For those of you who know me well, you know I like to plan and organize and that I love lists. So much so that I have been scouring the internet reading as many packing lists of Peace Corps Volunteers as I can for as many African countries as I can find (since I don't know where I will be exactly yet). Each list has basically said the same thing - pack less than you think you need, only bring essentials, and that you will find out when you get to your post that what you thought you needed really isn't all that necessary.
Well sheesh. For a planner-type, that isn't terribly comforting. So I have decided to put my organizational skills to use and figure out what I use from day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month in order to ease the stress of packing for 27 months and help me figure out the difference between what I need, what I want, what I like, and what I can't live without. I am consciously aware that there is a difference between these things but sometimes that line gets blurred. I need to distinguish between them. The way I see it, I have just enough time to analyze this correctly. In October and November, I will go about my life as usual but start recording the things I use in the different key rooms of my house (my bedroom, my bathroom, and the kitchen) so that I can clearly see the things I use and how often I use them. In December and January, I can cut out the things that I rarely used in those months (the "wants") and see how that changes my life, if at all. In February, I can cut the list down even more by taking out the "likes". By the time I leave in April, I should be down to only the "can't live withouts." This way, I can live more simply, be less reliant on unnecessary things, and I will be ready to pack and hit the road.
"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak."
You may think I'm crazy, but I couldn't be more excited to simplify.