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

Newspaperguy 02-17-09 02:04 AM


Originally Posted by gz_ (Post 8287507)
Yea, I'm not sure if it's good to feel this way but I kind of like this economic downturn because people are forced to find entertainment in the simple things like a hike in the woods or riding a bike rather than blowing a lot of cash on junk. Oh well.

For far too long, too many of us have had the idea that we're entitled to having all our desires gratified right away. But in much of the world, where people work long and hard for meagre wages and where there is little or no social safety net, such dreams of a rich life are completely out of reach. Even our versions of simplicity would be seen as high luxury.

If this recession serves as a reality check for us, then it will have accomplished something positive and important.

cthunter01 02-18-09 02:52 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 8053186)
That's interesting. I don't know if you're aware of it, but Thoreau said that the reason he lived in his tiny hand-built cabin in the woods was to "discover what is essential."

That's one of my favorite quotes. For the record, here's a more complete version:


I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
What exactly "simple living" means to different people has been tossed around a bit on this thread, and now it's my turn to chime in. :) For me, simple living is ultimately about living deliberately and consciously. It's about living your life in a way that is consistent with your stated values. It's also about making decisions in life to further those goals, and eschewing choices that lead away from them. It's about being able to sleep well at night without taking a pill, and living with a totally clean conscience. It's about seeking true happiness and contentedness in life, which despite all of the energy spent in advertising to the contrary, cannot be bought. In most cases, it seems having lots of "stuff" is counterproductive to those goals, which is why I suspect living simply is often associated with living minimally.

In a related vein, I'm not interested in judging others for living with much more than I personally need to get by on, as that would be counterproductive. Additionally, I don't know what their values are or the specific needs of their families, so I would be in no position to be able to pass judgements. For the most part, I couldn't care less how other people live anyway, as long as their lifestyles don't get too much in the way of my chosen way of life; because, within reason of course, I choose to live my own life each and every moment how I wish to live it. To worry too much about what everyone else is doing with their lives would be to lose focus on my own. As for most of the people that know me, and whose opinions I actually care something about, they just think I'm eccentric and I'm fine with that.

At the moment, I live pretty simply, but I still feel like I have some nagging loose ends to take care of. I own a Trek 7.3 FX which I depend upon for transportation as I don't own a car. My room is pretty much bare except for a bed and dresser. My closet is pretty filled up with stuff, though. I have a lot of backpacking/hiking gear in there, but I use it and derive great satisfaction from it's use. :) Overall, I could move everything I own, save the bed and dresser, in a small car if I owned one. I'm not quite to the point of being able to move on my bicycle, but I'd like to get there. Maybe if I had a trailer... Oh, and I'm single, which helps tremendously. ;)

EDIT: Oh, and I have a desk with a desktop computer on it.

Machka 02-18-09 06:05 PM


Originally Posted by cookie addict (Post 6816089)
"You do not truly own anything that you can not carry at a dead run."

Rowan experienced something like this on February 7th ....... and life became a whole lot "simpler" in terms of material things for both of us.



Originally Posted by Machka (Post 6386881)
In 2004, I packed, sold, tossed, and gave away all my stuff. I got rid of about half of what I owned then ... and I haven't really added to it (a few textbooks and a few articles of clothing).

My remaining stuff has been in storage since then.

And, over the next year, I will be working on getting rid of at least half of my remaining stuff. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it all, but I'll figure it out as I go.

Stuff can be very imprisoning, and although it can hurt to let stuff go, it is very freeing.


I've been going through my stuff and getting rid of it, but now that our life no longer includes a house, I will be reassessing what I decided to keep and will very likely be getting rid of more than I originally planned.


