Last week I woke up with this ache in my shoulder and an ugly pain in my arm. It’s not a new thing. I experienced this a few years ago as well. It had gotten really bad at the time and the doc did an MRI and concluded that I needed to stop lifting heavy things. I realized that I wasn’t really lifting anything new heavy but carrying my bag around was enough.

Since then I reduced the amount of load I carried but somehow over the last few months, I’ve fallen back into my old ways. Last weekend was the last straw that broke my back. (Pun intended). I was in so much pain!!

So that’s it. I’ve decided to minimize. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t carry more than 10% of your body weight. I’ve decided to make it 8%.

I could take the easy way out, carry a smaller bag or a non-leather bag. But that doesn’t work for me. I love tote bags and it’s taken me a long time to build the collection I have.  No way am I letting go of them. So then then the obvious choice is to empty out my bag.

First I made list of items and then I converted them into slim and light versions.

  1. The Filofax: I was carrying around Personal Malden. I keep a monthly calendar some bits of info and notepaper. I downsized to a Filofax Pocket size. I’ve never been able to use a pocket size before but I’m determined to make it work.
  2. The Make up bag: Seriously, I never touch up my make during the day. I never even really wear make up. The only thing I wear is eye liner. So I took everything else out. I kept an eye liner pen, one lipstick (Clinique chubby stick) and really tiny tube of sunscreen.
  3. Pens: I was carrying around several pens, pencils, highlighters. Took them all out. Left with one pen and one Sharpie.
  4. Wallet: Last but not least, the heaviest thing in my bag. I wish I could say it’s because there’s always a lot of cash…lol! It’s not the case. Old receipts, old cards, business cards, loyalty cards and a whole bunch of coins. Everything went out. I can’t bring myself to throw away my wallet, it’s a love leather continental, so for now emptying it as much as possible is my best bet.
  5. Book: These days I’m carrying around my study books. But even that, I’ve decided to leave the actual book at home and only carry the e-versions on my phone. If I feel I may be going somewhere to read, I may carry it.

So there you have it… no iPad, no receipts, no bulky stuff… nothing that I can live without.  Now, I just hope, I can keep it that way.