It’s been almost 2 years since I started living a minimalist lifestyle. After downsizing, getting rid lots of my possessions, I now literally own less than 100 things in my life. 86 to be exact. And except for my guitar, everything that I own now can be fit into one single backpack!
Many of us grow up in a reality where excessive consumerism is the norm. The world where having bigger houses, faster cars and fancier stuffs often associated with happiness and success. I used to be diluted with this fact as well. But I soon realised that there’s only so much things that I really do need in life, and the less things I own, the happier I would be. Not the other way around. And now that everything I own fits into one backpack, it has removed from me, the burden of ownership which I felt was always holding me down. It has given me the freedom to move freely from one place to another, living a nomadic life.
And speaking about nomadic life, there are more and more people embracing this lifestyle. In fact, it is predicted that there will be 1 billion digital nomads by the year 2035. Cheap internet, cheap air travel, declining in marriages and ownership are among the contributing factors.
And here I’m gonna share how I got to where I am right now so that you can do the same if you are interested in this lifestyle.
The first major thing I did when I was first trying to embrace minimalism was to give/throw away all my old t-shirts and pants. I then bought 7 same black t-shirts, and 2 black jeans for me to wear daily. I love the idea of wearing the same outfit everyday as I now have one less thing to think about each day that I woke up.
The next thing I did was to break down things that I own into a few big categories:
– Everyday wear
– Everyday carry
– Winter Kit
– Photography/Filmmaking gears
Then only I started to choose which stuffs that I would really like/need to keep and which ones that I want to throw away. This is the most challenging part as there are things that I really really love and I was in doubt whether or not I should throw them away. When I was in that situation, my trick was to take photographs of those things and proceed to get rid of them. By doing this I slowly learn not to have my memories/feeling attached to physical things. And over time, getting rid of my belongings has become easier and easier for me.
For some things though, I do need to find a replacement instead of just getting rid of them completely. For example, I replaced all my physical books with a Kindle tablet. I read in average of 1 book per month, equivalent of 12 books a year. If I keep buying physical books to read, it’s likely that I would have to carry hundred of books in my life, which doesn’t make any sense to me. With my kindle, I don’t need to worry about this anymore and can literally carry thousand of books with me without taking much space in my backpack at all!
After two years of slowly getting rid of my possessions, I end up with 86 items in total, which can all be fit into my backpack (except for my guitar). Below is the list of those items:
I have 8 t-shirts instead of 7, because I reserve one for when I go exercise/running. Same goes for my underwares and socks.
– 8 v-neck t-shirts from ASOS
– 1 super spray on skinny jeans from Topman
– 1 super skinny jeans from Tesco
– 8 hipster underwares from Primark
– 3 pairs of ankle socks from sainsburys
– Thin belt from Primark
– Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35
– Slim minimal wallet from Primark + SIM card adapter/storage/eject tool + 2 bank cards
– Xiaomi MI6 phone
– Macbook Air (13inch/2015/128gb) + charger
– Anker Powercore 20000mAh powerbank
– Apple earphone
– Backpack from UniversalTraveller
– Water bottle
– Sandisk 400gb micro sd card + 8MOBILITY iSlice Micro SD Storage Adapter (I use these to add more storage for my macbook air, mainly for editing purpose)
– Thick Wossimo winter coat
– Leather jacket from Next
– Long sleeve thermal shirt from Primark
– Cardigan from Primark
– Winter Legging from Amazon
– Knit Beanie Hat
– Sony A6500
– Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS E-mount Lens
– Sandisk 256gb sd card from
– 4 Ravpower batteries for Sony A6500
– Gobe NDX 49mm Variable ND Lens Filter
– Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod
– SHOOT Rm-vpr1 LCD Screen Timer Remote Shutter Release
– Zhiyun Weebill Lab gimbal
– Gopro Hero 4 Silver + Sandisk 64gb micro sd card + (Body/Shirt mount)
– Dji Mavic Pro + (Extra Propellers & Controller)
– BAGSMART Travel Electronic Accessories bag
– Kindle Paperwhite 7th Generation
– 1TB WD Elements portable hard drive
– 500gb Acer portable hard drive
– AUKEY Quick Charge 3.0 USB Wall Charger
– Universal travel adapter
– 4-ports USB hub
– SD cards adapter
– Toiletries bag
– AmazonBasics Hanging Toiletry Bag (Which acts like my portable drawer)
– A bag where I put some nostalgic items that I found too precious to throw away like gifts from friends etc. (And I put this inside the AmazonBasics Hanging Toiletry Bag )
– Electric Toothbrush
– Lip balm
– Gatsby hair wax/rubber
– Body spray
– KingOfShaves shave oil
– Cotton buds
– Hygiene kit from Primark
– Microfibre towel
– Foldable small mirror
– Medicines (Panadols, Ibuprofen, Clarines, Vitamin C)
– Slim wallet from Amazon (Keep foreign/local monies and documents)
– Acoustic guitar + bag
– 1 set of AmazonBasics Packing Cubes
– 1 Nomatic vacuum bag
– 1 singlet
– 2 shorts
– 1 winter/house slipper
– 1 bathroom slipper
– 1 Plastic Folder to hold all my personal documents
It is important to note that this list will be changed from time to time, depending on my needs. And that’s what minimalism is all about. It’s not the fact that we are not owning any stuff, or settling down with fixed amount of stuffs that will never changed, but it’s about having only stuffs that we really love/need.
For example, I need my photography/filmmaking equipments as that is what I love to do in life. Same thing for my guitar. I can’t get rid of it because I just love playing music so much. Different people have different interests and needs. So own things that reflect yours.
And because the nature of my work and what I do, I’m afford to wear the same kind of shirt/pant everyday. For some people this might not be the case, and that is totally okay. You don’t have to wear same shirt everyday if you can’t or you simply do not like the idea of it. Again, do what you can afford to do and do it because you love the idea behind it.
The other thing that I haven’t mention yet is I’m living with couple of other people in a shared household where I’m based right now. So items like cooking utensils are shared and not solely owned by me. Hence the reason why I haven’t listed them here. And oh, one more thing is that I do have couple albums of old pictures and nostalgic items left at my parents.
Anyways, I hope that what I shared here has inspired/helped you in some ways, and I am more than happy to help out if you have any doubts/questions.
If you would like to talk to me about this, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @ryzalyusoff
Meanwhile, if you would like to purchase most of the things that I listed here, check out this life inventory list that I made at Kit.com: