Back in another lifetime, I hiked (most of) the Appalachian Trail, which is a 4000km or so hike across the USA. I fell into the ultralight category, which was strongly influenced the Ray Jardine’s book, Beyond Backpacking. Essentially, it’s carrying as little as possible in order to move long-distances with as little effort as possible. And this has carried over into my “real-life” these days. I have a few comforts, but really am okay living with the minimum and having a packed-full apartment would truly make me more stressed out than happy.
So what should you do when you find yourself with too much “stuff?” I have a few strategies:
1. Sell. Just this past weekend, I sold a surfboard that’s too small for me and a home-brew beer set-up that I haven’t used in 2 years.
2. Give away. I recently gave away a slow-cooker and laundry drying rack to some friends. I hadn’t used that stuff in months.
3. Wear out. This one is actually my favorite for how to deal with excess clothes. Although I do have a lot of pairs of socks and underwear and t-shirts, I’ll wear the same 4 or 5 almost all the time. My friends even joke about it! When they wear out, I throw them away and just won’t replace them. Same with shoes.
4. Make a list. Going to the grocery store and shopping does not make me feel happy. I’d much rather just pick up vegetables every few days than deal with going to the big supermarket. I do however, keep a list of things I need that I can’t get at the local market. When it gets long enough (maybe once/month), I’ll go. Shopping without a list is the easiest way to end up with too much stuff because you don’t actually know what you need and end up buying multiples.