How I Went Back to One Suitcase of Stuff
Why I love minimalism and why it is not always about being extreme
I came back after a month of the wild life on Isabela Island and I finally managed to come back to just one suitcase of stuff as the total of my belongings. I feel lighter. Lighter means happier, to me.
What I like about my own way of living as a minimalist is the clean mind that it gives me and the mobility that I feel even if I stay in one place for a while. The more I know, the less I need.
Every item of clothing is really my favourite. Before I own anything, I ask myself the question: Does it add value to my life? It’s not always easy because simplicity is surely not a simple thing. But it’s worth trying.
“Simple pleasures are the last healthy refuge in a complex world.” — Oscar Wilde
I am not an extremist. I have a collection of books and some favourite small things that I carry all over the place. Books are my private means to overcome reality. They are reliable, warm, and always available. I am not willing to give them away.
That’s why I believe you don’t need to throw away everything and burn your credit card to be a minimalist. It’s not about all or nothing. Minimalism looks different for everyone because it’s about finding what is essential to you, and only you.
Minimalism is not about what you own, it’s about why you own it.
If you love your vinyl or old furniture, keep it. I am sure it adds tremendous value to your life. But what about other stuff like clothes you haven’t worn for ages, shoes or bags, and just things that we accumulate because we never let anything go? Maybe the life you’ve always wanted to live is buried underneath everything you own?
Let things go. It feels great, I promise. In the first moment, you might think ‘This sweater is very nice actually, I might wear it again at some point.’ If you haven’t put it on in the last 6 months, I assure you that you won’t do it ever again. And I also assure you that you won’t ever wake up and think ‘Oh, this sweater that I once gave away…’ When you get rid of things, you never actively miss them again. It’s just the very short moment when it hurts a bit. And again, it’s worth it!
Minimalism is really the opportunity to get past the abundance of things so you can focus on life’s most important things — which actually aren’t things at all.
So if you want to try it, start by protecting your time. Select the most important things. Make gifts of the ones you don’t need. Share. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Own stuff, don’t let the stuff own you. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Write a story.
And most importantly: Love people, use things. Because the opposite never works.
Now that I feel light again, I can go back to being busy.
Busy being free. Busy becoming a light and happy human being.