And for those who think that they cannot live a simple life if they have a woman in their lives ... I am a woman, and Rowan and I are aiming to live a very simple life together.

cyrsir51 03-02-09 03:23 AM

I just started scanning through this thread.
Im a young male who is still in school and trying to figure life out just like everyone else. I found living a simple life enlightening. I started going though all my clothes and donating the ones i dont use/ need, old bike stuff donate to a little program or gave to friends, and furniture I gave to my mom who was looking to to upgrade her living space...
I was living with my brother in a decent size 2 bedroom apartment till he wanted to move to london... i moved into the city... so the first move made me start to downsize the things I owned. Once i started doing that I didn't stop. After a bad housing situation I had to move again.. this time back with my mom, she is a pack rat but after telling her how the things you own soon own you she kind of understood that the things we own we can live with out ... in doing so we helped out other ( homeless people with clothes etc..) and saved money.

Fast forward 2 years now Im content with the things I own and the lifestyle I live. Im getting ready to move yet again. But this time to a little studio where all I will have is a bed, a table, dishes, and two chairs. Along with a few other little things OH and my bikes :)... Living car free and saving money oh things are nice.

wahoonc 03-02-09 05:59 AM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 8384920)
Rowan experienced something like this on February 7th ....... and life became a whole lot "simpler" in terms of material things for both of us.





I've been going through my stuff and getting rid of it, but now that our life no longer includes a house, I will be reassessing what I decided to keep and will very likely be getting rid of more than I originally planned.


And for those who think that they cannot live a simple life if they have a woman in their lives ... I am a woman, and Rowan and I are aiming to live a very simple life together.

And Machaka; you appear to be the exception to the rule:thumb: FWIW I know plenty of guys that could complicate and clutter up a simple lifestyle too:D

Aaron:)

Machka 03-16-09 08:17 PM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 8452225)
And Machaka; you appear to be the exception to the rule:thumb: FWIW I know plenty of guys that could complicate and clutter up a simple lifestyle too:D

Aaron:)

This is "home sweet home" for now. I haven't seen it in person yet, but Rowan's been living there since the fire, and it's possible he'll still be living there when I get there. He has made some improvements since that photo was taken, including setting up an outdoor "bathroom" behind the trailer, and setting up the awning out front to create a "living room".

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3650/...bb2ee88e_m.jpg

Fairly simple living, I think.

politicalgeek 03-16-09 08:36 PM

I am seriously considering doing something similar when I graduate. I want to build something like this and either purchase a house in the city (biking and transit!) to park behind and rent the main house or purchase land just outside of the city (some transit, some biking, some driving). Get to a point where I can work part time just enough to pay the necessary bills-ideally running the tiny house off of solar with propane heat and cooking.

mikedirectory2 03-19-09 01:24 PM

I have been trying to do the same thing. I recently got divorced and moved with my clothes, my bike and my dog. It's refreshing not having responsbility for so much "stuff"

chriswnw 03-19-09 02:01 PM

I used to be far more minimalist that I currently am. I have found myself accumulating a much larger collection of stuff, although much of it is utilitarian. My collection of bike tools and household tools has gotten pretty big. I have a ton of kickboxing equipment (headgear, boxing gloves, bag gloves, knee pads, shin guards, mouthpiece, and soon a heavy bag). I'm considering getting a second bike so that I'll still be mobile if one is out of commission for a few days. I have too many black metal CDs that I never play, considering that my entire collection is on mp3. However, the physical albums have sentimental value.

I'm only really minimalistic in the sense that I eliminate possessions that I don't use, whereas many are packrats. Also, many people find use for a greater number of possessions than what I have. If I had a TV, DVD player, Playstation, or car, they would sit idle. I don't think I live simply on the basis of any moralistic principle.

Nimmy 04-16-09 08:42 PM

I've been working on simplifying my life over the last year, and so far:
In the last year, i've sold off my entire DVD collection, video games, TV/stand/dvd player. And my car.

Next up are my books and bookshelves, because I just bought a Sony E-Reader(The TV paid for this) which is much more compact and nice to use. I'm still debating on my CD collection, but I think in the end, it will go as well (except for maybe a few that have sentimental value).

I'm a very materialistic person, but at the same time I hate feeling crowded or tied down by too many things. The most important things I own are my laptop, bike, iPod and my e-reader. I could probably do without the rest, it'll just take some time to convince myself of that.

