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

Roody 07-14-15 07:24 AM


Originally Posted by mtb_addict (Post 17976285)
How did people in the good ol' days do it?

Not many people lived in coastal Texas or the rest of the south until after A/C was invented. Most of the population was up north.

For example, where I live (Michigan) we haven't even hit 90 this summer and a lot of high temps have been below 80F. I was going to buy a room air conditioner because my doctor said it was a good idea, but so far I've been able to put it off. This is our third cool summer in a row. I guess the extreme heat out west has changed the flow of the jet stream, blocking the hot air from coming into the upper Great Lakes region. The trade-off has been that the winters have been extra cold also.

Smallwheels 07-14-15 11:46 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 17977957)
Not many people lived in coastal Texas or the rest of the south until after A/C was invented.

I suppose that depends on the definition of many. New Orleans was settled in 1699 (Wikipedia is wrong saying 1718). It grew to be a thriving area with many cotton plantations around the state and in Mississippi.

To alleviate summer heat the buildings were made with twelve to fourteen foot ceilings. That way the heat from the sun would still radiate onto the slate roof but the wood was so high above the people that the rooms felt much cooler than the outside temperatures. I have experienced this in several very old homes in New Orleans. The design works really well.

Smallwheels 07-14-15 12:01 PM


Originally Posted by striknein (Post 17977419)
I've tried to tell the abridged version of my story to friends, but somehow it turns into a manifesto. Put simply; I managed to go from a 2200 sqft house to living nearly car-free in a 400sqft studio over the past 3 months, and I'm happier than I've been in years. It's an amazing thing to live a life of quality and simplicity in a culture where everything is instantly attainable and entirely disposable.

I haven't pared down enough that I could live out of a suitcase, but I'm pretty close to being able to fit all of my stuff in my car when I'm ready to move again.

Your story sounds similar to mine. Only a few times have I missed something. I gave away some kitchen thing that I could have used again. I accidentally gave away some books I hadn't finished reading, and I also needed a couple of tools that were in the tool box I gave away. Nothing so far has made me want to give up what I have now.

If I left out the sleeping platform and shelf of the van I do believe everything I have would fit into a midsize car. It would totally fill the trunk, back seat, and passenger seat but it all would fit.

Smallwheels 07-14-15 12:51 PM


Originally Posted by MikeRides (Post 17973808)
I could imagine living out of a small RV or even a full size van, but a mini-van wouldn't be too much different than a homeless person coasting from town to town and living out of the backseat of an early 90s beater. Its a image any one who has an ounce of pride wouldn't want.

Clearly your idea of a suitable home is different than mine. Apparently the size of the vehicle when small enough makes you cringe. I do feel quite proud of having my tiny home on wheels.

Coasting from town to town sounds really fun. Tens of thousands of people do that all of the time on vacation. It is something that is desired. Imagine their envy of people who can do it all of the time because they aren't tied to a physical location.

striknein 07-14-15 01:40 PM

Pride is a funny thing. When I owned my house, I used to be proud of being able to show it off to my friends and family. Living in the studio, I'm quite proud of myself for putting away those feelings, and proud of myself for breaking free of my desire to own a bunch of useless stuff. I imagine Smallwheels may be able to relate.

My career choice basically forces me to work in an office, but if I wasn't so restricted I could easily see myself building one of these: http://www.traipsingabout.com/2013/1...enture-mobile/

Roody 08-22-15 08:06 AM

Interesting article about Viktor Frankl and happiness:

There's More to Life Than Being Happy - The Atlantic

Artkansas 09-02-15 09:38 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 17977957)
Not many people lived in coastal Texas or the rest of the south until after A/C was invented.

Don't tell my ancestors that. We moved to coastal Texas from Illinois in the 1830's. Other branches of my family were living in Georgia close to the Alabama line.

A lot of people aren't too keen on snow either. 21 million people lived in the South at the time of the invention of AC. That's not insignificant, especially considering that there had been a huge dent made in the population 35 years before by folks from the north. ;) Even when I lived in Florida in the 1960s most schools were not air conditioned. It was just beginning to happen.

