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-   -   How simply do you live? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=163801)

mr geeker 03-27-10 01:22 AM

don't own a car. dont own/ rent a house/apartment (live with aunt). no credit cards (never even gotten an offer from one). all of my possesions could fit in my panniers and my backpack. i do own a desktop computer (baught on sale cheaply). i own several books, not sure if i could part with them. no tv. i do own a dvd player and a vcr, but could easily part with them.

i do have a couple vices, coffee being first and foremost.

phillyskyline 04-06-10 11:15 AM

This thread is fascinating. I can't imagine my whole life fitting into a few bags, but I'm also tired of accumulating stuff I don't need. Since my partner and I are ditching our car in the near future, we've decided to get rid of a lot of the clutter and junk we never use--clothes, dishes, kitchen equipment, old furniture, books, and so on. We are terrible about throwing things away and tend to just cram them into a closet or a box in the basement, figuring we'll use them later. Of course, we never do.

We're starting the decluttering process with our clothes this week/weekend and will move on to the basement as soon as we get up the courage.

rutibegga 04-06-10 02:20 PM


Originally Posted by phillyskyline (Post 10631298)
This thread is fascinating. I can't imagine my whole life fitting into a few bags, but I'm also tired of accumulating stuff I don't need. Since my partner and I are ditching our car in the near future, we've decided to get rid of a lot of the clutter and junk we never use--clothes, dishes, kitchen equipment, old furniture, books, and so on. We are terrible about throwing things away and tend to just cram them into a closet or a box in the basement, figuring we'll use them later. Of course, we never do.

We're starting the decluttering process with our clothes this week/weekend and will move on to the basement as soon as we get up the courage.

Ahh, but you didn't mention some of the stuff we do: we avoid factory-farmed and processed foods, cleaners with chemicals, and we recycle and compost. We consume far less than most of the people we know, and are working on paring that down too. We bake our own bread, grow our own herbs, buy local, and even make our own beer! Don't sell yourself short, Phillyskyline!

himfilth 04-08-10 01:53 AM


Originally Posted by rutibegga (Post 10632324)
Ahh, but you didn't mention some of the stuff we do: we avoid factory-farmed and processed foods, cleaners with chemicals, and we recycle and compost. We consume far less than most of the people we know, and are working on paring that down too. We bake our own bread, grow our own herbs, buy local, and even make our own beer! Don't sell yourself short, Phillyskyline!

Wow!!! You make your own beer, thats freaking awesome!!!

Smallwheels 04-09-10 04:43 PM

I Could Live Small Right Now
 
As I sell more of my clutter and plan to move in three or four months to be closer to work, I decided to do a square foot calculation of my apartment. It is a two bedroom with 865 square feet. I only use the spare bedroom for storage. Right now most of those things are in my living room because of a past garage sale. So I have just enough room to walk around comfortably.

I subtracted the square footage of the floor spaces that aren't being used in my daily life. All of the spaces covered with boxes of things for sale and areas that could be shrunken to be more efficient with a different floor plan were removed. It seems I could live in a 300-400 square foot space with ease once the clutter is gone. Now that I've decided to move it is even more important for me to speed up the sale of the items causing clutter.

In a way this is a revelation to me. It also opens the door to different living possibilities. For instance, did you know that the interior of a forty foot shipping container is three-hundred-four square feet? The interior of a Maxi shipping container is 44 feet long which would give even more space. The interior of a large bus is around three hundred square feet and with the storage compartments under the seating area it could go up another one-hundred square feet.

It is too bad that most cities have zoning codes that don't allow structures smaller than 1500 square feet. The Tumbleweed house company sells plans for tiny homes under 800 square feet. Most people probably build them on lots outside city limits or within their own back yards.

My next move will be into a one bedroom apartment if I can find one with built-in laundry equipment. I really hate having to monitor my clothes at a laundromat or within an apartment laundry room. It wastes my time.

How small is too small for you? How big is too big for you? Since I'm single I could do it without any complaints from a spouse.

