The Suitcase Philosophy

The simple life has always had a certain appeal to me.

Perhaps it is my father’s ‘bush roots’ coming out in a city girl like me because, if the state of my room and eating habits are anything to go by, I’ve certainly not embraced the organic lifestyle!

But all this is about to change.

An impending move and a trip overseas (yes, I am very excited!) has gotten me thinking about materially simplifying my little corner of the world.

Looking at all that clutter – as I call it, the spoils of an avid wanderer – one can feel nothing but a sense of dread that, yes, it has all GOT. TO. GO and that I’ll be the one that has to do it. Then again, who else could?

Confronting the beloved treasure trove of books and keepsakes from outings with friends presents one with the realisation that each item is meaningless outside of its context.

Who would want the cinema stub from my first film without mum or my good behaviour award from kindergarten? Only I can answer for each of these.

To enthuse myself for this seemingly endless task, I’ve been doing some research and here are some of my findings:

  1. Clearing the clutter actually heightens brain functionality. Helping us focus more intently and process information without the distractions of whatever might be around us. I’m pretty excited at the prospect of feeling more energised and having more sleep!
  2. Becoming more ordered in our environments also gives us more time to dedicate our attention on other activities, like learning a new instrument, finally going for the run we never quite got to planning or visiting that exhibition we’ve been interested in (rather than spending our Saturday mornings hanging up clothes from the floordrobe).
  3. More freedom and less stress. Now this is the real deal sweetener. We’d be freed from the burden of having many things which get locked away (collecting dust and waiting to be sorted through once again at the next spring clean).

Having the opportunity to roam the streets of Europe for six weeks last year, I challenged myself to live out of aviation approved hand carry during that time.

I like to call this my ‘suitcase philosophy’.

I’ve trialled this once and, believe me, it works!

There’s no mean feat to strategically placing reading material, mobile devices and makeup amongst enough clothes to last until your next visit to the laundromat – leaving one to wish they had Mary Poppins’ bottomless bag.

The freedom, attention and knowledge gained during that trip of essentially living by the Australian motto of ‘no worries’ can also be lived in daily life.

While we need the essentials – a roof over our head, comfortable living space, food – there are many things that we can also do without.

Take a look in your nearest discount store and you’ll find a multitude of examples. (How many of us are suckers for pretty stationary?)

It must be said that revisiting each item has been quite the cathartic experience – reliving old memories, good and bad – but there comes a point when we need to make a clean break from what might hold us to those moments in the past so we can be open to accepting new experiences.

SO… what would you take with you if you were to live life with one suitcase?

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