I like to pack light, even for extended journeys. And I mean really light: one small carry-on backpack no matter how long the trip or how many climate zones I’ll traverse. My wife calls it oddball asceticism, but I call it biblical minimalism.
My penchant for paring down luggage belies my other, contradictory, tendency: hoarding. My overstuffed closets and erupting junk drawers evoke feelings of buyer’s remorse from innumerable impulse purchases.
The one-bag exercise is a therapeutic routine to remind myself that what I need is exponentially less than what I own.
The average American house contains over 300,000 items. The community of modern minimalists I stumbled upon while researching efficient packing strategies strives to prune its inventory of possessions to three digits at most.