Bike Forums

Bike Forums (https://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Living Car Free (https://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=226)
-   -   How simply do you live? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=163801)

Roody 12-20-14 03:25 AM

There was an interesting article in slate.com about decluttering your home and your life.

[HR][/HR]"Marie “KonMari” Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizingis a best-seller in Japan, Germany, and the U.K. Kondo favors a radical approach to decluttering that advocates downsizing your stuff in one fell swoop; insists that storage containers promote hoarding, not organization; and takes an emotional approach to helping people discard excess possessions."

“'Discard anything that doesn’t spark joy.' If you have tried this method even a little, you have realized by now that it is not that difficult to identify something that brings you joy. The moment you touch it, you know the answer.

"The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t."

[HR][/HR]

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is a best-selling guide to winning the war on clutter.

Smallwheels 12-23-14 10:15 PM

I've been in Salt Lake City for a week. All I have with me is one large equipment bag and a backpack. I did keep many things in storage.

My desktop computer, 23" HD monitor, speakers, mouse, and keyboard sold for... $40 the day before leaving.

Goodwill was asked to take the rest of my things but guess what? The driver was being a shopper and only picking the things that helped them. It didn't matter that I was donating thousands of dollars of things to them. So as his 26' truck got full I stopped giving him all of the good stuff. They still got my silver service and lots of other valuable things. I just kept a few valuables in my storage unit just in case I'll need to sell them in the future for some money.

My training for my new job isn't going perfectly but it is going. Testing is Friday and Saturday after Christmas. I've already passed several tests. With any luck I'll be offered a job by next week. If not then I'll be scrambling to not become homeless. What an adventure.

Once established I'll collect my things from storage and move them to my new city. I'm forever optimistic about some things.

Roody 12-24-14 02:11 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 17412519)
I've been in Salt Lake City for a week. All I have with me is one large equipment bag and a backpack. I did keep many things in storage.

My desktop computer, 23" HD monitor, speakers, mouse, and keyboard sold for... $40 the day before leaving.

Goodwill was asked to take the rest of my things but guess what? The driver was being a shopper and only picking the things that helped them. It didn't matter that I was donating thousands of dollars of things to them. So as his 26' truck got full I stopped giving him all of the good stuff. They still got my silver service and lots of other valuable things. I just kept a few valuables in my storage unit just in case I'll need to sell them in the future for some money.

My training for my new job isn't going perfectly but it is going. Testing is Friday and Saturday after Christmas. I've already passed several tests. With any luck I'll be offered a job by next week. If not then I'll be scrambling to not become homeless. What an adventure.

Once established I'll collect my things from storage and move them to my new city. I'm forever optimistic about some things.

Best of luck!

How do you like Salt Lake so far?

Ekdog 12-24-14 07:01 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 17412519)
I've been in Salt Lake City for a week. All I have with me is one large equipment bag and a backpack. I did keep many things in storage.

My desktop computer, 23" HD monitor, speakers, mouse, and keyboard sold for... $40 the day before leaving.

Goodwill was asked to take the rest of my things but guess what? The driver was being a shopper and only picking the things that helped them. It didn't matter that I was donating thousands of dollars of things to them. So as his 26' truck got full I stopped giving him all of the good stuff. They still got my silver service and lots of other valuable things. I just kept a few valuables in my storage unit just in case I'll need to sell them in the future for some money.

My training for my new job isn't going perfectly but it is going. Testing is Friday and Saturday after Christmas. I've already passed several tests. With any luck I'll be offered a job by next week. If not then I'll be scrambling to not become homeless. What an adventure.

Once established I'll collect my things from storage and move them to my new city. I'm forever optimistic about some things.

Congratulations on finally making the move! I hope you'll fill us in on what car-free living is like there.

Smallwheels 12-26-14 05:31 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 17412809)
Best of luck!

How do you like Salt Lake so far?


Originally Posted by Ekdog (Post 17412987)
Congratulations on finally making the move! I hope you'll fill us in on what car-free living is like there.

Thank you. The surroundings are very pretty. The area where I'm staying is in an industrial section. I haven't had the opportunity to visit much of the newer parts of the city. I've seen some suburbs and they look much like all suburbs. There are quite a few large apartment complexes being built in the suburbs that aren't near any shopping centers. This is just more and more sprawl to fill in the empty spaces. As a cyclist I definitely wouldn't want to live in any of these places.