Remember the stories of those tiny apartments in NYC that people love, and the story of the seven foot wide house somewhere in Ottawa that was built in an alleyway between two other houses? Some of those are occupied by two or three people not just one person. They like living small. Small spaces must have some inherent advantages over big spaces for people to remain in them for long periods of time.

atetrachordof3 04-12-10 10:38 AM

This is what I do--

1. No car-- instead, I ride two bikes- one as a foul weather/high theft area beater/back up, the other one is nicer and more comfortable to ride. I also ride the bus a lot and I walk.

2. Minimal furniture-- I have cheap/free desk, chair, futon that I got off craigslist. I put an air mattress on the floor as my bed.

3. I buy all of my clothes from goodwill-- but I do dress well.

4. I cook all three meals and I brown bag a lot. I rarely eat meat. Most of the things I eat come from the produce sections.

5. My entertainment consist of riding a bike outside, watching hulu, and used books.

6. I have one set (four of each) of dishes that I bought for $16 about four years ago. My sheets are from 7 years ago and they are still going strong.



I probably do own more possessions than most of the previous posters-- I do have a pot, a pan, and a small wok. I have dishes. I have furniture. However, I find that owning these things allow me to live free of worry or discomfort. For example, I can eat at home everyday without running out of paper plates. I can invite friends over on a whim. I can sit on something instead of the floor if I want to.

To me, simple living is not about owning as few things as possible. It's about achieving a balance where I can be free to think about more interesting things-- I don't want to have so many dishes I worry about which one to use, but I also don't want to have so few that I HAVE to wash them between 2 meals.

Whenever I move, I sell all the big furniture, and rent a van.

Whenever I buy things, I put in a good amount of time to research the sweet cost/performance spot and think about my likely trajectories. The result is that I really enjoy everything I have, so I take better care of them, and they last very long. I don't necessarily always buy the cheapest possible, but I buy the cheapest option that even years from now I will never have to worry about poor craftsmanship or outdated style.

And I do think that a well-groomed, clean appearance is a basic etiquette. So, I have maintained the same basic but tidy hair style all my life, and I generally dress well enough that my professionalism will not be questioned, even though my 'ensemble' of basics cost maybe $10 total.

zoltani 04-12-10 11:23 AM

Just signed for a new apartment, smaller than the one we have, but nicer and cheaper. We will save over 2000 euros a year with this one! It is 45 square meters, or about 484 square feet. Not too bad for 2 people, but I like the fact that it has a separate kitchen and a little alcove for the bed.
Now we need to figure out where to fit the 4 bikes we have within the space.

Any ideas on fitting 4 bikes in a small space? Yes, we need them all.

cZa 04-12-10 11:45 AM

Can you put hook's on the ceiling**********?

iron.wren 04-12-10 12:30 PM

i've been reading mnmlist.com it is ran by the same guy who does Zenhabits.com , i'm currently in college and i'm ready for the summer so that i can cut significantly down on what I own, right now i just have no time except the little stuff every so often. Clothing is definitely the first to go through.

FatBaldMen 04-12-10 04:00 PM

This thread could benefit from actual pictures (mine coming tomorrow).

Artkansas 04-14-10 07:40 AM

One thing I haven't seen in this thread is about one's inner mental life. What do you do to keep that simple?

FatBaldMen 04-14-10 02:15 PM

^ ride a bicycle

My place, as simple as I can possible live & its been this way for some 12 years now...its so relaxing to own nothing except what I absolutley need.

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g4...3/IMG_3112.jpg

Roody 04-14-10 04:38 PM


Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 10668602)
One thing I haven't seen in this thread is about one's inner mental life. What do you do to keep that simple?

I agree that inner simplicity is important. One thing I try to do is always keep in mind what is really important. If I'm bothered by something, I ask myself how important this thing that bothers me will seem to be in 5 days, or in 5 years. Usually the answer is that pretty soon it won't seem very important, so there's no sense in worrying about it now.

iron.wren 04-14-10 05:45 PM


Originally Posted by FatBaldMen (Post 10670722)
^ ride a bicycle

My place, as simple as I can possible live & its been this way for some 12 years now...its so relaxing to own nothing except what I absolutley need.

