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gerv 12-01-10 10:27 PM


Originally Posted by Newspaperguy (Post 11869254)
If I'm giving clothing to a thrift shop. I prefer to do that in another community. Usually, however, by the time I'm finished with a garment, it has to end up in the landfill because it's beyond reuse.

Rags. I keep a bag of really worn clothing just for cleaning my chain or other greasy work. If you donate the same to Goodwill, they should also be recycled or sent out for rags. No?

Newspaperguy 12-01-10 11:23 PM

Our thrift shop has asked that really worn clothing not be given to them. Otherwise, they'd be overrun with donations of rags, which they don't want and can't use. It's a shame, but some people will drop off completely worn out items and even household garbage at the thrift shop.

wahoonc 12-02-10 04:59 PM

There are "converters" that buy things like t-shirts in bulk and turn them into rags to sell. My company probably buys a thousand pounds or more of rags every year. When we are done with them the definitely are headed for the landfill.

We routinely donate clothing to the thrift store, but by the time I done with most of my stuff it is ready for the rag bag. The way I end up with stuff for the thrift store is when I buy something from the thrift store, then quite often find something I like better down the road. So re-donate the stuff back. :lol:

Aaron :)

crazybikerchick 12-02-10 10:17 PM


Originally Posted by Newspaperguy (Post 11869254)
If I'm giving clothing to a thrift shop. I prefer to do that in another community. Usually, however, by the time I'm finished with a garment, it has to end up in the landfill because it's beyond reuse.

If you've already overrun with your own supply of rags, you could compost clothing instead of landfilling if they are made out of natural fibers (ie cotton, wool)

adgmobile 12-02-10 10:40 PM

[QUOTE=bamboopiper;1153147

I can't say if you could live very well in apartment and be able to pack up and leave in an afternoon. Even when I was sharing a house with housemates, I could pack up in a week (and indeed I had to), but I still had to sell my desk, bookshelves, tv,bed, end tables, all the furniture. So if you're willing to ditch that stuff, yeah. But otherwise, I couldn't see one getting everything into a hatchback in <a day unless you lived on the floor with a futon and sat a laptop on a small table and didn't own many books or even cooking pots/pans.[/QUOTE]

That claim is a little ridiculous, i have helped friends move 2 and 3 bedroom apartments in a day, and that includes loading and unloading. These people had a rather normal ammount of furniture/stuff too.

zoltani 12-06-10 11:10 AM

Thought I would share this link to a documentary about a community here in Knoxville.
http://www.indiegogo.com/knox

From the site:
"We’ve just completed a documentary about the environmental crisis and an alternative way of living. It's called Once Upon a Time in Knoxville, and it's about a man from Tennessee called Rollo. He's created a low-tech eco-farm - there are recycled houses, fainting goats, mobile outhouses and lots of other surprises - and all in a town where living like that goes against the grain."

Smallwheels 12-20-10 04:30 PM

Could You Do This? Would You Do This? Van Dwelling
 
For a while I've been researching living in stealth RVs. A stealth RV is a car, truck, trailer, or anything a person could live in secretly while parked on a city street. Stealth is important for many reasons. In Los Angeles if police just suspect you are living in your car on a city street they can impound it with no trial. They really hate vehicle dwellers there.

One blog I've just started reading is about a guy living in a Class B motor-home in LA. A class B means it is a van with a converted interior. Sometimes they have higher roofs than standard vans. I'm reading it from the start date in 2009 and I'm not very many months into it. The guy sold almost all of his possessions and moved into a van without ever having done it before. He just wanted to simplify his life. He has a good job and savings. Apparently he likes the lifestyle because on the newest page he has started using a newer larger van. I haven't caught up with the reason for the switch yet but it is a sign that things are going well with his lifestyle change.

He said he wanted to buy a bicycle to use to get around for the times when he wants to keep the van stationary. I've thought about this for myself. If I were to live in a van would I keep a bicycle? Other van dwellers just drive to the grocery store every day or so and buy small amounts of food. They don't need to store plenty of food because they don't need to make separate trips. Their home goes with them everywhere thus they don't need to stock up. They don't need to commute. They just live wherever they are parked. While at work they just park at work and really don't need to ever leave. Only when needing to empty water tanks or reload with water do they need to move.