I have seen some bicycles parked but have yet to actually see a cyclist. There is a transit rail line through part of town but not near me. The area seems like it would be friendly toward cyclists as long as they aren't on one of the high speed multi-lane roads; and there are a lot of those.

Maybe this coming Sunday I'll be able to share a ride with some of my classmates and explore downtown.

mconlonx 01-06-15 01:34 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 17345363)
Have you seen the movie Star Wars? How does that relate to living simply? In some aspects I feel like Luke Skywalker when he was leaving Tatooine. He didn't have any family. He was frustrated with living in a place where there was no excitement, and this is the big one for me; he had to sell his speeder for much less than it was really worth.

I wonder how Luke Skywalker felt once he left Tatooine. In none of the movies following Star Wars did we ever see him in a house or apartment of his own. Did he always live on the road with just a single duffel bag to hold all of his possessions? Maybe the members of the Jedi Order are all minimalists by nature and don't need or want to accumulate possessions. They let The Force provide for their needs.

Luke was not living simply, he was homeless, more technically, a refugee. Even though he had pined to move along into a more exciting life role, it didn't happen until he lost his domicile by force. And before that? OMG, he totally had a nerd's yard in his room, with all kinds of robot parts and other detritus kicking around.

After which, he got drafted into the Rebel Scum Army. Again, forced minimalism, not minimalist by choice. Besides, he's got a robot half the size of a human which needs its own power to roll along, and while he might be car free, Luke is not exactly X-Wing-free... Plus, he always seems to have the right gear for wherever he's going, from cold weather gear on Hoth, to his X-Wing flightsuit; Tatooine desert gear; Endor invader outfit...

Yoda might be a better example, with is fairly simple life hobbit hole and accouterments.

mconlonx 01-28-15 09:49 AM

Previously, coroplast construction had been mentioned as an alt structure building material. I forget if it involved a bike trailer or not.

Here's another interesting idea regarding a temp, fairly portable, simple structure. Hexayurt:

http://hexayurt.com/jumplogic_hexayurt_models.gif

Simple construction, scale-able to suit needs. Manufactured with 8' x 4' panels with minimal cuts and waste. Temp shelters appear to made of 1" polyiso, more permanent structures have been built with plywood panels.

Somewhere on the site, I stumbled on a pic of a trailer attached to a bike, ostensibly used to to the small hexayurt in the same pic, but I can't find it all of a sudden, and it does not sound all that feasible to me.

But great idea for temp or semi-permanent shelter, all designs in the public domain...

wahoonc 02-01-15 07:52 AM


Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 17507490)
Previously, coroplast construction had been mentioned as an alt structure building material. I forget if it involved a bike trailer or not.

Here's another interesting idea regarding a temp, fairly portable, simple structure. Hexayurt:

http://hexayurt.com/jumplogic_hexayurt_models.gif

Simple construction, scale-able to suit needs. Manufactured with 8' x 4' panels with minimal cuts and waste. Temp shelters appear to made of 1" polyiso, more permanent structures have been built with plywood panels.

Somewhere on the site, I stumbled on a pic of a trailer attached to a bike, ostensibly used to to the small hexayurt in the same pic, but I can't find it all of a sudden, and it does not sound all that feasible to me.

But great idea for temp or semi-permanent shelter, all designs in the public domain...

I like that concept!

I would use extruded rather than polyiso. Years ago Dow made an extruded polystyrene with an aluminum outer skin. If memory serves me it was .024-.032 painted aluminum. It was intended for insulating foundation walls from the outside. No clue if it is still made or not, I used a couple of sheets to build some air solar heater that you put in the window. Last time I went by that house (5 years ago) they were still there and still being used, I built them around 1990.

Edit: Apparently someone is still making a similar product.

