Decluttering 101: The Why & How of Minimalistic Purging

…it happened. I was sucked deep into the black hole of the internet where I read story after story of people who significantly downsized and turned their backs on conventional consumerism and were actually happier because of it. The more blogs I read and podcasts I listened to, the more fascinated I became with the concept of minimalism and intentional living. I didn’t just want to begrudgingly dispose of my possessions. I wanted to embrace it. We all know, superficially, what matters in life. Ask anyone and a majority will tell you it’s things like family, health, and well-being, but most won’t show you that. I was no different and I no longer wanted to live that kind of life.

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5 Mistakes I Made That Racked Up $70,000 in Student Loan & Consumer Debt

Going into debt is not inevitable nor should it be considered a ‘normal part of life’. It’s not like getting braces, having an awkward first kiss or getting a pimple. Instead, our financial choices can last much longer than our awkward teenage years. Deciding to take on debt should hold more weight than it currently does and it’s something you need to seriously consider before signing up.

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Stop Making New Years Resolutions – They Don't Work!

Maybe it’s the intrusive crowding at my gym come January, or the incessant hype around unrealistic resolutions paired with lack of expectation management and vision, or maybe, I’ve grown cynical in my old age ::wink:: Either way, I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions and, truthfully, I can’t remember the last time I made one. Don’t get me wrong – I love goals and lifestyle challenges but these should be predicated on a deep yearning for growth and change brought on by self-reflection, not because the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.

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What is Minimalism?

I wrote and re-wrote this post about four times. I struggled with the best way to describe minimalism without sounding generic. On paper it’s not difficult to define, but in real life it’s a little more complex. Minimalism is not a yes-no or black-and-white lifestyle. It’s full of gray areas with idiosyncrasies, sometimes irony and the four letter word many people hate – work. So, I decided to speak freely from the heart and describe what minimalism has done for me without the bells and whistles or the curated ‘moment of epiphany’ story that seems to align so perfectly with a life lesson. Minimalism has never been that for me. Like I said, it’s work, especially at first. But, eventually it becomes entrenched in your life and the benefits are beyond rewarding.

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5 Things You Should Know Before Moving Abroad

Be mindful that this process will most likely happen, probably several times. Do not over romanticize the idea of moving abroad. Do not underestimate the challenges on a logistical level or the culture shock and adjustments on an emotional level. Do your best to ride the waves – the highs and lows – and embrace it. While there is not much you can do to prepare for the uncanny valley you will undoubtedly experience when moving abroad, I think it’s helpful to be mindful of it and just enjoy the ride!

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Our *Schlep Through Rome, Italy

Now, just a brief background as it pertains to the context of this post, my father’s side is Jewish, which is how I was raised. We are very reform. In fact, so reform that we had a gay rabbi (unheard of) and a woman cantor (very rare until about 10-15 years ago) at our synagogue. I like to think we were ahead of the time. I didn’t realize then but looking back I fully appreciate how progressive and accepting our congregation was. Full transparency: while I am proud of my ancestral heritage, appreciate a lot of what Judaism teaches and respect those who practice, as an adult I have never been religious myself. I’m also not here to debate or *kvetsh about the race, ethnicity, religion or cultural prose around Judaism. Instead, I’d like to share my experiences in Rome surrounding Jewish history. Regardless of personal beliefs or creed I hope you find interest in our excursions, enjoy my *spiel, and consider checking these things out if and when you make it to Rome.

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What is F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence Retire Early)?

Early retirement sounds great on paper but it’s actually really really really boring. Sure, the first couple months to a year might be nice, especially if you’re leaving a stressful, fast paced job ::flash forward to sipping Mai Tais on a beach:: But people need to feel like they’re contributing to society. And one too many Mai Tais leads to a bad hangover. We need goals to work towards, tasks to stay busy, socialization and community. We get a lot of this from our jobs. Many young adults who become financially independent go on to do things they are passionate about at their own speed without the added pressure of needing a job for income; they take lower paying jobs in a non-profit sector they truly care about, start their own business, switch careers, become stay-at-home parents, volunteer, or fully engulf themselves in their hobbies. It’s a chance to slow down and take a more mindful approach to life. It’s freedom.

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