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

Roody 12-28-09 04:25 PM


Originally Posted by BadBoy10 (Post 10197772)
I'm a librarian (primary and college). I work two jobs. I am alarmed at the amount of people stating they give their unwanted books to the library and/or the library is a storage entity. No, it isn't. Librarians do not want to sift through your junk but we do :(. Just throw it out or send it overseas. Please the publishing industry has a huge surplus of every title imaginable. Yada yada---

My library has a used book store where they sell donated books and use the revenue to support library programs. I buy a lot of books there and often donate them back when I'm finished with them.

BadBoy10 12-30-09 09:57 AM

Roody:

Great!

I am talking about 1986 World Book Encyclopedias---type of donations. We receive a lot of junk--we simply do not have the capacity to keep every book every published. LOL!

nancy sv 12-30-09 04:50 PM

Right now, we live very simply. Everything we need for a family of four (including homeschoolling materials) fits in the panniers of three bikes and two trailers. We have a tiny little cook stove and one pot and a wooden spoon. We've got sleeping bags an dmats for the four of us and a tent we can cram into. It's a very basic life and fits us well. We expect to live on the road like this for about another year or slightly more. then? Who knows.

We do have a bunch of stuff in storage back home and will have to decide what to do with it. keep it? Sell it? Give it away? We'll figure that out when we reach the tip of South America!

JackESavage 01-18-10 02:35 PM

I live pretty simply - most of my friends are amazzed at how minimalist I am. In additon to my bike, I have a few clothes, books TV, bed, and futon, and a few other odds and ends (pictures, etc.) I get most of my media materials (books, DVDs, etc.) from the library.

My last great indulgence is cable TV. I'm trying to work up the discipline to cancel the cable, and realocate that money on a gym membership.[/QUOTE]

I killed my cable TV subscription and my gym membership---saved enough in 3 months to buy round-trip airfare to Madrid---
would you rather be watching "Night Court" reruns or traveling? also, you can get a pretty good workout on your bike, but be safe!

JackESavage 01-22-10 01:23 AM

i think you're right
many people hide their 'egos' in floor-to-ceiling book shelves
but i would be recalcitrant if asked to let go of my American-First edition of "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas"

have you ever noticed most bike advocates are total book *****s?

discuss

gerv 01-22-10 06:19 PM


Originally Posted by JackESavage (Post 10302912)

have you ever noticed most bike advocates are total book *****s?

worms?

z3px 01-23-10 12:30 PM


Originally Posted by JackESavage (Post 10302912)
i think you're right
many people hide their 'egos' in floor-to-ceiling book shelves
but i would be recalcitrant if asked to let go of my American-First edition of "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas"

have you ever noticed most bike advocates are total book *****s?

discuss

What difference does it make if people like books? People are going to hid their egos in anything if they will. The point is to focus on things that make you happy and rid yourself of things that don't but simply take up time.

Smallwheels 01-24-10 08:00 PM

Moving Forward With My Purge At Sub-light Speed
 

Originally Posted by JackESavage (Post 10302912)
...but i would be recalcitrant if asked to let go of my American-First edition of "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas"

I understand your point. The thing to think about in that case is whether it is the information you really treasure or the paper and binding that make up the book.

Recently I've needed more money and it has accelerated my purge. Last week I had a garage sale of mostly my mothers estate which was full of kitchen items and figurines. I got about $26 more than the price of the newspaper ad. Nobody came for it the week before using Craigslist. My town is just too small for Craigslist to work well.

Last Thursday I sold an expensive professional level keyboard synthesizer for half what I paid for it. I'm selling all of my guitars too. If I were uninjured and still a professional musician these items would be tools of the trade. As they are now they are just beautiful quality musical instruments that can be replaced if ever I choose to get more guitars. They do have wonderful memories attached to them but I can't sell the memories and they are what really matter.

For a really long time I've held on to jewelry from my mother and father along with about three things of my own. I intend to sell those things soon. I can't hug my parents jewelry or play ball with the pieces. Recently I've decided to only keep a few personal knickknacks from my parents. Of course I'll keep the photographs too. Everything else can go. I'm really intending to reach my goal of being able to load everything I own into the smallest moving van for rent at U-haul.

To help me to succeed at the purge I've purchased a course that explains the best way to use ebay. All that is really left now is to find a cheap source of boxes and packing materials and my ebay career will take off. If I like doing it I just might start buying things to sell there. Who knows, it could become a second career.

Whenever I think of this thread I always recall seeing a Start Trek The Next Generation episode where Riker is transferring to another ship and all of his possessions fit into a small case. I'll never be that light on possessions but it does look appealing in some ways. I've also seen many old movies of people moving to different cities to start their lives anew with just one or two suitcases. I really need to keep more than just clothes in my life. One van full of stuff seems about right for me.

horsec8z 01-25-10 11:19 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 10313155)
I've also seen many old movies of people moving to different cities to start their lives anew with just one or two suitcases. I really need to keep more than just clothes in my life. One van full of stuff seems about right for me.

