25 Things

This page is my declaration of a personal 25 Things Challenge.

I will use this page to maintain a list of all my possessions and I will update it on a monthly basis. My goal is to keep my total physical possessions at or under twenty-five items.

This challenge is in no way an attempt to one-up anyone else. I’m not trying to outdo people like Leo Babauta, Everett Bogue, Colin Wright, Karol Gajda, or Henri Junttila. All of them have inspired me and I’m thankful for their contributions.

The Rules:

  1. If I bring it with me when I move, I have to count it (that includes books!)
  2. Anything smaller than the size of both my fists can be counted together (e.g., two pair of socks, two pair of underwear)
  3. Items that depend on each other can be counted together (e.g., MacBook Pro + Charger, Notebook + Pencil)

You are more than welcome to join me in this challenge, but I do not challenge you to do so. Everyone is unique and we all have our priorities; your circumstances may prohibit such a drastic reduction of material possessions, and that’s fine.

Minimalism means more than a reduction of physical possessions.

The Physical Possessions (updated September 1st, 2010):

  1. Apple MacBook Pro + Charger
  2. Apple iPhone + Charger
  3. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Digital Camera + Charger + Extra battery
  4. Apple Magic Mouse
  5. Western Digital 500GB External Hard Drive + USB Cable
  6. Nokia Mobile Phone + Charger
  7. Earbuds + 16GB Thumbdrive + Mobile Data Card
  8. Travel Adapter
  9. North Face Trousers
  10. Prana Trousers
  11. North Face T-Shirt
  12. Jack Wolfskin Shirt
  13. 2 x Eastern Mountain Sports Boxers
  14. Wool Socks (1 pair)
  15. Vibram FiveFingers Sprint
  16. North Face Hiking Shoes
  17. Moleskin Notebook + Pencil
  18. Medical Kit
  19. Hygiene Kit (Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Tongue Cleaner, Floss)
  20. Survival Kit (Firestarter, Compass/Whistle/Thermometer, Headlamp, Twine)
  21. Water Bottle
  22. Travel Towel
  23. 3 x Dry Bags + Backpack Dry Cover
  24. Misc Travel Documents (Passport, License, Cash, Credit Cards, printed airplane ticket confirmations, etc.)
  25. Crumpler Customary Barge 30L Backpack

Why 25 Things?

Working at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaMy original goal was to simply travel for six months with only a 30L backpack. Somewhere along the line, I decided to count how many items I was actually traveling with and the number came surprisingly close to twenty-five. That became my target.

This number isn’t set in stone and I will let the number fluctuate in either direction depending on my circumstances (if I’m traveling in a cold climate for example, I will need different items). However, my goal will always be to keep the number at twenty-five items or less.

The motivation for this public challenge came after witnessing extreme poverty during my travels through India in 2010. I realized that most of us live with far more stuff than we actually need and that by limiting what I own, I would be indirectly allowing others to have what I had given up.

It’s all about the butterfly effect: By living with fewer physical possessions, I’m having a positive effect on those who actually need them.

But again, if you live in suburban California with three young children I don’t expect you to live out of one bag. It’s all about priorities. Determine what matters to you most in life and go from there.