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How simply do you live?

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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

How simply do you live?

Old 07-17-16, 12:00 PM
  #1726  
Curious LeTour
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Originally Posted by cerewa View Post
I think that the place one lives in is a big part of simple living. I want to live somewhere with enough space and no more, and I need it to be something I can afford. I have a hard time seeing myself living in a freestanding house even if I had kids, because those sorts of places use up lots of land, often involve big utility bills, and if they're within 30 minutes bike ride of a major city business district* they cost a fortune.

*which is the kind of place I think I want to live
This is such a good simple living topic. I frequently wonder where I should settle in my future. I'm a horseman and this keeps me owning a bigger vehicle and more stuff than I would otherwise. Also, acreage is cheaper near small towns. Right now, I live on the eastern edge of Austin in a ratty trailer that I rent on a farm to have horses and live near other environmentalist. I'm frustrated with the driving here though. I drive 25k miles a year mostly for work, and about 6k of that is for personal trips.

I dream of living on the edge of a town of 5 to 7 thousand people that still has a lively downtown of old buildings. Often these towns don't have environmentalist though. Well, in TX very few small towns have some overflow of Austinites. They seem to be my only option, but because they're close to Austin, they're expensive.

Ah, life with horses. It's beautifully simple in some ways, yet is difficult to do without a truck. :-/

As for simple living philosophers that I like, there are many, but Samuel Alexander of simplicitycollective.com is a terrific writer who is very serious about voluntary simplicity.
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Old 11-24-16, 01:30 PM
  #1727  
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Originally Posted by jacoblighter View Post
Well to answer your question, I rent a room in a house that I do not own, which includes a fold out couch/bed. Everything is shared between me and 2 other people. It's a nice house in a good, safe part of town. Even then, I only ever use 1 fork, 1 spoon, 1 plate, one bowl, and one drinking container that doubles as my "on the go" water bottle.

The idea is not that you get rid of everything, it's that you get rid of everything you don't NEED because anything other than that is just wasted money that is going to end up in a landfill somewhere in a few years. Every month I go through everything I have and do the "30 days" check. If I havn't used something in 30 days I donate it or give it to a friend. Our lives are constantly changing, and we are constantly changing so it doesn't make sense that what was useful to us a a year ago or even a few months ago would be useful to us now. To hold on to things like that is to keep yourself from growing and changing in an organic and natural way.

Another very good idea is the concept of sharing with other people. We are brainwashed into believing that every single person needs their own "x" and you need to slave yourself to get a piece of what's "yours". Your only told that so you can go out and buy things to make other people rich, you don't actually need your own one of everything; that's just being greedy and selfish. The answer is to learn to help others and they will help you in return and you will never want for anything.

the concept of owning anything is an illusion perpetuated by advertisements and media brainwashing. we don't actually own anything, we are just borrowing it until we die. If someone were to steal my car and drive it to Mexico and sell it, would I still own it? Why not?, or more accurately what made it "mine" to begin with. Nothing, just some faded colorful pieces of paper. People are so blind that they don't even realize they spend all of their lives working just to make a few other people rich, while they get a little tiny share that ends up being spent on more crap that isn't needed, just to make those same people rich again. It's the biggest scam in history, and hardly anybody can actually see what's going on, they accept it without even a blink.
Very observant.. I do apartment rentals and remodel and realized this also u just "borrow" some thing. U think u own but the banks have every one fooled. They "give" u money to buy some thing....but it is not there money to give the government prints it$$ gives it to them to give to u to use..u have to pay them back......??? But they did not have but 20% of that money in their vaults. .. Or at least they claim they have to have 20% of what they borrow out...talk about a scam????
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Old 11-24-16, 01:39 PM
  #1728  
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Originally Posted by Fairmont View Post
In most of Georgia they came up with a solution for bikes and cars. No, they didn't build bike lanes or widen the roads.

