How I Went From Owning Too Much To Living Out Of A Suitcase

This is the story of how I went from owning too much to living out of a suitcase. On August 9, 15 I uploaded my very first YouTube video titled “My Minimalist Story | How To Become A Minimalist”. In it, I tell my story of how I went from having too much to just what I need.

How I Went From Owning Too Much To Living Out Of A Suitcase

My Minimalist Story

I realized that I never posted an update and figured it’s about time. Are you wondering how you can live with less, but more? Do you want more out of life? Would you like to let go of stuff to embrace what’s really important in life? I hear you, I’ve been there.

In Januar 2014 I made the decision to move to New York City to pursue an internship, followed by another one in London.

4 Weeks

I was living at my mum’s in Austria at the time and knew that in order to make this move happen, I had to drastically reduce the amount of stuff that I owned. Don’t get the wrong idea here. All I had was a small room. I was holding on to stuff that wasn’t serving me and it was time to let go.

What was I holding on to? Dolls out of all things. Soaps in fun shapes that I collected. Postcards. Birthday cards. Old concert tickets. Photo albums. Furniture. Too much clothing. All sorts of knick-knacks. I was holding on to too many things that I really didn’t need.

Within a month I drastically reduced everything that I owned. Most of the furniture that had I sold through a local marketplace. I gave clothing I didn’t need to friends, recycled paper and donated what made sense to donate. I even went to my local recycling bank with an outdated scanner in hand.

23kg and 10kg

It took me a little over four weeks to let go of everything that wasn’t serving me. I bought a suitcase on Amazon and used a small carry-on suitcase that I had. Everything was packed up within an hour so. Boy, I was so proud. My big suitcase wasn’t allowed to exceed 23k and my small one was not allowed to exceed 10kg. To confirm each of my suitcase’s weight I jumped onto a regular scale.

I left a box full of books and a box of items that I asked her to sell, at my sister’s. She sold and donated what was left within months. In 2015 I visited Austria again and donated the books. I simply put them on a cart, jumped onto the tram and donated them to a local used book stall. They were so appreciative of my donations!

How I Went From Owning Too Much To Living Out Of A Suitcase
Everything that I own fits into this suitcase and carry-on backpack

Vienna to New York City to London

It was the end of January and I was on my way to New York City. My mum was going to move places shortly after I left and so I had to be extra sure, that everything that I did need, was me, and that everything else, was gone. I spent three beautiful months in New York City and my monthly budget was around $1,200.

Afterward, I moved to London. It was in London that I started my YouTube channel, which has since become one of my biggest passion projects. I reduced the number of belongings that I had further, got very clear on my values and embraced frugal living. If it wasn’t for embracing it all, I would’ve never been able to move from owning too much to living out of a suitcase.

After living in New York City for three months, I moved to London. I ended up staying for two years. I also failed my bachelor’s exam, so there was that. Luckily, it all worked out in the end. I met wonderful people, had worked that I enjoyed and embraced my newfound freedom of living with less.

Frugal living in New York City

I met one of my favorite humans back in 2013. We decided we wanted to live together and after all the paperwork was finally processed, I moved back to New York City. It took 1.5 years for the paperwork to be fully processed. Applying and paying for a green card is one of the most time painful things I ever had to deal with. A big shout out to my man here! He took care of all the paperwork and split the cost of it all with me 50/50.

My monthly budget in New York City was $1,300 and I was thriving. I fully embraced frugal living and I was loving it. If it wasn’t for minimalism, my move to New York City wouldn’t have been possible. I ended up staying in New York City for 1.5 years and my man and I shared a room in Brooklyn. I greatly enjoyed living in New York City and I am very grateful that it all worked out.

Traveling all of 2018

I sold my carry-on suitcase and replaced it with a backpack which was going to hold all my stuff for one year of travel. At the end of November, my man and I left New York City to travel the world for a year. I packed everything that I owned, headed to Vienna, dropped off my big suitcase, and left to explore the world. I only packed what I really needed. We both travel on less than $1,000 month and my current monthly average is just $720.

Everything that I currently travel with (except my yoga mat) fits into my backpack

How I Went From Owning Too Much To Living Out Of A Suitcase

If it wasn’t for minimalism, I simply wouldn’t be living the life that I am living today. Since 2014 I’ve moved almost 10 times. Moving this much wouldn’t have been possible with heaps of stuff. It would’ve weighted me down and hindered me tremendously. This was the story of how I went from owning too much to living out of a suitcase.

I’ve got an entire playlist on YouTube dedicated to living abroad and moving that I highly recommend checking out. In it, you’ll find lots of videos documenting my most recent move, minimalist moving tips, 15 items to declutter before you move abroad and heaps more.

My life would look entirely different today if it wasn’t for minimalism. I feel incredibly grateful for everything that I’ve got going on in my life and for everything that I have not. While of course heaps of factors played into it all, I needed to embrace living with less in order to live more.


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