Back in 75' I met a man who owned probably the largest commercial Janitorial companies in our area. He and his wife still did the manual labor along side thier numerous employees ( I liked that). We had been talking about wealth. He told me that he came to America with a suitcase and his family, less than 10 years later he had much more than he left with. What really struck my young mind was that he had been a farmer in Algeria. He said that one day Russian tanks rolled up pointed a very big gun at him and said, "get out". Just like that, he had nothing of material goods. He wasn't allowed to sell his farm, or his possessions. Just packed a bag, locked the door, tossed the key and walked away. He came to America with his health, family and a great attitude. His point to me was that I could have anything I wanted out of life, having things wasn't necessary, all that I needed was the mindset. I've never forgot that man.
Horsec8z

ziggy_stardust 02-06-10 07:27 PM

When I graduated from college, I had very little and was happy about it. A dog, TV, a bed, a couple of guitars, a futon, a nightstand, clothes, a case of books, a bike, and about 500 CDs in 4 big books.

Then I got married. And started collecting vinyl.

Individually, we don't really have that much stuff, and as a pair we don't have anything we don't use/need. We have A LOT of books and records, and I accumulated two more guitars as gifts. 3 bikes b/w the two of us. We have a bunch of furniture, but all of it was free (except for our new bed). Oh, and we have 3 dogs and two cats. We have two cars; a 2000 Camry and a 1986 VW Golf. She uses the Camry to commute 40 mins to work, I use the Golf if I need to take the dogs somewhere or travel farther than a few miles. Otherwise I ride a bike. We're moving to NYC in a year, so we'll be minimalists by necessity.

Oh, and we shop at an Amish-run grocery outlet for most of our grocery needs, and we grow our own produce in season.

eofelis 02-09-10 11:04 PM

I just picked up a book, at the library of course:

In Cheap We Trust by Lauren Weber

It is pretty good so far!

Newspaperguy 02-11-10 12:44 PM

A few years ago, I got rid of probably half the books on my shelf. These are books I no longer needed and wouldn't go back to reread them. I also was able to get rid of a few bookshelves.

Right now, I'm trying to decide if I want to get rid of the stereo. It's nice, but I seldom use it anymore.

Smallwheels 02-11-10 08:44 PM

Don't Give Up The Stereo, Get A Tiny One
 

Originally Posted by Newspaperguy (Post 10391128)
Right now, I'm trying to decide if I want to get rid of the stereo. It's nice, but I seldom use it anymore.

These days iPods hold thousands of songs, audio books, or lectures and there are some really good sounding small speakers that can plug directly into them for big sound in a tiny package.

I've got an old high quality FM tuner with all of the adapters and two medium large speaker cabinets that I haven't listened to in years. Those need to go. I would much rather have a small Bose or other radio system that would fit on a counter top. That could be connected to my computer in order to play internet radio. I listen to internet radio all the time. I only listen to broadcast radio in the late evening because I can tune in Coast to Coast AM. It plays on three different radios throughout my apartment. That way I don't miss anything when I move from room to room.

I've got fifty-two vinyl albums that I haven't played in years. I could buy a turntable that would connect directly to my computer that would let me record all of them. I need to do the math to decide if it would be worth the expense. I wouldn't want to keep every song. After recording the music I would just sell or give away the vinyl and album covers. They weigh about ten pounds. I wonder if I could rent such a turntable somewhere? It certainly would help me to remove some clutter to get rid of the stereo and the albums and replace them with a good radio and a large digital file.

zoltani 02-12-10 07:51 AM

I paid about $120 for a turntable that allows you to record vinyl, very handy item. Still, I don't think I can give up my records (i do still listen to them however).

surgtech1956 02-15-10 06:20 PM

How did you get to living 'simply'? What did you give up first or did you just get rid of all the extras at once? My life is too cluttered and I find the more cluttered the more complicated it seems. I would like to start simplifying my life. I'm about 8 years to retirement.

Smallwheels 02-16-10 02:52 AM

My Change Has Been Gradual
 

Originally Posted by surgtech1956 (Post 10407669)
How did you get to living 'simply'? What did you give up first or did you just get rid of all the extras at once? My life is too cluttered and I find the more cluttered the more complicated it seems. I would like to start simplifying my life. I'm about 8 years to retirement.

My change has been gradual over decades. It began with the realization that money can't buy happiness. Then the other realizations followed, such as deciding that I'd rather have the money savings from not owning a car.

The most recent one has been my move in 2005. I was faced with the fact that I had too much stuff and had to move it all. I'm slowly getting rid of furniture, appliances, and everything else. My garage sale was a failure. I've begun listing things on Craigslist and ebay is next. My first listings will happen this week. I'm selling the expensive stuff first. By the time I get to the less expensive things I'll probably give them away or throw them out. :)

cerewa 03-11-10 11:49 AM

simple in haiti
 
One of my low-income friends in Haiti says to me that i live simple. (or at least that I wear old/inexpensive/wornout clothes).

I don't spend much on clothes or transportation. If you look at my clothes or my bicycle, you'd probably guess that's the case.

