A Little Philosophy: Pack light
The word “light” refers to illumination that makes things visible and weight.
Daily, many of us pack things to bring during our commutes (or leave previously packed things in the car, adding to the burden) as well as for trips, short and long.
If what we pack is not light, it drags us down and keeps us from truly enjoying what we see.
While most of us try to pack as little as possible, the answers to the questions we usually ask ourselves about packing don’t help us meet our objective. We confuse trying to choose “just enough” for “choosing what we actually need.”
Example: When I packed for a trip in the past, I would select what I wanted (possibly adding a few extras), instead of what I needed. What I needed were suitcase space hogs such as shoes and a heavy sweater or coat. Of course, the room left after essentials were tucked away dictated how much more could be reasonably brought.
Storage of any type poses problems, whether packing drawers (desk, bedroom, kitchen, etc.) or handbags and backpacks, often resulting in anything but light.
The best tools to help us meet our objectives are specific questions. Here are examples:
- Is the thing very inexpensive and easily replaced?
- Is the thing never used?
- Is the technology behind the thing very outdated?
- Is the thing broken or damaged?
- Is the emergency I am saving this thing for unlikely?
- Is there a lighter, smaller version of the thing?
- If the thing is expensive, but I never use it, can I give it away?
The best practice is to make the things you use frequently easily accessible. That, in turn, will certainly lighten your days.
For more help, the most thoughtful online guide I’ve found on this subject is How to get rid of clutter (Dummies.com). Should you buy the book, give it to someone else when done!
- Google response to the question “how to decide what to keep“
- How to get rid of clutter, Dummies.com. Best suggestions: 1. Before you start, find a clutter recipient, and 2. Take digital pictures of your mementos, then toss the mementos.
- Keep or toss? 12 questions to help you declutter, by Christina Tiplae on EmbracingSimpleBlog.com, May 2015
- When to get rid of clutter, by Elizabeth Larken on TheSpruce.com, June 2019
Article by Karen Little, first published for Littleviews.com on August 5, 2019, all rights reserved by Karen Little and Littleviews. You may re-publish this article in a non-commercial site with permission from Karen.
Questions? Ask Karen at email@example.com. Do you have an article you’d like to see in this series? Karen would love to hear from you.