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
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.