The title is exactly what my life has become : an accidental minimalist living out of a suitcase. Through a series of unfortunate events, I have gone from living in a beautiful apartment in Perth with adorable foster kittens, to living in my mum’s house office. And one suitcase.
It all started many years ago, just two weeks after my eighteenth birthday, when I packed up my life in Europe and moved to the other side of the world. I had begun my journey to University of Queensland , Scuba Diving Instructing and falling love with our oceans. I had absolutely no idea what five years down under would entail as I stood at the airport saying teary goodbyes with my family and a total of 88kg of luckage.
Looking back now, I know that’s a lot of luggage, but its a problem I have faced too many times. How do you cut down your belongings when you have so many hobbies? Playing music requires a guitar, scuba diving requires an entire arsenal of equipment, physics requires a good laptop and photography and videography, above and below water is a whole other thing.
In those five years in Australia I moved 13 times. I lived in my car for a period of time, I housesat, slept on couches, traversed the continent all while gaining and losing belongings along the way. Most recently, I packed up all of my scuba equipment, which lets be honest. is around 50% of the weight and mass of my suitcase. The remainder of my belongings were the bare essentials. Check out my whole minimalist packing for six months life in Cambodia. The little hiccup of my plan is that I packed for six months on a tropical, hot island and ended up in France. Which is much more fashionably concious and lot colder.
It’s now been two months and on contrary to being stressed about my clothing, I have found myself feeling more free to focus on other things. So here are my top five reasons why living out of a suitcase is the best thing to have happened to be, and why you should definitely try the minimalist one bag living.
1. THE CEO’s CLOSET
When I was younger, my mum told me a about her Physist friend whos closet looked like something out of a cartoon. Every single shirt was the same, as were the pants, neatly ligned up and ready for the day. I thought it was very funny. What a silly thing to do. Later on in life, I heard of more and more extremely sucessful people who dress this way. To simply : declutter their mind and allow their brain to focus on the things that matter. The official term is to minimise “Decision Fatigue”. Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Barack Obama are just a few of the examples. They are definitely extremly sucessful people, and if it works for them, why should it not work for you and I?
2. LESS TIME
Owning less things inadvertantly means that you spend and therefore waste less time. It takes less time to pick what you will wear, less time to wash it all and less time to iron it. (If you do iron, I somehow always manachge to burn everything) Saving time on something relatively insignificant will allow yourself to free up other time in your life to focus on improving yourself, learning, reading or on your health.
3. FEELING PUT TOGETHER
If you only have a few good quality staple pieces, you have the option to constantly look put together and elegant. Forbes has even claimed that having your standard dress can make you feel iconic, almost famous due to having a uniform and a signature way for people to recognize you. I only have a few t shirts, and absolutely loving not
4. EASIER ON THE WALLET
While back in the day, fashion had four seasons, how they have split it into 52 microseasons a year. Meaning that within a week, the clothes you’ve boug
ht will already be out of fashion. This has been developed to encourage the consumer to buy buy buy. And how well it works! An average american throws out 30kg of textile waste a year. Fashion is worth a soaring 1.2 trillion dollars. I have spoken about this briefly before, but the amount of waste generated is a huge demand on the environment. Leading us to our 5th point.
5. BETTER FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT
30kg of textile waster per person just in the USA amounts to 15 million tons every single year. While textile recycling has improved, only 15% of this enormous amount is actually donated or recycled in other manners, the remaining 85% goes straight to a landfill. I cannot even imagine how large this waste is, but its yet another reason why buying trendy low quality items is not the way to go.
So these are just the benefits of wearing minimal amount of clothing and not spending much money on new clothing. Minimalism in general has proved to be a fascinating topic.
Minimalism is a tool to freedom. Freeing your mind from worry, freedom from depression, freedom from comsumerism, freedom from guilt. As described by the Minimalists.
“Minimalism has helped us…
- Eliminate our discontent
- Reclaim our time
- Live in the moment
- Pursue our passions
- Discover our missions
- Experience real freedom
- Create more, consume less
- Focus on our health
- Grow as individuals
- Contribute beyond ourselves
- Rid ourselves of excess stuff
- Discover purpose in our lives”
The best part seems to be, that it allows you to focus on other things apart from the consumerism we are so used to living in. Check out this whole list of benefits of minimalism! Minimalism can mean different things to different people, and while I will keep my car, I think I will also continue to live out of my suitcase for the upcoming future.
I have felt freer, and I have definitely been more productive mentally. What are your thoughts about living out of a suitcase?