Aaron :)

mcfastie 03-19-15 12:48 AM

For the past few years i'v been able to fit everything in a couple back packs. Now I have a camera bag with a couple cameras, a backpack with things like my laptop and headphones, chargers, toothbrush and things of the sort and a laundry bag with clothes. I don't own much of anything. I like it that way. I constantly move, and when I do I just throw everything away. I can't count the number of couches, beds, pots and pans iv had. After im done with school i'm willing to buy that stuff once more and hold on to it for years.

phx1973 03-24-15 02:12 PM

I am nowhere near living car free or even car lite. As a matter of fact, I definitely drive way more days than I bike commute. But I am very attracted to this notion of simplicity and minimalism. So I just wanted to give kudos to you all for sharing and inspiring. For now I am just working at decluttering one room at a time :-)

Smallwheels 03-29-15 11:55 AM


Originally Posted by phx1973 (Post 17658372)
I am nowhere near living car free or even car lite. As a matter of fact, I definitely drive way more days than I bike commute. But I am very attracted to this notion of simplicity and minimalism. So I just wanted to give kudos to you all for sharing and inspiring. For now I am just working at decluttering one room at a time :-)

Do what you can when you can. The idea of having just a couple of bags of luggage sound great until you try to do everything one does in life, like showering, cooking, having a hobby, and so on.

I've been living in a big truck since January with four equipment bags of things. Even with that I don't have anything related to cooking tools or even a way to cook. I'm saving for a small RV or van to convert. Then I'll have all that is necessary for my life. The rest of my stuff is in a storage unit.

Roody 03-29-15 12:57 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 17672189)
Do what you can when you can. The idea of having just a couple of bags of luggage sound great until you try to do everything one does in life, like showering, cooking, having a hobby, and so on.

I've been living in a big truck since January with four equipment bags of things. Even with that I don't have anything related to cooking tools or even a way to cook. I'm saving for a small RV or van to convert. Then I'll have all that is necessary for my life. The rest of my stuff is in a storage unit.

What do you do about meals?

Smallwheels 03-29-15 07:32 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 17672351)
What do you do about meals?

Hot dogs, slices of pizza, hamburgers, peanut butter sandwiches, bananas, rarely some Chinese food when in some cities. Some truck stops have regular fast food restaurants inside. Mostly Subway's. McDonalds and Arby's too. My favorite is rare but it is Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen. Way back when I lived in New Orleans it was called Popeye's Chicken And Biscuits. That was before the founder died and the company was sold at least once.

Tonight I'm at a truck stop in Bismark North Dakota with free WiFi, which is rare.

I met a bicyclist in a rest area today. He is riding from Portland Oregon to the East Coast. He just parks along the interstate highways and camps. He calls the local police everywhere he goes to check if it is OK.

This guy is hard core. He started in Late January. Imagine riding across Idaho and Montana in the winter.

He is carrying a big backpack and has a lot of stuff strapped to his old bicycle. He said it is about one-hundred-fifty pounds. He guesses he rolls at five miles per hour with all of that weight. I think that is all that he owns. He says if he wants some extra money he finds a day labor place and works for them for a while.

His living expenses are around $400 per month when the bicycle doesn't need work. He said bicycle repair eats up a lot of his money.

He carries a smart phone and has a solar charger.

What he is doing sounds fun in some ways and not so fun in others. I like to shower at least once every two days if I don't get sweaty. Going to sleep dirty just doesn't work for me. Making such a trip might be OK for a few weeks, but for months, that seems extreme.

Rsmith11 03-29-15 11:29 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 17673347)
Hot dogs, slices of pizza, hamburgers, peanut butter sandwiches, bananas, rarely some Chinese food when in some cities. Some truck stops have regular fast food restaurants inside. Mostly Subway's. McDonalds and Arby's too. My favorite is rare but it is Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen. Way back when I lived in New Orleans it was called Popeye's Chicken And Biscuits. That was before the founder died and the company was sold at least once.

Tonight I'm at a truck stop in Bismark North Dakota with free WiFi, which is rare.

I met a bicyclist in a rest area today. He is riding from Portland Oregon to the East Coast. He just parks along the interstate highways and camps. He calls the local police everywhere he goes to check if it is OK.

This guy is hard core. He started in Late January. Imagine riding across Idaho and Montana in the winter.

He is carrying a big backpack and has a lot of stuff strapped to his old bicycle. He said it is about one-hundred-fifty pounds. He guesses he rolls at five miles per hour with all of that weight. I think that is all that he owns. He says if he wants some extra money he finds a day labor place and works for them for a while.

