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Cosmoline 08-04-06 06:21 PM

I've tried hard to simplify my life these past few years. I judge my success by the amount of space I take up and the number of keys on my chain. I'm down to a single 15x20 foot apartment plus bathroom and six keys. I let the ex have the rest :D

jeremyb 08-07-06 06:07 PM

yeah my gf and i just moved to portland, and i got rid of a lot of stuff. We made the trip using a 16' rental truck (i know not impressive to some, but i like having things. we had 7 bikes.)

It did feel good to give like 2 large boxes of books to the library, bags and bags of stuff to goodwill etc.


bdinger 08-16-06 10:51 AM

I'm working on it. In the past week I've:
-reduced my DirecTV service to the bare minimum (I'm under contract on it, and my soon-to-be-stepkids love the educational channels)
-sold a computer and various components that were not doing anything, and using up lots of power
-unplugged and turned off electronic devices that are no longer needed
-Given up driving completely except for emergencies during the week, and only drive on Saturday for errands needing a vehicle.
-Selling a old musclecar that has been a restoration project forever
-reduced the features on my cell service that I never use
-cut up two credit cards, kept the one with the lowest APR intact but stowed in a "safe place" for emergenices, rather than easy access in the wallet
-started organizing my home and will be giving away things I no longer need

It's very refreshing to start living simply. And I'm only starting :)

pakole 08-16-06 07:47 PM

nice job.

jeremyb 08-19-06 06:06 PM

now that were in portland, its a lot easier to get around by bike than it was in Sacramento. This city is designed much better for bikes, and many people take advantage of that. I bought a thrift store bike for my gf, for $20, fixed it up with new tires, new saddle and a tune up, and im surprised that she actually rides around town with me to go to the farmers market etc.

Riding my bike when I would have driven 6 years ago feels really good, like im donating to some charity--- like im doing something good for my planet and myself. i am.


jetbike 08-25-06 10:35 PM

The Simple Life
Yep, this is an on-going ebb and flow for me.

Currently I ride everywhere possible. My family has one car (stationwagon) which gets used infrequently for moving babies and my partner's business stuff around. We eat at home 90% time, veggie/vegan - ingredients provided by food co-op. My partner has an amazing sense of responsibility. She's the reason we save money.

Prior to children we owned virtually nothing. I arrived in Australia with a back-pack and nothing else. Everything we did own or use was either second-hand or borrowed. When our baby was born we got $3000 from the government. Most people buy a stroller and a cot and not much else. We furnished our house and bought all the stuff a baby could ever need.

My Achilles heels are music and books. I own too many cds and dvds. I'm a musician, I own four guitars and two computers (for music), as well as amps, mics and mixing desks etc. More books come to me all the time. I'm in the library too. I've gotta say that owning books, movies and music is a good thing. They enrich your life - invaluable.

Add to that five bikes, a few pans, a crappy tv and dvd player and you have our total possessions.

The only regular expense or treat we have are yoga classes and occassional movie tickets

It's difficult to do this when you've got a baby, but we're nearly there. We'll start growing our own food next year.

This way we can afford to live on one income and have a good life. We manage to save and go away on holiday. Most of my peers (most of which have kids) are in the credt/debt cycle. They're killing themselves to up-grade their cars, cell-phones, tv etc. I am proud to say I don't have any credit cards, at all.

I think a balance is important. I love life and it's many, varied delights, but I'm aware of my footprint on the earth.

Now I need to work less and we're there.

CH Style 08-26-06 04:50 PM

Paring down the Stash
I think that simplicity is a state of mind. What's simple for one, is too much or not enough for another. Btu it is an ongoing process whereby we figure out, through trial and error, what it is that we do and don't need. I am a reforming pack rat, I say reforming becuase there still is too much stuff around me I figure. But I have found this tread to be truly inspirational and have been ungoing a process of purification of stuff. I've had a number of cars through my life, but living down down for the past year, I'm a bike-aholic. Year round p[oses no problems, in fact ion the winter I'm usually sweaty by the time I arrive where it is that I'm going.

I am starting to get a an even keel though in terms of material stuff. I am only buyuing quality product now, kitchen appliances espically. WE can enjoy life, living simply, without having to live without. It's a balance that each person must find themselves, and when the balance starts to become clear, life gets clearer too. The world is now a better place from all the stuff that I've donated and given away, and there's only more where that's come from.

Shout out to Toronto and all the "simplitans" that live here!!

CH Style :D

cal_gundert05 09-09-06 05:23 PM

I think this is a great thread, if not for inspiration then just because it's interesting.
I always considered myself fairly minimalist:
-I almost never eat out of my own accord (if I'm away from home and need something to eat, I usually buy peanuts from a gas station)
-I drink only water which I get from my faucet and carry with me almost always (I do have milk with cereal, too)
-Besides clothes (which I don't own much of), almost everything I own is in a 3 1/2' X 1' plastic box (nice dress shoes, laptop manual, some mags, multi-tool, umbrella, other small things)
-I also have a laptop, a few cds and dvds, a small desk, chair, bed, and bike
-I also have some climbing stuff, but I'm trying to get rid of that

However, I do buy lots of old, used paperbacks (literature and educational) that book stores sell for cheap (25 cents) or free because they're old

While I have little interest in buying things for myself, I like buying things for my family (or giving them my books when I'm done with them). Maybe this is what Gandhi meant...or maybe I'm using my family to store all my junk.:D

TomM 09-16-06 04:48 PM

Why do people equate simple living with getting rid of possessions? That seems to be a common idea on this thread.

marcm 09-17-06 10:45 AM

Perhaps because many people feel that they have too many possessions -- more than they need -- and that getting rid of the clutter is one step toward a simpler life.

pakole 09-19-06 12:39 AM

Well, for a lot of people simple living is having fewer possesions then they currently have. I know for me I got rid of all of my magazine subscriptions because it was just an additional burden on me. Does that mean that simple living is necessarily having few possessions? No in fact, simple living may have require one to have more possessions. It is depended on your life and your own personal needs and desires.