This summer I found that I did have to put on the AC when it got to 95. My computer started making noises, though I was comfortable. Up till then a ceiling fan was all that was needed. And I checked on the web, sure enough, the spec for the maximum operating temperature for my computer was 95 degrees.

Artkansas 09-02-15 10:08 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 18099282)

In his book, "Man's Search For Meaning", this got my attention in his book.

"the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

Roody 09-02-15 10:27 PM


Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 18133508)
In his book, "Man's Search For Meaning", this got my attention in his book.

"the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

For me anyway, that is not an easy one to figure out. I have struggled over how to do that my entire life, with little success.

But other existentialists have said that the struggle to find meaning is the meaning. They don't say we will necessarily find the meaning itself, but we must continue to seek it. Also, the kind of freedom that Frankl talks about is kinda scary!

poormanbiking 09-04-15 01:08 PM

I was shocked that my local library system didn't have it the book in their database. A trip to one of the few remaining book stores is in my future.

Roody 09-04-15 01:29 PM


Originally Posted by poormanbiking (Post 18138414)
I was shocked that my local library system didn't have it the book in their database. A trip to one of the few remaining book stores is in my future.

You might have to get it online or have your bookstore order it for you. Or a college bookstore might have it since it's still used in psychology and philosophy classes.

TXSLEDS 09-06-15 10:14 AM

"Anyone else here who shares this philosophy and lives along these same lines? How much stuff do you own that you can't move on your bike? (And how do you justify it?)".

HAVE STUFF. Have truck to go pick up bicycles I find and purchase. Have wife
who has almost no stuff. Have wife who does not drive, or ride bicycles. Have wife who wants to have garage sale.
How much should I ask for wife?.

gerv 09-09-15 07:19 AM


Originally Posted by TXSLEDS (Post 18142359)
Have wife who has almost no stuff. Have wife who does not drive, or ride bicycles. Have wife who wants to have garage sale.
How much should I ask for wife?.

Ha ha... you should tell her about this forum. Seems like she belongs here. I often feel like a garage sale would solve a lot of my problems.

Artkansas 10-03-15 07:14 PM


Originally Posted by poormanbiking (Post 18138414)
I was shocked that my local library system didn't have it the book in their database. A trip to one of the few remaining book stores is in my future.

I think it's there. I did a quick search on the library catalog and found it.
Encore -- mans search for meaning

metro2005 10-26-15 02:03 AM

This is such an awesome thread!

I am slowly but surely getting rid of stuff and merging things to be multifunctional.

Last week i spent every evening copying my whole DVD collection onto a harddisk (and made a backup on a second harddisk off course) and will sell a great portion of it , my desktop has been replaced by a gaming laptop so i can still play my games, i have also digitized my audio cd collection and got rid of the physical discs. Photo's are stored digitally and i replaced a lot of books with an E-reader.

Got rid of my retro game collection which not only used up a lot of space, it also required a lot of converter boxes, cables, crt screens and things like that to keep everything working and hooked up. This saved two pieces of furniture.

I also went through my book collection and ditched about half of it and only kept what i really liked. Went down from 2 bookcases to 1 :)

Got down to 1 bike.
I got the smallest car in the world (Suzuki alto ) which looks horrible, is rusty but very economical and reliable and costs next to nothing to run
I do have a motorcycle for fun but dont ride it much.

For commuting i prefer my bicycle, work is 15 miles away so when the weather is really bad i take the car.

My mobile phone is also my navigation device and mp3 player which i listen to while biking to work. no landline.
Dont watch much television, only the news. The rest is watched on youtube either on my HTPC or on my laptop.

The clothes i have are 3 pare of pants, some tshirts , 3 sweaters and 1 suit. 2 pair of shoes , underwear and some motorcycle clothing.

