Lead a vivid life that does good

Tag: minimalism

Do you have 406 things you could get rid of?

Floppy Disk 1993This is a picture of a floppy disk I own and have held onto since 1993. It’s a backup disk of the accounts from my one of my first businesses in 1990. I have no idea why I am holding onto it. Maybe it is part memento and part my own personal IT museum, as it certainly has no practical use.

The issue with this disk is that it is representative of a lot of things I have around the house and work that I don’t really need. Things I am holding “just in case”.

So at the beginning of February I decided to start a minimalist challenge. It basically goes like this.

1 Feb – Get rid of 1 thing
2 Feb – 2 things
3 Feb – 3 things

… all the way to …

28 Feb – Get rid of 28 things.

A total of 406 items I will either throw out, sell, or give away.

Now because I love freedom I have decided to bend the rules and basically just make sure that I get rid of 406 things by the end of Feb, and to date I have got rid of 160 items from either home or my office. And in addition each of my kids need to do 30 things and Karina needs to do 100.

600 items as a family sounds a lot, but it is surprising how much stuff we keep “just in case” I need it in the future. Once I started looking with a fresh set of eyes it was amazing what I saw.

Do you have 406 things you could get rid of? – You might be surprised.

Like a lot of things, it all comes down to the right question.

For example, in the wardrobe. Instead of asking “Is there any chance I will wear this in the future?”, which is our normal question.

I need to ask tougher questions;
“Do I wear this often?”
“Do I love it?”
“Do I look good in it?”

If the answer is no, it’s a real contender for the get rid of pile.


Why you should start traveling light

Suitcases - Travel LightAs hard as it is for me to admit, the very first time I ever flew I packed … my pillow!

I was in my twenties when I first flew on a plane and my employer sent me to Christchurch for a night to help out with Health & Safety. So being the first time I had ever packed for a plane flight, I packed like I was touring around the country again by road. I grabbed the one massive suitcase I owned and filled it with everything I might need.

Business pants and shirts … and extra pants and shirts just in case. Casual clothes x 2 … just in case. Pretty much I packed two of everything, just in case, and even after packing two of everything I still had room for my comfortable perfectly sized pillow.

Nowadays … wow things have changed. Long gone are the days of packing a pillow and I can travel for a week or more with carry-on luggage. I have learnt that if you want to travel light you need to take a lot less stuff and you need to have a small bag. One needs to relentlessly remove all extra this, the emergency that, and then in some cases remove things you really think you will need.

As you might have guessed this post has a double meaning.

Firstly, you should travel light, you seriously should. Carry on only. You might actually enjoy it and its unlikely you will be missing anything.

And, I’m starting to see that we have a heap of extra things in our lives, both home and work. We need to get rid of all those things that we really don’t need, and all that stuff that we have just in case.

Maybe we should get rid of anything that isn’t



or joyful.

I bet we have a lot of stuff in our homes and offices that doesn’t fit that criteria.

An interesting change occurs when you try to travel light. You don’t want to go back and you tend to travel lighter and lighter, whereas before I would try to take more and more.

I wonder if it’s not the same with our things. The more we have the more we want, and maybe if we started reducing what we have… we would become more satisfied with what we’ve got.