This guy Glenn says his monthly expenses are about $850.00 per month in Los Angeles. To him it is a $650.00 per month savings. This price doesn't include the original cost of the used van. I now spend just about $1000 per month to live in my apartment in Montana (food and everything included). Still it would be much better for me mentally if I lived in my own van instead of paying $650.00 per month in rent where the landlord at a whim could kick out me and my neighbors. That actually happened to me at my last rental. The owner wanted the space for his daughter and I was told to leave.

The more I read about simplifying one's lifestyle the more inclined I am to try van dwelling. The biggest hurdle for me would be cheap enough internet access. I like being connected 24/7. Having such an unlimited data plan would probably eat up any savings I would get by living in a motor vehicle. Perhaps I could adapt and use the internet only eight hours per day and find WiFi hotspots.

http://tosimplify.blogspot.com/

This blog is about a young lady who moved into her Volkswagon Westfalia and loves it. Her early blog pages have at least a hundred links to others doing something similar. That is where I'm learning about so many different people living a very possession-light lifestyle.

http://www.faliaphotography.com/

In a way these people are no different from sailors who live aboard their boats as they travel the world. There is very little space in small sailboats.

TomM 12-20-10 07:21 PM

This RV guy reminds me of a Comedian I met in the late '80s who was traveling around the Southeast going show to show on a bicycle. Linky

wahoonc 12-20-10 08:43 PM

@ Smallwheels. I lived in a pickup camper for close to a year, it was not mobile at the time. It was parked out in the boonies on a piece of property that belonged to a buddy of mine. It was compact living at it's best. The camper was an 11' model. The main part was 11' long by 7' something wide at hip height the floor was only 4' wide to fit between the wheel wells, the bed was in the cab over part. Best year of my life. FWIW it was off grid too.

Aaron :)

Robert Foster 12-20-10 09:44 PM

I may have mentioned it befoe but there are whole cummunities of people living in RV parks all over the US rent free. They work at the RV park and live in their own RV. They may move two or three times a year and travel to other parts of the country and work in a different RV park. There are services that collect their mail and forward it to them where ever the go. All of their mail may go to someplace in Texas and will be sent to them in Florida to South Dakota. And yes most of them have bicycles or maybe a golf cart. But we have a friend living just below San Francisco at an RV park and working there and they have been there two years.

iron.wren 12-21-10 01:06 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 11960593)
The more I read about simplifying one's lifestyle the more inclined I am to try van dwelling. The biggest hurdle for me would be cheap enough internet access. I like being connected 24/7. Having such an unlimited data plan would probably eat up any savings I would get by living in a motor vehicle. Perhaps I could adapt and use the internet only eight hours per day and find WiFi hotspots.

I say Go for it. The worse that can happen is you live for a while in a van an don't like it. Though then you have very little to worry about and you can move all of it your self. There is land anywhere and you probably have friends who could help you if things got drastic and if you needed a place to get off of your feet. i would also look in to Tumbleweed Houses (Link) Those are a great alternative and it would be almost as small as a van but with a sense of permanentness.

Smallwheels 12-21-10 01:29 PM

Gotta Get The Money First
 

Originally Posted by iron.wren (Post 11962618)
I say Go for it. The worse that can happen is you live for a while in a van an don't like it.

I don't have the money to get started with this project right now and I don't want to finance such a purchase. I'm still car free which will allow me to save for a van much faster than if I did own a car.

Having a stealth van seems to be the optimum way to do this for someone who wants to live within a city. Using a stealth trailer that is sixteen to twenty-five feet long towed behind a truck would be more difficult to park. So would a converted Uhaul cargo truck. At this time I do want to live within city limits. Being able to park close to WiFi hotspots will be important for me.

I love the interior appearance of the Tumbleweed houses. It is my hope to be able to mimic that within whatever type of stealth RV I create. I need to learn some woodworking skills. Though the Tumbleweed houses look great they have a couple of disadvantages for me. They are tall and not very aerodynamic. They require a place to park them. They draw a lot of attention thus they aren't stealthy. They absolutely announce that someone is living there. After all it does look like a house.

I need to begin visiting RV dealers and RV shows to take photos of different interior layouts. The interior length of a large van floor is about ten feet. If the drivers and passenger seats can be made to swivel then that would add a couple more feet of useable space. At 12' X 7' the interior space is almost as much as the small Tumbleweed house.

With so little interior space a bicycle would need to be kept on a rack outside the van or two cubic feet of space could be used inside for a folding bicycle. That's a lot of space.

The platform that I want to use is a GMC Savanna long wheelbase with the small Flex Fuel V8 motor. That way I'll be able to use E85 and perhaps 100% alcohol fuel with some modifications. (Is there an ad for GMC vans in the ad section now that this is on the page?) Putting a tall fiberglass roof on it would cost about $3000.00.

