We seem to live in an age in which pretty much everything all at once is vying for our attention. All too many of our days are defined by endless notifications. We fulfil demanding work days before returning to cluttered homes.
So if you ask me, sheer simplicity is the healing balm that our fractured beings are yearning for and the art of simplicity is certainly one of the most important lessons that I learned from my 15 years backpacking the world.
But, note that the art of simplicity is not just about tidying up one's room or organising one's closet (though both are a good start). Rather simplicity is a philosophy that, when properly applied in one's life, can yield profound improvements in focus, productivity, and happiness.
Decluttering Beyond Physical Spaces
When we talk about decluttering, our minds often jump to images of well-organised (even austere) rooms and spare closets filled with only the essentials. However, decluttering goes far, far beyond just the physical.
Mental decluttering is an important and often overlooked component. Mental decluttering entails prioritising our thoughts, removing unnecessary ones, setting clear boundaries and expectations in personal relationships, and above all staying organised with our tasks and responsibilities.
When our minds are cluttered, it becomes challenging to focus on our goals. By creating mental space, we're better equipped to handle stress, make decisions, and move forward.
The top tools I use for Mental Decluttering are a mindfulness app which I use for 10 minutes, first thing every morning, and my journal which I use not only to plan my days and weeks, but to record thoughts, feelings and ideas.
Routine decluttering is about assessing our daily activities. Are there tasks in your daily routine that are no longer serving you? Consider streamlining your routines to focus on actions that move you closer to your goals, thus maximising productivity.
My top tip for routine decluttering is simply to make a routine and stick to it. It can be as simple as getting up and going to bed at the same time every day.
The Joy of Minimal Travel: A Case for Decluttered Accessories
Now let's talk about simplicity in travel.
For years, I lived out of my backpack and while it served me well, it was a bit of a mess. I used to simply open up the top-lid and dump all of my stuff into it. Everytime I needed something I had to either dig deep inside it or even empty all of the contents out onto my dorm room floor and comb through the mess! In many ways this was a reflection of the way I was thinking, feeling and living at the time.
Have you ever felt the stress of over-packed luggage or struggled to find something in your chaotic travel bag too?
Well this is where the benefits of minimal, decluttered travel accessories come into play. Consider the Settra Duffel backpack by Monarc for example. This hybrid duffel-backpack embodies the philosophy of decluttering. With a streamlined design that caters to the essentials and prioritises organisation, it ensures that travellers can pack minimally while still having everything they need at their fingertips. When I use my Monarc Settra everything has its right place. My clothes compress beautifully into the packing cubes and they slot perfectly together. There are pockets for my accessories and there is even a dedicated shoe compartment. Travelling with the Settra makes packing, unpacking and finding things inside the pack easy and stressless.
By opting for minimal and well-organised travel accessories, we allow ourselves the opportunity to experience the journey with a lighter, clearer load, both physically and mentally. Look at this as an extension of the decluttering philosophy, ensuring you enjoy every step of your travel without the unnecessary baggage.
Written by Will Hatton
Adventurer, entrepreneur and vagabond