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

zoltani 08-27-12 02:12 PM

What is several miles to you? To me several miles is definitely bikable.

Smallwheels 09-20-12 09:07 PM

My idea of simple living is changing again. With my frustrations building regarding working only at a part time job, my mind is ready to dump everything just to move to a place where there are better opportunities. I walked around my living room and bedroom and the amount of things I want to keep is shrinking. In my living room all I saw worth keeping were my toolbox (living rooms are for the important things right) and my Xootr scooter. There are many other things in there that six months ago I just had to keep.

In my bedroom all I want is my computer equipment, some clothing, air cleaner, two exercise devices, bongos, and about four mementos that belonged to my mother. There are a few other practical things in the kitchen but wow, frustration can really make a person prioritize in life. I have never, ever, been this way before.

I have no exact words for the way I feel about this. Have I reached my own personal realization that I really don't need things, or has my situation just made me select the things I feel are useful to me? Even some of the useful things could be jettisoned if the need arose. It's as if I'm half way to the point of not needing possessions. I want to reach that point in my psyche where I have no attachments.

I knew a lady who had no attachments. She was a Catholic Nun that grew up with my mother. That is how I knew her. People would give her gifts of all kinds. If she saw that somebody liked anything she had in her little apartment she would try to give it to them.

As long as I had some clothes, a way to get around, some money for rent and food I know I could abandon everything else and live securely, but would that be enough? I've come close to doing this before when Hurricane Katrina forced me to evacuate New Orleans. The differences are that back then I had a lot of money in the bank and this time the paring down is voluntary.

Roody 09-21-12 07:55 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 14757215)
My idea of simple living is changing again. With my frustrations building regarding working only at a part time job, my mind is ready to dump everything just to move to a place where there are better opportunities. I walked around my living room and bedroom and the amount of things I want to keep is shrinking. In my living room all I saw worth keeping were my toolbox (living rooms are for the important things right) and my Xootr scooter. There are many other things in there that six months ago I just had to keep.

In my bedroom all I want is my computer equipment, some clothing, air cleaner, two exercise devices, bongos, and about four mementos that belonged to my mother. There are a few other practical things in the kitchen but wow, frustration can really make a person prioritize in life. I have never, ever, been this way before.

I have no exact words for the way I feel about this. Have I reached my own personal realization that I really don't need things, or has my situation just made me select the things I feel are useful to me? Even some of the useful things could be jettisoned if the need arose. It's as if I'm half way to the point of not needing possessions. I want to reach that point in my psyche where I have no attachments.

I knew a lady who had no attachments. She was a Catholic Nun that grew up with my mother. That is how I knew her. People would give her gifts of all kinds. If she saw that somebody liked anything she had in her little apartment she would try to give it to them.

As long as I had some clothes, a way to get around, some money for rent and food I know I could abandon everything else and live securely, but would that be enough? I've come close to doing this before when Hurricane Katrina forced me to evacuate New Orleans. The differences are that back then I had a lot of money in the bank and this time the paring down is voluntary.

I really feel for you. It sounds like you're in a tough situation and getting frustrated. I've been there myself a few times, so I know it's really hard for you right now. Just remember that this too shall pass, and soon you'll look back at this as a "character building" time. My thoughts are with you!

JeanSeb 09-23-12 10:24 AM

I feel for you also. It seems that it is pretty much where I stand right now. I've been letting go of pretty much everything lately, although I have trouble getting started selling things. I'm selling all my bicycles except my commuter. I also realized that I enjoy walking. I'm within a 20 minute walk of everywhere I need to go usually. The only reason I use my bike for is visiting my parents in the next town over.

Some might remember the end of April as the time I spent preparing to leave on a bicycle tour with the purpose of relocating afterwards. I've made my trip, I'm done relocating and found a place and a job near each other. I'm really enjoying my car-free life right now. I was able to take the summer off to travel, spend copious amounts of time reflecting, pare down my possessions and also digitalize my music and photos.

