When I first started down the “desire line” of microurbanism, I didn’t imagine that it would lead me to minimalism. But, late one night while snuggled in bed enjoying the last moments of day, I stumbled on a documentary by The Minimalists.

It struck a cord.

Now, it could be the Alpha Virgo in me, but I have ALWAYS prided myself on my organizational abilities. Only in my years as a wife and mother has that shifted ever so slightly to allow for “nesting” and adding superfluous elements in the name of “warmth” and “homeliness.” But somewhere along the way the faucet got stuck on a drip, and a trickle of meaningless objects has continued to spill into my life.

What I didn’t realize was that it was robbing me of my freedom.

The first sign was when I saw my consumerism mirrored back to me by my daughter. We had gotten in the habit of spending one of our weekend days shopping. I do love a good thrift find! But somewhere along the way I realized that I was turning my daughter into a mindless consumer. She would find a toy, piece of clothing, or really just a piece of junk and HAVE to have it. It would then quickly be forgotten when the next weekend arrived, all for the sake of the hunt for the next find.

I wanted to teach her that there is more to life than what can be bought at the store!

To quote the Minimalists book, “Before I spend money I ask myself one question: ‘Is this worth my freedom?’ Like, ‘is this coffee worth $2 of my freedom?’. Imagine how different our expenditures would look if instead of just exchanging plastic swipes for items we valued money as a trading of our freedom!

So what do I value then?

What would I trade freedom for? These are the questions I must answer now. Instead of focusing on the “items” in my life, focusing on the life itself. A phrase I hadn’t heard before being introduced to minimalism was the idea that with ownership comes obligation. So then, if I can learn to disconnect from the obligation of ownership as much as possible, what would or should I do with the found time?