Minimalist Packing

Cleaning out my closet really helped me as I packed for my spring break trip. It’s harder to over-pack when you don’t have much to carry in the first place!

I’ve already talked about how important it is to pack light when traveling, but in light of the Minimalist Experiment, I thought I would revisit this topic.

My wife and I are just finishing up our week-long spring break trip to San Antonio. Because of the added cost for any checked baggage, we made sure to bring everything we wanted in our carry-on luggage. Since I only kept about a week’s worth of clothing, this was a simple enough task. I just took everything I had. (Not really, but I did clear out a few drawers.)

So, the rule (1!) of minimalist packing: Don’t take anything that you won’t need. It’s that simple.

It’s very easy to pack extra things, “just in case”. One extra item in each category, and you quickly wind up with far more than you need or want to carry. Do you really need a separate outfit for every day, or can you get some laundry done at your destination? Can you just use the toiletries at the hotel instead of carrying your own (and having the hassle of airport security)? Will you really get so dirty that you need an extra outfit?

Our trip involved a good bit of work, would include working out three days a week, and, of course, a couple of plane rides. I didn’t need to dress up for anything, which always makes it easier. I managed to fit everything into my carry-on.

Packing List

  • 2 jeans – for working/ painting, etc
  • basketball shorts – for running, sleeping, lounging
  • 9 shirts – 1 for each day, and one for exercising
  • 9 socks – 1 for each day, and one for exercising
  • 9 underwear – 1 for each day, and one for exercising
  • hoodie – for the chilly night temperatures
  • 2 handkerchiefs – they take up no space, and are handy for many things
  • toiletries – since I will be sharing my room, I decided not to rely on hotel toiletries – deodorant, soap bar from last trip, toothbrush, and toothpaste
  • sketchpad, watercolors, waterbrush – I’m working on sketching more often throughout the day, I’ll get lots of practice in the airport/on the plane
  • notebook – studying to do, and also lets me write out my ever-present lists
  • book – distractions for the airport and before bed
  • assorted – camera, charger, phone, phone charger, water bottle

This might seem like a lot. However, it was planned so that upon returning home, everything I have has been used, and the only clean clothes are the ones I’m wearing. While I could have packed lighter and done a bit of laundry half-way through the week, I didn’t want to. I minimized the work necessary while still providing me with everything that I needed.

The trip was wonderful, and easier because I had less to deal with. One backpack is quite manageable. Flying with carry-on only is the way to go when possible!

2 thoughts on “Minimalist Packing

    • Matthew says:

      You’d be surprised what is possible. My wife also managed to pack in only one suitcase and a carry-on bag. She definitely couldn’t live with that little, however! 😉

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