The question that is troubling me the most is: What now ? I know that simple living is part of me and makes me deeply happy, but what am I supposed to do with all my time ? There are many things I like to read about when I have the opportunity, thinking I can just choose something to study in university. But should I go spend 4-5 precious years studying something I enjoy now, but may not in the end ? Or should I spend that time traveling ? A part of me likes Epicureanism: living a simple life away from the limelight, devoid of stress and pain. I'd like to study philosophy, maybe I could figure myself out a little better. :lol:

I really enjoy reading everyone's posts, especially in this thread. Thank you. :)

chrism32205 09-28-12 06:31 PM

I am not car free.. I try to be car lite, combining trips and try not to drive if I don't a specific reason to go some where that requires driving. One pretty big recent event for me.. at least.. I've got rid of my Direct TV and sold my television. It's been about a month now and I don't miss it. I spend that extra time either outside in the yard, riding, or watching things online.

Just wanted to share.

gerv 09-28-12 09:15 PM


Originally Posted by chrism32205 (Post 14785935)
I am not car free.. I try to be car lite, combining trips and try not to drive if I don't a specific reason to go some where that requires driving. One pretty big recent event for me.. at least.. I've got rid of my Direct TV and sold my television. It's been about a month now and I don't miss it. I spend that extra time either outside in the yard, riding, or watching things online.

Just wanted to share.

Yeah... I gave up Direct TV a while ago and moved to NetFlix. And now I've pretty much switched to YouTube and BikeForums. Along with riding I also like to pick endlessly at my bikes.

chrism32205 09-29-12 03:50 AM


Originally Posted by gerv (Post 14786399)
Yeah... I gave up Direct TV a while ago and moved to NetFlix. And now I've pretty much switched to YouTube and BikeForums. Along with riding I also like to pick endlessly at my bikes.

Just YouTube for me. I found many channels that have great documentaries. Also enjoy BF.

Artkansas 09-29-12 05:18 AM

Local TV, DVD's from the library, PBS.org, Top Documentaries, Discovery Channel Canada, National Film Board of Canada, YouTube. And my collection of VHS tapes.

Newspaperguy 10-08-12 12:02 AM

I found some information recently about the gasoline rationing which was in place in Canada and the U.S. during World War II. Motorists were allotted four gallons a week at first and later three gallons or a little more than 11 litres a week. My fuel consumption in 2011 averaged to less than half the allotment during the most stringent period of rationing. Most of my short trips were by bike or on foot. The car was used for longer travel. Transit is not an option for me since we do not yet have a scheduled transit service where I live.

At no point did I feel hampered or restricted. For me, the limited driving simply makes a lot of sense.

kookaburra1701 10-08-12 12:10 AM

I've just moved into a new apartment complex, and for the first time I don't have an in-unit washer/dryer, I've got to use the laundry center. $1.75 for one load! I already have an albatross-style drying rack, but now I've got a washboard and laundry-plunger on their way to me. It'll be interesting to see if I can make a go of hand-washing most of my clothes. I'm hoping to be able to only use the laundry center for bedsheets and rugs and stuff.

Roody 10-08-12 09:14 AM


Originally Posted by kookaburra1701 (Post 14817477)
I've just moved into a new apartment complex, and for the first time I don't have an in-unit washer/dryer, I've got to use the laundry center. $1.75 for one load! I already have an albatross-style drying rack, but now I've got a washboard and laundry-plunger on their way to me. It'll be interesting to see if I can make a go of hand-washing most of my clothes. I'm hoping to be able to only use the laundry center for bedsheets and rugs and stuff.

You might want some sort of wringer also. Washing lightly soiled clothes is pretty easy. Rinsing them and wringing them out is more difficult. It will also tear up the skin on your hands.

Smallwheels 10-08-12 10:23 AM

If I were in the position without a washing machine I would buy a used one. The last one I owned came from an appliance repair guy. He said that when many people upgrade their machines they needed him to haul away the older ones. He sold a bare bones one year old washing machine to me for just $150.

