I just got back from a two week vacation. There were three of us and we had a car at our disposal. Although I consider myself a minimalist I still was packing a big weekend bag, a backpack (my laptopbag) and my mediation mat (even rolled up it’s still quite big). My in-line skates were thrown in the trunk as well as a jacket.
All in I had filed the trunk of the car for about 1/3
After everything was packed the three of us wanted to take along, not only the trunk was full, but the back seats were covered as well, leaving a niche for the backseat driver to fold in to.
Something went wrong there, don’t you think?!
Here I am, blogging (among other things) about minimalism and I need 1/3 of a car trunk to haul everything! That’s just wrong. Upon getting home I did what everything does when home: unpack. But I did it consciously. Not just stuffing everything back to where it belongs, but looking at it and asking myself “did I use this?” and in several cases following the answer with a second question “Then why the *bleep* did I bring it along?!”
Going through my bag this way took some time and served the dual purpose of being my meditation for the evening. Meditative unpacking, give it a try.
In the end I had a nice pile of stuff I actually didn’t use in the whole two weeks. Among them: a pair of shoes, two books, 2 shirts, 2 pairs of socks and a math book I’m supposed to be studying to get ready for University. Unlike Pareto’s law roughly 60% of the content of my bag got serious use, the rest was fluff. I used the skates, but only once. I used my meditation mat every evening and the jacket was used almost every day.
All in I could have packed a lot less and still be on vacation but I need to take this packing more seriously if I’m ever going to be truly location independent. After all, everything has to fit in a carry-on, even if the vacation lasts for year.
If I dropped the skates AND found a portable solution for my meditation mat AND didn’t pack the fluff I think I could have gotten it all in a single bag.
Sorry for the rambling post but there is a message here, a lesson: Next time you unpack your bag after a vacation do it consciously. Ask yourself if you used it and if not why you brought it along. After a few passes I’m sure you’ll be packing far less next time.
Thanks everyone for the nice tweets and comments the past two weeks, I’ve been far less active than I was hoping to be but I’m back home now and read to start kicking again.