All 55 Things I Own

It’s that time again, time to figure out what I’ve got, what to get rid of and where I can be more efficient when it comes to the stuff I’m hauling around with me from place to place.

Last time I tallied in at 51 things, and the time before that was 72. This time I count 55, but there are some caveats on that number.

First, as always, I count the power cords and cases that go with the items as part of the item. This means that my Macbook Pro, its power cord, and its sleeve all count as one item in my mind. I also don’t count anything that gets used up, like food or contact lenses and lens solution. This doesn’t upset my moving too much, since I generally just replace these things when I arrive anyway, and I go through them so fast keeping an accurate count would be a purposeless exercise in futility.

Second, I just bought a guitar at a local street market and I’ll be getting rid of it as soon as I take off, so I’m counting it for now, but it won’t be sticking around when I leave Bangkok in November.

Third, I’m also getting rid of one of the hard drives, one of the workout shirts, one pair of boxer briefs, and one of my v-neck undershirts, knocking the number down to 50 in November. But it’s not November yet, and for the time being I’m at 55, and that’ll have to do for now.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about what products I use and which they should use when traveling, and as a result I decided to set up a new site just for reviews of products and services that make doing what I do possible

I saw a lot of people posting their own photo galleries of possessions after the last update, and I’d love to see more this time around!

Update: January 26, 2017

I stopped posting photos of all the things I own several years ago when I discovered that it seemed to reinforce the idea that “minimalism” means owning as few things as possible.

That’s not the case. We’re not any better or more moral when we own less. The idea is to own exactly the right number of things for you and your priorities, and that will mean something different for everyone.

If you want to focus on travel and experiences like me, chances are you’ll want to own less, because everything you own is likely something you’ll have to carry (like I do) or store somewhere (which is wildly inconvenient and potentially expensive). If you need equipment or gadgetry to do your work, if your passion is collecting unicorn statuettes, if you’re truly fulfilled by owning all the books you’ve ever read, then you should; just don’t buy the big screen TV you feel you’re supposed to own. Save that money for more unicorn statuettes.

Which is to say that you should prioritize your time, energy, and resources for the stuff that really matters. That may be possession stuff, that may be relationship stuff, that may be personal hobbies and projects stuff. Most likely, it’ll be a uniquely shaped combination of all these things, and that’s worth embracing.

You needn’t own a few dozen possessions to be a minimalist, you just have to focus on the vital things and act accordingly.