Until I decided to pack my life’s belongings into a backpack and move to Vancouver to work, the idea of living with less had never occurred to me.
For a girl who loves to collect shoes and clothing it was a moment of pure distress. How was I going to decide what was important and what I could live without? The ultimatum: if it was to come with me, I’d have to carry it on my back. One month and 16kgs of excessively contemplated luggage later, I’d happily backpacked around Japan before settling in an apartment in downtown Vancouver. It was here that I consciously made the decision to continue living with less.
It really wasn’t that difficult. My bachelor suite living quarters could be likened to a shoebox. The kitchen was in the living room, combined with the bedroom – and storage was scarce. There just wasn’t the space to fill with items reserved for use once or twice in a blue moon.
Almost a year on, admittedly, I have accumulated some extras here and there, but now I’m more selective with my purchases. Posing the question, “do I really need this”, helps to keep stockpiling at bay.
What have I learned from living with less? Apart from liberating myself of mess and clutter, I am no longer consumed by the idea of shopping for possessions. I spend more time actually pursuing activities and creating experiences that make me a happier, more enriched person. It’s amazing what gems you find on Vancouver’s doorstep when you can muster up the strength to look beyond the sale at Top Shop…
WRITTEN BY EMMA MCKENZIE
Marketing & Design, Harcourts