My Journey to Simplifying My Life to 44 Possessions

Robin Greenfield standing in the forest barefoot.
A Fresh PerspectiveConsciousnessDownsizingForget Money / Demonetize LifeFreedomHealthy, Happy LivingIntentional LivingLiving in Service and VolunteeringMinimalismPersonalSimple Living

This is my journey of simplifying my life to 44 possessions.

October 15, 2019

This is goodbye to my tiny house.

This weekend a group of 10 friends came over and we took the house down and moved it together. Originally, the plan was for it to live out its life in this backyard after my time here, but better plans came forth when it was reported to the city. I have given it as a gift to Sustainable Kashi where it is being rebuilt in their eco-village. Here it will be used to host eco-volunteers as well as used as a classroom. Back in Orlando, it would have likely sat mostly unused, but at Kashi it will be used by hundreds of people in the years to come.

You won’t be able to visit me at the tiny house in Orlando anymore, but you can visit this community and see the tiny house and possibly even live in it as an eco-volunteer. Sustainable Kashi is an interactive demonstration program dedicated to teaching sustainable environmental practices.

Over the next 1-2 months I will spend part of my time here at Kashi and part of my time in Orlando, before I move on from the state of Florida.

I am so grateful for my time in Orlando and my experience at this little homestead. I had many moments of bliss here and grew substantially as a human. However, I am very excited and ready to move on after two years in Florida as I had planned. The near future is bright. This is goodbye to the tiny house, but I still have four weeks of growing and foraging 100% of my food, which I will thoroughly enjoy. I am very excited for what is to come for the rest of 2019 and 2020.

November 27, 2019

A new chapter has begun.

The Earth is my home.

I have donated my tiny house and many of my useful possessions to grassroots organizations and gave my bike to a deserving man named Edrick. I gifted meaningful possessions to many of my friends and I sold a few things. My two years in Florida have come to an end. I accomplished what I came here for. I will miss my friends, patterns and foundation there but my life knows no borders and I am being called.

Everything I own is in a bag, which currently sits beside me in Atlanta, Georgia. I have no possessions elsewhere. Today Atlanta is my home. In a few days it will be Virginia, next week New York City, and so on.

The earth is my home. Humanity and all species are my family and friends. Everywhere I go I will be at home and amongst family and friends. I will be surrounded by love, for I love all beings.

I have no address. I have no bank account, no credit card, no retirement fund or single financial account. I have $6,564 and I have committed to not earn any money until 2021. I am in service.

I am present in this world, but I will become more present in the days, weeks and months to come.

I am undergoing some necessary and important transformations. I feel that I am on the horizon. The horizon is never ending but I am stepping onto this infinite plane with comfort and completeness.


December 7, 2019

US American society creates the illusion that we are independent. By earning money and using it to fulfill our needs and desires we have entered a state of delusion that we don’t need others. This disconnect allows violence to humanity, other species and Earth to happen on our behalf without our direct knowledge or a feeling of responsibility. I believe that we are dependent on one another for our survival and for a quality existence. I believe that we need each other.

The Earth once seemed like an infinite place. We now know that we are all neighbors on a tiny little globe spinning and hurling through the sky. We are all part of a global humanity of over seven billion. I believe that we can only solve our local and global problems by coming together as community.

I do not wish to live under an illusion of independence.
I am striving to become dependent on humanity.
Yes, I want to be dependent on others. As in fact, I know that I already am.

On December 22nd I will sit down in a park with every possession I own laid out on the ground. I invite all to come and take a meaningful and useful item home with them. As the sun sets, everything I own will fit comfortably into a small backpack. I will walk away with few possessions but I will have gained in freedom. This is a freedom I am harnessing to connect more deeply with humanity.

I will often be in need of a place to sleep, a meal, a drink of water or transportation. I will return the gesture with love, presence, stories, my skills and inspiration. I have been short and unfair with people at times in the past. I am striving to embody love. I will fail at times, but I will be walking in the right direction.

I don’t believe in a linear economy, where I must give you this to receive that. I will give freely of myself and I believe others will do so as well. I believe that by depending on one another we will create meaningful bonds that will create real community.

Meet me December 22nd at 2 PM on the grassy patch at the end of Santa Monica Ave in Ocean Beach, my old stomping grounds. If you don’t take anything home with you, at least leave with a hug and a burning desire.