You could put the machine on a cart with wheels and connect it to your kitchen sink faucet. The water in the machine could drain into the sink. There are rubber adapters that fit over a faucet. They're like socks. The other end screws into the intake hose. You wouldn't need to connect both the hot and cold sides. Just use the hot side for a warm rinse cycle or in the middle of the cycle turn off the hot water and turn on the cold water.

Over time you would save money with your own machine.

Plungers with buckets do save money but they take up your time. I would use that method if I were in an RV away from a city. Kookaburra1701 let us know how the plunger works. If it works well I might get one to have as a backup machine. I've already got a big bucket.

kookaburra1701 10-08-12 12:42 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 14818264)
You might want some sort of wringer also. Washing lightly soiled clothes is pretty easy. Rinsing them and wringing them out is more difficult. It will also tear up the skin on your hands.

I'm saving up for a wringer - I haven't found any less than $80, and those were cheap-feeling plastic ones. The one I want is metal and screws onto the side of the washbasin, but it's $150.

kookaburra1701 10-08-12 12:51 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 14818546)
If I were in the position without a washing machine I would buy a used one. The last one I owned came from an appliance repair guy. He said that when many people upgrade their machines they needed him to haul away the older ones. He sold a bare bones one year old washing machine to me for just $150.

You could put the machine on a cart with wheels and connect it to your kitchen sink faucet. The water in the machine could drain into the sink. There are rubber adapters that fit over a faucet. They're like socks. The other end screws into the intake hose. You wouldn't need to connect both the hot and cold sides. Just use the hot side for a warm rinse cycle or in the middle of the cycle turn off the hot water and turn on the cold water.

Over time you would save money with your own machine.

Plungers with buckets do save money but they take up your time. I would use that method if I were in an RV away from a city. Kookaburra1701 let us know how the plunger works. If it works well I might get one to have as a backup machine. I've already got a big bucket.

The plunger-thingy I got was this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s00_i00
It's still in transit.

Unfortunately there really is no place to have a washing machine in this apartment, it's way too small. I already had to give 4 pieces of furniture away to Goodwill because they just wouldn't fit in the unit. I might give more away, it still feels crowded. I'm used to washing things by hand - I'm a knitter, so lots of my wool socks and other garments I've made have to be handwashed cold and then stretched and pinned to retain their shape while drying. I figure if I do it often enough, and don't let the clothes pile up (I don't have that many anyways, only about 4 changes) I should be able to get it done during the evening news.

Roody 10-08-12 12:51 PM


Originally Posted by kookaburra1701 (Post 14819102)
I'm saving up for a wringer - I haven't found any less than $80, and those were cheap-feeling plastic ones. The one I want is metal and screws onto the side of the washbasin, but it's $150.

Given you investment in hand washing stuff, it seems like you would have to do at least 100 loads before you save any money over the coin machines in your complex. And that doesn't include the costs of water, electricity, or your time. Are you sure it's worth it?

kookaburra1701 10-08-12 01:06 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 14819145)
Given you investment in hand washing stuff, it seems like you would have to do at least 100 loads before you save any money over the coin machines in your complex. And that doesn't include the costs of water, electricity, or your time. Are you sure it's worth it?

Yes, for one because I haaaaaate using cash, and that's the only way to get quarters for the machines (they only accept quarters) the machines leak, don't wash the clothes completely, and I've been wanting to do my laundry more "green" for awhile now. I also like the idea of always being able to do laundry, no matter where I find myself.

kookaburra1701 10-10-12 07:42 PM

Handwashing update for anyone who's interested (probably no one, ha ha): rapid-washer plunger hasn't arrived yet, but the washboard has.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...-38-19_447.jpg
Washing equipment: Rubber tub, washboard, 20 Mule Team, and Fels-Naptha soap. The soap smells sooooooo good, much better than the super-perfumed stuff for machines. (Even the "fragrance free" stuff smells weird to me.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...-02-39_428.jpg
1/2 cup of Borax, rub Fels-Naptha over the washboard surface then go to town. It's quite an ab workout! I was astonished at how quickly grime started coming up out of the clothes, especially my socks. I even washed a pair of socks that was "clean" from the machine and the soles immediately started looking nicer, and the suds that came out were all dingy. Ewww. So just looking at things, especially my white underclothes, the washboard definitely got them looking cleaner than the washing machine.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...-44-28_341.jpg
And drying. As Roody said, wringing and rinsing items was the most time consuming part of the process. I was able to wash everything in 35-45 minutes, I could probably cut that way down if I had a wringer. Clothes are drying on the rack right now, I'll have to see how they look and feel when they're dry. If this works, I'll only have to use the washing machines for bed linens and my bathroom rugs and things. Because I don't have many clothes (4 days worth at most) being able to only use the washing center once every 1 or 2 weeks will be awesome.