I'm also 23 and all my friends think i'm crazy.

MyWar 04-17-09 05:56 PM

this summer I moved from Ohio to Oregon. When I moved, with my girlfriend, we sold everything that wouldn't fit in the back of her Toyota and headed out. I sold my car and bought a better bike. Getting rid of everything that we didn't need was incredible; it has simplified our lives 20 fold. We share a one bedroom apt. and it's great. I would never have imagined how much the crap I owned was holding me down.

Paul Braithwait 05-05-09 05:48 PM

I suppose it depends what hobbies and family you have. My wife and I run a music band and so have our instruments and mic stands, amplifiers to house. I work on the radio and constantly receive CDs and press releases from record companies. My wife uses two lap tops for her work and we look after our 4 year old grandson three days a week so we have loads of his toys! Oh for a clear out!!

Machka 05-07-09 02:33 PM

We've upgraded from the trailer! It looks like we'll be moving into a one-room cabin in a remote corner of the orchard where Rowan works. The cabin survived the bushfire.

The cabin is fairly large ... probably about 2/3 the size of a basement. It isn't insulated and there's no heat, but there is a large fireplace. There is no electricity, but there is a flush toilet in an outhouse adjacent to the cabin. And there's no kitchen, but there is a countertop with an Australian-style BBQ. It is furnished with a bed and a sofa.

Not quite as "simple" as the trailer, but perhaps a little more functional for winter with the fireplace. And I'm excited about the luxury of having a flush toilet. :)


The last two photos show the cabin in question: http://www.flickr.com/photos/1430288...7611337191865/


I'll be heading over in June with one of my bicycles, some bicycle touring gear, and a bit of my clothing. The remainder of my stuff (maybe 400 cubic feet packed) will come over later.

Roody 05-07-09 04:36 PM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 8875834)
We've upgraded from the trailer! It looks like we'll be moving into a one-room cabin in a remote corner of the orchard where Rowan works. The cabin survived the bushfire.

The cabin is fairly large ... probably about 2/3 the size of a basement. It isn't insulated and there's no heat, but there is a large fireplace. There is no electricity, but there is a flush toilet in an outhouse adjacent to the cabin. And there's no kitchen, but there is a countertop with an Australian-style BBQ. It is furnished with a bed and a sofa.

Not quite as "simple" as the trailer, but perhaps a little more functional for winter with the fireplace. And I'm excited about the luxury of having a flush toilet. :)


The last two photos show the cabin in question
: http://www.flickr.com/photos/1430288...7611337191865/


I'll be heading over in June with one of my bicycles, some bicycle touring gear, and a bit of my clothing. The remainder of my stuff (maybe 400 cubic feet packed) will come over later
.

How cold does it get in the winter? Probably much warmer than you're used to!

Leaving in about a month, eh? You must be getting excited.

Machka 05-07-09 04:50 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 8876588)
How cold does it get in the winter? Probably much warmer than you're used to!

Leaving in about a month, eh? You must be getting excited.

It's kind of like a Vancouver winter ... lows around 0C or so, maybe -5C on occasion. Some frost, rarely snow at that elevation, but snow in the higher elevations around. Lots of rain. It will be the dead of winter there when I arrive.

And yep ... about a month to go, and so much left to do. But yes, I certainly am getting excited. :)

nancy sv 05-13-09 07:29 PM

We are living very simply right now - on an extended tour on our bikes. Everything we use is carried on the bikes. Makes life very simple indeed!

We do have a bunch of stuff in storage up in the USA, and I envision getting back to there in a couple years and sending 3/4 of it to charity. The one thing I'm really struggling with is my map table. My parents had this great big, enormous, oak map table (I mean - this thing is HUGE!!) and I really liked it. At one point - I was a total vagabond at the time - my mom was asking all us kids what we wanted from the house so she could put it in her will and I blurted out, "Map table!" She just laughed and shook her head.

so now I have the map table and I can't get rid of it - I really do love it. But how in the heck does one carry a 400-pound, 6-ft X 4-ft X 4.5-ft chunk of oak around on a bike??!?!

