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  • Writer's pictureLauren Francisco

How Giving Made Me Richer: Road to Minimalism

Pushing 30, having lived in multiple places, what do I have to show for the past decade of my life?

Ever since college I’ve lived in 7 apartments (3 in college, 2 in grad school, 2 abroad).

In that time period, you can only imagine the unnecessary amount of things that I have accumulated throughout the years. When moving from one place to another, you feel as if every cup, item of clothing, and decoration must be carried alongside you.

What made me shift this ridiculous behavior was moving out of the country. I was faced with the two decisions. Do I pay for storage to place furniture, decor, winter, spring, and summer clothing, or do I give it all up and only take what can fit in a suitcase?

I chose the latter.

Nothing is more freeing than knowing that the most important things I have aren’t tucked away in some cupboard, but with me at all times. You could literally tell me I needed to move across the country today, and I would have absolutely no issue with relocating with just what I have in my backpack at this moment.

Previous generations have had an obsession with owning land, most of the time, with the expense of being a slave to that land in which they live.

Recently I was sitting at my favorite little spot where I go to write. It’s positioned at the border between two cities, overlooking the water, massive ships, with a decent skyline view. A gentleman approached me and asked me where I worked. Before asking my name, how I was, or even what I was up to, he was curious as to what I did. He told me he was a realtor and was in the area taking pictures. You see, where I hang out is just like most city center areas. The wealthy and the poor live just across the street from each other. Coveted territories, slowly pushing out poorer neighbors - gentrified paradise. People seem to love the idea of living somewhere historic and scenic, even if it means pushing someone out in order to take their coveted spot. The realtor asked me if I lived in that vicinity because of the high price tag dangling in our faces. I told him that if I lived there I’d be a slave to a mortgage and not have the freedom to explore.

I wear the same clothes & shoes in rotation (shocker, ladies).

I own 3 pieces of jewelry.

I prefer to live in intentional, realistically sized spaces that are useful to me, versus spaces that swallow me whole.

These are just a few of the sacrifices I’ve made in order to continue living such a free lifestyle.

Do you live in a space with more bedrooms/bathrooms than people?

Does your paycheck go towards buying new versions of things you already own (clothes, shoes, accessories, gadgets, etc.)?

Are you working for things instead of freedom?

Does routine stare you in the face and comfortability strangle you from chasing a dream?

If the answer is yes, I recommend the following:

  1. Write down your desires. Figure out if you want to work to accumulate things, or to have the freedom of filling your life with incredible experiences.

  2. Hold on to the meaningful things you need, and let go of the non-sense. Declutter your mind and your space. Stop holding on to things that weigh you down or that are no longer useful. It’s okay to let go.

  3. Give, borrow, or cherish. All things should fit in these categories.


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