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g4...3/IMG_3112.jpg

Props to you i don't know if i ever could go that far

Smallwheels 04-14-10 10:46 PM

Mental And Spiritual Work Create Simplicity
 
My inner mental life revolves around releasing past upsets. The more I do it the simpler my mind gets because I'm dumping complexity from everything. I learned how to do it from four different sources; Scientology, The Release Technique, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and Buddhism. Each of them in some way has a technique that shows an individual how to release unwanted feelings. All of them teach that one's natural state of being is love and happiness. The problem is that we cover up that natural state with other junk over time and become more ill and miserable.

The Release Technique is the one I use most. For instance today a driver passed me with only about two feet of clearance and it got me angry. I used the technique to just let it go. At the start of my interest in releasing unwanted feelings, doing that would take a concentrated effort for several minutes or even an hour. Now that I've been doing it for years it only takes a few seconds before I can just laugh at it.

One of my goals for this life is to get to the point where I can feel unconditional love for anybody, even people who are hated by most people i.e. Osama Bin Laden. That's quite a goal. After all--love is the simplest thing of all.


FatBaldMen I'm really impressed with your lack of possessions. It is too austere for me. My list of possessions to keep is about 300 items. It can grow if necessary. Since I'm not into "having the latest things" that list probably won't grow very much.

corter 04-15-10 12:04 AM

My current life:

Work for myself
No credit cards
No car
One small student loan
2 Kittens
City priced rent, which is only because I love where I live and choose to be here. I could move to something cheap/free whenever.

I just want to live a good life. One of my goals has always been to be in complete control, because I think that's the ultimate freedom. At 23 years old, that's almost happened~ I work for myself, and I'm 1 small student loan away from financial freedom. I'm not tied down anywhere, I've got great friends, and I'm simply happy. I want to see things, meet people, teach, and learn. That's all.

I think mentally, I'm blessed (or cursed) with being very logical. I've always just had a complete blanket of acceptance. Techniques and worksheets and books and therepsts, all of which i've tried as a kid... they offer so much information that overlaps. It drives me nuts because your head is just like your living room, it becomes very cluttered very easily. I just accept that we can't control the world around us. The past has happened, there's nothing we can do to change it. Once you get this down, you can start responding with emotions rather than reacting with them (you also accept that you control your future 100%, and can walk away from anything you're doing to make yourself a new or better life...and then you go for it).

About love up there... Love is the most sacred thing we can give of ourselves, it's the most complicated thing we've ever known. I'm not arguing with the goal, to each his own, but I can't say I agree with Love being the "simplest thing of all".

Smallwheels 04-15-10 07:27 AM

It's A Tough Road Worth Traveling
 

Originally Posted by corter (Post 10673218)
About love up there... Love is the most sacred thing we can give of ourselves, it's the most complicated thing we've ever known. I'm not arguing with the goal, to each his own, but I can't say I agree with Love being the "simplest thing of all".

I just look at love as a simple thing. You either love someone or you don't. It's all the attachments, expectations, and conditions we put on relationships that make it complicated. It's when we say I will only love you as long as you do/don't do ____________. Having expectations about another person in a relationship is where the problems begin. That frailty is within most of us and it is easy to work on but hard to fully drop.

Artkansas 04-15-10 07:50 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 10673835)
I just look at love as a simple thing. You either love someone or you don't. It's all the attachments, expectations, and conditions we put on relationships that make it complicated.

I think that love has nothing to do with relationships. It's a gift from god that you pass on to others and yourself. You can love those you don't like as easily as your friends.

corter 04-15-10 10:42 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 10673835)
I just look at love as a simple thing. You either love someone or you don't. It's all the attachments, expectations, and conditions we put on relationships that make it complicated. It's when we say I will only love you as long as you do/don't do ____________. Having expectations about another person in a relationship is where the problems begin. That frailty is within most of us and it is easy to work on but hard to fully drop.

