Living Out of One Bag


Over the winter holiday, my husband and I traveled to Italy.  We would be away for five weeks and I was determined to travel as light as possible (in winter), take just a carry-on and my small backpack.  I carefully curated a couple of mix-and-match outfits, brought one pair of riding boots, then wore my winter coat and tennis shoes on the plane, and brought a bunch of toiletries and my computer.  One carry-on and one backpack, done!  This kind of downsizing really suited me.  I could easily keep track of everything and carry my own gear from place to place, reducing concern about the safety of my things.  Each day I wore almost the same thing, covered up by my winter jacket.  At the end of the week, we would do a small load of wash and hung our clothes to dry.

When we got home from our trip, I noticed that without the confines of a suitcase I was a tad overwhelmed at the amount of stuff I have.  I found myself wanting to wear the same Italy outfits because the process was simple and it saved me time.  Now the laundry was swiftly accumulating and I was back to my routine of washing two or three times a week.  Wash, dry, fold.  Repeat.

By simplifying one task, pre-planning my outfits, I gained a coveted resource: time.  In turn, I spent that time on things that felt truly enriching such as a relaxing coffee and croissant breakfast, sight-seeing in the hill towns of Tuscany, reading and researching our surroundings, cooking a home-made dinner.

I can see clearly now how things take up our time – that is, acquiring things, having things and maintaining them, all requires a huge chunk of our time.

Time is our most precious gift on this earth.  It’s a non-renewable resource.  We cannot get even one second back.  “Possessions are worse than worthless – they’re harmful…and cost you everything.” Lesson learned: Be sure the things that take my time are worthy of giving it away.

I certainly plan to continue to own stuff (I’m not quite at a minimalist level yet…) but I hope this awareness will help me improve my household habits when it comes to purchasing, maintaining, reusing, reducing and decluttering.

I’m kind of missing that one-bag lifestyle.  Guess I’ll have to take another trip to Italy!

Check out this: Living Lightly With the One-Bag Lifestyle, by Leo Babauta at Zen Habits

Published by Tasha Standridge

Life Adventurer - Always Learning - Positivity Warrior - Cultivating Kindness

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