As I mentioned earlier this week, one of my resolutions this year is to reduce the amount of stuff that I carry around with me on a daily basis. This morning, I began the first step of that journey by emptying out my backpack of everything that was in it. Then, I went through everything that was in it and placed things in one of two piles, one for the things I wanted to carry around, and one for the things I wanted to leave. I put away the stuff I didn’t want to carry and turned back to my “carry” pile. Then, I looked at each item and said, “Do I use this on a daily basis, or will I use this today?” Things that got a no, got put away, while I began to pack the things that got a yes.

I must say that I’m rather proud of all the stuff I’m not carrying. While I’m sure I could cut down on a couple more things, the fact that I eliminated 3/4 of the extra weight I was carrying is a pretty decent gain for one day. However, this is a work in progress, and I plan on cutting down on more of the unnecessary things in my everyday life as I go along.

So what am I carrying with me now, you might ask. Well, in my humongous backpack, I am carrying my laptop and power cord, which is an absolute necessity, since my college books are all digital. I also have a mouse and mousepad which fit in the front pocket.

I reduced all my notebooks and my padfolio to a single 1″ binder which contains 25 sheets of college-ruled notebook paper, 5 sheets of graph paper, 3 [IN]Place document sleeves/folders (for storing class papers, each folder has room for 2 classes), and my pad of Doane Ruled Graph paper is in the back pocket. So, how did I come up with those numbers? Well, I have never, on any given day, used 25 whole pages of notebook paper, so carrying a 70 or more page notebook with me seems a little pointless (and I used to carry one for each class). I suppose the Doane pad is a little redundant (grids + lines) since I have notebook and graph paper already, but I love the grids and lines concept and in order to justify it, I use it often and the graph grid is much smaller. 😉

Also in my bag is my Journal 21 planner (I plan on being more organized this year too), a Clairefontain staple-bound notebook (not normal carry, I plan on reviewing it here in the next day or so for a future post), a Rhodia Bloc No. 11 Graph Pad (for quick notes and small sketches), my iPod Nano and earbuds, and finally, my Nomadic Pen/Pencil pouch. The only other things in my bag now are my Excedrin (I have frequent migraines) and a tube of facial cream (eczema + rosacea = not good big red splotchy patches on face).

As for the pen pouch, I cut down a whole bunch on the number of pens that I carry. While I didn’t cut down as much as I did on other items, (pens are my addiction, ok? lol) I still put away a bunch of them. So, what made it into my “used frequently enough to carry list”? Well, we have the following:

Front Pocket: 4 – 0.38 Pilot G-2 Gel Pens (used to take notes for college, blue, black, red, and green used to differentiate/mark importance), Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto Gel Multi-Pen (brown and green 0.5mm), Pentel Slicci Gel Multi-Pen (red 0.3mm, orange and blue-black 0.5mm), Pentel Twist-Erase XP (planner pencil), Platinum Preppy 03 with J. Herbin 1670 (used for love notes to my Sweetheart and occasional everyday writing), Pentel Handy-LineS Retractable Highlighter, Pentel Jolt 0.7mm Mech. Pencil (soon to be a gift to my Future-Father-In-Law), and a Pilot V Razor Point EF Porous Point Pen.

Rear Pocket: Field Notes Brand Cedar Pencil, Black Fine Sharpie Pen, 03 and 04 Pentel Hybrid Technica (fine underlining/sketching), Note: The rest of these are “Pens-to-be-Reviewed: Pilot Plumix Fountain Pen in Blue, Tul Orange Gel Pen, Tul Black Rollerball, Bag of pens from MaidoStationery (Pilot VPen, Pentel Tradio Pulaman, Zebra Sarasa 0.5mm Pale Blue Gel, and a Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen in Wine Red.

So, there you have it… Everything I am carrying with me today (sans laptop and power cord) will fit in a single picture on top of my desk. I got rid of a bunch of notebooks, 30-40 pens, and a whole bunch of other random stuff that was just taking up space. Not bad for my first day, huh? The real question is, can I keep it up?