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

tonski 12-02-09 06:53 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 10090385)
The US unemployment rate is based on survey data and includes all members of the labor force who are not working but who are willing and able to work. Three months has absolutely nothing to do with it. Many people here in Michigan have been out of work for nearly two years, but they are still counted as unemployed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unemplo...bor_Statistics

I stand corrected. The document below says they're calculated based on 2 months, 2 quarters, or 2 years. It also indicates statistics do not normally include more than 1 year worth of averages. I suppose it depends more on who calculated the data.

http://www.bls.gov/cps/eetech_methods.pdf

I don't know much about Canada except Toronto is a fun place and the folks are mostly friendly (I grew up in Jackson and then enlisted USMC and got planted out in Sacramento - you know, the pass time for labor hardships in MI :), Roody). The other thing for us in the US to consider is that Federal tax withholding regulations changed and we're going to see more money in refunds (anyone in CA remember the IOUs Arnie was passing out?) since the withholding is more without the tax actually increasing; this all unless you actually look at and adjust your federal withholdings.

The news here in the US is that the economy is recovering too. Crossing my fingers instead of holding my breath.

Smallwheels 12-08-09 11:11 PM

Could You Live In This Apartment?
 
Could you live in this apartment?

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/m...aJE3c17zkw4efP

This is in the New York Post. I found the story on the front page of Yahoo! today.

I wouldn't be happy without a larger kitchen. As it is I have a small kitchen. It has plenty of cabinet space but not enough counter space. I have many appliances that I use and they all go on the counter.

Machka 12-09-09 12:38 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 10123694)
Could you live in this apartment?

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/m...aJE3c17zkw4efP

This is in the New York Post. I found the story on the front page of Yahoo! today.

I wouldn't be happy without a larger kitchen. As it is I have a small kitchen. It has plenty of cabinet space but not enough counter space. I have many appliances that I use and they all go on the counter.

I wish there were a lot more places about that size available. Rowan and I stayed in an apartment (the apartment of a friend who posts here sometimes) about that size in Paris for a few days, and I loved it!! I loved it so much I looked for a place like it in Edmonton when I got back there. There weren't many places like that, but I did manage to find one.

The one in the article is 175 sq. feet which is not a bad size at all. My place in Edmonton was probably about 12 x 14 (168 sq ft) and had a kitchen, a sleeping area, and a living area. The bathroom was shared.

I will say, however, that two people in a space that size might be a bit of a tight fit ... especially when trying to get 10 or 12 bicycles in there.

Roody 12-09-09 11:52 AM

I wish I could have found a smaller apartment when I moved recently. Around here, most one bedroom places are in bad shape and in bad neighborhoods. All the nice apartments are 2BR or larger. Since i live alone, I feel like I'm rattling around in my 800 square feet, and I hate paying to heat space that I'm only using for storage.

Smallwheels 12-09-09 01:42 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 10125277)
I hate paying to heat space that I'm only using for storage.

I have one bedroom full of boxes. I keep the door closed and don't turn on the heat in that room. I put an old sheet at the bottom of the door so that the cold air doesn't come into the apartment. You could do the same thing. If the apartment has central air conditioning and heating just seal the vent going into that room.

wahoonc 12-10-09 06:54 PM

I have lived in smaller....a pickup camper:D AND I had a full kitchen with a stove and oven.:rolleyes: IIRC it was an 11' camper which would have made it around 80sf.:twitchy: Small spaces are great, they force you to make do with the basics. Currently my bride and I share 980sf and it works great. I spend most of my time in motel rooms that average around 180sf. Currently I am living large in a 2 room suite that is around 400sf!:eek: But I only have 3 bicycles with me at the moment.:innocent:

Built in furniture and compact appliances make a huge difference. I really like the concept of the Tumbleweed Homes.

I also have spent a fair amount of time "living" in my 1975 Airstream trailer, it is one of the larger ones at ~196 sf.

Aaron:)

paul-yokaholnes 12-11-09 12:27 PM

I have got a car i'm afraid mx5 (miata) I only use it a few times a week.

I have had the heating on all day today :(
Laptop
desktop
i do use freecyclye, but got put off when one person asked me to leave my table and chiars out on the drive saying that she was a poor single mother or something (sob story) anyway, guess what... didnt take it away, so i am guessing that its was a dealer trying to get a free table and chairs and didnt like the look of it!