They put up thousands of signs that say, "Share the road."
Very good "sign" maybe some time soon the rail system will come back and less cars and much more bikes will come ..but I am not holding my breath

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Old 02-10-17, 08:58 PM
  #1729  
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I like simple living too. Owning a house suddenly chances things, because it is a new avenue for DIY-everuthing and simplicity of maintaining your own life. I love that part, and it feels less simple even though I really like the hobby-of-life.
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Old 02-12-17, 07:42 PM
  #1730  
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bikes may use the full lane

No doubt, simplifying is all about decluttering for me. The only thing I keep around are cool bike related trinkets, like this bikes may use full lane sticker on ebay!
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Old 02-13-17, 01:49 PM
  #1731  
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Well,

At 56 years of age,I've always lived in Survival mode since my stint in the Army, but still I have too much crap by my standards. No car, but 3 bikes ... Soon to be 4 (maybe). A junk 29er in my storage, a Curry electric which I've almost abandoned at the bike shop, and my Specialized hardrock sitting in my hallway 😁 Now I'm mulling over a nice gas bike! A 66cc motor on a Trek 4300 Hmmm ...Damn I hate decisions! My furniture is mostly crap given to me or left here by the previous tenant, Except for my Air sofa and Queen size air bed. Both Ex'es are gone, daughters are grown, tag I'm it.I have aspirations of moving to Portland Ore. With no more than a backpack, carry-on and a bike! Sort of crazy huh ?
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Old 02-13-17, 02:43 PM
  #1732  
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Originally Posted by technoD View Post
At 56 years of age,I've always lived in Survival mode since my stint in the Army, but still I have too much crap by my standards. No car, but 3 bikes ... Soon to be 4 (maybe). A junk 29er in my storage, a Curry electric which I've almost abandoned at the bike shop, and my Specialized hardrock sitting in my hallway 😁 Now I'm mulling over a nice gas bike! A 66cc motor on a Trek 4300 Hmmm ...Damn I hate decisions! My furniture is mostly crap given to me or left here by the previous tenant, Except for my Air sofa and Queen size air bed. Both Ex'es are gone, daughters are grown, tag I'm it.I have aspirations of moving to Portland Ore. With no more than a backpack, carry-on and a bike! Sort of crazy huh ?
Sorta crazy, but if you're young and free, why not! (Or even if you're old and free...)
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Old 02-13-17, 02:49 PM
  #1733  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Sorta crazy, but if you're young and free, why not! (Or even if you're old and free...)
Tell ya what, Roody, compared to the state of things here in the Midwest, the quality of life, employment and economy just seems to make more sense in Oregon. Especially if you are a bike hound like we are lol! I'd like to retire there if possible. 😎👍
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Old 04-23-17, 11:59 AM
  #1734  
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so simply, lol
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Old 06-17-17, 01:04 PM
  #1735  
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I'm car free again. This means I'm also not living in a van anymore. For over two years a Dodge Caravan minivan was home. Everything I owned fit inside it. Living that way became routine. There were neighborhoods where parking was safe and those became my neighborhoods.

I traveled and worked in different places on the west coast from Washington to California. The politics of California are just insane. That is one reason I returned to the USA (left California). The other reason was my van was dying. Putting a few thousand dollars into something that was purchased for $800 didn't seem right. Plus there is a web site project I want to do and that requires hours of uninterrupted internet access daily. So the van was traded for $300 and a 44" flat screen TV. My things were transferred into a rented Kia Sportage and north we went. It was cheaper to rent a car instead of shipping my things and taking the bus.

I miss living in my own little house on wheels. While here in my previous hometown of Helena Montana USA, I stepped out of a Walmart to return to my rented car and there were many RVs and vans where people were spending the night. I felt a longing to be one of them. Now I'm in a rented room with great internet, a washer and dryer, a shower, a kitchen, and the ability to stand up while indoors. My van didn't have a tall roof. So no standing upright.

Furniture is the next thing needed. Sleeping on the floor with a pad is comfortable enough. What is needed is some form of a chest of drawers where things can be kept and the TV monitor can be mounted. A reclining chair would be nice too. One of those outdoor fold-up recliners with the bungee cord supports will do nicely. A friend of mine with a truck will need to help with getting those things.

I'm thinking about buying a Kickbike. People in forums say that the company changes prices for sales occasionally. One will be purchased at the next sale.

