As a minimalist, it’s important that my possessions do not own me and that what I do own serves multiple purposes, is high-quality, and as sustainable as possible.
That being said, I’m also somewhat style-conscious and want to make sure that I have what I need to successfully run my business from the road, live a fulfilling lifestyle, and enjoy a healthy social life.
So as part of my effort to further reduce and optimize my possessions, here is a list of everything I own.
Already many items on this list are on the chopping block, as I haven’t used them in the 2 months I’ve been in Buenos Aires and doubt I’ll use them for the rest of my stint in Argentina.
Note: I’ve packaged smaller things together into one item, so for example I’m counting all of my pens and pencils as one item, and the same holds true with the small items that I keep in my wallet.
Other note: I’m not counting transitory items that come and go quickly – things like currency, food and soap. These are technically possessions, but they don’t take up the same kind of ‘ownership space’ in my mind, and I’ll likely be getting rid of them as soon as I leave anyway.
- Green tshirt
- Dark blue v-neck tshirt
- Green/grey long sleeve tshirt
- Tan tshirt
- White v-neck tshirt (with Google Homepage drawn on it…ah, Halloween)
- Light blue polo
- Yellow polo
- Grey polo
- Light blue military-style shirt
- Light blue shirt
- Torn up jeans
- Rock star jeans
- Fashiony jeans
- Green casual jacket
- Dark blue fancier jacket
- 5 pairs of boxer briefs
- 6 pairs of socks (solid colors and argyle)
- Brown leather belt
- Brown leather watch
- Slim Slimmy Wallet, Passport, ID, Debit cards, Credit card, Pesos, Business card with notes scribbled all over it
- Cheap sunglasses
- Newsie-style hat
- Brown leather flip flops
- Brown leather sexy shoes
- Vibram Five Finger workout shoes
- Nike+ workout watch and sensor
- Workout shorts
- 2 sleeveless workout shirts
- Travel journal
- Medium and small Moleskine notebooks
- Array of pens, pencils and markers
- iPod Touch and armband
- iPhone headphones
- Unlocked RAZR
- Brown leather satchel
- EEE PC 1005HA netbook with sleeve
- 15″ Macbook Pro
- 15″ Mabook Pro sleeve
- Wireless Mighty Mouse
- 3 USB-powered hard drives
- Mini DisplayPort to DVi adapter
- Mac Software install discs
- Lumix LX3 digital camera with case
- HF100 Digital HD camcorder with remote
- Gorillapod tripod
- Spare 512 MB SD card and microfiber screen-cleaning cloth
- Rechargeable batteries
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
- Nose and facial hair trimmers
- Hair product
- Prescription glasses and case
- Spare contact lenses, case and solution
- Carry-on bag
- Wine aerator
How many things do YOU own? Do you think it’s important to know? Sound off in the comment section below!
Update: November 25, 2016
So, okay. There are things to be said here.
First, my list is radically different today than it was back then. I hardly recognize the person who saw fit to carry a wine aerator as 1.5% of all his possessions.
Second, this post originally had a bunch of photos, but I’ve removed them. This is partially because they were terrible photos, and partially because they reinforce the third point, below.
And that third point is this: I’ve stopped publishing lists of things that I own because I find it confuses people about what minimalism is. It’s not about owning less, and you don’t get points for possessing fewer items than someone else. I (and a few other people in the space at the time) accidentally started a weird sort of arms race back then, which resulted in a whole lot of people misconstruing owning very little for travel-purposes as an absolute model for how any minimalist in any situation must live. This is not the case: for me and my needs while on the road, it makes sense to own only what will fit in my carry-on bag. For other people, it will be different because their needs are different. That’s okay. That’s how it should be.
I’ve removed those photos and I thought about removing the list, as well, but I find it’s interesting for me to look back at this personal archeology and see what I was carrying back in the day. If you want to see what sorts of things (and which brands I recommend), you can see some of that here. But otherwise, don’t worry so much about what other people are carrying, and worry more about what you need to do the work you enjoy doing and to live a life that will fulfill you. Then eschew the superfluous, and reinvest in the good stuff (and that good stuff will often be experiences, not things).