Machka 05-13-09 11:11 PM


Originally Posted by nancy sv (Post 8914255)
We are living very simply right now - on an extended tour on our bikes. Everything we use is carried on the bikes. Makes life very simple indeed!

We do have a bunch of stuff in storage up in the USA, and I envision getting back to there in a couple years and sending 3/4 of it to charity. The one thing I'm really struggling with is my map table. My parents had this great big, enormous, oak map table (I mean - this thing is HUGE!!) and I really liked it. At one point - I was a total vagabond at the time - my mom was asking all us kids what we wanted from the house so she could put it in her will and I blurted out, "Map table!" She just laughed and shook her head.

so now I have the map table and I can't get rid of it - I really do love it. But how in the heck does one carry a 400-pound, 6-ft X 4-ft X 4.5-ft chunk of oak around on a bike??!?!


When I first moved to Central Alberta I got rid of half my stuff, but still had a lot left. I put most of it into storage with the idea that when I finished school I'd dig it all out and set up a new place to live. 4.5 years later, when I dug it all out again, like you have, I realized I didn't need a large portion of it, and quite a bit of it is going out.

Somehow now, however, I feel better about the boxes of bear ornaments which have been given to me. All the boxes together don't add up to a huge oak map table!! :D

Machka 05-13-09 11:14 PM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 8875834)
We've upgraded from the trailer! It looks like we'll be moving into a one-room cabin in a remote corner of the orchard where Rowan works. The cabin survived the bushfire.

The cabin is fairly large ... probably about 2/3 the size of a basement. It isn't insulated and there's no heat, but there is a large fireplace. There is no electricity, but there is a flush toilet in an outhouse adjacent to the cabin. And there's no kitchen, but there is a countertop with an Australian-style BBQ. It is furnished with a bed and a sofa.

Not quite as "simple" as the trailer, but perhaps a little more functional for winter with the fireplace. And I'm excited about the luxury of having a flush toilet. :)


The last two photos show the cabin in question: http://www.flickr.com/photos/1430288...7611337191865/


I'll be heading over in June with one of my bicycles, some bicycle touring gear, and a bit of my clothing. The remainder of my stuff (maybe 400 cubic feet packed) will come over later.


There are now 14 photos up, with some shots of the interior of the cabin.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/1430288...7611337191865/

Turns out it is well furnished, and comes complete with a toilet and tub, some gas power, and some solar power. :)

Foofy 05-14-09 09:35 AM

Loos like a comfy little place. Very nice.

smilin buddha 05-18-09 10:42 AM

Well I have read alot of the information on here and still manage to screw up. I was really enjoying my used digital camera. So I figured I would buy a bigger one. Yeah I was probably saying the same thing. I will regret this. But I did it anyway. Funny I carried the smaller camera more. Luckily I sold it to a girl at work. Only lost 50 on what I paid for it. So I guess that was a cheap lesson.

corter 05-22-09 10:09 PM

I just graduated college, but i work for myself. I've been reading through this thread for the first time as i've always thought myself to have a decently simple life, doing the whole "purge half your posessions" thing once a year.

I live in a city, 2 bedroom apt. with a roomate. my main posessions include:

bag full of cameras
toolbox of leathersmithing tools for my job and a hide of leather
iphone (phone and ipod in 1...what's better?!)
macbook
3 bikes (im gonna sell one off soon)/toolbox/pump/ minimal extra parts like handlebars, etc.
tv
bed and a worktable/desk for my leatherwork, one small side table .

clothing: I only have 2 pairs of jeans, 3 or 4 pairs of shorts, and usually buy a stack of $2 tshirts every 6 months to keep them a bit fresh. I'm a huge fan of sweatshirts/sweaters and button shirts but i keep to the classics: 1 red plaid, 1 chambray, 1 white oxford,a couple hoodies, etc. a yellow rain coat, a blue wool coat, some white tennis sneakers, and a couple pairs of boots/flip flops. that's about it that i wear....the rest needs to go...i need to clean my closet.

my kitchen stuff is my moms, our furniture is my roomates. I've always tried to live to the point where I can have some gear for my hobbies, but if i needed to i could fit everything into a car and go. besides my desk and bed, i could do that. I think it's pretty good and swel.