I'm still living simply, just not in a van. Do minimalists own huge TVs? It's just one TV. So I have a minimalist approach to large TVs. I have just one.
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Old 06-18-17, 07:55 PM
  #1736  
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Completely car Free !!

No van here,anymore! Miss it? No not really when I think about how much it costs. Sitting on three bikes currently. I last wrote about getting a gas bike but that didn't happen , at least for now. My Sofa BLEW UP lol! It was one of those Air sofas from Walmart ... No I'm Not that fat, just fluffy lol. I'm a little relieved it's gone really, since it took too much room. I want to Be even More minimalistic than I am now, just have to figure what to trim. Currently Unemployed so things are dicey right now. Good thing I have Camping Gear huh ? 😎👍
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Old 06-19-17, 12:19 AM
  #1737  
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Years ago I bought an inflatable mattress for the bed platform in the van. It worked for two days and sprung a leak. I've never known of an inflatable mattress or bed that works for a long time. Ultimately it was traded for two foam pads from the same store. Those worked OK but they weren't very thick. They were too flimsy but still got used until the van was sold. It's like throw pillows these days. They're all made of foam that almost totally collapsed with the slightest pressure. WHERE ARE THE GOOD PILLOWS?
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Old 07-01-17, 02:48 PM
  #1738  
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Has Anything In Your Life Changed?

I really don't remember when I decided to become a minimalist. It probably just evolved as I came across articles and videos about it. The first few pages of this thread are inspirational. Occasionally I'll reread them. I've read the whole thread twice. In it there are many people who wanted to pare their possessions to different degrees. That's OK. This isn't the "I only own 100 things" thread.

What has changed in your life since deciding to let go of some things? Did you actually get around to doing it?

There are still a few changes needed for me. For a long time I've said I need to get a good camera to photograph all of my family photos and memorabilia so that the physical objects can be sent to a cousin who collects family memorabilia. It hasn't been done yet. Now that home is a thirteen by nine foot room it really doesn't need to be done, but now the space to do the project is available. It will get done before Christmas. Getting rid of those four or five boxes of the twenty-five owned will be a big space saver; especially when I go back to living in an RV of some type yet to be determined.

Since moving into a room more things have been purchased. A zero gravity reclining chair, a cot, a counter top water filter pitcher, and a toaster oven. Some cubby hole shelves and fabric baskets will probably be bought soon. The twelve hole size should be plenty for holding just about everything that won't fit easily into the closet. It will work well to hold the 44" TV that was accepted as part of the payment for my minivan. It will become my new computer monitor for working on my web site.

A few times I imagined letting go of some of my favorite heirlooms that aren't photographs. At times it seems possible and at other times the attachments seem too strong. There is no immediate need to let go of them, but the idea of being free to let them go is appealing.

Years ago I adopted the idea that everything owned would fit into a van. That came true in 2015. Eventually I gave away 99% of my possessions. Spending the money to keep all of that in storage at the rate of $720 per year didn't seem logical. Thus the decision was made to let it all go. There are no regrets about making that decision.

There is a guy written about on the internet in minimalist blogs who lives out of his backpack and another carry bag. He travels and rents rooms while he lives in each different city. He has some type of internet business that he does. So he's not doing it because he is poor. He just doesn't want attachments to things.

When I left Los Angeles all of my things were transferred from the 2004 Dodge Caravan into a Kia Sportage. The bed was left behind along with a portable jump starter/air pump and some small things that didn't seem needed at the time. It took over an hour and a half to pack the things into that little SUV. Even though it was parked beside the van.

When I got to Helena the rental car needed to be returned but I didn't have a place to stay. So a friend let me unload the Sportage into his backyard so the SUV could be returned. Unloading took just about as long as loading. That day I picked up a 2017 Chevy Cruze from the same rental agency. It was used for two days while searching for a room. My friend let me sleep in his new RV trailer for one night.

Once a room was acquired, all of my stuff needed to be loaded into the Cruze. That took over an hour. Everything didn't fit but almost did. The Cruze has fold flat rear seats with a big trunk opening. The rest was put into my friends truck and we moved it into my new place. Doing that took over an hour too. The point being that I really don't like moving so much stuff. If everything could be moved in twenty minutes it wouldn't seem like so much of a hassle. Maybe that should be my next benchmark in letting go of things; to not need to spend more than twenty minutes moving the possessions into a vehicle to carry them to the next residence. This doesn't include packing time, just removing things from the location into a car. That sounds reasonable to me. Everybody's got to have goals.

