I remember last Summer going into a bookstore and looking for the latest interesting books and I ended up finding this book that challenges the reader to live with only 100 things. I found it interesting to live in such way, and since then I have been obsessed with the idea.
Traveling and packing became a part of my life since High School, from packing every weekend, to packing every 3 months. I learned to be strategic with packing very young. The challenge was when I started MOVING for months. From Lisbon to Milan, Milan to London and London to Lisbon and still traveling in between.
Sounds exhausting, but it’s instantly easier when you can fit everything you own in just 2 bags. - That is my goal.
Today I am going to share with you not only how to live with less but how living with less will help you in different levels.
Just the thought of having to choose at the beginning sounded almost impossible, mostly because when you find enjoyment in fashion and you work with it, you end up owning new things every week.
The benefits of living with less are more than I can count, but here’s some:
1. If you’re looking to travel more or even move to another place it’s not a big deal to pack and you don’t have to make a lot of choices.
2. When you have to let go of more than half of what you own, you end up living with the best quality items, it makes a difference when you see that most of what you own went from being cheaper items that you used to buy more often, to the best quality ones that you bought less often but have more value. This also makes you feel wealthier.
3. Making hard choices makes you smarter, next time you have to choose something you will know exactly what you want because you forced yourself to pick a direction not only in terms of style but also in terms of quality.
4. You are more likely to spend less because you know what you have at home and you know that you can always come back for another t-shirt once the one you have no longer serves the purpose.
5. Having less around you helps you to think and to be inspirit. A messy house full of things has a heavy energy. If you tried to study before cleaning your table you know that concentration will be temporarily unavailable.
6. You can live in a smaller place in a better location and again if you don’t like it you can move again. Another point that will make you feel wealthier.
7. You have more to spend in what you really need and maybe even upgrade your lifestyle. The true value is not on owning things but in living experiences.
Things you must consider before getting when living portable:
- Home Decor
- Cute things that serve no purpose - ex. stuffed animals
- Bicycles, Guitars.. (unless this is part of what you do)
- Home Technology - e.x. TV, DVD, Speakers
- Ultimately, getting pregnant
Now I know what you’re thinking “but I can’t just give away my bicycle it is new! And my old shirts are vintage, I don’t use them but there’s definitely value there. Also how could you possibly live with just a few shoes? Accessories? What about my books? Does my box of memories count as one thing? Wouldn’t I be loosing money by giving everything away? Who am I after that?”
• You don’t have to give away everything you can sell online, there’s a market for that. Just don’t price things emotionally, and try to get rid of them as soon as you can so that you don’t have to deal with sales for the rest of the year. - If it doesn’t sell, give it away.
• If you can’t bother spending time selling online, you can give it to a friend. If you know a friend that would actually appreciate some vintage tops or shoes that you only wore once, definitely consider asking her if she wants to take a few things home. I was probably 7 when I started giving my no-longer-needed things to friends.
• Yes you can live with just a few shoes. I now have 3 pairs of boots and I only wear one pair. It’s called go-to for a reason, you go-to them when you’re in a hurry - it’s the easy choice. You can definitely own multiple pairs of shoes if you wear them all in a week. Best way of doing it is pretending you’re packing to travel, whatever is left you don’t need.
• If you have clothes still with tag you can try to find the receipts and return them, there’s a weird pleasure in going into stores and leaving with a fuller wallet. (yes this is legal, it’s called returns!)
• Knowing your style will help you make decisions. Make sure to know which clothes make you feel amazing regardless of what other people have complimented you on, trends or “must-haves”. I would still keep a few basics, like jeans and t-shirts but just the ones I absolutely love.
• Do you have multiple moisturisers and books? Makeup? Me too! Here’s what I am doing: I have to finish everything I avoided using as soon as possible. (ex. body moisturisers) so I have a little corner of things to finish that I have to deal with every day. It’s definitely working! The products will soon be gone and my skin is getting smoother and healthier at the same time! win-win!
• Memory boxes can be kept but must fit all in a box that is smaller that your palm. But if you’re brave enough to let it go, that is the best you can do. Why look at the past when there’s so much to look forward in the future?
• It sounds like you’re “loosing” but you’re just making space for more. You’re detaching from the past making space for new thoughts and things that the future will bring.
• After that? You are a different person, with a new sense of wealth, and health, you are more generous and you live in a much lighter way. You will start thinking more effectively and focusing in your life objectives (even if it’s just making coffee), you will deal better with solitude and emotions and your health will improve.
Becoming portable is definitely a process that is faster when you move often like I do, and when you don’t have a place to leave things (like your parent’s house). If you don’t need to become portable but still find it an interesting way of living, go through everything, from underwear to documents and kitchenware. If you don’t use it, give it away or throw it in the bin. If your house is lighter there’s more space for you to think and to move forward with your life.
There’s so much I could say about this. I hope you try this challenge and that it gives you the shift you need to no longer feel like you’re stuck in life. Life is a jungle, you must let go of the liana that you’re holding and go for the next one in order to move forward and never ever be afraid to fall.
I see you in the next one.
originally written and shared on Mar 19, 2015 at 5:51 PM