Thursday, April 23, 2015

Achievement Unlocked: Tiny Bag Living

I'm horrendous at keeping things to a minimal, probably because I had a lot of room and closet space when I was growing up and things just kept piling up. That certainly extended to my daily bag which had everything I needed - my wallet, a set of meds and my inhaler, toiletries, powerbank, facial tissue and extra this, extra that. My cardio has been scolding me for many, many years about lugging around a huge bag. Carrying heavy stuff is bad for me, so since my surgery in 2013 I started to reduce what I bring around.

A few weeks back I read an article which basically said, "When you don't need it, don't buy it". For some strange reason it struck a chord in me and pushed me to try tiny bag living. I knew that I was bringing too much stuff with me and I don't really get to use everything in my bag everyday. So for a few days I did a survey of what I really used daily and here's a list of what I use -

some cash, a few coins
a piece or two of tissue paper
my MRT card
lip balm (I don't like using lipstick since it makes my chaps my lips)
Chinese balm (for headaches)
oil remover face paper
Ricola (one or two only a day)

I certainly didn't use the following -

comb (yeah I comb my hair just once a day!)
alcogel (I wash my hands often since that's better actually)
cables (I don't even know why I have cables in my bag)
big pack of tissue paper
pens in a pencil case
small notebook (I've been using Google Keep!)
and a gazillion other things

So from big heavy bag I drastically reduced it to this -

Honestly, I was really nervous about doing this since I was taught to always have everything you need on hand. I waited awhile before I blogged about this move because I wanted to do it for a few weeks first to prove to myself that I could do it and well a few of my friends were skeptical that I would survive (old habits do die hard!). But alas! I've been living daily with just a tiny bag for three weeks now and I'm really proud of myself (it's seriously an achievement!).

The last few days I've made a move to reduce unnecessary clutter in my room and desk here in Singapore. I discovered that I had too many supplies. I had too many pens on my desks! I had at least about 20 pens on each desk (office and home). The pens were mostly left behind by colleagues who'd use my desk whenever I was out. I was shocked to find out that I had about 7 Stabilo pens on my desk and I don't even like using highlighter pens (I prefer dermatograph, the crayon like thingy). I had about 4 cutters, 3 scissors on and several markers. At home the pens piled up from collecting hotel pens and giveaways. How many pens can you dry out in a year anyway?

My Dad lived his life without focusing on material things. He had what was essential and this was evidenced by the fact that his only earthly possessions were his clothes and his favorite law books. I realized that with just what he needed my Dad had managed to focus on what was essential and I would like to strive for that.

It's just a start and I know it's going to take time before I become a pinky of what my Dad had managed when he was alive, so tiny bag living is my mantra for now.