If I'm lucky I'll be able to start this project before next fall. My de-cluttering is still continuing but four of my last ebay auctions have failed to get a bid. That's disappointing.

Curious LeTour 01-02-11 03:47 PM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 11961733)
@ Smallwheels. I lived in a pickup camper for close to a year, it was not mobile at the time. It was parked out in the boonies on a piece of property that belonged to a buddy of mine. It was compact living at it's best. The camper was an 11' model. The main part was 11' long by 7' something wide at hip height the floor was only 4' wide to fit between the wheel wells, the bed was in the cab over part. Best year of my life. FWIW it was off grid too.

Aaron :)

Your experience living in that small camper reminds me of the temptation I feel to live in a gypsy vardo.

krapes 01-02-11 04:43 PM

@smallwheels. That doesn't sound like it's worth it. I too realize the romantic idea of living in a van, being able to move whenever, simplifying your life, but if it costs $850 a month, you would be better off moving into a cheaper apartment. I pay $500 + electric (which was $6.26 last month) for my apartment. I don't really keep track of food or other stuff, but it definitely doesn't go over $850 a month, which is assuming the guy includes food and other expenses, which he may not. I live in Chicago.

009jim 01-02-11 05:15 PM

I like to live simple, but in the last 10 years things have gotten away from me. I went back to uni and in the process accumulated lecture materials and books. I have no furniture to speak of. My house is just a small one. One of my goals this year is to cut down on clutter. I understand you can throw out tax files after 7 years. The idea of donating books to a library appeals to me. If you own a house it seems sensible to have a few tools, e.g. lawn mower, whipper snipper, shovel, rake, ladder.

Simple living is, I believe, one of the keys to environmental conservation. You cannot rant about saving the environment and then buy a new plasma tv.

What about where you work? Does anyone have a simple workplace? That would be a place where you manufacture something or provide a service without creating great amounts of waste or having unnecessary facilities provided only for aesthetics or other pointless reasons. I reckon a simple workplace would be people sewing clothes in a back room somewhere, or repairing bicycles. A non-simple workplace would be people in fine suits selling mobile phones from a lavishly appointed store in a copiously air-conditioned shopping boulevard.

Newspaperguy 01-02-11 05:25 PM


Originally Posted by 009jim (Post 12016474)
What about where you work? Does anyone have a simple workplace? That would be a place where you manufacture something or provide a service without creating great amounts of waste or having unnecessary facilities provided only for aesthetics or other pointless reasons. I reckon a simple workplace would be people sewing clothes in a back room somewhere, or repairing bicycles. A non-simple workplace would be people in fine suits selling mobile phones from a lavishly appointed store in a copiously air-conditioned shopping boulevard.

I work at a small community newspaper. Our computers are a few years old but the desks and counter areas, except at the building entrance, are almost all between 20 and 40 years old. When we replace items, especially cameras and electronic items, they are either worn out or have become obsolete.

Roody 01-02-11 05:52 PM


Originally Posted by 009jim (Post 12016474)
What about where you work? Does anyone have a simple workplace?

I work in a hospital, which is probably one of the least simple workplaces. Pretty much everything is single-use and disposable, even the clothing.

wahoonc 01-02-11 06:16 PM

I work industrial construction, some places recycle stuff to the point of disbelief, others generate trash and waste that is mind boggling. I have been working at aluminum primary metal plants here recently, the oldest was built around 1914 and is being shut down, but still have most of the original equipment still in use. The newest was built in the late 1970's and was state of the art at the time it was built, not much difference between them.

My company repairs equipment until it can no longer be repaired then we tear it down and recycle the components. We have some equipment in the field that is over 35 years old and still used on a regular basis.

I also hobby farm, newest tractor we have is a 1972 model, oldest is from the 1950's. Most of our plows and other field equipment date from the 60's and 70's, we repair and modify stuff on a regular basis, and after looking at our barn it is obvious we never throw anything out either...

Aaron :)

Smallwheels 01-02-11 09:03 PM


Originally Posted by krapes (Post 12016355)
@smallwheels. ...but if it costs $850 a month, you would be better off moving into a cheaper apartment. I pay $500 + electric (which was $6.26 last month) for my apartment.