Machka 12-11-09 05:29 PM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 10131302)
I have lived in smaller....a pickup camper:D AND I had a full kitchen with a stove and oven.:rolleyes: IIRC it was an 11' camper which would have made it around 80sf.:twitchy: Small spaces are great, they force you to make do with the basics. Currently my bride and I share 980sf and it works great. I spend most of my time in motel rooms that average around 180sf. Currently I am living large in a 2 room suite that is around 400sf!:eek: But I only have 3 bicycles with me at the moment.:innocent:

Built in furniture and compact appliances make a huge difference. I really like the concept of the Tumbleweed Homes.

I also have spent a fair amount of time "living" in my 1975 Airstream trailer, it is one of the larger ones at ~196 sf.

Aaron:)

Rowan spent a little more than a year, I believe, living in a tent as he travelled around working at various orchards back in 2005/2006. After the fires earlier this year he spent 3 months in a pop-up trailer. And he's lived in various other small accommodations in between ... a small bunkhouse, a small atco, and the house he was renting which got destroyed in the fires was about the same size as the place we're in now. 6 metres x 9 metres equals about 600 square feet.

wahoonc 12-12-09 07:40 AM

I have done the tent and popup camper stint before, and living out of doors is work, especially when the weather starts to get rough.

IMHO properly designed small living spaces are the way to go, for me they reduce clutter, reduce stress and force me to live a more simple life. And give me more disposable income.:lol:

Aaron:)

horsec8z 12-14-09 05:48 AM

I also have lived in a space that small. 10x14 but it was better designed. It acually had a full size kitchen and the guy who designed it put a huge closet with sliding doors at one end so I had plenty of storage and a place for the cats litter box (not in the kitchen). It was pretty tight with the bikes in there though. Very convienent, easy to heat and keep clean. I miss it. Only left because the landlord himself felt the recession and needed to live there. LOL he immediately knocked out a wall into the garage and made it a 1 bedroom apt! Currently looking to become a homeowner. Would buy land and build my perfect abode but the counties in my area have some silly idea that new construction for single family dwelling need to be minimum of 1800sqft!( I've been told) Plenty of smaller homes in the area that can be remodeled into a better living area right now. Have my little, off the grid, straw bale home right in the center of urban development! Donna

Platy 12-15-09 01:32 AM

One of the classic books on simple living is Dolly Freed's Possum Living, published in 1978. Very influential in its time but long out of print, it's being republished next month. The publisher's information page contains links to a 30-minute 1980 video documentary about Dolly and her book. It also has information about what Dolly's been doing for the last 30 years or so.


In the late seventies, at the age of eighteen and with a seventh-grade education, Dolly Freed wrote Possum Living about the five years she and her father lived off the land on a half-acre lot outside of Philadelphia. At the time of its publication in 1978, Possum Living became an instant classic, known for its plucky narration and no-nonsense practical advice on how to quit the rat race and live frugally. In her delightful, straightforward, and irreverent style, Freed guides readers on how to buy and maintain a home, dress well, cope with the law, stay healthy, save money, and be lazy, proud, miserly, and honest, all while enjoying leisure and keeping up a middle-class fašade.
http://www.tinhousebooks.com/catalog...pl_intro.shtml

Roody 12-15-09 11:50 AM


Originally Posted by Platy (Post 10147622)
One of the classic books on simple living is Dolly Freed's Possum Living, published in 1978. Very influential in its time but long out of print, it's being republished next month. The publisher's information page contains links to a 30-minute 1980 video documentary about Dolly and her book. It also has information about what Dolly's been doing for the last 30 years or so.

In the late seventies, at the age of eighteen and with a seventh-grade education, Dolly Freed wrote Possum Living about the five years she and her father lived off the land on a half-acre lot outside of Philadelphia. At the time of its publication in 1978, Possum Living became an instant classic, known for its plucky narration and no-nonsense practical advice on how to quit the rat race and live frugally. In her delightful, straightforward, and irreverent style, Freed guides readers on how to buy and maintain a home, dress well, cope with the law, stay healthy, save money, and be lazy, proud, miserly, and honest, all while enjoying leisure and keeping up a middle-class fašade.
http://www.tinhousebooks.com/catalog...pl_intro.shtml

That's ironic--subsistence living on a half-acre suburban lot--about the lot size of your average McMansion today! I wonder if anybody living in the exurbs of Philadelphia today will read the book and follow Dolly's example?