I got rid of the enormous amount of phone chargers and leads and got it down to 2 (1 reserve) , i organised my administration (still have to digitize that) , replaced the television, dvd player and desk in the bedroom with a beamer (saves a lot of room!) and connect my laptop to it whenever i want to watch a movie.

And well overall there is just a vast amount of stuff i sold or threw away and im much happier now. No more stress and worries about where to put it all, cleaning and maintaining it and moving would me much easier now :D

I i where alone i would like to live in a van or at least a smaller place but my wife thinks differently so that wont happen any time soon. My goal now is to be able to move everything i own (excluding the furniture off course) in the back of my car.
The main advantage of getting rid of so much stuff is that you now think twice before buying anything. You also think : Do i need this, will i use it, wont it end up like the stuff i threw away?

Most of the time the answer is: I dont need it and end up not buying it which saves a lot of money.

Keep on posting :)

Ekdog 10-26-15 03:22 AM

Great to see more and more people decluttering their lives. I wish you the best of luck, Metro2005. As regards books, we're down to one medium-sized bookcase. When we lived in a bigger flat, we had thousands of volumes, but they simply would not fit into our current abode. Thank God for the Kindle!

Roody 11-23-15 03:00 PM

Plug for Freecycle
 
I've been using Freecycle (TM) lately. This is an international internet group whose "mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community."

From the website:
"The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 5,000+ groups with 7 million members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and keeping good stuff out of landfills.

Membership is free, and everything posted must be free, legal and appropriate for all ages."
Recently I have gotten a whole pepperoni, back issues of the New Yorker magazine, and a glass top coffee table for free. At times I se bikes and bike related gear on the site. It's a great place to give away unwanted items if you're decluttering your home.

To find the Freecycle group in your community:

https://www.freecycle.org/browse/

Roody 11-23-15 03:08 PM


Originally Posted by Ekdog (Post 18270541)
Great to see more and more people decluttering their lives. I wish you the best of luck, Metro2005. As regards books, we're down to one medium-sized bookcase. When we lived in a bigger flat, we had thousands of volumes, but they simply would not fit into our current abode. Thank God for the Kindle!

I recently got some back issues of the New Yorker from Freecycle (see above). The guy gave me two cardboard boxes of eight years of this weekly magazine. I wasn't expecting so many and they are cluttering up the place a little. I realized after I got them that they would have all fit easily onto my iPad! (Not for free, however. I would have had to subscribe to get access to the New Yorker archives.)

jfowler85 11-23-15 03:15 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 17266780)
Air mattresses are great if you can keep them inflated. Even the expensive ones lose air and will eventually get a big hole in them. I have thought that the people who make inflatable rafts and boats should make mattresses. I'm talking about the white water rafting materials with Kevlar. Those materials are super tough and shouldn't ever get holes in them from just sleeping on them in a house.

Sounds like it would be just as expensive as a decent mattress.

Smallwheels 11-24-15 05:55 PM


Originally Posted by jfowler85 (Post 18340552)
Sounds like it would be just as expensive as a decent mattress.

You are right. Conventional mattresses would weigh a lot more and wouldn't be capable of getting really small for moving.

A super tough inflatable mattress could also be used as a raft. :)

mconlonx 11-29-15 06:21 PM

I finally got a fourth wall up on the cabin/tiny house.

http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...7&d=1448840729

I've been sleeping out here since May, with a tarp over the front wall. I was hung up on making the door and refurbishing a 15yr-rusty square tenon mortising machine. But, finally got it done, wall up, door and window installed. Of course now I realize that a short set of stairs is a new priority...

The back roof is shingled, need to do the front. Also: flooring (shiplap pine), kitchen area shelving and counter, bathroom enclosure, loft, built-in daybed/storage unit. And sundry shelving.

With the tarp for the wall, it felt more like a sturdy tent; with the ability to close and lock the door, it feels like a home. 12' x 8' and I will be adding 8' x 8' of loft space. 160 sq ft, total. Pretty much anything I don't move in there with me will go.

