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

Roody 01-01-12 05:27 PM


Originally Posted by Neil_B (Post 13651223)
My experience with Freecycle has been that people give away stuff that belongs in a dumpster.... moth-eaten clothing, a bike that didn't even rise to the level of scrap metal, etc. It seemed a mammoth waste of time. Craigslist wasn't much better.

Freecycle got me a $80 cordless phone, still sealed in the box. The lady even drove it to my house in the ghetto--in a Jaguar! She said she received it as a door prize and didn't need it. I also got a very nice vacuum cleaner that I've been using for 4 or 5 years now.

But what's the worst that could happen if you got something you didn't like? It's not like you're out any money...

Neil_B 01-01-12 06:00 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 13663947)
Freecycle got me a $80 cordless phone, still sealed in the box. The lady even drove it to my house in the ghetto--in a Jaguar! She said she received it as a door prize and didn't need it. I also got a very nice vacuum cleaner that I've been using for 4 or 5 years now.

But what's the worst that could happen if you got something you didn't like? It's not like you're out any money...

I'm out the time to engage in the correspondence to obtain the item, and the time and effort to pick it up.

As for Craiglist, too often I had to jump through hoops to get rid of things. The attitude was that they were doing me a favor. For instance, I tried to give away an aquarium, pump, filter, and stand, and even though I explained in the listing I couldn't deliver it I had people insisting I do so. (I wound up giving it to a friend.)

Ekdog 01-04-12 12:07 PM

This guy owns only 15 things.

yep202 01-04-12 06:47 PM

I lost everything I owned a year ago in a fire except. A backpack full of cloths and a toothbrush. When I lost everything I thought that I didn't really use much of it anyway. Sence then I've only bought a new bike and acc. A few pots. Alsoought some cloths. Starting over was kinda nice. Except for losing my sport hill running pants and patagonie jacket. :( . Also stuff like a tv chair and bed were free. Lucky me.

Smallwheels 01-04-12 06:55 PM


Originally Posted by Ekdog (Post 13675591)

That is interesting. This isn't permanent for him. It is just while he's traveling that he keeps his possessions to such a small number. Even so, it is interesting that he has been doing if for over a year.

He must be spending a fortune to live on the road without being able to cook his own meals and paying for places to sleep.

Here is a link to an interview he did about his situation: http://www.scottberkun.com/blog/2010...wns-15-things/ .

Marx 01-17-12 12:58 PM

What a cool thread. I've definitely enjoyed reading through it all.

As for myself, I feel I live pretty simply. I'm a collector of things and lover of stuff by nature, so I've had to fight that urge, especially as I've gotten older. My wonderful girlfriend has taught a lot about getting rid of stuff I don't need and being realistic about things I will or will not ever use again, so I'm really thankful for that.

When I left home and moved in with her, I had about ten small boxes plus a couple guitars and that's it. She already had plenty of furniture and kitchen essentials. We're not really minimalists by any means, but we certainly work to keep our home clutter-free. We regularly go through our clothes and donate those we don't need or that no longer fit. We also go through dvds and books as well. Books are probably my only weakness. I'm a writer and a student and I cherish my small personal library. I constantly use my books for my work and reread them quite often so I don't think I could ever pare my books down to a handful.

Smallwheels 01-17-12 02:36 PM


Originally Posted by Marx (Post 13731921)
I constantly use my books for my work and reread them quite often so I don't think I could ever pare my books down to a handful.

How do you feel about e-readers? Could you love books just as much with all of your library stored on one? There are now color versions that can store cover art and pictures. Soon there will be versions with very sharp images so that the text looks as good as a paper page.

Prestonxvx 01-30-12 10:04 PM

You guys are making me feel guilty that sometimes I go out to eat

Smallwheels 01-31-12 12:58 PM

Guilt Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
 

Originally Posted by Prestonxvx (Post 13789049)
You guys are making me feel guilty that sometimes I go out to eat

You can only feel guilty if somewhere inside yourself you really want to change your situation. Take a look. Change what you want to change. See how it feels. If you like it then great. If you want to change back or continue making new choices do so. Have fun with it.