Platy 12-15-09 02:26 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 10148946)
That's ironic--subsistence living on a half-acre suburban lot--about the lot size of your average McMansion today! I wonder if anybody living in the exurbs of Philadelphia today will read the book and follow Dolly's example?

Dolly's specific plan for possum living is a little out of date because it's so much harder now to acquire a piece of gardenable land free and clear. A more up to date set of strategies might be Anita Sands Hernandez' "Confessions of a Bottom Feeder", which is her ever evolving set of personal web pages.


Many modern city dwellers who want to give their life over to painting or writing and who work 8 hours a day at their beloved artform, find that they can survive perfectly well without a 'regular job.'They do the work they adore and pay rent with sales! They live in picturesque, old homes with huge, jungley gardens and pay their way painting portraits, painting junked furniture with faux finishes, doing ceramics, sewing, designing textiles, wall hangings, maybe even painting houses, (again, faux finishes "shabby Chic"-- nothing banal.)

They are artists and not all of them are starving artists, either. They live in homes because they are esthetically pleasing and provide many large rooms for offices, studios, and a big garage for carpentry work. They provide hugegardens in which they can grow food, --a pursuit that is considered a soul-satisfying art form, not an obligation, although it makes eating really delicious gourmet things like nectarines, artichokes, asparagus, and oranges that have hung a full three years in a tree, and are truly ripe, so it makes a really fine life cheaper!
http://home.earthlink.net/~astrology/confessi.html

Anita is a sharper tactical operator than Dolly was. As always, take what you like from books and web pages, and leave the rest.

claire 12-15-09 03:26 PM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 10123894)
I wish there were a lot more places about that size available. Rowan and I stayed in an apartment (the apartment of a friend who posts here sometimes) about that size in Paris for a few days, and I loved it!! I loved it so much I looked for a place like it in Edmonton when I got back there. There weren't many places like that, but I did manage to find one.

The one in the article is 175 sq. feet which is not a bad size at all. My place in Edmonton was probably about 12 x 14 (168 sq ft) and had a kitchen, a sleeping area, and a living area. The bathroom was shared.

I will say, however, that two people in a space that size might be a bit of a tight fit ... especially when trying to get 10 or 12 bicycles in there.

Glad you liked my flat, Machka...
Yeah it was about the size of the appartment in the article. It wasn't bad at all for one person plus 2 bikes. It was quite overpriced though. But it felt a lot like camping every day!

eofelis 12-15-09 03:51 PM

Here is a blog that I visit occasionally:

http://tosimplify.blogspot.com/

This guy is certainly not car free, but he did simplify.

rumrunn6 12-15-09 04:01 PM

I've tried to simplify my life by being honest. But honestly, it only seems to have complicated things.

hmm ... this sounds like a new signature ...

dwilbur3 12-15-09 04:08 PM

I try to simplify my life, but my wife and daughter have other plans. :)

Wiggles_dad 12-27-09 01:15 PM

I also don't like having too many belongings. During my last move I only took what I could fit in my car and drove across the country. That was 2 years ago and since then I have accumulated a couple of couches, skis, a desk, and a dresser.

I have a couple of rituals and beliefs:

Furniture: Buy used and when I move I will donate/resell.

Need vs. Want: I like stuff because I have hobbies - biking, climbing, and skiing. When I want something I put it into an excel spreadsheet and rate it on a scale of 1-5 on the basis of need and 1-5 on the basis of want. I do think long and hard before purchasing something. I also consult my "wish list" before I purchase to make sure there isn't something that i wanted or needed more that I forgot about.

tieka 12-28-09 01:58 AM


Originally Posted by Wiggles_dad (Post 10193627)
I also don't like having too many belongings. During my last move I only took what I could fit in my car and drove across the country. That was 2 years ago and since then I have accumulated a couple of couches, skis, a desk, and a dresser.