So tell us what you have changed since reading this thread and deciding to let go of some things.
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Old 07-02-17, 12:23 AM
  #1739  
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Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
So tell us what you have changed since reading this thread and deciding to let go of some things.
Interesting question. So I looked up my first post on this thread (see below), from 11 1/2 years ago. The big change in my life is that my son and his family moved in with me a few years ago. With five people now in in the household, we had to move out of the small apartment into a still smallish house. I still live minimally, and so does the rest of the family. I don't cook as much as I used to, but coffee is still my main vice. I still don't own or drive a car, but the other family members all share one car. Therefore, I now consider myself carlight rather than carfree. Sadly, I don't own a bike because of some health challenges. My son has three of four bikes, all beaters.

Originally Posted by Roody View Post
iBarna is a man after my own heart. I live in a small apartment and also cook delicious meals with a couple pans. I have even simplified my cooking and use fewer ingredients, but fresher and tastier. I have a lot of clothes (most from thrift stores) but I weed through them pretty often. I buy and adopt a lot of bikes, but give them all away. The bike I ride is freakishly minimal--nothing added but a lock, and a waterbottle in the summer. I know that's stupid, but I like it anyway. I give a LOT of money away, some to charities and causes, most to people I know who need it. That's stupid too but it makes me happy. My biggest luxury is coffee. I haven't used alcohol or drugs for many years.

Who are your philosophers of simplicity? I like Buddha because he teaches not to get attached to things. I also like Thoreau because he simplified to the core and because he knew how to live outdoors.
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Old 07-23-17, 06:17 PM
  #1740  
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I live as simply as I choose to live and my life philosophy is to have no philosophy.
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Old 07-29-17, 04:37 PM
  #1741  
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Still lurking & learning

I have been checking in on this thread periodically for about 3 or 4 years now. I've had my various ups & down since the massive post I wrote here the last time life threw me a curve ball. I keep coming back to this thread for inspiration on what is truly important in life.

I bought a house 6 months ago, a small city row-home built in the 1890's, and in a way it is a simplification. Rents are skyrocketing due to gentrification here, so owning has become cheaper than renting. With 2 housemates here it's actually cheaper than renting.

I haven't been cycling as much as I used to because of a hectic work schedule, and I'm still only car-lite, still driving my late grandma's car that is nearly 20 years old.

I think I keep coming back to this thread because the topic, and many of you the frequent contributors, are not afraid to go against the grain of a society that says more consumption, and more complexity must always be a good thing.

I don't have much of a solid closing thought here, or an overarching theme to recap. I just wanted to say hello, to reach out across the electrons and check in with one of the few constants in the shifting circumstances of my life the last few years.
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Old 07-30-17, 12:10 AM
  #1742  
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Originally Posted by scroungetech View Post
I have been checking in on this thread periodically for about 3 or 4 years now. I've had my various ups & down since the massive post I wrote here the last time life threw me a curve ball. I keep coming back to this thread for inspiration on what is truly important in life.

I bought a house 6 months ago, a small city row-home built in the 1890's, and in a way it is a simplification. Rents are skyrocketing due to gentrification here, so owning has become cheaper than renting. With 2 housemates here it's actually cheaper than renting.

I haven't been cycling as much as I used to because of a hectic work schedule, and I'm still only car-lite, still driving my late grandma's car that is nearly 20 years old.

I think I keep coming back to this thread because the topic, and many of you the frequent contributors, are not afraid to go against the grain of a society that says more consumption, and more complexity must always be a good thing.