His living expenses are around $400 per month when the bicycle doesn't need work. He said bicycle repair eats up a lot of his money.

He carries a smart phone and has a solar charger.

What he is doing sounds fun in some ways and not so fun in others. I like to shower at least once every two days if I don't get sweaty. Going to sleep dirty just doesn't work for me. Making such a trip might be OK for a few weeks, but for months, that seems extreme.

That's pretty cool you are out in Bismarck. I'm actually from Fargo, ND. Lots of flat ground to cycle around here.

Smallwheels 04-19-15 02:44 PM

$800 Home
 
Friday I bought my first home, one that I didn't inherit. It cost $800 but with time will begin racking up the expenses. It needs an electrical system, a heating and cooling system, and plumbing. I'll be moving in on Wednesday.

It is a 2004 Dodge Caravan SXT. This is the short version of the minivan by Dodge. It is my starter home. Like many people I will fix this one into a suitable home for a while. Then I'll trade up to a bigger version when my finances are better. For now most of my things will remain in a storage unit which makes life much easier for a van dweller.

I arrived in Helena Montana on Wednesday night intending to start a new job but changed my mind about it. The alternative is to just use the van to pack my things and move elsewhere right away. Buying this van for a move is actually hundreds cheaper than renting a Uhaul van one way. Another option is to take a local driving job. I met a guy who wants me to drive one of his trucks. I'll know if his partner signs on sometime this week. I'll take that job temporarily to save money to make a move south. I could move now but having more money for the trip and future expenses would be good. Staying here also gives time for selling and culling the remaining possessions not needed anymore.

The temperatures here are getting warm and comfortable. Later this week the temperatures will be in the high sixties. Summers are great in Montana. If I get the local driving job and all goes well, I'll be able to leave when the snow starts falling. That is why I wanted to leave last year.

mconlonx 05-12-15 12:54 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 17733274)
Friday I bought my first home, a 2004 Dodge Caravan SXT.

If you don't already know about it, this is a great forum for vandwellers: VanDweller Community Forums

My van blew up, spun a rod bearing, fix is $2k+, probably as much or more than I paid for it in the first place. Over a year of use out of it as a bedroom and transport so I got my money out of it, paying around $200/mo for a place to sleep and a commuter vehicle that saw PT service as a mobile bicycle repair station. Now have permission to park it more or less permanently on safe and friendly land so it will stay my bedroom and storage unit until I finish the sugar shack tiny house.

But since the truck is no longer in service, I am officially car-free... but not ICE free -- I still have a long commute and a schedule which does not allow for much bike riding so this is now my main commuter vehicle:

http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...9&d=1403474152

Yar!

enigmaT120 05-13-15 01:10 PM

You may want some fenders on that thing for wet roads. What is it? My other MC riding friends would know, but I only know some BMWs and old Triumphs.

mconlonx 05-13-15 08:36 PM


Originally Posted by enigmaT120 (Post 17802248)
You may want some fenders on that thing for wet roads. What is it? My other MC riding friends would know, but I only know some BMWs and old Triumphs.

Rain yesterday... and yes, needs a front fender desperately...

Honda VTR1000 SuperHawk w/o the fairing, streetfightered, and with a VFR800 gas tank.

molten 06-02-15 08:17 AM

Does 'Ekdog' say of 'Ekdog' also being "car-free" ? The planet of Earth need more people like that.
As I am one, within that minority.

Amor 06-26-15 03:36 PM

Hi, This thread looks awesome and I'll go back and read it all later! My name is Amor and I live on Big Island..I'm new here and am so happy to have found this forum.
So I live pretty simply, and currently trying to go even more simple.

I live off grid...solar for power...rain for water...got rid of our car 2 months ago and am now searching for good bikes for my family... We are a family 6. We have one laptop...my oldest has an ipod...I have an ipad...We don't have a cell phone or land line phone...we use sattelite for internet...I live in a very simple open air house...only half walls on the top story for optimal air flow...The only toys we have are blocks and a few lincoln logs...I have sewing machines and a loom for my business...various tools for gardening and building on our 3 acres. We live about 2 miles down a dirt road and then it's another 3 miles to the nearest little town of Pahoa.

