I recently took a four-day trip out of state to visit some old friends. On this trip, I packed the following:
- 2 sets of clothing (pants & t-shirts)
- Jacket layers (an insulated flannel shirt, a zip sweater, and an outer rain layer)
- The book I’m currently reading (“A Walk in the Woods” by: Bill Bryson)
- Notebook & pen
- Laptop, charger
- Phone, charger
- Travel Mug
- Tooth brush, paste, and deodorant
- Items for some games I knew we would be playing
In total, I packed into my regular backpack and a half-full small duffle bag. During the trip, I had a few realizations about what I had brought with me. First, I didn’t actually need everything I had brought with me. Second, with what I had brought with me in my two bags, I was able to do every activity I would have done if I had instead spent the weekend at home. I at no point found myself wanting for anything I had left at home or thinking of something I could do if only I had ___. Truthfully, I was pretty wrapped up in spending time with the friends I had traveled to visit, but I had multiple moments of consideration of this weekend in comparison to my regular weekends. Not a thing was missing.
On the drive home, I thought about “what is it I do with all the other possessions I have which never make it on the packing list for trips such as this one?” I could think of many examples, but none of them productive or fulfilling. So this weekend I decided to push myself to purge all the items I don’t ever bring with me on trips away from home. I have either packed them away for the time being or gotten rid of them entirely. Primarily what I have gotten rid of or packed away are books. I also let go of a couple items of clothing and quite a bit of paperwork I realized is no longer of any importance or use to me. It always stuns me just how much space gets filled up with odds and ends which I don’t quite know why I have them. At some point I clearly legitimized picking them up and had a specific reason to own it, yet looking back now it has lost its usefulness and is certainly not worth hanging on to.
My challenge to myself is to now see how long it takes for me to miss any of these items. There’s certainly a chance I will want some of them back, which is why those I think may be in this category I will be hanging on to for now instead of getting rid of. However, if I don’t find myself wanting them back after some time, it will be safe to call myself done with them and permanently remove them from the house.