I have a couple of rituals and beliefs:

Furniture: Buy used and when I move I will donate/resell.

Need vs. Want: I like stuff because I have hobbies - biking, climbing, and skiing. When I want something I put it into an excel spreadsheet and rate it on a scale of 1-5 on the basis of need and 1-5 on the basis of want. I do think long and hard before purchasing something. I also consult my "wish list" before I purchase to make sure there isn't something that i wanted or needed more that I forgot about.

I have a similar rating system for wants and needs. It helps me save money even if I get the bike parts I want now, but won't need for a few months. The only problems I found are unexpected needs and a depressed husband. Can't put those on a rating system, but emergency money helps.

BadBoy10 12-28-09 03:57 PM

I'm a librarian (primary and college). I work two jobs. I am alarmed at the amount of people stating they give their unwanted books to the library and/or the library is a storage entity. No, it isn't. Librarians do not want to sift through your junk but we do :(. Just throw it out or send it overseas. Please the publishing industry has a huge surplus of every title imaginable. Yada yada---

Living simply.
I try.
Older television just in case my Momma visits. I rarely if ever turn it on. The stereotypical depictions are just complete nonsense.
Bike a lot. Would love to sell my Toyota Yaris and become car free but ---public transportation in the South sucks! Drive my scooter most places unless my "friend" needs to be picked up.
Cut my spending tremendously!!!! I shop primarily online. If I can wait to get the package I need it.
I simply am fed up with shopping in stores the customer service is so bad and I hate having to say, "Excuse me, can I interupt your phone call and get assistance?"
Have a cell phone.
No Myspace. No Facebook.
Love the internet.
Minimal furniture
A bed

I work and come home. :)

Great forum. Great thread. Be well.

Roody 12-28-09 04:25 PM


Originally Posted by BadBoy10 (Post 10197772)
I'm a librarian (primary and college). I work two jobs. I am alarmed at the amount of people stating they give their unwanted books to the library and/or the library is a storage entity. No, it isn't. Librarians do not want to sift through your junk but we do :(. Just throw it out or send it overseas. Please the publishing industry has a huge surplus of every title imaginable. Yada yada---

My library has a used book store where they sell donated books and use the revenue to support library programs. I buy a lot of books there and often donate them back when I'm finished with them.

BadBoy10 12-30-09 09:57 AM

Roody:

Great!

I am talking about 1986 World Book Encyclopedias---type of donations. We receive a lot of junk--we simply do not have the capacity to keep every book every published. LOL!

nancy sv 12-30-09 04:50 PM

Right now, we live very simply. Everything we need for a family of four (including homeschoolling materials) fits in the panniers of three bikes and two trailers. We have a tiny little cook stove and one pot and a wooden spoon. We've got sleeping bags an dmats for the four of us and a tent we can cram into. It's a very basic life and fits us well. We expect to live on the road like this for about another year or slightly more. then? Who knows.

We do have a bunch of stuff in storage back home and will have to decide what to do with it. keep it? Sell it? Give it away? We'll figure that out when we reach the tip of South America!

JackESavage 01-18-10 02:35 PM

I live pretty simply - most of my friends are amazzed at how minimalist I am. In additon to my bike, I have a few clothes, books TV, bed, and futon, and a few other odds and ends (pictures, etc.) I get most of my media materials (books, DVDs, etc.) from the library.

My last great indulgence is cable TV. I'm trying to work up the discipline to cancel the cable, and realocate that money on a gym membership.[/QUOTE]

I killed my cable TV subscription and my gym membership---saved enough in 3 months to buy round-trip airfare to Madrid---
would you rather be watching "Night Court" reruns or traveling? also, you can get a pretty good workout on your bike, but be safe!

JackESavage 01-22-10 01:23 AM

i think you're right
many people hide their 'egos' in floor-to-ceiling book shelves
but i would be recalcitrant if asked to let go of my American-First edition of "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas"

have you ever noticed most bike advocates are total book *****s?

discuss

gerv 01-22-10 06:19 PM


Originally Posted by JackESavage (Post 10302912)

have you ever noticed most bike advocates are total book *****s?

worms?

z3px 01-23-10 12:30 PM


Originally Posted by JackESavage (Post 10302912)
i think you're right
many people hide their 'egos' in floor-to-ceiling book shelves
but i would be recalcitrant if asked to let go of my American-First edition of "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas"

have you ever noticed most bike advocates are total book *****s?

discuss

What difference does it make if people like books? People are going to hid their egos in anything if they will. The point is to focus on things that make you happy and rid yourself of things that don't but simply take up time.

