How to make your life fit into one suitcase

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“Maybe the life you wanted is buried under everything you own” – Joshua Becker

I´ve always been weird about owning things. It is one of the main reasons I am able to just pack my stuff and move to another country when I feel like it – no moving expenses beyond the plane ticket. To me, owning next to nothing means freedom. In the past 10 years I have moved countries on average once a year. Here´s how I do it:

Capsule wardrobe, baby!

I first read about this on Pinterest about one year ago. It was one of those sleepless Sunday nights. At 3 in the morning I decided to pull everything out of my closet and start over because of this blog post on how to start a capsule wardrobe. In the past 12 months I can say the capsule wardrobe thing really changed my life. Thank you so much to my fellow bloggers for this idea. I owe you! If you are interested in learning how to create a year‘s worth of outfits with only 25 pieces of clothing, check out these posts for inspiration: 6 week capsule wardrobe and 12 classic wardrobe basics.

capsule wardrobe
white, sand, navy capsule wardrobe

And then there is another life hack I got from my friend Sarah. Living in a warm country like Spain you´ll end up with tons of summer dresses in your wardrobe and there really is no point buying Winter clothes here. So when it gets cold she wears the dress with leggings, cardigan and boots and voila – winter outfit! It took me a while to find navy colored leggings that suited my capsule, but gladly there is Amazon 🙂

Go digital

Paperless life

Are you one of those people that have a printer at home? Do you have files in a cabinet labelled “insurance”, “bills”, “house files” or something similar? How many of those do you ever actually look at again? Could they be digitalized? I do my transactions digitally whenever possible so that I have electronic documentation. Banks, insurance companies and employers are increasingly fine with this, even government bodies in many countries these days have paperless options. Side benefit: you do your bit to save the planet!

Music, Movies, etc.

Dears, I don´t need to tell you there´s no need to buy DVDs and CDs anymore. But I may have to remind you that the ones you still hoard can be digitalized, so that you can get rid of the hard copy. My family know that the one gift I always love to receive is iTunes gift cards, so that I can download the music I want. Can you think of someone who´d appreciate that gift as well? Click here to visit Jerry Cards. Or just stream it! Netflix, Spotify and TuneIn are my favorite entertainment apps.

Cloud storage

Not only will the cloud make your luggage lighter but it makes your documents and pictures and whatever available wherever you are in the world! And it makes it searchable! Whether you are an Apple or a Google person – you can get tons of storage for free. And for all you travelers our there: upload a copy of your passport in case you ever lose it.

Furnished apartments

how to make life in one suitcase
furnished apartment in Barcelona

I don´t own any furniture. I move into furnished apartments. If I have to buy something, I donate it when I move. But I don´t need much. Which leads me to point 4: minimalism.


how to make life fit in one suitcase
minimalist decor

Many books and posts have been written about this. I´m glad we have a name for this life style now. The idea is to own only things you need and that bring you joy. I know I need clothes. But I don´t need a closet full of nothing to wear. The same is true for everything else. Decluttering your life will feel liberating! And it makes packing so much easier! Own less, live more! To get started check out Remy´s 30 day minimalism challenge and Mirna´s guide on preparing for travel by becoming a minimalist.

Let me know how it goes if you try it in the comments below!

You can also follow my pinterest boards for more info on minimalism and light travel.

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How to pack your life into one suitcase
Globetrotter life style
Author :
traveler, globetrotter, expat with an insatiable appetite for travel, anything from backpacking to luxury hotels, currently based in Barcelona

20 thoughts on “How to make your life fit into one suitcase

  1. I wish I was better at this!

    We moved to Canada last year, so I got rid of sooo much. But now we’ve been here for a while I seemed to have accumulated more “stuff.” I mean, some of it we kept hiring, so in the end it was cheaper to buy those things…but I do feel more tied down now. It’s good that blooming love living here!!

    It’s always easier with this kind of thing when you can rent a furnished place to live. We have a cat…and the only place we could find that would allow pets was unfurnished. Now I own a bed, table chair and a sofa in two countries. Doh!!

  2. Great post. I for one definitely think that less is more when it comes to belongings and clothing. I moved to the Netherlands at 18 with just a suitcase, however now my current appartment does have furniture that i own, but it’s easily sellable for when and if I decide to move.

    1. I love renting furnished apartments, but in some countries they are harder to find than others and you have to buy some. I once gave my furniture to a fellow couchsurfer so she could furnish a guest room that now welcomes travelers from all around the world. It‘s nice to think it came to good use that way!

  3. Oh how wonderful it would be if we could go back and live in many countries like you have. I think the ideas you have presented can definitely work for most people. I think the hardest part is the mental toughness behind it.

    1. It’s not for everyone, you are right. I feel rather flattered you consider it mental toughness 🙂 I have always thought of it more like a personality thing, it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice to me. But of course there is nothing wrong with valuing a comfortable home with furniture you own and framed pictures on every wall and over choosing my life style!

  4. To be honest, never felt like it was even remotely possible to fit my life in a suitcase… but sure would give it a try. Definitely would help me travel more with lesser worries about the things I leave behind.

  5. Some good tips! I want to create a capsule wardrobe using some quality, well-made products. I’m thinking of traveling for a year and I want to make sure my stuff holds up.

  6. What a powerful introductory quote – the life you want buried under all that “Stuff.” I’ve started a more minimalistic lifestyle and it’s been incredibly freeing. I currently house sit and work online, so the need to travel light is important. This is a great post and a mindset many could adopt!

  7. This is my first time hearing about capsule wardrobe and I’m happy to have stumbled across your shares! I’m actually hoping to go on a backpacking trip through SE Asia next year so these are definitely some awesome tips I’ll take with me

    1. that was perfect timing then 🙂 I remember when I first read about it and though it was such a genius idea I had to try it. Been hooked on it for over a year now and loving it. I wish you the most amazing time in South East Asia!

  8. I am trying to be a minimalist atleast when I am travelling.Hope to implement some of your ideas diligently.Some of them I already follow….Fingers crossed to achieve the goal 😀

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