the “mechanical horse” that my 4 1/2 yr old daughter said would do the housework for me, barring that, I’d settle for a housekeeper and gardener;
      6. and finally on a realistic note, there are the thousand and one household items; craft materials, books and courses; clothes and shoes; and so on.

      Really all our needs and wants come back to two things – TIME and MONEY. It is never so much how much of these you have BUT what you do with them.

    12. Hi Lissanne, I’ve only just started subscribing to the newsletter and reading your blog. I have bought your book and love it. My list of wants and needs:

      1. To have eternal patience and understanding for my children
      2. To enrich my relationship with my husband

      Wants (aplenty):
      1. To complete a masters in technology education
      2. To finish all my unfinished craft projects
      3. To organise a family health plan which includes good eating, exercise and quality family time.

    13. Hi all,

      This is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. My hubby and I used to be very materialistic, and we have slowly come to realise how depressed we were, always running after the “latest and greatest” and not stopping to think how lucky we are with what we have and who we are!

      My needs are:
      1. A winter coat (I don’t have one and now live in Melbourne!)
      2. A permanent job
      3. To find my purpose (i.e. feeling very stifled in my career, need to work out what career to move into)
      4. More quality time with my hubby.
      5. To lose quite a bit of weight (starting on this one already)

      My wants are:
      1. Cheap generic brand psych meds for my hubby.
      2. To finish organising my house – getting there, just paperwork, clothes and hubby’s art supplies and tools to go!
      3. To have a productive vegie garden with a worm farm! I have leeks, snow peas and chives growing at the moment!
      4. To see my girlfriend who has been in Uganda for the past 9 months (she is coming home in just over a month, with a hubby, step daughter and a bub due in June!)
      5. To be able to say the right things that will help my sisters when they are in crisis (one with a very dodgy hubby, and the other has boys with serious medical issues).

      Thats about it for me and it was hard to come up with them too! I guess I am pretty happy with what I have!

    14. Kim… it’s great you can acknowledge that ‘stuff’ doesn’t make you happy… I really like your lists, too. I *want* a smart winter coat – I have a very casual one, but I need a good one. I mean, *want* a good one *LOL*!

    15. Thanks for the blog

      Focusing on the new consumerism is a great exercise. Sorting out our wants and needs is not an answer it is just a way of reviewing our thinking and liberating ourselves from stuff – because yes it doesn’t make us happy.

      Time with family and friends is important, as is being healthy both emotionally and physically.

      Being SORTED is about having time to spend on those things and not be too busy dusting our flat screen TVs.

      Speaking of which our TV has been out of action for a few months now giving me plenty of quality time with my husband and for my self. I have done a lot more reading!

      My lists
      So maybe I don’t really need a lightweight layback stroller (my current pram being heavy and old) but it would be nice.

      I think I can probably justify a new pair of glasses as I wear them 24/7 and the paint is peeling.

      To try and be healthy by walking at least three times a week (with that big old pram)
      To be a good person, by listening without judging.

      Thanks again Lissanne for the opportunity to ponder these things.

    16. Pingback: The Home Office Organizer·

    17. Hi there Lissane

      I have wandered off the decluttering path so this list might help me get back on track.


      To reconnect with the important people in my life (work and kids can reek havoc with relationships)

      To take better care of my body.

      Find time to relax and reignite my passions. (hobby and husband covered there!)

      Less time doing “the third thing” That’s when I know its time to clean the floors but I would just love to curl up with that new novel and instead I internet surf and pretend I am “working”. Such a waste of time. Hang on am I doing it right now???! :o)

      To stop apologizing to other people when I fail to live up to my own fantasies.


      That gorgeous handbag I am trying to forget.

      A holiday somewhere warm with lots of water and babysitting

      A housekeeper who tidies before she cleans. (good bye to pre cleaning panic)

      To tell my husband that he can stop work, that we don’t need his money.

      To write a book

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