This topic came up in the 'lurkers' thread, and so I'm making it into its own topic.
I have always (well, ever since I wasn't a teenager anymore) liked simple living. I always strive to reduce the number of things I own. Currently I think that apart from a few pieces of furniture (mattress, three comfy chairs in the living room, a rug and the cat tree) I could fit my life into three moving boxes. I just moved and apart from the furniture above, and my animals, which I transported in a friend's car that I borrowed for two hours, I moved by bike. Nothing reduces your life to a bare minimum like moving on a bike :)
Now I'm not Mr. Scrooge, mind you. To me this is not about saving money (though living simply does save you a chunk) as much as it is about just not having to worry about / store / repair / haul around stuff. I just cannot stand clutter. I think people who know me would be surprised that I own so little, because as I said, I don't deprive myself by any means. I do like nice stuff, and whatever I need, I will get. But, I will think hard if I really need something, and also that once I know that I need something, in what form do I need it? What makes the most sense? Is there something out there that could solve multiple problems at once? I get a huge kick out of this sort of tinkering and simplifying, maybe it's the same joy people get from buying all sorts of crap they use only once?
Just a few examples:
* My laptop is a very important component in my life. Apart from the obvious, I use it to: work from home, watch DVD's, wirelessly stream music to my speakers which are connected to an Airport Express -- basically my stereo. (Accordingly, the laptop must be a nice one. Next iBook or Powerbook is coming up.)
* Most of my documents and pictures, as well as all music I own is in digital form (yes, I do backups). Digital music and photography rule.
* I don't own books. I go to the library. I do buy books as well, but usually I donate them to the library once I read them. The way I see it, the library stores it for me so that I can still access it later, if I need to. I don't own DVD's either. Online rental is a great thing.
* I don't own fancy shmancy kitchenware. My cookware consists of a tried and true cast iron pan, a medium sized pot, one excellent chef's knife and a cutting board. That's it. I have prepared many a scrumptious dinner just with this equipment, to the disbelief of the observer(s).
* I change the contents of my closet. I like to buy clothing, but I am careful to not hoard it. I donate or sell / trade clothing and shoes I don't wear anymore.
* Obviously, I have no car, only a bike. My collection of bike tools is sparse, but allows me to do most repairs at home. If the job is too big, I bring the bike in. Last time this happened was a stuck bottom bracket cup, which the nice girl in the LBS removed for $5, using a special BB tool and a 5ft iron pipe. I would never have been able to do it, so it was a great deal.
Anyone else here who shares this philosophy and lives along these same lines? How much stuff do you own that you can't move on your bike? (And how do you justify it? :p)