I'm preparing to sell a bicycle I really like but can't ride. Leaning forward hurts my neck too much. This summer I'll make a choice about replacing it or foregoing it. This might be the year I switch to roller skates as transportation. They would certainly take up less space. :)

Prestonxvx 01-31-12 06:38 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 13791252)
You can only feel guilty if somewhere inside yourself you really want to change your situation. Take a look. Change what you want to change. See how it feels. If you like it then great. If you want to change back or continue making new choices do so. Have fun with it.

I'm preparing to sell a bicycle I really like but can't ride. Leaning forward hurts my neck too much. This summer I'll make a choice about replacing it or foregoing it. This might be the year I switch to roller skates as transportation. They would certainly take up less space. :)


Its all good. As far as things I own that aren't bikes I can fit everything in one medium sized box.
I would like to spend less on food and things however especially now that I've just started commuting 30 miles 7 days a week, I spend a lot on food.
Better spent on whole vegan food than gas!!

Smallwheels 01-31-12 08:37 PM


Originally Posted by Prestonxvx (Post 13792663)
I would like to spend less on food and things however especially now that I've just started commuting 30 miles 7 days a week, I spend a lot on food.
Better spent on whole vegan food than gas!!

A while back I mentioned somewhere on this forum that I wanted to switch to eating a raw food diet to give it a try.

I really don't like vegetables much. I found a way to eat more of them and it turns out that it is saving me money. I buy plenty of bananas, whole pineapples, carrots, celery, kale, and other things. I make smoothies with the blender using these. With all the sweetness in the fruits and carrots, the kale, celery, and other vegetables taste OK. I learned to include just a tiny bit of lemon to cancel the bitterness of the kale. It works wonders. That is a good thing because kale is a very mineral packed green vegetable. Cinnamon also adds to the flavor.

If I ate only smoothies made of these ingredients I could save money every day. These smoothies contain all of the fiber too. If the blender is run on high for two to three minutes all of the fibrous stuff disappears. It's less pulpy than orange juice with pulp. To keep it cool I break up bananas into pieces and freeze them. They work like ice cubes. Be sure to add a couple of cups of pure water at first to allow it to blend. Otherwise it would just get stuck in a regular blender. The super blenders like Blendtec and Vitamix models have enough power to handle it without water.

Just a month ago the blender wasn't on my list of things to keep. Now it is.

rowdypoms 02-01-12 01:26 PM

Great idea about freezing the bananas & using them as ice cubes. I discovered green smoothies a couple of years ago & feel so much better since they are packed with nutrition. I have been downsizing the last couple of years, one step at a time & its very liberating. When you are not bogged down with "stuff" there is a lot more freedom. Next is getting rid of the car, not because I don't believe in them, I just don't have a need for it, haven't driven in months to the point that the battery is dead, good sign that I need to just get rid of it.

Artkansas 02-01-12 02:36 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 13793208)
I make smoothies with the blender using these. With all the sweetness in the fruits and carrots, the kale, celery, and other vegetables taste OK.


+1 on the smoothies. If you aren't including Collard Greens, try them. They have a very neutral flavor, a nice texture and are at the top of the nutrition charts. :thumb:

Artkansas 02-01-12 07:45 PM

Here's another aspect of simplicity.


No cell phone, email or social networking.

poormanbiking 02-02-12 05:17 AM

Has me thinking about doing the same.

tony_merlino 02-02-12 09:27 AM

I did something like this for a while after my wife and I first split up. I got off all my discussion groups, stopped participating in facebook, limited emails pretty much to work and some very close friends. And those emails with friends would be long, thoughtful and intimate (not in the sexy lingerie sense, but in the sense of being very open and honest) I focused on real-life, in person relationships. It was really great, and really an eye-opener.

Gradually, I let myself get sucked in to the online addiction again. I'm on conference calls a lot, many of them are boring, so it's easy to let the mouse wander over to see what's going on over at whatever online group.

