Less Is More: Everything I Own in March 2012

Writing and Photography by Conni Biesalski 
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“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hofmann

Last week, I had a journalist and photographer from Norway visiting me in my apartment in Berlin. They are working on an article about minimalism and consumerism for one of the biggest business newspapers in their country. So they came, interviewed me and photographed all my things. And while I had all my things out, I took my iPhone and took my own photos of all my 105 things.

I’m not the only one who has ever done this. I got inspired by a few other guys (where are the girls??). Check out Andrew, Colin, Niall, Leo and Joshua.

I still need to get rid of almost half of what I own now before I leave for Indonesia again in four weeks. All I take with me is a 35L duffle for clothes and personal belongings, as well as my dive gear bag. And you know what? I can’t wait!

I love living with little and owning the “bare” essentials.
It makes me incredibly happy.

To clear things up:

  • I don’t count consumables such as shampoo or toothpaste.
  • I don’t count cases such as for my glasses, Kindle or laptop.
  • I don’t count each sock or pair of underpants. (I own eight pairs of underpants and 10 paris of socks, in case you were interested).
  • I don’t count each of my three pens.
  • I don’t count chargers for electronics.
  • The iPhone is represented by the charger.

It makes sense to me that way. And since I’m not participating in a competition, I can set my own rules, woohoo! (I am getting dangerously close to the magic 100 though)

Below the photos I added a list of all my items.

One last thing: I haven’t come across many (hardly any) other girls who are minimalists and lay out their belongings like that in public. If you are one of them or have come across one, let me know! We should have a beer together one day. MINIMALIST GIRL POWER YEAH!!!





  1. Running Shoes
  2. Kindle
  3. Waterproof Document Pouch
  4. Water Bottle
  5. Seagate External Harddrive 500GB
  6. Head Torch
  7. Keys
  8. Sleeping Bag
  9. Medication Bag
  10. Luggage Scale
  11. External Speaker
  12. Ballpoint Pens
  13. Day Bag
  14. Macbook Air 11”
  15. Drybag
  16. Red Notebook
  17. Black Notebook
  18. Travel Towel
  19. Swiss Knife
  20. Heating Pillow
  21. Prescription Glasses
  22. Headphones
  23. Transparent Box
  24. Indonesian Phrasebook
  25. Wallet
  26. Ipod
  27. FlipFlops
  28. Sunglasses
  29. Passport
  30. Inflatable Neck Pillow
  31. Sleeping Mask
  32. Sarong
  33. Box of Business Cards
  34. Canon G12 Digital Cameria
  35. Fabric Bag
  36. Little Travel Bag
  37. Hand Mirror
  38. Liquid Container
  39. Hair Brush
  40. Contact Lens Case
  41. Teeth Retainer
  42. Dive Watch Computer
  43. Tootbrush
  44. Razor
  45. Tongue Cleaner
  46. Tweezers
  47. Nail Scissors
  48. Ziplock Bags
  49. Main Travel Bag/Duffel
  50. Document Case
  51. Bikini
  52. Bikini
  53. Bikini
  54. Winter Coat
  55. Leather Jacket
  56. Underpants
  57. Socks
  58. White Singlet
  59. White Singlet
  60. Yellow Singlet
  61. Dark Grey Singlet
  62. Black SInglet
  63. Grey Singlet
  64. Black Shorts
  65. Grey Shorts
  66. Pink Board Shorts
  67. Blue Board Shorts
  68. Dark Blue Board Shorts
  69. Short Blue Board Shorts
  70. Red Jeans
  71. Fabric Pants
  72. Track Pants
  73. Grey Long Sleeve
  74. Black Long Sleeve
  75. Grey Hoody
  76. Scarf
  77. Blue T-Shirt
  78. Purple T-Shirt
  79. Turquoise T-Shirt
  80. Black T-Shirt
  81. Blue T-Shirt
  82. Grey T-Shirt
  83. Orange T-Shirt
  84. Dark Blue T-Shirt
  85. White Undershirt
  86. White Undershirt
  87. White Undershirt
  88. White Undershirt
  89. Black Bra
  90. White Bra
  91. Black Sports Bra
  92. Skirt
  93. Leggins
  94. Blue Bench Hoodie
  95. Little Neck Scarf
  96. Shirt
  97. Nice Black Jacket
  98. Green Hoodie
  99. Compression Clothes Bag
  100. iPhone
  101. Belt
  102. Grey Jeans
  103. Dive Gear
  104. House Shoes
  105. Day Backpack

And while we’re at it, here is a lovely song I came across while googling “Everything I Own”:

Do you live with only a few things? Have you ever counted? Taken photos of your things?

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17 Responses to Less Is More: Everything I Own in March 2012

  1. Hey, Conni! Love the pictures. My apartment is starting to look like a cavern with how much I’ve gotten rid of recently. Here’s to portability! And you quoted Hans Hofmann, to boot. Impressive!

  2. Hi Conni, love your list!
    Will do one soon as well. And here is a video by Melissa Rachel Black about her travel gear: http://melissarachelblack.com/pack/

  3. Another packing list by a woman: http://bit.ly/H0ywDZ

  4. Judith says:

    technically, you own only 104 things, cause your passport is property of the Federal Republic of Germany ;-)

  5. Alexej says:

    Thanks for sharing, Conni. This is a very detailed list. Now i’m even less scared of my packing list, because i !feel! like i own even less stuff. Hopefully i’m right. I’ll take inventory after the trip to Berlin.

    • Conni says:

      Haha let me know how you go! It’s a fun exercise actually, I really enjoyed it. It makes you value every little thing you own (or not and you throw it out).

  6. Liz says:

    I’m not really a minimalist — I have well over one hundred things — but I do try to live as minimally as possible (if that makes sense). I have a rule: If I’m not using it, I donate it or throw it out. Of course, “using it” tends to have more than one definition sometimes… :P

    • Conni says:

      I don’t think minimalism is just about how many things you own. It’s more of a mindset.
      I like your rule! Mine is sort of the same, I just tend to go a bit further with it ;)

  7. Janet says:

    very cool. I’m actually not much of a minimalist. I tend to gather crap/clutter and I’m generally a messy (clutterly) person, if I’m being honest :/ I also have a weakness for shoes and fashion. >_< (or that I wish I had a more fashionable wardrobe, because I don't… and I want to get ride of half of my clothes already!)

  8. World Nomad says:

    Wow that’s a lot of work taking pictures of every item =) How much is the total weight of your belongings, and how do you carry them (1-2 bags, weight/size of each bag)? I do 1 backpack + 1 daypack at the moment, about 13+3 kg if I remember right.

    • Conni says:

      Hehe yes it was a bit of work actually, but I liked the result ;)

      I still have to get rid of a few things before heading out again on a one-way ticket in 10 days. But I will carry everything in my 35 Litre duffel that I’m taking as carry on – so 10kg max. I have to check my dive gear, so I don’t really have a choice if I don’t want to be a poor traveller.

  9. Glen says:

    Do you own or count a chair, kitchen, desk, cupboard as things?