My goals for graduation and living/working on my own are to ride daily, work independently, cook daily, and become less dependent on eating out and watching tv. I'm thinking about buying a car, because I want to travel to ride trails and work on my photography projects. I would be ok with that, it's like a box to fit everything in. I'd probably go so far as to test it one day!

benajah 05-30-09 10:29 PM

Ive always been into "survival" and stuff, and back in 1996, between high school and college I went into the Nanthahala National Forest in NC, with a shotgun, axe, sheath and pocketknife, sleeping bag and about 300 square feet of tarp material, plus some cooking pots and lived for 4 months. I did have a few extra little things, but my backpack heading into the woods on the first day only weighed 60 pounds. Things did get tough a few times and I went and found work in local towns to make a bit of money for food or clothes but I made it the whole 4 months in relative comfort.
Notice I only did it as a sort of vacation or experiment though. I would never suggest anyone try to live like that permanant. Its a mighty lonely life, especially for a 18 year old. Girls want nothing to do with a dirty forest dwelling hippie.

Tim Wieneke 06-03-09 04:43 PM

I've already cut 80% of my clutter and working on doing the next 80% cut. I am an outdoors enthusiast and accumulated a lot of outdoors "gear" I never used. I'm working to getting my lifestyle down to a 1 bedroom apartment from a 2 bedroom house (no storage units - that's cheating). As to what I "own", I am a real estate investor so I own multiple properties (I'm the only landlord I know who's picked up rent via bike) but those are are just my means of having an income instead of working 9-5. It's actually amusing getting snide comments from people who are twice my age and worth about 1/8th of me simply because I'm not driving a $900 a month car payment plus insurance around. You would be surprised how much real wealth you could make if you just got the crap out of your life and made room for simple means of investing the excess you didn't spend on crap.

Besides I need to get to the 1 bedroom apartment because my next "house" is going to be a sailboat on which I may have my now girlfriend, by then who knows :love:, from Iran and I won't have room for anything else. I will say this - having a relationship with someone who did not grow up in the US has helped me in this quest a lot...and it's easier to flirt when you're not tripping over clutter.

Tim Wieneke 06-03-09 04:46 PM


Originally Posted by benajah (Post 9013138)
Girls want nothing to do with a dirty forest dwelling hippie.

Look up Tim Lively. He's a hippie knifemaker out of Texas who lives in the dirt and has a very attractive hippie lady by his side - Marian. There's some hot hippie girls out there. And the best part is because they're not putting crap on their skin every day, when they put the slightest bit of makeup on they look like cover models. Besides, a good earthy tan beats foundation and mascara any day.

benajah 06-03-09 11:11 PM

Im going to check that dude out, he may have figured out the trick! How is the sailboat coming? My wife is from India and she has the same idea about living an untraditional life.

olan 06-04-09 12:17 AM

i only buy what i think can be useful for my job and for school. laptop of course for my studies, bike to commute.

Tim Wieneke 06-04-09 01:21 PM


Originally Posted by benajah (Post 9038775)
How is the sailboat coming? My wife is from India and she has the same idea about living an untraditional life.

Coming together very well. I have about 2 more years of building this real estate portfolio up here until I sell it all and buy a slip in Florida. The gf is a math wiz and wants to be an actuary. I'm an independent adjuster so Florida's a good place for both of us, the boat and 2 wheels year round.

Indian? Very nice. I worked for an Indus newspaper in Boston for a couple month in advertising sales.

SemiFreeAgent 06-17-09 11:35 PM


Originally Posted by z3px (Post 7656257)
What are some things that easily pile up and take up a lot of space? For me, itís DVDs followed by books. I have always looked at finding ways to "relieve" myself of the extra clutter without losing access to these resources, preferably the ease of having them on hand whenever I want. Does anyone know of a storage service that allows you to "store" them offsite, then send for them whenever you want. What would also be cool is if this service would basically sell the item (like put it on eBay automatically) at the click of a button. Then again, I guess I could rip the DVDs then sell them, although the legal issues with that are a bit shady.