In my area my expenses are average to below average. I suppose if I moved to a different city it could be lower or if I were willing to share an apartment the expenses would be less. My apartment is only five years old and I've been in it for four. It's well insulated. I know people with much higher energy bills than mine.

hnsq 01-26-11 10:50 AM

I want to start out by saying I am asking this sincerely. I am not trying to troll in any way. I am honestly just trying to understand.

What is the big deal with 'living simply'? If you live within your means, save money smartly, don't overextend yourself, why is it necessarily a good and noble thing to have less 'stuff'? I want to be debt free, I don't want my stuff to be the most important thing in my life, but given that, why is it a worthwhile thing to try to live with less?

Newspaperguy 01-26-11 12:52 PM


Originally Posted by hnsq (Post 12134927)
What is the big deal with 'living simply'? If you live within your means, save money smartly, don't overextend yourself, why is it necessarily a good and noble thing to have less 'stuff'? I want to be debt free, I don't want my stuff to be the most important thing in my life, but given that, why is it a worthwhile thing to try to live with less?

I think you've hit what it means to live simply, at least by my definition. We live in a world where it's easy to get credit and it's easy to buy now and pay later. It's easy to get buried in debt at that point. The pursuit of stuff can get quite expensive if that stuff is bought on credit or on a payment plan.

If I live within my means, I'm in a much better position.

If I live below my means, I can save money for the future and as a result, if I lose a job in a bad economy, I can sustain myself for a while. Fortunately, I haven't had to take such measures, but I'm at least partly prepared for a catastrophe.

That's how I see it. Others here will have different approaches. Mine works for me.

Fizzaly 01-26-11 02:15 PM

Hows this for working simply, i consider myself lucky to have power and heat, and to be able to connect to free wifi:) I work at a parking garage that is prepay with cash only in a simple metal box, i have no register or credit card machine. Though the wifi is the only thing that keeps me sane in my boring 8hrs a day:)

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...1-26131211.jpg

eofelis 01-26-11 02:27 PM


Originally Posted by Fizzaly (Post 12136172)
Hows this for working simply, I work at a parking garage

Are you a Parking Lot Attendant?

Fizzaly 01-26-11 02:29 PM


Originally Posted by eofelis (Post 12136246)

I sure am, and a proud owner of that DVD:)
Though unlike a lot of those guys in the movie, ive been at for 10years

Smallwheels 01-26-11 09:32 PM

It's A Point Of View
 

Originally Posted by hnsq (Post 12134927)
What is the big deal with 'living simply'? ...why is it a worthwhile thing to try to live with less?

It's a point of view, not a fixed idea or way. The amount of things that you feel are sufficient to keep you living the life you want are probably different from the things in my life. Compared to some of the people with posts in this thread I want way more things.

At this time I just want to have the things I use regularly and a few sentimental items. Everything else is going on ebay and Craigslist. Things are slowly selling. My parents left a house full of furniture, appliances, clothing, and everything else that could be passed on. Most of those things will be sold. My personally purchased items are also being sold if they aren't being used.

By getting rid of all of those things there will be fewer attachments in my life. There will be fewer things to worry about. Those things won't need to be moved when I move, or cleaned, repaired, or anything else. My list of items to keep is less than three-hundred at this time. There are several things I actually want to purchase to add to the list.

Having fewer things is actually a benefit to me, but only up to the point where I feel comfortable. Having fewer things is good for me. Having no things would not be good for me. We're not saying give up everything, have nothing and life will be awesome. We're saying have no more things than you need to make your life good and simple.

I'm not doing without things. I'm lightening the load. If I need a car I take a taxi or get a ride. I don't buy a car. If I wanted to go sailing I'd rent a boat, not buy one and keep it sitting around most of the year. So many people around my area have snowmobiles that sit around and do nothing 99% of the time. What a waste of money, time, and effort for three or four weekends of fun in a year.

Would having a small home or apartment be simpler than paying a huge mortgage on a three-thousand square foot house that has two-thousand square feet of unused space? If all of that space was used regularly then it might be part of living simply. It's up to you to decide what you need.

Environmentalism is part of my simplified lifestyle but not everybody's. Less stuff equates to more freedom in my book.

With each item I ask myself; would I get greater benefit from getting rid of this item now than keeping it around to use at some unknown time in the future?

Do I need the ping pong table that gets used once a year? Do I need the football that hasn't been touched in ten years? Do I need the old posters that were on my walls twenty years ago? Do I need the blender and food processors that haven't been used in years? Do I need to keep the expensive reference books from a long ago profession? Do I need the gigantic stereo system in my apartment when mostly I listen to music on my computer?

Those are simple questions to ask.


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