My kitchen is also pretty simple...no gadgets really but a blender and coffee grinder...just the basics.

One thing is that I despise plastic...I usually will try not to buy anythings with plastic unless I think I really need it and there are no other options....I'm so sick an tired of stuff breaking now a days. For example, I am looking for older clothes pins or will make my own...the kinds from the old days...just one piece of wood and no metal springs.

We have 3 cats, and only because there is a sickness here spread by the rats. The slugs eat the rat feces and spread it to garden greens...It's a horrible illness and if you don't have rats then it's less likely...So I have the three cats...one Siamese and 2 half siamese, and I don't feed them. They are hunters.

Smallwheels 07-03-15 05:37 PM

It Is Done!!!!!!!!!! A Long Term Plan Realized.
 
Everything I own in the world is now in my small mini van. It has been years since I first wanted to live in an RV. Then over time I've learned about different types of small RVs. Those appealed to me. Somewhere along the line I became interested in tiny houses and people who lived with everything in their vans. Most of them are bigger than my van.

A friend of mine and I created a very sturdy platform on which I'll be sleeping. I saved several blocks of wood and made wedges of wood to adjust the angle of the platform depending upon the angle on which the van is parked. We then built a shelf that goes across the back of the van beginning a few inches behind the sliding side doors. This platform allows me to store more things for easy access.

Most of the side windows are painted gray on the inside with Plastidip. That is a rubber paint that can be peeled off when it isn't needed anymore. The passenger side door window isn't painted. We made a wooden cover that fits inside the frame to block light from exiting the van. Having a removable barrier allows me to see to the side when driving. It is put in place when parking for the night.

The rear window is mostly blocked by the shelf and the things on it. For a couple of months before the shelf was installed I used thick vinyl fabric to make curtains for the rear window and the space immediately behind the front seats. This material was hung using hooks screwed into the B pillars. The same technique was used to hang the material in the rear. I just might paint the rear window gray to match the side windows. Not much can be seen beyond the shelf so there wouldn't be much visibility lost.

The van is rigged to be unobtrusive so as to not get the attention of anybody. This allows me to be left alone and to park just about anywhere it is legal to park.

I have donated almost everything I own to Goodwill. Many items I wanted to sell just weren't wanted. Some things from my library weren't even wanted by a library. I had to trash a few thousand dollars worth of materials. They did accept about fifty books. Many figurines and small appliances were sold for very little money. The rest were given away. The economy must really be bad for most people in the USA.

Right now the van is overcrowded. There are FIVE boxes in here with photos. One of them contains photos from my life. The others contain photos from my parents lives. As soon as I can afford a high quality camera I will be making high resolution digital copies of all of them and shipping the originals to a cousin who wants to keep the family history alive. I'll just throw away my personal photographs and store the digital versions in a couple of places online.

I've got three boxes in here of things I'm still trying to sell. Those should be gone in six days or less. The things are on ebay.

If those boxes of photos weren't in the van I would have much more space and even some empty spots where I could potentially store a musical instrument or something. As of today I'll need to put things into the front seats at night if I want a place to sleep.

I've been using a single burner propane camping stove with my small pressure cooker. Any canned food can be put into the pot and heated for about a minute. Then it is left for five minutes without any flame. By then it is fully heated. Since I don't have a refrigerator or an ice chest I don't store cold things. I buy them as needed.

A gym membership is used for showers every day. I do exercise there too. Though I don't own a bicycle anymore I have kept my Xootr. I love that thing but might sell it and get some inline skates because they would take up less space.

Living in this small space is great and not great. There are times I love it and rejoice at how great it is. There are other times when I wish I had a bathroom with a shower and toilet. My portable toilet takes time to setup and to handle the waste. That isn't necessary inside an apartment or house.

What I can say is I own my own home. It just isn't conventional.

This is my version of living simply. Some things aren't simple. Then again some things in conventional homes aren't simple either. How simple would it be to pick up your house or apartment and move for a different job or to go on an extended trip? For me it is as easy as putting gas in the tank and driving. In a way that is only true now. I've been downsizing for several years. So I know how difficult it would be to move everything I owned in a three bedroom house and take it to a new location.

