The idea for this little writing project stemmed from a pile of stuff on my bedroom floor. As a writer who shares an office at work, I keep my desk in meticulous order—curated for optimal productivity, with a little whimsy to keep things interesting. Yet, I could never get quite the same cool, calm, collected aesthetic at home.

Pair that frustration/identity crisis with a philosophy major—and a sudden urge to own a home (in Boston, one of the most expensive cities in the country)—and the need for a lifestyle change becomes evident.

This is the story of a girl who appreciates some of the finer things in life, with an entry-level understanding of the non-attachment ideal taught in Buddhism, and no idea how to rectify those two world views. How is it possible to adore Thoreau and his demand that we must “simplify, simplify,” while also swooning over sassy Kate Spade stationery? Why do I have a closet full of clothes, when I’m rarely comfortable in anything other than a black sweater or tee? And now that there is an oh-so-grown-up financial goal in play (hello, future home sweet home), can exploring this so-called minimalist trend also benefit my bank account?

I can’t promise any life-changing answers, but I can document this minimalist-in-training experiment. Expect lots of literary references and struggles with privilege. (Those philosophy studies were coupled with an English Lit major.) Please feel free to comment and question along the way; I welcome constructive feedback and suggested edits.

Here’s to finding some balance in this too-big world. Thank you.