Too heavy a load? Check out Miss Minimalist.

Francine Jay, otherwise known as Miss Minimalist, writes a post on lightening your load for today’s Zen Habits.  She says she learned a lot traveling around Europe carrying way too much stuff, began packing light, and now translates that into tips for living light. Here are some of her ideas:

Start with a clean slate. Travelers start with an empty suitcase, and select each item that goes into it. Take a similar approach when decluttering: empty the entire contents of the drawer, closet, or room you’re working on. Then carefully consider each item, and decide whether to return it to the space. Choose what to keep, rather than what to toss.

Question every item. In a small carry-on, every item must pull its weight. Demand the same of your household possessions: have a conversation with your stuff, and ask what value it adds to your life. If the answer is “not much,” give it the heave-ho.

Set limits. To keep his bag light, a traveler might limit his pants to two, his shirts to three, and his socks to four. Use a similar strategy to keep your stuff under control: decide, for example, to own only five sweaters, fifty books, or the amount of craft supplies that’ll fit into one storage box.

And this is an idea I’m personally working on, using such paperholic cures as Evernote:

Digitize. Digital music, books, and documents are not only easier to transport—they’re also easier to store. Use technology to transform physical possessions into bits and bytes: scan paperwork, convert CDs to MP3s, and buy electronic books instead of paper ones.

Read the whole post at Zen Habits. Or check out her “best of” post at Miss Minimalist.

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