I don't have much of a solid closing thought here, or an overarching theme to recap. I just wanted to say hello, to reach out across the electrons and check in with one of the few constants in the shifting circumstances of my life the last few years.
It's good to hear from you again. The new house sounds nice. I have always preferred older homes for aesthetic reasons. The house I'm in now (renting) is about 100 years old.
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Old 08-02-17, 10:21 AM
  #1743  
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To live simply is more than to simply live.
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Old 09-19-17, 05:00 AM
  #1744  
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Mode of transportation: Mainly right thumb, sometimes left thumb, always both feet.
Cellphone model: None
TV model: None
Garden: Yes, shared ones and guerrilla gardening
Job: None, fulltime available, short while every now and then, here and there.
Yearly money income from state: €0.00
PC: Old gaming pc from a friend for €150, screen included. (Biggest spending in years.)
Favorite clothes brand: Ones I Have, Gifts We Don't Need, Thank The Kids.

Two rules and only two rules I live by. Keeps life simple, you know...
- Be the change you wish to see.
- Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
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Old 09-23-17, 12:14 AM
  #1745  
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Originally Posted by DaTonio View Post
Mode of transportation: Mainly right thumb, sometimes left thumb, always both feet.
Cellphone model: None
TV model: None
Garden: Yes, shared ones and guerrilla gardening
Job: None, fulltime available, short while every now and then, here and there.
Yearly money income from state: €0.00
PC: Old gaming pc from a friend for €150, screen included. (Biggest spending in years.)
Favorite clothes brand: Ones I Have, Gifts We Don't Need, Thank The Kids.

Two rules and only two rules I live by. Keeps life simple, you know...
- Be the change you wish to see.
- Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
May I ask, where do you live that you can hitchhike? I thumbed extensively back in the 1970s and loved it. But by the end of the decade it had gotten so that nobody would pick pick you up here in the states.
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Old 09-23-17, 12:45 PM
  #1746  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
May I ask, where do you live that you can hitchhike? I thumbed extensively back in the 1970s and loved it. But by the end of the decade it had gotten so that nobody would pick pick you up here in the states.
Belgium. Planning on traveling southwards next year (France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, ...) hoping that it goes as well as here.
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Old 09-24-17, 12:00 AM
  #1747  
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Originally Posted by DaTonio View Post
Belgium. Planning on traveling southwards next year (France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, ...) hoping that it goes as well as here.
I hope so too. Keep us posted!
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Old 01-02-18, 09:16 AM
  #1748  
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Wow 12 years later it's interesting to look at my old post and think about the way of life back then and the thousands of others who have posted since 2006 on this thread. Takes me back...
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Old 01-02-18, 08:13 PM
  #1749  
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Ahhh, back in the "good old days"
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Old 01-30-18, 04:08 PM
  #1750  
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Originally Posted by madnomad View Post
Wow 12 years later it's interesting to look at my old post and think about the way of life back then and the thousands of others who have posted since 2006 on this thread. Takes me back...
My life in the last six months has changed from living a simple life in a minivan to living in a rented room. The luxury of having a shower, toilet, and full kitchen with a refrigerator is good. Yet the yearning to return to van life is strong.

Simple living doesn't need to be small; but to most people it means discarding things that aren't used anymore. To me it is about not being wasteful and being mindful of how I spend money. Everything I have purchased in the last few years is useful. Anything purchased to make life better seems worthwhile. Something purchased that just sits around doing nothing for me isn't worthwhile. The easiest thing to relate to this is clothing. How often are each of your garments worn? I understand keeping a suit around for special events seems reasonable but what about old T shirts or shorts that aren't touched for over a year. Those are just taking up space. Eliminating things that aren't used really makes life simpler regarding space.

I mention space because clutter really creates agitation in the mind. Everybody whom I've ever read about or watched on video who has deliberately shed huge amounts of possessions feels relief from something that they didn't even realize was bothering them. The most often used descriptor related to downsizing is freedom. Who doesn't want that?

In my new residence I've added an outdoor reclining chair, a bar stool chair, a new cot with risers for the legs, eight plastic storage bins to repackage my things into neater spaces, an electric guitar and small amplifier, a new laptop computer, and a couple of kitchen items. So I'm not going crazy filling all of this extra space with useless items. I use everything.

When I first visited this thread I lived in a two bedroom apartment with one of them packed to the roof with boxes of things. The living room also had furniture and unused appliances. The kitchen was filled with things that were never used. Living this new uncluttered life is much better. Being able to pack everything in one or two hours and move seems like a huge benefit. Not many people have the ability to do that.
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