But those few months showed me what life could be like without the hours a day of internet fluff ... and I've never gotten back up to the level of online obsession that I was at before my own Amish Experiment. And, I'm glad to say, I've still not ever gone back to wasting time on Facebook.

tony_merlino 02-02-12 09:32 AM

I have a question about this "hundred" or "fifteen" or whatever number of things you should limit yourself to in order to qualify as a true simple-living minimalist. Is one or more of those things a smartphone or tablet computer or anything else with an internet connection? If so, I think it should be given a weight of 1000 or more when counting up possessions, since it basically substitutes for a whole houseful of stuff.

I still firmly believe that simplicity is about attachment, not about the "thing-count". One internet-accessible device can provide all the attachment of all the riches of the richest man in the world, even of just 50 years ago.

Smallwheels 02-02-12 11:37 AM

One computer can't replace blankets, kitchen utensils, a bicycle, or numerous other things. It is an enhancement to my life. As part of my list of things to keep there are two computers. Having a spare computer is just as valuable to me as having a spare bicycle.

Artkansas 02-02-12 03:29 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 13799998)
Having a spare computer is just as valuable to me as having a spare bicycle.

Hmmm. I only have 5 bicycles and 7 computers. Am I prepared? :lol:

Roody 02-02-12 05:07 PM


Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 13797707)
Here's another aspect of simplicity.


No cell phone, email or social networking.

From the article:

"I spoke with Reilly over the phone this weekend about his 90-day project, what he learned from living without electronic leashes and how it changed his life.
"

iron.wren 02-02-12 06:24 PM


Originally Posted by tony_merlino (Post 13799588)
I have a question about this "hundred" or "fifteen" or whatever number of things you should limit yourself to in order to qualify as a true simple-living minimalist. Is one or more of those things a smartphone or tablet computer or anything else with an internet connection? If so, I think it should be given a weight of 1000 or more when counting up possessions, since it basically substitutes for a whole houseful of stuff.

I still firmly believe that simplicity is about attachment, not about the "thing-count". One internet-accessible device can provide all the attachment of all the riches of the richest man in the world, even of just 50 years ago.

Go to post #1112, its on page 45. I did not repost it here because It is just significantly long. If you want to be somewhat legalistic and limit yourself you can but that is all up to you and how you approach it. The limits are more of a barrier. They guy who started the 100 thing challenge said that all shared items with his family such as furniture or Kitchen Items were not counted. He further said that you can count each sock as 1, each pair of socks 1, all of you socks as 1, or all of your clothing as 1. If you need to put things in groups that is great. The idea is to get rid of the clutter and unnecessary.

tony_merlino 02-03-12 07:49 AM


Originally Posted by iron.wren (Post 13801702)
Go to post #1112, its on page 45. I did not repost it here because It is just significantly long. If you want to be somewhat legalistic and limit yourself you can but that is all up to you and how you approach it. The limits are more of a barrier. They guy who started the 100 thing challenge said that all shared items with his family such as furniture or Kitchen Items were not counted. He further said that you can count each sock as 1, each pair of socks 1, all of you socks as 1, or all of your clothing as 1. If you need to put things in groups that is great. The idea is to get rid of the clutter and unnecessary.

The point I was trying to make is that our new appliances - the ones that offer nearly infinite variety in terms of obsessive interaction, are probably more insidious from an attachment point of view than almost anything that existed even just 50 years ago. Someone who spends all day on FB, in discussion groups, twittering, texting, blogging, posting pictures, playing online games, etc and so on, is NOT living simply, even if that iPad or whatever is the only thing he owns. He's just substituted an alternate universe, complete with tons of virtual stuff, for the physical one.

Artkansas 02-03-12 09:30 AM


Originally Posted by tony_merlino (Post 13803575)
The point I was trying to make is that our new appliances - the ones that offer nearly infinite variety in terms of obsessive interaction, are probably more insidious from an attachment point of view than almost anything that existed even just 50 years ago. Someone who spends all day on FB, in discussion groups, twittering, texting, blogging, posting pictures, playing online games, etc and so on, is NOT living simply, even if that iPad or whatever is the only thing he owns. He's just substituted an alternate universe, complete with tons of virtual stuff, for the physical one.