Time to change my signature file.

TheManShow 07-03-15 06:52 PM

This is kind of a cool thread, I have been fasinated by people who live in those tiny houses, the idea interest me. Simple living. Kind like when I got to IKEA and see what they can do with a few hundred square feet of living space.


It honeslty drive me crazy to see how some of the Hollywood rich & famous live in how that are so being some of the room have different area codes for the telephones.

Roody 07-04-15 07:33 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 17949081)
Everything I own in the world is now in my small mini van. It has been years since I first wanted to live in an RV. Then over time I've learned about different types of small RVs. Those appealed to me. Somewhere along the line I became interested in tiny houses and people who lived with everything in their vans. Most of them are bigger than my van.

A friend of mine and I created a very sturdy platform on which I'll be sleeping. I saved several blocks of wood and made wedges of wood to adjust the angle of the platform depending upon the angle on which the van is parked. We then built a shelf that goes across the back of the van beginning a few inches behind the sliding side doors. This platform allows me to store more things for easy access.

Most of the side windows are painted gray on the inside with Plastidip. That is a rubber paint that can be peeled off when it isn't needed anymore. The passenger side door window isn't painted. We made a wooden cover that fits inside the frame to block light from exiting the van. Having a removable barrier allows me to see to the side when driving. It is put in place when parking for the night.

The rear window is mostly blocked by the shelf and the things on it. For a couple of months before the shelf was installed I used thick vinyl fabric to make curtains for the rear window and the space immediately behind the front seats. This material was hung using hooks screwed into the B pillars. The same technique was used to hang the material in the rear. I just might paint the rear window gray to match the side windows. Not much can be seen beyond the shelf so there wouldn't be much visibility lost.

The van is rigged to be unobtrusive so as to not get the attention of anybody. This allows me to be left alone and to park just about anywhere it is legal to park.

I have donated almost everything I own to Goodwill. Many items I wanted to sell just weren't wanted. Some things from my library weren't even wanted by a library. I had to trash a few thousand dollars worth of materials. They did accept about fifty books. Many figurines and small appliances were sold for very little money. The rest were given away. The economy must really be bad for most people in the USA.

Right now the van is overcrowded. There are FIVE boxes in here with photos. One of them contains photos from my life. The others contain photos from my parents lives. As soon as I can afford a high quality camera I will be making high resolution digital copies of all of them and shipping the originals to a cousin who wants to keep the family history alive. I'll just throw away my personal photographs and store the digital versions in a couple of places online.

I've got three boxes in here of things I'm still trying to sell. Those should be gone in six days or less. The things are on ebay.

If those boxes of photos weren't in the van I would have much more space and even some empty spots where I could potentially store a musical instrument or something. As of today I'll need to put things into the front seats at night if I want a place to sleep.

I've been using a single burner propane camping stove with my small pressure cooker. Any canned food can be put into the pot and heated for about a minute. Then it is left for five minutes without any flame. By then it is fully heated. Since I don't have a refrigerator or an ice chest I don't store cold things. I buy them as needed.

A gym membership is used for showers every day. I do exercise there too. Though I don't own a bicycle anymore I have kept my Xootr. I love that thing but might sell it and get some inline skates because they would take up less space.

Living in this small space is great and not great. There are times I love it and rejoice at how great it is. There are other times when I wish I had a bathroom with a shower and toilet. My portable toilet takes time to setup and to handle the waste. That isn't necessary inside an apartment or house.

What I can say is I own my own home. It just isn't conventional.

This is my version of living simply. Some things aren't simple. Then again some things in conventional homes aren't simple either. How simple would it be to pick up your house or apartment and move for a different job or to go on an extended trip? For me it is as easy as putting gas in the tank and driving. In a way that is only true now. I've been downsizing for several years. So I know how difficult it would be to move everything I owned in a three bedroom house and take it to a new location.

Time to change my signature file.

Congratulations! Keep us posted on your exciting new lifestyle. :beer:

Rsmith11 07-09-15 01:25 PM

That is really something SmallWheels, I couldn't do it.

Even living like that for a year would save you so much money compared to an average lifestyle.

Smallwheels 07-12-15 02:14 PM

Saving Money And Creating
 

Originally Posted by Rsmith11 (Post 17965221)
That is really something SmallWheels, I couldn't do it.

