Holidays | Living Simply | Mindfulness

The benefits of a vacation state of mind….We live lighter on vacation

Dec 28


There are three things that we get right when we are on vacation that we somehow forget when we go back to living our regular lives. If we could just carry some of these things back with us into our daily routines, we would all benefit in a big way. This is a 3-part blog series focusing in detail on each of these. My last article; ‘Living In Vacation Mode‘ discussed how slowing down and enjoying life at a more restful pace should not be reserved just for vacationers. This in this article, we discuss how we live lighter when we are on vacation.


Just The Necessities


When we’re on vacation is that we pack just the necessities and live lighter with less things. There is something freeing about having only the personal items that we really need with us on vacation. While some of us might pack more lightly than others, we all essentially bring only what we think we will need and use during our stay.


I tend to pack as little as possible because it means less hauling, loading, and unloading. I am comfortable with doing without anything that is not an absolute necessity for the short time that I am away.  Others may take more time to pack and bring more, to ensure that all the comforts of home are available to them if needed.  Either way, whether we pack light, or pack to be ready for anything, we leave all the stuff we definitely won’t be using – at home.


The Bare Bones


Imagine if we were to apply this logic to our homes when we are not on vacation, and keep only the things that we really use and love. How much space would open up in our homes if every unused thing would simply disappear?  How much lighter would we all feel?  Our 5-person family rents a tiny 12′ by 18′ one-room cabin each summer. We live in that small space for 4 days with only the things we will be using on the trip.


It is eye-opening to experience how comfortably we can all operate with only the bare bones of space and stuff around us and nothing more. It always makes me feel a little like the Laura Ingalls family of Little House on the Prairie and we honestly are content there. For me, it is a reminder of how much we live in excess of the things we really need in order to be happy. It is minimalism and simplicity at its best in that tiny cabin by the lake.


Is There a Move in Your Future?


A move to a new home is another way that our eyes can be opened to seeing what we really use and what we don’t. We quickly unpack the boxes holding our necessities so that we can use the things inside.  The boxes full of the stuff we don’t use gets set aside to be unpacked later. Sometimes much later. It’s the things inside these boxes that we need to take a critical eye to.  If they can sit in a box for a year and not be missed, we likely will also not miss them if they are gone.


The Ultimate Minimalist Test


For those who have lived in the same home for many years, it is easy to become blind to all the things that have slowly accumulated over the years.  This is especially true if there is a lot of space in the home.


Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalists packed up every single thing he owned, not because he was moving, but because he wanted to see what he actually used. He removed items from the boxes only as he used them.  He made a pack with himself that after 6 months, anything left in those boxes, would go. This might sound a little extreme for most of us, but it was definitely effective in Joshua’s case.


What do you have in the home that you have not used in ages? Perhaps it’s time to lighten your load and start living lighter.


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