Roody 10-11-12 08:21 AM


Originally Posted by kookaburra1701 (Post 14828629)
And drying. As Roody said, wringing and rinsing items was the most time consuming part of the process. I was able to wash everything in 35-45 minutes, I could probably cut that way down if I had a wringer. Clothes are drying on the rack right now, I'll have to see how they look and feel when they're dry. If this works, I'll only have to use the washing machines for bed linens and my bathroom rugs and things. Because I don't have many clothes (4 days worth at most) being able to only use the washing center once every 1 or 2 weeks will be awesome.

That's amazing that it doesn't really take any longer than if you used the machine. Maybe less time than if you have to travel to the laundromat.

Laundromats were always tricky when carfree. My last house was just a couple hundred yards from a laundromat, so I would walk over with a weeks worth of laundry in a big seabag. I will admit that every couple months my son would drive to the laundromat and wash bulky items for me. I could have done it, but he likes to spoil me.

Roody 10-11-12 08:24 AM

Kookaburra and the rest of you can probably understand me when I say this: one of the cool things about this simple living is figuring out "new" ways of doing things and proving to ourselves that we can be inventive and creative.

kookaburra1701 10-11-12 08:26 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 14829889)
That's amazing that it doesn't really take any longer than if you used the machine. Maybe less time than if you have to travel to the laundromat.

Laundromats were always tricky when carfree. My last house was just a couple hundred yards from a laundromat, so I would walk over with a weeks worth of laundry in a big seabag. I will admit that every couple months my son would drive to the laundromat and wash bulky items for me. I could have done it, but he likes to spoil me.

I think the reason it will work for me is that I really don't have many clothes in my every-day wardrobe, and most of those are scrubs (which will get boiled before being washed) - if I had a week or two's worth of clothes, or at least enough to fill a washing machine it might not have been worth it. Of course, it takes more of *my* time - since with the laundry center across the parking lot all I had to do was put clothes in, set a timer, and do something else for an hour. But this wasn't too onerous, I did it during my evening news time. We'll see if I still feel the same way in a few months, lol.

Clothes are still damp this morning, I'm going to go get a box fan, maybe a heated one today to help speed up drying times.

Roody 10-11-12 08:44 AM


Originally Posted by kookaburra1701 (Post 14829908)
I think the reason it will work for me is that I really don't have many clothes in my every-day wardrobe, and most of those are scrubs (which will get boiled before being washed) - if I had a week or two's worth of clothes, or at least enough to fill a washing machine it might not have been worth it. Of course, it takes more of *my* time - since with the laundry center across the parking lot all I had to do was put clothes in, set a timer, and do something else for an hour. But this wasn't too onerous, I did it during my evening news time. We'll see if I still feel the same way in a few months, lol.

Clothes are still damp this morning, I'm going to go get a box fan, maybe a heated one today to help speed up drying times.

I wear scrubs also. The polyester ones are easy to clean, dry quickly, and look halfway decent after line drying. Have you tried ironing your damp clothes to finish drying them and make them look nicer? My mother did that when I was a kid. She just let them partially dry, then ironed them. In the summer, she would put them in a the refrigerator (in a plastic bag) to keep them from getting funky (fungus-y) until she had time to iron.

kookaburra1701 10-11-12 02:53 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 14829984)
I wear scrubs also. The polyester ones are easy to clean, dry quickly, and look halfway decent after line drying. Have you tried ironing your damp clothes to finish drying them and make them look nicer? My mother did that when I was a kid. She just let them partially dry, then ironed them. In the summer, she would put them in a the refrigerator (in a plastic bag) to keep them from getting funky (fungus-y) until she had time to iron.

