My Minimalist Experiment

For a 4 month trip to Finland, I set out to find what the smallest number-of-belongings-I-could-bring-and-still-live-comfortably would be. It was mostly for convenience, but I was also tired of stepping around stuff in my room, and being around the full closet of clothes that I didn’t wear.

So, upon doing a little bit of math (7 days a week with one of those days for laundry), some seasonal consideration (fall/winter), and knowing what I already would be provided during my stay I decided to bring:

  • 7 light tops
  • 2 heavy sweaters
  • 2 light jackets
  • 2 heavy jackets
  • 1 pair of winter boots
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 1 pair of black booties
  • 4 pairs of pants
  • undergarments and socks for 9 days
  • 2 towels
  • 2 scarves
  • a beanie
  • toiletries
  • my laptop
  • school stuff

Basically it was enough to fill up 3/4 of a large sized rolling suitcase. Packing up was easy, which also meant settling in was a piece of cake.

During my stay, most of what I bought was what I needed: food, toilet paper.

I kept souvenirs and other extra physical belongings to a minimum, which kept my room fairly neat and clean throughout the 4 month stay.

Nearing the end of my visit, I realized that I could live with even less and that I actually brought more than I needed. I decided to revise my list:

  • 7 light tops TO 5 light tops and 2 thermal tops
  • 2 heavy sweaters
  • 2 light jackets TO 1 light waterproof jacket
  • 2 heavy jackets TO 1 heavy jacket
  • 1 pair of winter boots
  • ̶1̶ ̶p̶a̶i̶r̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶s̶n̶e̶a̶k̶e̶r̶s̶
  • 1 pair of black booties
  • 4 pairs of pants TO 1 pair of thermal leggings and 3 pairs of pants
  • undergarments and socks for 9 days
  • 2 towels TO 1 towel
  • 2 scarves TO 1 scarf
  • a beanie
  • toiletries
  • my laptop
  • school stuff TAKE OUT all extra notebooks

What I figured was that everything I put in for “just incase” never came to use. Everything I put in for “when I have time” never came to use. And in most cases, if it was really important, I would be able to buy it.

Obviously not everybody wants to live with just what they need, and that’s OK. However, I will mention that it never felt so liberating and clear to have just what I packed. Coming from a family of memorabilia-hoarders and parents that were always too busy to clean up, it was good to diverge away from that and learn from what could be.

If you have your own minimalist experiment I’d love to hear!

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