I always owned only things I consider as essential. My definition of â€˜essentialâ€™ was a bit looser than my current use of the term â€˜essentialâ€™, so I used to own a lot more things than now, especially paper books.
My current criteria for something being â€˜essentialâ€™ in this case is whether I use it on a regular basis – perhaps once a day, or at least every three day. Although there are some exceptions, everything else must go.
Right now, I can put everything I have into one small backpack (approx. 35l) and one messenger bag (approx. 20l). The things that occupy the largest space in my backpack are my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu uniforms. If I didnâ€™t carry them, I think I would be able to travel only with one messenger bag.
I prefer to be a lightweight person in this sense rather than having so many things and living in clutters, because I find it more practical than the latter option.
Hereâ€™s some of the practical advantages that come to my mind now.
1. Itâ€™s easier to manage your belongings. 50 things vs. 500 things? Managing 50 things is much easier than 500 things.
2. Itâ€™s easier to carry them around. I see a number of travelers with gigantic backpacks. I wonder what they carry with themselves. I know these backpacks must be really, really heavy, though.
3. Itâ€™s easier to check in for a flight and you donâ€™t need to wait for your bags at the destination. You donâ€™t need to worry about them being lost either.
4. Life becomes simpler. I wash my clothes when I take a shower. You donâ€™t need to use a washing machine as often as you might have before. Also, I only have a few options to choose from when it comes to choosing what to wear. Letting go of a collection of clothes might be hard for fashionistas, but I bet you can be more creative when you have limited resources as well.
5. Itâ€™s easier to focus on more important things in life than managing when you donâ€™t have to worry about managing things you own or getting things you donâ€™t really need.
6. Youâ€™d probably save some money as well, because if you choose to live with essential things and stick with that plan, itâ€™s consistent for you to ask this question: do I really need this thing I want to purchase or to get?
Sure, you might not travel often, but 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 still apply to non-travelers as well.
I say being a lightweight person allows you to improve the quality of your life by getting these 6 advantages. There could be more advantages. Itâ€™s a champion life style, my friend.
Here, I wonder. What would be disadvantages of living like a lightweight champion? For myself, I canâ€™t think of any disadvantage, because I enjoy living a minimalistic life. Can you think of any disadvantages?
If you are curious and want to live like a lightweight champion, hereâ€™s an experiment you can do. Choose what you think is essential in your daily lives and live with these items for a month. You can put everything else away in a closet or something. Grab a small backpack, if you have one, or a big garbage bag, and put what you chose in it. If the chosen items fit in it, thatâ€™s great. If not, you need to think about what to go in the bag again.
Give it a go and Iâ€™m looking forward to hearing how you went with this experiment.