When I prepare for a trip, I pack light. I mean really light. No checked luggage, no matter if I’ll be gone for a few days or for weeks.
Here’s my typical packing list:
- Backpack & laundry bag
- 1 formal outfit (if needed, if not this becomes casual)
- 1 casual outfit
- 1 workout outfit
- 2 pairs of shoes
- 2 extra tops
- 1 rain jacket & 1 sweater
- Undergarments & swimsuit
- Toiletterie bag & a few accessories
- Book(s) & iPad, iPhone, extra power, keyboard & earbuds
- travel blanket that doubles as a wrap
- sunglasses & hat
All of this fits into the backpack (preferred) or a rolling suitcase if I need to look more professional. If the trip is only a few days, I’ll ditch the workout outfit and one of the casual outfits.
What I have packed is sufficient for me to play, work when inspired to do so, and everything in between. I have all the essentials with me and nothing more. I also feel I can always buy whatever I’ve forgotten or omitted and, so far, I can only think of a few occasions where that has been the case.
Home Is Where The Stuff Is
Our home is another matter entirely (as is my inbox, but that’s a story for another day). I would say that, despite getting rid of a lot and accumulating less, I still live in a chaotic environment. Despite feeling great when I do get rid of stuff, I tend to save everything. And, when I do put things aside to donate, the boxes tend to sit there, sometimes for weeks before they make it out the door. A number of boxes and various items have made it out of our home this year, but it’s not nearly enough to start feeling like I’m making life-improving progress. When there’s too much of what feels like everything, getting rid of hundreds of items doesn’t seem to make a dent.
I’m not suggesting that I want to live like a pauper or that I need to become a minimalist (though I have, of sorts in having less come into our home), but I want to feel free to live with less, no matter how much square footage we have.
Here’s where I know we can easily cut (percentages are in volume):
- Books - 50%
- Paperwork (my office is a mess) - 90%
- Clothes - 50%
- Kitchenware - 50%
- VHS (I know!) & DVD - 95%
- General stuff - 80%
- Sports equipment - 30%
- Furniture - 20%
- Electronics - 50%
I just have to get over the pang of guilt about throwing things out. I know it’s silly, but knowing and doing are two different things, aren’t they?
I’m sincerely hoping that Marie Kondo’s book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing will help. It did come highly recommended.
I’ve just started reading it and I sincerely hope that it leads me to shed some belongings, just as a few other books have helped me do in the past.
Curious what those were? Here you go:
The books above are all good in their own way and they've each lead to some good changes in my thinking and behaviour.
And I want more.
I know the feeling of travelling light. Now let’s see how close I can get to knowing how it feels to live light…or at least a little lighter.