In May I moved out of the house I shared with my ex. It was a great spot, furnished beautifully, and spacious—a rare luxury for downtown San Francisco. The heartache of leaving a relationship of three years was compounded by the anchorless feeling of no longer having a place to call “home.” For the first few weeks I hauled several bags and containers from one friend’s apartment to another, silently cursing each time I had to repack all my worldly belongings and lug them to another location. Then something amazing happened…
I 80/20’d my life and learned the joy of living with less…
After a particularly annoying experience of dragging multiple suitcases up several flights of stairs, I asked myself the question “what do I REALLY need?” Soon after, I spread out all my stuff and created three piles:
The love/need pile is relatively easy to determine: do you need it? (For example:. toothbrush, X pairs of socks, chargers.) or do you love it? The few clothes that are versatile + make me feel great, hairdryer, mannequin hand with all the fingers broken off except the middle one (separate story, but I do love it!). Everything else automatically went into the other piles.
Keepsakes and Mementos were easy too. My high school yearbook, photos over the years, a few framed pictures of family + friends, my grandmother’s travel case, letters, and so on.
Like so many things living with less followed Pareto’s principle closely—I went from 5 suitcases/bags to 1 and the overall weight of my belongings is down by 70%.
Even better, I started enjoying traveling versus dreading “packing up” and going somewhere else.
This minimalism, or only keeping what I love/need, has allowed me to fly out on a whim to Miami for a few weeks to work on an awesome project with some cool people. My one bag and me are excited to tan in the South Florida sun while many of my contemporaries on the West Coast use their weekends buying more stuff that in essence shackles them to one location.
So ask yourself, the next time you hear the siren’s call of shopping: Do I need or love this? Does this add to my or others’ happiness? Does this purchase help me live my best life?
If the answer is anything other than “hell yeah!” put the credit card back in your wallet and instead invest that money into an experience.
Check out my current project, Roam.Co, come co-live with me in Miami, or explore their amazing properties in Bali and Madrid!