Minimalist on Purpose

inspiring focus, simplicity, and purpose

My Pockets


A quick question: What do you carry around each day?

It’s something we don’t often think about as we go through the humdrum of everyday life. 


Each item we carry around is a little burden, and these little burdens add up. They contribute to our general fatigue, one more thing to worry about, and they can cause actual back problems if we carry too much.

This is something I’ve somehow managed since I became a minimalist in January 2010.

People normally carry these:

  • Wallet – bulky and pungent, with lots of receipts, cards, IDs, discount slips, photos, etc.
  • Purse – containing grooming items such as a brush or comb, makeup, tissue, skin moisturizer, hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, etc.
  • Cellphone, iPhone, or other mobile devices – with headset, charger, etc.
  • Backpack – with books, notebooks, pens, papers, etc.
  • Keys
  • Watch
  • Laptop – with cords, mouse, mouse pad, and other accessories
  • and so many others that were not previously mentioned 
I used to carry most of these before. Now, I’ve pared down to something fairly simple:

Left front pant-pocket: an iPhone, where I can access everything that I need most of the time (email, notes, to-do list, calendar, calculator, calorie counter, and camera).

Right front pant-pocket: slim minimalist “wallet” (actually a thin calling card holder containing money I carry, my driver’s license, two atm cards), 
house keys, and a car key. 

Left rear pant-pocket: comb.

Right rear pant-pocket: hankie or face towel.

That’s it. 


My backpack

I don’t carry my backpack around so much except when going to church. It's also pretty light without my laptop (my laptop is actually only less than 1 kg in weight), containing my notebook, pocket bible, pen, and some books that I read at the moment. Right now, I'm reading Paulo Coelho's Eleven Minutes.

Sometimes I place my laptop in the backpack, but that’s very rare as I work at home. My pockets would have been much simpler if I shave my head, but my wife won’t agree to it.

It’s nice to walk around without things weighing you down. It’s nice to walk lightly upon this world, focus on what’s at hand, and be light at heart. Simple is indeed more beautiful.

It’s something many people might have forgotten because of so many years of striving to achieve more, acquire more, and have more.