Treating someone with love and loving someone are two very, very different things. What I'm getting from you here is that you're mixing the two? I guess I just don't understand being so focused on relationships when your goal is to love everyone unconditionally, which would mean loving most people you've never met or formed a relationship with. I'd also say that if you've ever loved someone conditionally, you've never loved, because one of the reason why love is so special and reserved is that it's completely unconditional.

iron.wren 04-15-10 01:20 PM


Originally Posted by corter (Post 10674761)
Treating someone with love and loving someone are two very, very different things. What I'm getting from you here is that you're mixing the two? I guess I just don't understand being so focused on relationships when your goal is to love everyone unconditionally, which would mean loving most people you've never met or formed a relationship with. I'd also say that if you've ever loved someone conditionally, you've never loved, because one of the reason why love is so special and reserved is that it's completely unconditional.

+1

corter 04-15-10 02:49 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 10648377)
It is too bad that most cities have zoning codes that don't allow structures smaller than 1500 square feet. The Tumbleweed house company sells plans for tiny homes under 800 square feet. Most people probably build them on lots outside city limits or within their own back yards.

My next move will be into a one bedroom apartment if I can find one with built-in laundry equipment. I really hate having to monitor my clothes at a laundromat or within an apartment laundry room. It wastes my time.

How small is too small for you? How big is too big for you? Since I'm single I could do it without any complaints from a spouse. .

Just read this! Tumbleweed houses, and most tiny houses, are built on trailers and actually under 400sq.ft. This way there are no codes, because it's not considered a permanent structure even if you buy land, park it, and attach to the grid. It's the same with actual RV's. There are a lot of people that live in RV's in big cities, as long as they're under 24ft (a class C I think) you can legally park at meters overnight, or in free street parking, with no problem. A couple solar panels and a gym membership for showers and facilities, you're good to go.

I think the most popular advantages to smaller living are freedom, smaller footprint both physically and environmentally, and cost. With the tiny houses, building shelter is something every living creature does except for (most) humans, and I think a lot of people that are doing this want to experience that.

Personally, I've never lived in a huge place. My last place was a sub 500sq.ft. 2 bedroom, with most of the room being in the shared living areas. my bedroom was 9x9, and I was perfectly happy in it. We lived above the boiler room, so we got the place cheaper and we never paid more than $30/month in oil heat even in the dead of winter. I've got my current place for another 18 months, and I'm going to do the RV thing after that, travel around a bit.

Rollfast 04-15-10 03:35 PM


Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 10668602)
One thing I haven't seen in this thread is about one's inner mental life. What do you do to keep that simple?

Your brain builds bridges while you sleep etc. Don't you mean more harmonious?

jaebberwock 04-17-10 03:21 AM

By far, one of the best threads I have read on the internets. I just spent the last 3 hours or so reading 28 pages of posts in one go. It brought me back ten years when I was able to fit not only all of my stuff, but a friends as well into my '97 Grand Am for a coast to coast drive. Now, approaching 30, I have a big screen T.V., a PS3, an Xbox 360, couches, beds, weight sets, computers, smartphones, guns, you name it. I've fallen into the habit of trying to buy happiness. The accumulation of stuff happened so gradually I didn't even realize it, I hadn't realized that it was suffocating me. Thanks for the eye opener; I remembered that it was when I had the least that I was at my happiest.

Smallwheels 04-17-10 10:51 AM

How Did You Find This Thread?
 

Originally Posted by jaebberwock (Post 10683492)
By far, one of the best threads I have read on the internets.... I remembered that it was when I had the least that I was at my happiest.

I see this is your first post. How did you find this thread? What were you seeking that brought you here?

Just curious.

jaebberwock 04-17-10 01:15 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 10684276)
I see this is your first post. How did you find this thread? What were you seeking that brought you here?

Just curious.

Nothing so grand as self enlightenment. I suddenly decided I needed a bike and was looking to buy a cheap road bike to see if I'd stick with it. I don't want a repeat of my paragliding hobby in which I sunk thousands of dollars into gear and training for 1 season of flying. I just never picked it back up after winter was over...what a waste eh? This thread kind of makes me want to re-evaluate buying a bike but it's already ordered and I'll probably be living closer to downtown for my work so it will be practical for getting around as well as good for my health. I usually run but it has been getting kind of boring as of late.


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