Fitting my life into a suitcase- part 2

Image by Richard Coombs.

In the first instalment of this series, I shared how I reduced my work wardrobe to ease myself into the process of letting go of the redundant items I had collected over the years. In part two I’m going to tell you how I went about sorting through the rest of my stuff, only keeping what I need for travel on the way to Canada and the Toronto spring and summer months ahead.

We’re fortunate that winter in Brisbane is quite mild so I don’t have too many bulky winter items to pack, not that they would be much help in the Canadian winter anyway!  Winter in Brisbane ranges from 10 degrees (celsius) up to around 23 (celsius) and the coldest periods happen overnight when I’m tucked up in bed so I’ve never needed proper winter clothing.

My Brisbane winter clothes will likely become Canada spring and autumn clothes while I’ll properly deck myself out in winter gear later this year; likely before any of the locals think it’s coat appropriate weather. At least I’ll be shopping when there’s lots of stock in stores, right?

So how did I sort through the rest of my stuff and decide what I actually needed to keep? I’m glad you asked.

Like any good over-analyser, I started with research to help me decide how to whittle everything down. I read blogs about capsule wardrobes on sites like un-fancy, listened to the Minimalists podcast, watched the Minimalism documentary, and read about the KonMari method to downsize my stuff.

After my research, I was honest with myself about what my lifestyle will be like when travelling and once I’m settled in Canada. Writing down the things I do and places I go most frequently helped me compare what I needed for the day-to-day compared to what was hiding in my cupboards.

I know I’m a jeans girl and I love dressing smart casual with minimal jewellery, I know I need comfortable workout clothes and I know I like to have a few dresses in the mix for going out.

After I compared between what my lifestyle entails compared to what was in my wardrobe, I looked at the weather in each place I’m travelling and the weather in the months ahead in Canada; it ranges from 4 degrees up to 30 degrees so I’ll need a good mix of clothes for anything Mother Nature throws at me.

Next on my radar were those bulkier accessories, like heels and handbags. I narrowed it down to one pair of versatile black stilettos. With handbags, I picked my most versatile handbag that could double as an overnight bag if needed.

The other area I needed to tackle was my desk. I’ve accumulated a lot of notebooks, papers and business cards over the last few years so to compress all that I consolidated only the important documents into a single A4 display book.

Going through every part of my wardrobes and cupboards, including clothes, jewellery, accessories, linen, books and shoes was equally therapeutic as it was exhausting.

What if I need this ball gown I haven’t worn in five years for something? What if chunky platform heels come back into vogue again? Maybe I should just ship everything over? The never-ending internal dialogue was real!

If it all got too much I stopped what I was doing, regardless of the progress, took a deep breath and begun sorting everything into rubbish, donate, sell, and maybe piles. Doing some further reading for inspiration usually followed this.  

Being just over a month out from departure, I think everything I want to take with me can fit in my suitcase and carry-on bag.

In the next instalment, I’ll be completing a packing practice to see how my minimalist efforts fare. Wish me luck!