Haven't tried ironing, as I don't have one, but that would be a good way to avoid having to boil the scrubs to get the nasties out - give them a nice shot of steam. Yeah, they do dry quickly! Once when my hospital was going through renovations hallway closures meant I had to walk alllll the way around the outside of the building during an Oregon coast rainstorm to get back to the ER. I looked like someone had thrown me in the ocean, I was so wet. But they were totally dry in 45 minutes. The rest of my clothes are t-shirts and jeans, so making them look nicer is kind of a futile exercise.

Smallwheels 10-11-12 07:10 PM

I use a fan to dry my clothes faster. That is much less energy than a dryer. The humidity is usually a bit low in my area of the world so that helps. When I lived in Los Angeles one summer I recall hanging a wet towel to dry. It was completely dry in two hours.

Kookaburra1701 do you wear rubber gloves when washing your clothes? How many times must you scrub things up and down on that washing board to get them clean? These laundry tools do seem ideal for adding to an RV travel kit.

kookaburra1701 10-11-12 08:41 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 14832374)
Kookaburra1701 do you wear rubber gloves when washing your clothes? How many times must you scrub things up and down on that washing board to get them clean? These laundry tools do seem ideal for adding to an RV travel kit.

I don't wear gloves - I probably should, especially with the Borax. It doesn't really hurt my hands, but I do a lot of work with my hands, so they're nice and calloused. For most clothes I only have to scrub a section of clothing 5-8 times, when I had the grease on my jeans it took maybe 10-15 times. (I was also using Dawn dishsoap on the grease.) I don't see any trace of the black marks, and I know I would have had to run them several times through the hot wash in the machine to get those marks out.

The breathing rapid washer (the plunger) is really neat, it arrived today. It really does sound like it is breathing - my cat came out to investigate and puffed up and hissed at it, ha ha. I mostly used it for rinsing - my first test, I used the Fels-Naptha and the washboard on some sweaty tshirts, and then rinsed and wrung them out in the sink. Then I filled the sink basin with clear water and used the rapid washer, and it got TONS more soap out that I wasn't able to do just by hand. It collapses nice, the handle is threaded and unscrews, and is pretty short. If I was going to use it in the tub on the floor, I'd try to replace the handle with a longer one like one Amazon reviewer did. But it would work great in small spaces.

ETA: I think this is one of those times where what counts as "simple" gets twisted up - it would definitely be simpler to trot across the parking lot and use the machines there. But it would be really expensive pretty quick, and what can I say, I'm a tree-hugger at heart. :)

Rollfast 10-15-12 06:28 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 14818546)
If I were in the position without a washing machine I would buy a used one. The last one I owned came from an appliance repair guy. He said that when many people upgrade their machines they needed him to haul away the older ones. He sold a bare bones one year old washing machine to me for just $150.

You could put the machine on a cart with wheels and connect it to your kitchen sink faucet. The water in the machine could drain into the sink. There are rubber adapters that fit over a faucet. They're like socks. The other end screws into the intake hose. You wouldn't need to connect both the hot and cold sides. Just use the hot side for a warm rinse cycle or in the middle of the cycle turn off the hot water and turn on the cold water.

Over time you would save money with your own machine.

Plungers with buckets do save money but they take up your time. I would use that method if I were in an RV away from a city. Kookaburra1701 let us know how the plunger works. If it works well I might get one to have as a backup machine. I've already got a big bucket.

Sears should still sell stacked washer-dryer units, which could be used with a cutoff valve to hook into the bathroom and drain into the tub/shower. Your landlord might not approve though. I'll never move into another apartment for as long as I live, even if I get stacked in a cemetary with vertical plots or whatever (like inurned people do, my dad is at the veteran's cemetary).

kookaburra1701 10-15-12 07:23 AM


Originally Posted by Rollfast (Post 14842148)
Sears should still sell stacked washer-dryer units, which could be used with a cutoff valve to hook into the bathroom and drain into the tub/shower. Your landlord might not approve though. I'll never move into another apartment for as long as I live, even if I get stacked in a cemetary with vertical plots or whatever (like inurned people do, my dad is at the veteran's cemetary).

