The 168 Items I've Traveled (and Lived) With For the Last Year

For the last year, I have lived with 168 items.

At first glance, that may seem like a large number.  But, I challenge you to count the number of things around you in your house (heck... just the room you're in right now) or the clothes in your closet and you will see how quickly your possessions add up.  

In fact, if you're an average, middle-class American, I'm guessing you can't even count the items you own because it would sky-rocket into the high hundreds or even thousands.

Luckily, we don't all go around counting our possessions or keeping a tally.  But, since I have been living out of a suitcase for the last year, I decided to count.  And it surprised even me to find out that I have been living for almost 365 days with less than 200 items to my name.

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Now, first of all, before you get all impressed with my spontaneity and sense of adventure, let me clarify... I did not choose this lifestyle I've been living since June 2017.

Life happened.  As it always does.  And I found myself sort of forced into a "nomadic" lifestyle rather unexpectedly.

But, almost immediately, I felt confirmation from God that this was part of my journey and there was a lot of learning (and fun!) to be had.  So, rather than fight against it and try to immediately "remedy" the situation, I leaned into it.

And thus, my nomadic life began.

It's been a whirlwind adventure of house sitting, pet sitting, speaking engagements, tiny house festivals, de-cluttering projects, visiting friends and family, and yes... even some stressful nights of not knowing exactly where I was going.

But through it all, I managed to survive (quite easily, I might add) with very few belongings.  And I ended up finding out that I actually needed even less to get by than I thought... and that's after downsizing into a 160 square foot tiny house!

Granted, there have been times over the last year when I have missed a thing or two from my pile o' stuff that is currently in a small storage unit in my "home base" town.  But, overall, I was shocked by how much I didn't need those things.  

Every once in awhile, I might swing by the storage unit to swap something out... a winter jacket for a summer one, warm clothes for cooler ones or I'd pick up something extra like a fan or a space heater.  

But, overall, my entire day-to-day existence since spring of last year has consisted of these 168 items:

  1. Laptop
  2. Microphone
  3. Webcam
  4. Laptop bag
  5. Mouse
  6. Mouse pad
  7. Pillow
  8. Sleep mask
  9. Cell phone
  10. Cell phone charger
  11. Bible
  12. Devotion book 1
  13. Devotion book 2
  14. Devotion book 3
  15. Devotion book 4
  16. Devotion book 5 (what can I say... I like devotions)
  17. Prayer box
  18. Jacket
  19. Purse
  20. Dog toys (we'll count that as 1 pile)
  21. Dog bowl 1
  22. Dog bowl 2
  23. Dog leash 1
  24. Dog leash 2
  25. Dog food
  26. Dog bed 1
  27. Dog bed 2
  28. Sneakers
  29. Boots
  30. Slide-on shoes
  31. Jeans 1
  32. Jeans 2
  33. Jeans 3
  34. Yoga pants 1
  35. Yoga pants 2
  36. Yoga pants 3
  37. Shirt 1
  38. Shirt 2
  39. Shirt 3
  40. Shirt 4
  41. Shirt 5
  42. Shirt 6
  43. Shirt 7
  44. Shirt 8
  45. Shirt 9
  46. Shirt 10
  47. Shirt 11
  48. Shirt 12
  49. Shirt 13
  50. Shirt 14
  51. Shirt 15
  52. Shirt 16
  53. Shirt 17
  54. Shirt 18
  55. Shirt 19
  56. Shirt 20
  57. Shirt 21
  58. Shirt 22
  59. Shirt 23
  60. Pj pants 1
  61. Pj pants 2
  62. Pj pants 3
  63. Pj pants 4
  64. Pj top 1
  65. Pj top 2
  66. Pj top 3
  67. Pj top 4
  68. Pj top 5
  69. Hat 1
  70. Hat 2
  71. Hat 3
  72. Hat 4
  73. Belt 1
  74. Belt 2
  75. Umbrella
  76. Slippers
  77. Bra 1
  78. Bra 2
  79. Bra 3
  80. Bra 4
  81. Bra 5
  82. Underwear 1
  83. Underwear 2
  84. Underwear 3
 