I think the Buddha would back you up on this one. It's not the stuff, it's the attachment to it that causes the most problems.

smellincoffee 02-03-12 10:02 AM

I'm just getting started, really. I got into simple living when I moved to university. The campus sat three blocks behind the main street of this very lovely town, and so almost everything was open to me on foot. For three years living there, I was completely free of a car...and loved it. I used my car once a month to visit my parents, and twice during that entire three-year span to visit the doctor. If I had a bike with me, I could have used IT on those trips. Restaurants, grocery stories, pharmacies, etc. were all reached on foot. I always looked forward to my weekly walk into town to visit the library. I spent little time in my room, which was described as "spartan" by those who saw inside: I brought a small TV, a computer, an end table, and a few books in addition to clothes and toiletries. By the end of three years I'd acquired two Thai box lamps and a bamboo plant. I spent most of my time outside -- reading on the quad, biking/hiking/stargazing/playing frisbee with friends, that sort of thing.

Although I have since graduated, while there I learned what I needed out of life: aside from food and shelter: I wanted a fulfilling job, friends, a sense of community, and some intellectual and artistic stimulation. Of these, the first is the hardest to find. Since leaving the university I've kept my life simple, though I am more car dependent now than I used to be: my current city is not as small as Montevallo. Still, as soon as I find regular work I intend on biking about town. I want to be as car free as possible, for many reasons -- using a bicycle for transportation means more autonomy, more self-reliance, and more interaction in the town. Biking is healthier for me and isn't noxious like motoring.

I am a terrible 'consumer'. I don't buy much, and when I do I tend to buy used -- especially books. I prefer to spend my evenings listening to a little jazz (I love the big bands -- Miller, Dorsey, Goodman) and reading. I cook most of my food, though I go out a couple of times a week: I have homecooked breakfast with friends on Sunday mornings downtown, and during the week I'll either pick up a Subway sandwich or go to lunch one day with someone, often a family member. I like having dinner in a restaurant, not so much for the good as for being out in the community.

I've been thinking about starting a little garden to learn the skills. One day I may be able to eat something that I (and the ground, and the sun...) have produced. :)

I think of myself as a "quasi-Luddite": I don't reject technology, but I question its predominance in our lives. I just turned 27, but I'm increasingly techless. I keep my cellphone turned off because I see it as intrusive; I only have it for emergencies, really. I've started preferring low-tech, self-powered ways of taking care of tasks -- handling the lawn with a reel mower instead of the motored variants, and hand washing dishes. I actually like washing the dishes: I put on some music and spend the next 40 minutes or so happily scrubbing and drying.

Much of my interest in living simply stems from my desire to be autonomous; I especially want to be free from having to use gas as a power source.

iron.wren 02-03-12 10:28 AM


Originally Posted by tony_merlino (Post 13803575)
The point I was trying to make is that our new appliances - the ones that offer nearly infinite variety in terms of obsessive interaction, are probably more insidious from an attachment point of view than almost anything that existed even just 50 years ago. Someone who spends all day on FB, in discussion groups, twittering, texting, blogging, posting pictures, playing online games, etc and so on, is NOT living simply, even if that iPad or whatever is the only thing he owns. He's just substituted an alternate universe, complete with tons of virtual stuff, for the physical one.

I completely agree. At first when you said appliance I thought you meant Kitchen Appliance but then I realized what you meant. They have definitely become the worst obsession and our culture now says that you have to have them to have a fulfilling life. Just 25 years ago we did not have cell phones. Before that people got around for Thousands of years with out them. A cell phone is great but it can become an addiction. Though it makes you "Sociable" to some extent. At the end of the day are you really. I love this commercial for that reason. I'm scared it is even this way with my parents and I.

Roody 02-03-12 11:30 AM


Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 13803907)
I think the Buddha would back you up on this one. It's not the stuff, it's the attachment to it that causes the most problems.

Agreed, but I think the Buddha would also say that it's very difficult (if not impossible) to have the stuff without having attachment to the stuff. It's a lot easier (and "simpler") to never have the Ipad than to have it and throw it away. That's the situation a lot of wealthy people are in.

But the hardest of all is to really WANT the Ipad, but to not have it. That's the situation of a lot of poor people.

Artkansas 02-03-12 01:38 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 13804442)
Agreed, but I think the Buddha would also say that it's very difficult (if not impossible) to have the stuff without having attachment to the stuff. It's a lot easier (and "simpler") to never have the Ipad than to have it and throw it away. That's the situation a lot of wealthy people are in.