LOL the bathroom is too small. All of the pictures I got when I googled "small bathroom organization" showed larger bathrooms than mine. You have to have to step into the tub to shut the door, as the arc of the door sweeps the only place to stand.

Smallwheels 10-20-12 08:35 PM

Is anybody still getting rid of their possessions? In the last three weeks I've sold a dresser, two bed side tables, a coffee table, some toys, a jewelry box, and an old sewing machine cabinet with a sewing machine. I'm almost ready to give away the last few furniture bits. That leaves me with about one-hundred more boxes of stuff (18" x 18" X 16"). The furniture is going easily as long as the prices are really low.

My feeling is that once the furniture is gone most of the clutter will be gone. Boxes don't take up a lot of space. They're more compact. I think I'll just go through them one at a time and decide what to do with the contents. Eventually I'll be down to only the things I want.

I literally could fill my small bedroom nearly to the ceiling with the boxes I have. I wonder just how much of that stuff will be wanted by anybody. My encyclopaedias and other books that came with them won't be wanted. They're from the late sixties. Too bad. These days library sales are full of them. I'm going to try Craigslist for a while to see if free things will be picked up. I have trouble enough trying to get people to come and buy valuable things using that site. It's times like these that I wish I lived in a big metropolitan area. Craigslist would actually work for me there.

Ekdog 10-20-12 08:55 PM

Moved into a smaller flat, which required getting rid of quite a few things, especially books. Having a Kindle has allowed me to give away or recycle hundreds of volumes that were cluttering up my life. I'm now down to just a few dozen. My wife--alas--is unable to get rid of things so easily. She's kept a set of encyclopedias that haven't been consulted in years. When I suggested recycling them, she said she'd acquired them when she was a teenager and they bring back fond memories.

Smallwheels 10-20-12 09:14 PM


Originally Posted by Ekdog (Post 14862890)
When I suggested recycling them, she said she'd acquired them when she was a teenager and they bring back fond memories.

An ambitious project would be for her to scan them. She could then have all of the same pages available for her memories but on a computer disc. I would love to have a fast scanner that could handle two pages at once and put them into a file. I could rip up all of my favorite paperback books for scanning and have them on my computer. I don't have many of them so the project could be completed in a day or two.

The new Kindle Paperwhite looks good but I think I would go with a Nexus 7. It is my hope that the next version of it will come with a card reader. When that happens it will be a great e-reader. There are some wireless external hard drives that would work with the Nexus 7 now but I want the convenience of an SD card.

Roody 10-20-12 09:50 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 14862843)
Is anybody still getting rid of their possessions? In the last three weeks I've sold a dresser, two bed side tables, a coffee table, some toys, a jewelry box, and an old sewing machine cabinet with a sewing machine. I'm almost ready to give away the last few furniture bits. That leaves me with about one-hundred more boxes of stuff (18" x 18" X 16"). The furniture is going easily as long as the prices are really low.

My feeling is that once the furniture is gone most of the clutter will be gone. Boxes don't take up a lot of space. They're more compact. I think I'll just go through them one at a time and decide what to do with the contents. Eventually I'll be down to only the things I want.

I literally could fill my small bedroom nearly to the ceiling with the boxes I have. I wonder just how much of that stuff will be wanted by anybody. My encyclopaedias and other books that came with them won't be wanted. They're from the late sixties. Too bad. These days library sales are full of them. I'm going to try Craigslist for a while to see if free things will be picked up. I have trouble enough trying to get people to come and buy valuable things using that site. It's times like these that I wish I lived in a big metropolitan area. Craigslist would actually work for me there.

Do you have freecycle in your town? It's a good way to get rid of things you don't want that have value to others. Google freecycle and the name of your town to fincd out. Also, Goodwill and Salvation Army in some locations will come and pick up donations.


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