85.  Underwear 4
86.  Underwear 5
87.  Underwear 6
88.  Underwear 7
89.  Underwear 8
90.  Underwear 9
91.  Underwear 10
92.  Underwear 11
93.  Socks 1
94.  Socks 2
95.  Socks 3
96.  Socks 4
97.  Socks 5
98.  Socks 6
99.  Socks 7
100.  Socks 8
101.  Socks 9
102.  Socks 10
103.  Book 1
104.  Book 2
105.  Protein powder
106.  Maca powder
107.  Magnesium powder
108.  Smoothie straws
109.  Protein bar 1
110.  Protein bar 2
111.  Protein bar 3
112.  Protein bar 4
113.  Protein bar 5
114.  Food item 1
115.  Food item 2
116.  Food item 3
117.  Food item 4
118.  Food item 5
119.  Food item 6
120.  Reusable water cup
121.  Reading glasses
122.  Sunglasses
123.  Jewelry bag
124.  Laundry bag
125.  Laundry detergent
126.  Fabric softener
127.  Day planner
128.  Journal 1
129.  Journal 2
130.  Journal 3
131.  Journal 4
132.  Toothbrush
133.  Toothpaste
134.  Shampoo
135.  Conditioner
136.  Bath sponge
137.  Soap/shower gel
138.  Face wash
139.  Toner
140.  Day moisturizer
141.  Night moisturizer
142.  Eye cream
143.  Deodorant
144.  Razor
145.  Hairbrush
146.  Curling iron
147.  Hair straightener
148.  Hairdryer
149.  Feminine products
150.  Make up bag
151.  Eye makeup remover
152.  Eye drops
153.  Hair clips
154.  Nail clippers
155.  Hairspray
156.  Head wrap
157.  Shower cap
158.  Sunscreen
159.  Bug bar
160.  Perfume
161.  Comb
162.  Suitcase
163.  Robe
164.  Flash drive
165.  Work binder
166.  Box of books
167.  Doggie 1
168.  Doggie 2

 

A few of the items would vary a little... but for the most part, I'd usually have about 5 protein bars with me and a half dozen random food items that I'd take from place to place.  I also carry multiple journals with me because they contain all the goodness that is going to make up my next book!  :)

Other than that, it's pretty straight forward.  And it never ceases to amaze me how quickly I can pack up and unpack my "life."  

Now, am I telling you this because I expect you to get rid of all your belongings and live with only 168 items?  

No.

In fact, I don't plan to continue this nomadic lifestyle long term.  I plan to have another tiny house on wheels very soon.  That way, I can still travel around and live a minimalist lifestyle, but have all of my belongings with me.

I am, however, sharing this with all of you because it does demonstrate how very little we need in life to get by.  When my tiny house hit the skids and I had to live in a hotel for a month, I was able to live with very little then as well.

And heaven forbid, a tragedy like a flood or a fire ever struck, we learn to adjust very quickly because we have to.  

But, whether you have 168 items or 1,068 items... a simplified life isn't about depriving yourself.  It's about stripping down to the basics of what you really need and enjoy in life, and getting rid of all the excess.

It's about having less, so you can do more.  And see more.  And be more.

And you know what's funny?  I can tell you from experience... if you were to ask me to name what's in my storage unit right now, I probably could tell you about 20 things and then forget the rest.  

Which, I'll venture to guess is probably the same for you with what's in your attic or your basement or your garage.

So, if nothing else, I hope the story of the nutty adventure I call my life inspires you to look at your stuff in a different way. 

To see it objectively (maybe for the first time) and realize that you too, don't actually need as much as you think to live a life that is fabulous and abundant!

Until next time... keep your worries tiny and your dreams BIG!

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