When the Cav deployed the first time to Iraq, I remember the discussion. Each soldier would share a 36 by 45 trunk (we call them TAT boxes) with another soldier. That was all the personal gear you were allowed to bring to the war. Your two bags were reserved for gear. NBC gear, uniforms and PTs. If you were carrying a book, it was on your person because space was limited.


As we’ve gotten the nack of deploying down, so to has the amount of gear soldiers take with them. But I’m wondering: could you collapse your entire life down to 2 boxes, a duffle bag and a ruck sack? Looking at my entire life for the last year, it fits into those boxes. And half of one box is all my historical documents from being the XO. Even my bags are mostly empty, in that I’m putting all my gear into one so I’ve got room to offload the rest of my gear so I don’t have to wear it on the plane home.


The most of what I’m taking home with me? Books, of course. My laptop stays with me in my assault pack, as does a broken down hygiene bag. But all in all, I’m not carrying home that much stuff. The things that are going in the connex are things I can live without.


So when I get home, I’ll be able to look at everything around me and ruthlessly throw things away. Its too much stuff. Too much clutter taking up space. Too many toys, too many orphaned keys or abandoned pens.  This is the best time to clean house and start over.
Organizers say that if you haven’t used it in a year, you probably don’t need it. While I don’t agree with that entirely, in my case, I do think that if I haven’t missed it, I’ll probably be able to throw it out.


So what’s in your life that you can downsize or even get rid of? What can you change that will give you more time, more space, less to do? Because if I can essentially live out of a duffle bag, I bet you can cut some stuff from your life.


Try it. See what you come up with. You might surprise yourself.