Enough Stuff-How Much Do You Actually Need on Hawaii Island?

No Stuff

No StuffA friend of mine from California who is coming for the holidays called me and she asked what could she bring for gifts for my kids and I. How odd to finally feel, after five years of living on the island and away from Silicon Valley, that we don’t need anything. No more balls or toys or clothes or stuff.

Living small in Hawaii means you have to be very discerning of what you bring in, because it means something else has to leave. The holidays for us are more about giving each other the gift of time.  Planning a hike, a beach adventure or a camping trip. The Joneses don’t live near us so there’s no keeping up.

I posted this on my 365 Things to Do in Kona Facebook page and the responses were great. Here are a few:

“It’s so freeing to have “time…. not so much “stuff”!!! It’s only stuff!!! We live simple, with only what we love…and since moving to Hawaii Island, it’s getting to be less & less”

“Love this! One of my favorite things about living on this island is that I no longer feel the need to “keep up with the Joneses!” It’s so liberating!”

“We watch “Hawaii Life” here on the mainland. Fun show, but sadly many couples are still into stuff mode. Comments like “all our furniture won’t fit” or “when we entertain we need a big space”, and my favorite “there’s no storage space”. Always wonder if these folks make it there if they can’t leave that mentality behind.”

“I can’t wait to get rid of all our stuff when we are finally able to make the move! For me the best stuff I will leave behind are all my winter coats, boots, gloves!”

“As every life should be lived. American Indians believed that your possessions owned you, you didn’t own your possessions. You only keep as much as you can carry.”

Your comments are welcome!

Spread the word if you love what you heard! #365kona so we can say Thanks!

Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

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  • Jean Mabry says:

    Aloha Julie,
    Many years ago I began the process of only keeping that which I loved. I learned to take a photo of something that I really liked but no longer needed to keep, put it in my scrapbook with a note, and gave it away. Leaving the Island recently I was once again reminded of how expensive it is to transport “stuff”. We left most of it behind. I am not sorry. My family has the really special things, the rest are enjoyed by others. The Hawaiian lifestyle is the most wonderful one that I have ever experienced. I miss that but intend to continue to try to do my best to keep that in my life on the mainland. #threwawaymymascara

    • Jean-there is a freedom from being able to nimbly move along without the energy of your stuff being dragged behind you. I am writing my essay for my “Called to the Big Island” book and part of it deals with letting go of my stuff. There was nothing more painful, but more freeing than letting go. (and keeping honest about what I now take in!) Thanks for sharing!

  • Colin says:

    “Only as much as you can carry”. That is a liberating and minimalist place to start a new life.
    We have moved away from thinking about things and more appreciate experiences and time together.
    Great update Julie !

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