December 24, 2019

I once dreamed of being a millionaire, with a big house, multiple cars and all the possessions that could make me an important person. Yesterday, everything I owned laid in the grass in front of me as I spoke with a group of people who came to visit from around Southern California. I shared of my awakening in 2011 when I learned that I had been duped by corporations that had convinced me that I would be happy and healthy if I bought their products. I sure bought it for a couple decades, but they could only keep me in their control for so long. When I awoke, it was all over for them. I didn’t need them anymore to find self-worth. I decided I’d live in a manner that brought great value to my surroundings, rather than destruction through consumerism.

I shared how I broke free. How I let go. And I how I started to walk down the path of true purpose, passion, happiness and health… To living in a way that I can wake up and go to bed feeling like I’m doing what I should be doing. Harmony and balance you could say.

Then each person took one of my items home with them. It didn’t feel like I was “getting rid” of anything. Instead it felt like I was passing it on to a new home, a meaningful relationship. Everything I own now fits into a small backpack (25 liters). At the age of 33 I am not a millionaire and I never will be. I have about $6,000 cash and my possessions might add up to another $500. That’s it. Nothing anywhere else. I have what I need. And I want others to have what they need too.


I want to show my fellow humans that we don’t need so much to be happy and healthy. That our desire for so much comes at the detriment of others that we don’t see. That by simplifying our lives and living with mindfulness in our actions we can spread our wealth and resources to those who need it. There is a great wealth and the resource gap today. I will not stand on one end with more than I need, while other people stand on the other end with not enough.

If you feel this right now, I encourage you to spread your wealth, to reduce inequality and to spread justice through your actions.


January 21, 2020

Today I took a step towards my dream of non-ownership. I leave Montreal in the morning with everything I own fitting into this backpack. I have about 40 items in this pack, half of the 80 items that I started the day off with. This is a new level of simplicity for me. In 2016 I got my life down to just 111 possessions.

I won’t always have this few of possessions, but the time ahead will serve as a practice in detachment of material items, in being present and joyful in the moment, in simplicity. This is a deep embrace of my dependence on humanity and the earth for my basic existence. I believe we all are, and that money allows us to live the illusion otherwise.

For those wondering about me being outside in the snow in this attire… I spoke to students at a school today and gifted my jacket and pants to a couple students, along with about half of my possessions. I leave Montreal in the morning for Costa Rica and my only time outside in between is stepping outside momentarily between buildings and cars. They are not needed for that. I am attempting to transition to all natural fiber clothing and am shedding the plastic clothing from my body and passing them onto good homes.

Tonight I was a guest on Juli Snyder’s talk show La semaine des 4 Julie. The journey of life continues. I’m wishing you contentment wherever you are.


February 26, 2020

I have simplified my life down to just 44 possessions. Everything I own is sitting in front of me in this photo. The possessions I do have serve a purpose, allowing me to live simply and sustainably, meeting my basic needs and helping me to inspire others to live in harmony with our earth, our global humanity and all species.

In monetary terms the value of these possessions is around $500 and I have about $5,000 cash. No bank account or credit card, no saving accounts or retirement funds, no car or drivers license, no physical home or mortgage. The earth is my home and humanity is my family. I am living in the present to be the change I wish to see in the world. With the state of the world we are in, I feel that we must act now and thus I have optimized my life to be in the now, for a chance at a sustainable future.

Yes, this is extreme. The message is not that anyone must do just as I do. My life serves as a counterbalance to the extreme society that we live in. I have designed my actions and my life to be a wake up call and an opportunity for others to self-reflect and align their values with their actions. If you are curious about my 44 possessions, you can watch the video I released on my YouTube channel, where I share each item and why I have them along with the philosophy behind my actions.

Previous writings:

My Simple Sustainable Apartment in San Diego 2011-2014

All My Stuff… Fits on My Bike in 2015. Includes a story of downsizing my life.

My San Diego Tiny House in 2015.

My 111 possessions – My list of possessions from when I owned just 111 items 2015-2016. This includes some of my story of downsizing.

My Orlando Tiny House 2018-2019.

My 44 Possessions– The list of my 44 items in early 2020.

Filmed March 11th 2020:

Filmed late May 2020:


The tiny house I was living in in Orlando 2019-2019:

Here is my beginner’s guide to downsizing and video:

Follow Robin on social media

Featured Posts