But the hardest of all is to really WANT the Ipad, but to not have it. That's the situation of a lot of poor people.

And that is why the one who has eliminated all attachment is called a Buddha. I imagine that even the Dalai Lama struggles with it a bit. But the less attachment you have, the simpler life is.

Roody 02-03-12 05:13 PM


Originally Posted by smellincoffee (Post 13804031)
I'm just getting started, really. I got into simple living when I moved to university. The campus sat three blocks behind the main street of this very lovely town, and so almost everything was open to me on foot. For three years living there, I was completely free of a car...and loved it. I used my car once a month to visit my parents, and twice during that entire three-year span to visit the doctor. If I had a bike with me, I could have used IT on those trips. Restaurants, grocery stories, pharmacies, etc. were all reached on foot. I always looked forward to my weekly walk into town to visit the library. I spent little time in my room, which was described as "spartan" by those who saw inside: I brought a small TV, a computer, an end table, and a few books in addition to clothes and toiletries. By the end of three years I'd acquired two Thai box lamps and a bamboo plant. I spent most of my time outside -- reading on the quad, biking/hiking/stargazing/playing frisbee with friends, that sort of thing.

Although I have since graduated, while there I learned what I needed out of life: aside from food and shelter: I wanted a fulfilling job, friends, a sense of community, and some intellectual and artistic stimulation. Of these, the first is the hardest to find. Since leaving the university I've kept my life simple, though I am more car dependent now than I used to be: my current city is not as small as Montevallo. Still, as soon as I find regular work I intend on biking about town. I want to be as car free as possible, for many reasons -- using a bicycle for transportation means more autonomy, more self-reliance, and more interaction in the town. Biking is healthier for me and isn't noxious like motoring.

I am a terrible 'consumer'. I don't buy much, and when I do I tend to buy used -- especially books. I prefer to spend my evenings listening to a little jazz (I love the big bands -- Miller, Dorsey, Goodman) and reading. I cook most of my food, though I go out a couple of times a week: I have homecooked breakfast with friends on Sunday mornings downtown, and during the week I'll either pick up a Subway sandwich or go to lunch one day with someone, often a family member. I like having dinner in a restaurant, not so much for the good as for being out in the community.

I've been thinking about starting a little garden to learn the skills. One day I may be able to eat something that I (and the ground, and the sun...) have produced. :)

I think of myself as a "quasi-Luddite": I don't reject technology, but I question its predominance in our lives. I just turned 27, but I'm increasingly techless. I keep my cellphone turned off because I see it as intrusive; I only have it for emergencies, really. I've started preferring low-tech, self-powered ways of taking care of tasks -- handling the lawn with a reel mower instead of the motored variants, and hand washing dishes. I actually like washing the dishes: I put on some music and spend the next 40 minutes or so happily scrubbing and drying.

Much of my interest in living simply stems from my desire to be autonomous; I especially want to be free from having to use gas as a power source.

I don't really have anything to add; just wanted to say that I enjoyed this post.

Roody 02-03-12 05:19 PM


Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 13805023)
And that is why the one who has eliminated all attachment is called a Buddha. I imagine that even the Dalai Lama struggles with it a bit. But the less attachment you have, the simpler life is.

I struggle with this all the time, and whenever I think I have it licked I become attached to womething else. Right now my main issue is a NEGATIVE attachment to me job. I guess I'm learning that if you hate something, you're even more strongly attached to it than if you love it! My mantra right now is, "It's only a job...don't take it so hard..."

iron.wren 02-04-12 02:13 AM


Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 13805023)
And that is why the one who has eliminated all attachment is called a Buddha. I imagine that even the Dalai Lama struggles with it a bit. But the less attachment you have, the simpler life is.

I would argue the hardest thing for him is dealing with a "goes in bouts" (not sure about a good adjective to explain that) anger for being exiled and dealing with forgiveness. He has outer peace and our Outer emotions usually emit lesser (drawing toward a medium than extreme) than our inner so he must be at great peace that ever so often gets frustrated with exile.


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