Simplifying Your Life by Ditching the Excess

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One fact of full-time traveling is that you don’t have unlimited space to store all of the junk that we accumulate in a more traditional home setting.

Sure, you can see this as a downside, a reason to perhaps think twice about traveling full-time, but I ask you for a few moments of your time that I might convince you otherwise.

Possessions are our masters. The more stuff we have, the less life is ours to live.

Consider how much space there is in your house. When you first got the place, it was empty. You spent time filling it up with, if you’re like most Americans, boxes full of things that you haven’t looked at–let alone used–in years. Some of these items cost you money, money you had to spend time making. It’s easy to say, “Oh I like this whatever,” purchase it and stash it away in some attic or garage corner, never to see it again. You’ve just wasted some portion of your life, the part where you traded some of your time for the money you used to purchase it, the time you spent purchasing it and getting it home, and then finally the time you spent stashing it away. And all for something you really aren’t even going to use.

Even when the excess in our life is given to us, Christmas and birthdays, it costs us. Houses fill up, feel cramped, and then you spend whole afternoons or weekends organizing. You buy containers to better organize all of this random nothing, and then shelves to organize those containers. It just goes on and on.

When we learn to live with less, we really discover that we’re not even really living with all that much less than we need, but just getting rid of everything in between. You probably don’t use all ten knives in your kitchen drawer, but you have to sort through the eight you don’t to find the one or two you do tend to use. Chances are you don’t actually wear all fifteen of those pairs of jeans you’ve got, but rather lean toward one or two over and over again. Nevermind the big chunks of time we spend cleaning out the basement every month, all of these small wasted seconds sorting through our life’s collection add up over time–into years.

There is actually an entire movement based around these ideas. It’s called minimalism and it lends itself perfectly well to travel.

Still, just because we know we need to shed some possessions in order to hit the road, doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Getting over sentimentality can be the hardest part of this entire transformation.