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Want.

Want


What do I want?


You, like me, may go through your day and think of lots of things you want.


Working at home seems to lend itself to this want mode. As I get up from my computer or leave my office and walk from one room to the next I always seem to see things/think of things that I want/need/would like to have or get for our house. A side table here. A new shower curtain there. An old typewriter for my office. An old flat file. More art for the walls. A mug without a handle would be delightful for my coffee too.


Most of these things are not necessary stuff like toilet paper. They are things that would be nice to have but I/we don't really need. Sometimes they are things I see online posted by some of my favorite blogs/inspirational sites or etsy. Sometimes they are something that I think would help me organize something else.

Because I like to go to antique/second hand stores for lots of these sorts of things I decided to start a little book that sits right below my computer monitor. Easily accessible. And tangible. A home for all these wants. And something I can take along with me to remind myself of the things I have wanted (and I can add things like dimensions + such for larger pieces).


But what I am really working on is not having to have things right now. Or maybe even at all.


I am working on holding off on buying stuff. So far I have found with this little book system that I am often satisfied simply by the act of writing it down. And then time goes by and maybe (often) the want goes away. It is helping me remember that I really already have everything I need.


The wants that do stay around seem a bit more worth it after the wait.


Stamps used on this little Moleskine book were acquired in Tokyo in 2006. Leslie sometimes has them available here.

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121 thoughts

  1. Michelle says…
    01/08/2008

    That is an awesome idea!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Traci says…
    01/08/2008

    martha stewart had a girl (the girl works for martha) on her show that made notebooks w/papers from the office. pretty cute. might make one of those and use it for this!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Lisa says…
    01/08/2008

    I remember when I was a kid folding over the corners of the Sear and JC Penny's books of things I wanted....still do that will all the cataloges I get. Ripping out the pages I want and putting them in a folder. I think I get almost as much satisfaction from that. I go through it now and then and filter through the great finds. It's like my list of favorites. Instead of shopping it's like collecting great ideas for possibilities. Sometimes just knowing I found a cool thing is thrill enough. Unshopping?

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Kate Van Vleck says…
    01/08/2008

    I love this idea! There is something about letting an idea travel from your mind through your hand and then onto the paper that just helps you let it go, a physical let go! So simple, like an exhale. Love it!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. joyce says…
    01/08/2008

    Esty shoppes here and creative items there, trinket bundles that cost more then hubby is willing to pay...thanks for the reminder about writing your wants down and giving them a little time. I have a lot of these lists written down in my daily journal -some of the older ones (by the time I could actually buy them), most of the items were discontinued. Happy happies to you.

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  6. Sally says…
    01/08/2008

    Ali, it's like reading my thoughts. What a great idea - I just love it. Inspirational as always.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Deb Wisker says…
    01/08/2008

    I have a Wants list too, but it is a list of books I want to read. All too often I'm stuck on line at the grocery store and read People mag's "pics & Pans" for the book reviews, write down the title and author and eventually treat myself to a trip to Barnes and Noble. My list, by the way, is 4 pages long. Someday I'll catch up with my reading!!

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  8. Lindsay says…
    01/08/2008

    Ali, you always have such incredible way to inspire and this is just perfect, especially for the post- Christmas feelings of blah I have going on right now (I'm a teacher, so yesterday was a tough jolt back to reality).
    Thanks!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Frances M says…
    01/08/2008

    Fab idea! Been "wanting" to do something like your book for awhile including some sort of to do things i.e., make light in bedroom a dimmer. Just starting to read your new book now. Love the format!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Jess S says…
    01/08/2008

    I love this idea. I tend to get caught up in the things I have to have. I think I will try to keep a list and see if this helps. Jess

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Sarah Corbett says…
    01/08/2008

    I need a system like this too because I tend to want it and then go out and buy it, which is bad for my budget!! Thanks for some inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Kim Hacking says…
    01/08/2008

    Great idea! Man, I wish I had been as wise as you 10 years ago. You always amaze me with your vision.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Brooke says…
    01/08/2008

    Thank you SO much, Ali, for this idea. I WANT to stop wanting and more so, follow through with being content. Writing things down has always been a favorite of mine and maybe, just maybe, this will help with my habit of wanting. Huh. Think about that.....a habit of writing things down to stop another habit? Leave it to you to always make me stop and FOCUS ( my one word ) on what's important.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. cathy walters says…
    01/08/2008

    yup, super cool idea! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. CarrieJ says…
    01/08/2008

    Of course I think of "things" I want when I walk around the house, but my BIG WANT is the structural stuff I would do to my house. It was so designed by a man that did not think once about the fact that someone would have to place furniture in here. I want to move doors, and I want to make walls, and I desperately want to overhaul the kitchen cabinets. I think it is knowing that we can't do that right now that makes me WANT to buy little things, but like you I am trying not to. Right now the main thing I want is canvas ... AND TIME!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Jeanette says…
    01/08/2008

    The sense of accomplishment I achieve just by writing what I want and/or need on a sheet of paper makes me feel good. So I couldn't agree more with your theory.
    I sometimes tear photos out of catalogs and magazines and save them. And about a month or two down the road I flip through them again and find that a majority of the items I've saved I no longer have a yearning for.
    Creating an "I Want" book is a brilliant idea. Number one on my list right now is to see Ali Edwards at Scrapbowl next month. ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. misti says…
    01/08/2008

    I have a moleskine and I have never turned back! I was keeping a "want" list for awhile but now it is mostly a "want to craft" list. Someday it will all get done. Maybe!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Sue says…
    01/08/2008

    Fantastic idea Ali, as always. Constantly amazed (and oh so pleased) at your ideas and those of others who comment on your blog - just confirms to me that there are others (many, many others) who think like me - so comforting to know that my thoughts and feelings are "normal" (because there are many times when I feel that they are not!) Will be working on my "want" book today. :-)

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Cherie says…
    01/08/2008

    Super idea - one my husband and I could both add to - especially when thinking about the house!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. kristy says…
    01/08/2008

    Another great idea Ali!
    We are currently visualizing wants vs. needs with a legal pad on our refrigerator. It's a great constant reminder of the BIG wants we want that we could eventually get if we didn't get all the little ones! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Mo says…
    01/08/2008

    Great philosophy!
    And there might be something pulling us in the same direction universally speaking. I have been toying with making a wish list similar to your want book. I was even going to use a black Moleskin too.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Leah says…
    01/08/2008

    i do this too...a really good way to control the impulse shopping!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Leah says…
    01/08/2008

    i do this too...a really good way to control the impulse shopping!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Rebecca says…
    01/08/2008

    Ali - this is so great. It's an ongoing effort for me of small impromptu garage sales (tricky at times with Central NY weather) and giving things away to friends and charity. It clears the path to open space in small places, and time to consider, at some point in the future, some thoughtful addition to my home space. Have you seen "The Story of Stuff" video on the web? Interesting . . . http://www.storyofstuff.com/
    Thanks for sharing all of your creative inspiration. It seems to come from so many places family, friends, nature, recipes, etc.
    Keep it coming . . .

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  25. Nicole says…
    01/08/2008

    Love this idea to bits!

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