This is a temporary place. It's built on my ex-in-law's land and they will technically own it, but condition for building it is that it is mine to live in until I move along. Ostensibly a sugar shack, it will be what I call home -- no running water, no electricity of other utilities. Propane and wood heat. Water hauled in; composting toilet (bucket and sawdust). I may go with some solar power, but maybe not. Propane cook stove and main light.

Last year, I lived in a van; this year a rustic cabin.

Living car free is one way to live simply; living home-free or home-lite is another...

Artkansas 11-29-15 06:25 PM


Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 18353170)
I finally got a fourth wall up on the cabin/tiny house.

http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...7&d=1448840729

Congratulations on the step up!

I-Like-To-Bike 11-29-15 08:00 PM


Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 18353170)
Living car free is one way to live simply; living home-free or home-lite is another...

"No running water, no electricity of other utilities. Propane and wood heat. Water hauled in; composting toilet (bucket and sawdust)."

Living that way doesn't sound that simple to me.

mconlonx 11-29-15 09:21 PM


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 18353373)
"No running water, no electricity of other utilities. Propane and wood heat. Water hauled in; composting toilet (bucket and sawdust)."

Living that way doesn't sound that simple to me.

Maybe you're overthinking it...?

Ekdog 11-29-15 11:01 PM

Nice!

Smallwheels 11-30-15 03:51 PM


Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 18353170)
I finally got a fourth wall up on the cabin/tiny house.

...It's built on my ex-in-law's land and they will technically own it, but condition for building it is that it is mine to live in until I move along. Ostensibly a sugar shack, it will be what I call home...

Living car free is one way to live simply; living home-free or home-lite is another...

If you fall in love with it do you think the ex-in-laws will sell that portion of their property to you? It looks great.

Smallwheels 11-30-15 03:58 PM


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 18353373)
"No running water, no electricity of other utilities. Propane and wood heat. Water hauled in; composting toilet (bucket and sawdust)."

Living that way doesn't sound that simple to me.

As a van dweller that can move around easily to get the things I need, such as water. Having a composting toilet that doesn't need to be emptied immediately and an easy source for water seems like a breeze.

I pay for filtered water at the rate of thirty cents per gallon at grocery store vending machines. I use a gallon per day.

mconlonx 12-01-15 10:37 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 18355398)
If you fall in love with it do you think the ex-in-laws will sell that portion of their property to you? It looks great.

Thanks! Doubtful they'd let me buy it... and it's probably illegal as a habitable structure... but I don't doubt they'd let me stay there as long as I wanted. Decades if need be. Chances are, however, I'll get restless and a) get another van to build out, b) move in with someone, somewhere else, c) start on a tiny house on wheels, d) do some other alternate shelter home somewhere else, e) ???. I'm really enjoying this as an exercise in building my own cabin, but I'm not thinking of it as a permanent, long term place to settle.

Most are, like, "Cool, but it's soo small..." After being in a van for a year, it feels pretty spacious...

fietsbob 12-01-15 02:12 PM

Alone in a small 114 year old House.

this town has a Lot of small old houses, but after spending a couple months at sea fishing they probably seemed Huge ..

rossiny 12-02-15 07:41 PM

rent -own
 
What is the difference if u rent or own. U still have a monthly expense and u have to pay it or... move out! The term landlord is out dated. If u own and rent out property u have to manage it.. Mortgage payments..utilities if you include them in the tenants rent..property taxes....maintenance and repairs..rental collection ..as well as dealing with non payment. As far as appreciation...has any one heard about the housing crash... Houses went down to half in lot of areas. If I had a good job I would rent and not deal with this but I do remodeling , so almost had to link in with this as a way to make a living... I can tell u this , the only lord in the land is the BANK.....unless u pay cash... So next time u say your landlord is rich maybe he eatin Ramon noodles to pay the mortgage and clean up an remodel the apartment from the last bad tenant. I am hoping property goes up so I can sell off and be independentally wealthy from the small rentals I got and open up a bed an breakfast for cyclist..... I can steal my family recipes for italian cookies and make a fortune .... Hehehe..okay time to wake up.....


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