Also, what about living paperless. Any tips for doing that?

If you want to get rid of DVDs and books, follow what OP does. Keep a few of them which you will want to watch/read from time to time. Oh and there's no need to try to live paperless, paper is our friend, it's also bio-degradable. The problem isn't using paper, it is using paper wastefully and, not growing trees.;)

SemiFreeAgent 06-18-09 12:07 AM

I think most people have the wrong idea about what is living simply. You can have different definitions for it, but basically it means simplify in getting what you want in your life. OP stated that he always try to reduce the things that he owns, it's because he realize there are things he own that he does not want, and he think of simpler ways to get those which he does want. He also mentioned that he does not deprive himself in doing so, therefore it's not always about restraining yourself to certain things, even though eventually you may come to that.

For example, if you really enjoy good food and you're a bad cook, it would really kill you if you try to "live simply" and cook yourself every meal even though you don't like what you cook. Therefore It would be much simpler if you just go eat out and save yourself time and trouble if you can afford it. It's the same thing with drinking wine, as I've read a few previous posts. If you demand top quality glass of wine and service, spend the money, enjoy and have fun, just be sure it's what you want.

Just a reminder here, there is no such thing as wastefulness as long as you make full use of what you own. If you use paper and print a lot, make sure you make good use of all that you printed and think before you print, even though I like handwriting more, since you won't throw away a few pages of what you write lightly. If you have the need for a car, go buy one, and use it daily, as much as you can, to accomplish things more efficiently. If you own DVDs or books, watch/read them so often until you get tired of them, and then get rid of them, so you don't have to back them up in your hard drives.

I can make so many examples but hopefully you all get my drift, but I would recommend one to read OP three times.

Machka 06-18-09 02:29 AM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 8875834)
We've upgraded from the trailer! It looks like we'll be moving into a one-room cabin in a remote corner of the orchard where Rowan works. The cabin survived the bushfire.

The cabin is fairly large ... probably about 2/3 the size of a basement. It isn't insulated and there's no heat, but there is a large fireplace. There is no electricity, but there is a flush toilet in an outhouse adjacent to the cabin. And there's no kitchen, but there is a countertop with an Australian-style BBQ. It is furnished with a bed and a sofa.

Not quite as "simple" as the trailer, but perhaps a little more functional for winter with the fireplace. And I'm excited about the luxury of having a flush toilet. :)


The last two photos show the cabin in question: http://www.flickr.com/photos/1430288...7611337191865/


I'll be heading over in June with one of my bicycles, some bicycle touring gear, and a bit of my clothing. The remainder of my stuff (maybe 400 cubic feet packed) will come over later.

Rowan and I are together in our "Love Shack" now. :)

The cabin is 9 metres by 6 metres (so, about 20 ft x 30 ft, or about 600 sq. ft ... a pretty good size). It has a fireplace which is our source of heat, and there are more than enough dead trees in the area to provide us with firewood.

We are in the process of insulating the place so it will hold the heat a bit more because it does get fairly cool at night. However, we did buy a down duvet for the purposes of keeping warm at night and it works quite well. Things like clothing are important because we need to keep warm, so we've got a collection of warm clothes, and I am hoping to pick up a few more pieces in the next few days.

We have power provided by a generator and the sun (when the sun shines). Rowan has set up the plumbing so that we have running water in the cabin now, although we are still working on getting consistant hot water. Oh, we also have good internet access up here so we can communicate and listen to the radio etc.

We've got decent food up here, although we can't keep much that needs to be cold. And we've got a small gas stove to cook the food, so that's all good.

And we've got a few luxuries ... like our bicycles. :) I've also picked up a handful of used books because we don't have a TV or similar forms of entertainment here.

We're living simply ... but comfortably.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1430288...7619719051119/


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