Spent a week in Haiti just now, having brought a bunch of tents & safe-drinking-water filters down. Slept in temporary housing that friends have for their families: tarps for a roof, tarps for walls, concrete for floors. One of the families has corrugated metal for their roof - pretty nice place to stay. No electricity, no running water, no heat or A/C. Car free too, and people have very little in the way of unneeded possessions.

I have allergies which is one reason I've cut down on my own possessions: less stuff means less dust. I only have enough clothes for a couple weeks now, which is good because if my clothes sit in a drawer for a long time they get kind of musty and i'll be allergic.

zoltani 03-11-10 12:04 PM

"Man seems to have more difficulty in gaining food than any of the Lord's creatures. For many in towns it is a consuming, lifelong struggle; for others, the danger of coming to want is so great, the deadly habit of endless hoarding for the future is formed, which smothers all real life, and is continued long after every reasonable need has been over-supplied."
-John Muir

ckfeng 03-15-10 04:13 AM

I am a bicycle fans, I often rode a bicycle to go very far away, so save fares,
at the same time exercise the body

Nycycle 03-16-10 08:11 PM


Originally Posted by Juha (Post 1993446)
I've thought about this. But it seems something's gotta give: I'm a music junkie, so I have a decent stereo set, a whole bunch of CDs and a grand piano in the living room. Also my friends think I could easily donate half of my bike related stuff and still be able to ride nicely. Personally, of course, I don't consider any of these excessive.

--J

I find it hopeless, I can't get anybody to take my stuff.

Newspaperguy 03-18-10 02:21 PM

A couple of weeks back, I was having a discussion with an acquaintance. She's a single woman, living in a townhouse with roughly 1,200 square feet. It's almost paid off. She said she's now thinking of selling and buying a house because of the better investment value.

I suggested she stay where she is, clear the mortgage and then put the same amount into a retirement savings fund.

I'm also in a townhouse of roughly the same size and it's more space than I need as a single person. A part of me would be interested in selling and downsizing, but right now it seems pointless to put the place onto the market unless I'm considering moving out of town.

Smallwheels 03-18-10 05:34 PM


Originally Posted by Newspaperguy (Post 10544507)
A couple of weeks back, I was having a discussion with an acquaintance. She's a single woman, living in a townhouse with roughly 1,200 square feet. It's almost paid off. She said she's now thinking of selling and buying a house because of the better investment value.

I suggested she stay where she is, clear the mortgage and then put the same amount into a retirement savings fund.

I'm also in a townhouse of roughly the same size and it's more space than I need as a single person. A part of me would be interested in selling and downsizing, but right now it seems pointless to put the place onto the market unless I'm considering moving out of town.

You gave some good advice. I would have said the same thing.

If you own your townhouse wouldn't it be great if you could just divide it some way so you could rent half of it? Could you modify the property to have a full bathroom and kitchen on each floor? If so you could just rent out the other half and never need to interact with your tenant. That would be easier than getting a stranger as a roommate.

A friend of mine turned a large closet into a small bathroom with a shower, toilet, and sink. It wasn't cramped at all.

renyay 03-18-10 05:56 PM

Man,
I always strive to not have much stuff and live more simply... but I've come to realize that I am just cluttered by nature and have given into it! In my 20's I tried to keep my possessions down to whatever would fit in the back of a hatchback: futon, laptop, some records, plants (hated giving up plants), a few kitchen things, clothes and tools. Wasn't enough into bikes then to hold on to 'em, I'd just sell them when I moved. Now that I am older and less nomadic, I find settling into a place kind of comforting. It still goes against my instinct to hoard a whole bunch of stuff... but I still manage to gather a lot. I have 4 bikes, a lot of tools, records but sold the turntables, furniture I've made, shoes I love but never wear, art supplies, etc... . Its, just stuff that I cant justify getting rid of (except maybe the shoes). I guess if its stuff you use or plan on using and it makes you happy, then its good to have.
Oh, and thank god for laptops. Otherwise I'd still have ton's of cracked jewel cases, heavy photo albums, and notebooks full of wrinkled writing. I feel like the era we live in and modern society is kinda focused on paring things down... creating less waste and producing more utilitarian products. It's a refreshing change... thinking about all the s#*t people had crammed into their houses in the '80's and the god awful furnishings and designs makes me cringe!

Newspaperguy 03-19-10 12:11 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 10545397)
If you own your townhouse wouldn't it be great if you could just divide it some way so you could rent half of it? Could you modify the property to have a full bathroom and kitchen on each floor? If so you could just rent out the other half and never need to interact with your tenant. That would be easier than getting a stranger as a roommate.

In terms of the space, that would be no problem. I could easily live in 600 square feet. The configuration, however, makes it impossible to divide it in two separate units.

Wiggles_dad 03-23-10 09:38 AM

I'm living in one room again. I moved out here to Utah for graduate school and only brought what I could fit in my car. I moved to a one bedroom duplex and accumulated more things (namely 3 more bikes) after shedding many of my belongings. I recently moved into a house with some friends and had to make all of my belongings fit in a small bedroom. I have 3 bikes and all of my stuff in my bedroom and I once again feel liberated!


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