Serendipper 09-19-06 01:21 AM

Originally Posted by TomM
Why do people equate simple living with getting rid of possessions? That seems to be a common idea on this thread.

If you possess too many things, one day you will realize that they actually posses you.

We spend a disproportionate amount of out lives and ambitions pining for things that require so much maintainence, upkeep, insurance, planning, thought, finance, and all to be discarded and replaced by a newer, 'better' model.

Roody 09-19-06 11:08 AM

^^Yup. Well said.

oilfreeandhappy 09-25-06 11:52 PM

I live fairly simply, but my wife is an artist. Artists do tend to accumulate stuff. It's fun to see the creativity at work, but sometimes I'm amazed at the amount of space it takes.

My Father-in-Law has recently moved in with us. I thought this would mean more clutter. But he is very good at keeping his stuff in his room, and it's forced my wife to clean up a lot of her areas.

liamgreen 09-26-06 08:07 AM

I live incredibly easily, I don't even own a television, my main form of entertainment is my Game Boy Advance and breaking locks and of course racing bikes

IchbinJay 09-28-06 09:10 PM

I live at college and you'd be surprised (or not) at the amount of possessions many students bring with them. Although at times I've used other people's things I have never brought to college, in my 4 years: a tv, computer, stereo, mp3 player, microwave or dvd player. Right now all that I have aside from the essential bedding and necessites (books, clothes etc.) is a refrigerator, an alarm clock/radio and a discman. I do have a cell phone, however, and if I were to downsize more I think I'd get rid of that. Oh yeah, and I have two bikes and no car at school.

For me, living simply is about not spending extra money on gadgets and toys. It's bad enough how much debt college brings you into. The idea that has always kept my interest in cycling is that it can be an alternative to a car and a viable source of savings for many people. Especially in Mass, where insurance is very expensive.

wheel 10-10-06 05:58 PM

Well not wanting to haul a bunch of stuff home on my bicycle keeps clutter down.

Simple, My work provides a meal, shower, and uniform washing. I don't own the following, Bed, TV, kids, a motor, pets, and still don't practice a religon, drink alcohol, and smoke tabacco. I do cut my own hair FXjohn, rent, has a garden (planting season), and slowly getting rid of things I don't use.


FXjohn 10-10-06 06:31 PM

Originally Posted by wheel
Well not wanting to haul a bunch of stuff home on my bicycle keeps clutter down.

Simple, My work provides a meal, shower, and uniform washing, I don't own a TV, have kids, own a motor, practice a religon, don't drink alcohol, don't somke tabacco, own pets, I rent, and slowly getting rid of things I don't use.

Wow, you sound like REAL intersting guy.
I guess the last item you part with will be your Hair Shirt.

guenevere 10-16-06 03:21 PM

Originally Posted by iBarna
...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? :p)

Although I am *far* from where you are, I admire your discipline. I live with another, and that imediately complicates things, as I don't wish to control my Significant's lifestyle. However, I find myself enjoying the hobby of 'purging' as I call it ... which is basically getting rid of things, but more so the clutter in my head. I am very careful what sort of sentimental or emotional pull/push an object gives me, so, I'm in the process, everyday, of simplifying and downsizing, and that goes way beyond material things, into my psyche.

Thanks for bringing it up!

rideorglide 10-18-06 07:45 PM

Even living simply can become a complex obession.

Originally Posted by TomM
Why do people equate simple living with getting rid of possessions? That seems to be a common idea on this thread.

XM DUDE 11-01-06 11:22 PM

I lived simple for many years, but now I'm going in the opposite direction, I have a $40,000 Tahoe( great for hauling bikes and gear), and 2 Jettas. My direct TV bill is over $100 a month, mortgage is over $2000 a month,electric bill over $250 on a good month, Internet bill over $50 a month( high speed for gaming) 3 computers, building another one for you guessed it, gaming! 3 TV's all hooked up to Direct TV. Gas for cars is about $800 a month, oh yeah food about $600 a month, all the different insurance,alot! Plus 2 XM subscriptions, 1 Myfi and one in the Tahoe. Wifes SIRIUS subscription.
Vacations every year cost over $4000 and the list goes on and on, but dam I love being comfortable!

infernobutterfl 11-02-06 02:06 AM

my simple-est living that i have done:
own about 7 set (pants,shirt, etc) of clothes, a few books for college, a computer, a cellphone, a backpack, beding stuff and maybe some other small stuff i forgot... no bikes, cars, etc

but about living simple and having fewer stuff... i think simple living is relative... i dream about owning a mountain, beach, etc as a back yard so i can just walk out and look at the sun set...
(cant I be simple and yet greedy.. :p )

supersport 11-10-06 03:53 PM

Simple is relative, I think. Our life (my wife and I) is simple: no car, no debt, one bedroom apartment. We don't lack anything I can think of.

Except a sailboat. I need a sailboat.


XM DUDE 11-10-06 03:58 PM

A boat is a hole in the water you throw money in.:D

supersport 11-11-06 09:05 PM

Originally Posted by XM DUDE
A boat is a hole in the water you throw money in.:D

It can be. :)

Living on a small sailboat is actually pretty cheap. I did it for several years on SF Bay.


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