I would like to tell you that I was a minimalist before it was cool. That this has been a massive part of my life and always will be. I can't, it wouldn't be the right thing to do. I will keep it simple and to the point as I type this out on my phone, sitting on a makeshift bed in a living room in my new temporary home.
I have always wanted to be able to afford the things of the rich and famous. To wear all the "cool" clothes, to have that style that made people really take notice. At my roots, that really isn't me nor did I ever feel completely comfortable in a suit. I grew up on a farm with cowboy boots, jeans, tee shirts and ballcaps. Not glamorous but that trend still follows me even today.
Anyway, back to how I became a minimalist. After University in Philadelphia I had to load up my half ton pickup and drive all the way back to a town called Strathmore located in the province of Alberta, Canada. As I was loading up my truck I began to realize I had so much stuff. Stuff I didn't use, stuff I didn't wear and worse, stuff from my exes that I did not want to keep. I cursed under my breath for keeping all of this but never having the heart to throw any of it away. It literally was me carrying too much baggage.
When I arrived home after 46 hours of driving the last thing I wanted to do was unpack the truck. I left it, in the rain to be soaked. At least if it was ruined I had an excuse to get rid of it right? At this point you would think that the idea of being more streamlined would have smacked me in the jaw and out me in motion. It didn't.
Fast forward 2 years later flying home at Christmas time, first out of Gothenburg airport to Stockholm and then on to Frankfurt, that I finally hated the suitcase and dufflebag I had. It was heavy, clumsy and just too much. When I landed in Calgary I was exasperated, tired and to be honest a little sore for lugging around these bags on top of my 80 lbs hockey bag. I immediately decided it was the day. I unpacked and went diving in to my dresser. Clothes I never wore, donated. Things I never used, sorted into piles. I realized that by holding on to so much I wasn't able to allow myself to be truly free. Pretty cliche, right? But truth is I was emotionally and physically being weighed down by my stuff. It felt good to get rid of some of the past I had been holding on to. The failed relationships, the disappointment from being released from yet another hockey club. I felt rejuvenated and more determined.
As I packed to head back down to my team I kept it easy and even bought a smaller suitcase. 7 shirts, 1 dress shirt, 2 jeans, 1 hiking pant, 2 hoodies, 1 hiking coat and 1 hat. Underwear and socks well enough for 10 days just incase. To my amazement, my suitcase felt so empty still. My whole life could literally be crammed into a backpack. Yet, at the same time I had the ability to move and travel at a moments notice with limited interference or the worry that I forgot something.
I have kept that minimalist attitude with me going into my third pro season and living in Denmark. Most of my clothes can be used as multipurpose, let's say going to the rink and then heading out on the town. Not much of a change is needed. It cuts down my decision time on the day so I can focus on what is important to me. I know that I am ready for everything quickly and best of all if I need to move, I can and fast.
My home style is similar in many ways. Few things are on the walls, not a lot of extras just the essentials. If I need furniture I always make sure it is multifunctional such as folding tables that can become a quarter of the size. Futons, big enough for two but also make a good couch. It might not be glorious or even fashionable but over the years of carrying a hockey bag, suitcases and other bags it creates a more streamlined life. I know every September I will be in a new area which I will need to navigate. The last thing I want to do is watch all my luggage. Hopefully this can help you find some clarity of mind or even just clarity at home. Sometimes simple and efficient make for the best style.