Last week, I spent three days on one of the Boston Harbor Islands camped under the stars and amongst the trees and wild blackberries. It was my first time camping.
I was surprised at how much stuff we had to bring. As we were lugging our belongings off the ferry boat towards the bare wooden ranger cabana, I had inspected the load. Sleeping bags. Tents. Gallons and gallons of water. Coolers of food. Cooking pots and pans. Small propane tanks. And of course, all the stuff I couldn't see, like changes of clothes, snacks, books, bug repellent, and cameras. To my further surprise, my friends kept marveling at how much less stuff we had brought this year.
For a party of nine, I was delighted to find that what we brought was indeed a good distribution of food and gear. We always shared and were able to cover all our bases without duplication.
And as a packing enthusiast, I started thinking about the balance of things and needs. When camping, we're forced to pack efficiently, but what about the things we keep in our homes and workplaces?
With fall coming up, we're all getting ready to clean and organize, but I think it's also important to take a step back to get a snapshot of what we own -- in order to efficiently own things. To do that, we can make more conscious and deliberate decisions in what we buy and keep.
So I went through my wish list and tried to analyze whether the things I wanted were useful or just wasteful, whether they did double duty through being eco-friendly, aesthetically-pleasing, and being space-efficient. Here's a roundup of a few things that I decided to keep on the list:
From left to right, top to bottom:
1. The Laundry POD. It uses no electricity and just a tiny bit of water. It's great for doing small loads (or just delicates) when I may not want to go to the laundromat yet.
2. Velity Cubed Whiskey Stones. Handmilled and made of 100% soapstone, these don't dilute your drink the way ice cubes do, and I won't have to throw out broken, plastic ice cube trays every few months.
3. FAS Projects Padded Storage Ottoman. This ottoman is made of reclaimed pallet wood (did I mention how much I adore pallets?) and is a storage container.
4. Hangups and Baggage Wallpaper Design Coat Rack. It looks pretty, but it's made of powder-coated steel. Not only will it hold several coats, it serves as a wall ornament.
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Caroline hails from a tiny tropical island originally, but calls Boston home. A curious bird, she spent a spring trekking all over Ireland, has been an Air Force Junior ROTC cadet, and worked at Disney World as a merchandising intern. With a love for all things interesting, she found herself at The Grommet, where she gets to eat, sleep, and breathe innovative undiscovered products. Say hello to her on Twitter.