Thursday, November 11, 2010

On Overpacking

I read a guest post on Zen Habits today  about traveling lightly. The author, Francine Jay, explained that she learned of the joy of traveling lightly, and then applied those principles to her life in general, thereby becoming Miss Minimalist in the blogsphere.

My problem is that I hate travelling lightly. I would rather lug an inappropriately large suitcase up the steps of the New York subway in the rain(and I have!) than open my bag and not have something I want. I have tried many times to restrict the amount of luggage I carry and each and every time I regret not having something that I left behind because it didn't fit in the suitcase. I never bring more than I can carry myself (a point of pride for this single girl), but I still carry a bag full of spares,back ups, and just-in-cases.

What I am learning from all of these blogs and books on simplifying is that I'm just not a minimalist. I crave simplicity and less clutter, but I still like to have stuff. I want Christmas decorations and too many shoes and enough matching glasses to serve everyone that comes over. The important part of this realization is that I don't even want to be a minimalist. I could sell all of my stuff and take two backpacks to Australia (a la Baker and his wife from Man vs Debt), or quit my job and move to Guam (like Leo Babauta), or live in an 86 square foot house (as in the Tiny House movement), but these are not really my goals. For me, simplicity means living within my financial means, not getting too weighed down by my possessions, and knowing where stuff is in my house. Simplicity also means focusing on my own goals and not getting too bogged down on what others are doing. Ironically, this is Leo's advice in The Simple Guide to the Minimalist Life.  For me, it is truly about needing a simple guide to a great life- or actually just taking the time to realize that I already know how to do it!

If you are reading this blog, you are probably seeking simplicity in your life also. What does simple mean to you? Is is a large suitcase full of possibilities, a tiny backpack that you can sling over your shoulder, or perhaps skipping the trip altogether and having a relaxing staycation? I would love to hear!

Until then, KISS (keep it simple stupid)!

1 comment:

  1. I think for me simplicity would mean not being terrified of the thought of having to move my stuff. It shouldn't be an overwhelming thought thinking of how you'd get all your stuff moved.

    When moving to Columbus complete with the movers paid for by Nationwide was what I thought my future held, I was secretly scared that the movers would make it clear I had way too much stuff for one person...which I clearly do!


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