Smallwheels 01-24-10 08:00 PM

Moving Forward With My Purge At Sub-light Speed
 

Originally Posted by JackESavage (Post 10302912)
...but i would be recalcitrant if asked to let go of my American-First edition of "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas"

I understand your point. The thing to think about in that case is whether it is the information you really treasure or the paper and binding that make up the book.

Recently I've needed more money and it has accelerated my purge. Last week I had a garage sale of mostly my mothers estate which was full of kitchen items and figurines. I got about $26 more than the price of the newspaper ad. Nobody came for it the week before using Craigslist. My town is just too small for Craigslist to work well.

Last Thursday I sold an expensive professional level keyboard synthesizer for half what I paid for it. I'm selling all of my guitars too. If I were uninjured and still a professional musician these items would be tools of the trade. As they are now they are just beautiful quality musical instruments that can be replaced if ever I choose to get more guitars. They do have wonderful memories attached to them but I can't sell the memories and they are what really matter.

For a really long time I've held on to jewelry from my mother and father along with about three things of my own. I intend to sell those things soon. I can't hug my parents jewelry or play ball with the pieces. Recently I've decided to only keep a few personal knickknacks from my parents. Of course I'll keep the photographs too. Everything else can go. I'm really intending to reach my goal of being able to load everything I own into the smallest moving van for rent at U-haul.

To help me to succeed at the purge I've purchased a course that explains the best way to use ebay. All that is really left now is to find a cheap source of boxes and packing materials and my ebay career will take off. If I like doing it I just might start buying things to sell there. Who knows, it could become a second career.

Whenever I think of this thread I always recall seeing a Start Trek The Next Generation episode where Riker is transferring to another ship and all of his possessions fit into a small case. I'll never be that light on possessions but it does look appealing in some ways. I've also seen many old movies of people moving to different cities to start their lives anew with just one or two suitcases. I really need to keep more than just clothes in my life. One van full of stuff seems about right for me.

horsec8z 01-25-10 11:19 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 10313155)
I've also seen many old movies of people moving to different cities to start their lives anew with just one or two suitcases. I really need to keep more than just clothes in my life. One van full of stuff seems about right for me.

Back in 75' I met a man who owned probably the largest commercial Janitorial companies in our area. He and his wife still did the manual labor along side thier numerous employees ( I liked that). We had been talking about wealth. He told me that he came to America with a suitcase and his family, less than 10 years later he had much more than he left with. What really struck my young mind was that he had been a farmer in Algeria. He said that one day Russian tanks rolled up pointed a very big gun at him and said, "get out". Just like that, he had nothing of material goods. He wasn't allowed to sell his farm, or his possessions. Just packed a bag, locked the door, tossed the key and walked away. He came to America with his health, family and a great attitude. His point to me was that I could have anything I wanted out of life, having things wasn't necessary, all that I needed was the mindset. I've never forgot that man.
Horsec8z

ziggy_stardust 02-06-10 07:27 PM

When I graduated from college, I had very little and was happy about it. A dog, TV, a bed, a couple of guitars, a futon, a nightstand, clothes, a case of books, a bike, and about 500 CDs in 4 big books.

Then I got married. And started collecting vinyl.

Individually, we don't really have that much stuff, and as a pair we don't have anything we don't use/need. We have A LOT of books and records, and I accumulated two more guitars as gifts. 3 bikes b/w the two of us. We have a bunch of furniture, but all of it was free (except for our new bed). Oh, and we have 3 dogs and two cats. We have two cars; a 2000 Camry and a 1986 VW Golf. She uses the Camry to commute 40 mins to work, I use the Golf if I need to take the dogs somewhere or travel farther than a few miles. Otherwise I ride a bike. We're moving to NYC in a year, so we'll be minimalists by necessity.

Oh, and we shop at an Amish-run grocery outlet for most of our grocery needs, and we grow our own produce in season.


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