Even living like that for a year would save you so much money compared to an average lifestyle.

For me that is the secondary reason for doing it. The primary reason is to always have a home where there is no landlord who can tell me what to do or perhaps even kick me out. Twice I've been kicked out of places because the landlords needed the space for relatives. At other times I've had bad neighbors and wanted to move but was locked into a lease and it would have been prohibitively expensive to move.

I'm not against having an apartment. If I were earning a ton of money and needed a fixed location I would go that route again. The difference being I wouldn't fill it with much more than is already in the van and I would keep this van or another so that in a pinch I could move into it if necessary.

A more attractive alternative for me would be to have a medium sized RV and find a campground near the city I needed to be in and work from that location. The thing is, doing that in any big city is more expensive than renting an apartment. RV park rent can be cheap in many small towns. In the Helena Montana area I was surprised at the high rates charged. One place wanted $370 per month with water and electricity and required proof that you were buying propane for heating your RV. Otherwise they would charge $5 per day on top of the $370 per month. This is because they think the residents would be using small electric heaters.

I can recommend this lifestyle for a single person. It is easy to remain hidden from the attention of others in just a small minivan. A couple doing this could succeed with a bigger van.

I've seen many people living in cars and SUVs since beginning my lifestyle. When I see many of them who don't look like they're on a road trip it is easy to see that they didn't plan their situation. They seem like they were forced into this situation because they are not in vans. They are doing a very bad job of staying out of sight because their windows are not blacked out. They have things piled up in the seats and it is all visible. They don't look like they are keeping themselves clean and presentable.

The problem with most of them is a problem I have to a degree. They are keeping too much stuff. If they intend to stay in any city they need to get a storage unit to hold their excess stuff. I emptied my storage unit last week. To the last day of having it I was still getting rid of things by donating, selling, and trashing items. I just decided that the trade-off of losing the money on some things was not as important as being free of the storage unit fee.

I have a plan to get rid of all of my photos and family photos by just photographing them and keeping digital copies. My personal yearbooks will be photographed and then trashed or sent to the original schools for them to keep. My cousin wants my family history photos.

I still have a few kitchen items that I probably won't use and could give away. I'm almost down to having only things I use daily with me. I allowed myself one box of mementos. I think I'll implement the six month method for keeping possessions. If any item hasn't been used in the last six months then it can be given away.

For those who say they couldn't do it I totally understand. Every day of letting go of some item for little to no money, that I felt was worth money, was difficult. My inner cheapskate and greed created strong feelings of loss. Those feelings do pass quickly. Items I use weren't let go.

Learn from my experience; almost everything you own and value will be valued much lower by others should you ever need to sell things. That is just the way it is. It makes me wonder why I spend so much money on new items when they are valued so low as used items, even though they might function perfectly and look brand new.

Since I've been working on letting go of things for a few years the process has been repeated again and again. I now know how it is to let something go. Starting with appliances and furniture was easier. I had family attachments to them because my parents bought those things. Since they weren't used by me it was easy to sell them. What wasn't easy at first was accepting the low prices I was getting, and I'm really good at marketing and writing sales copy. Over time it became easier to sell things and to give things away. There were always feelings of loss at first, but then with those things out of the way, and out of sight, the feelings subsided. From there it always seemed that every time I looked at my things laying around I always felt that more should go. That feeling persists still.

As far as sleeping in a van, get rid of the rear seats and just get a good mattress pad or cot or something comfortable and live in a temperate area that doesn't require air conditioning or too much heat. I just got a job in Montana and will stay until the end of fall. After that I'm headed south to a warmer more suitable climate. I can survive in the van in low temperatures around freezing. I've done it with a small heater. I just don't want to do it when the temperatures go even lower. The odor of burning propane is not that pleasant.

Since my main employable skill is driving, I can get a job doing that just about anywhere. That makes it easy for me to relocate. For those of you with corporate positions or other jobs that hold you in place the traveling part of living in a van is out of the question, but living in a van or RV would be doable. It would give the same sense of freedom. I just like having fewer attachments to things and fewer things to cause attachments. That is why simple living is so attractive to me.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:30 AM.


Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.