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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 04-17-10, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jaebberwock
Nothing so grand as self enlightenment. I suddenly decided I needed a bike and was looking to buy a cheap road bike to see if I'd stick with it. I don't want a repeat of my paragliding hobby in which I sunk thousands of dollars into gear and training for 1 season of flying. I just never picked it back up after winter was over...what a waste eh? This thread kind of makes me want to re-evaluate buying a bike but it's already ordered and I'll probably be living closer to downtown for my work so it will be practical for getting around as well as good for my health. I usually run but it has been getting kind of boring as of late.
Well get on that bike and ride! I don't think you will regret it.
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Old 04-19-10, 12:27 AM
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I've learned to live simply only because Mother Nature dictates it. I live in hurricane country. I've seen rain seep through my door and windows and watched my back yard turn into a small lake. I've had to pack my most prized possession in a carry-on and run up stairs and hope the water doesn't reach and isolate me. This means I've replaced furnitue more than once.

You know around here, people don't necessarily shop in retail stores, they shop at Goodwill first. It's almost as if people don't want to get fond of their possession because it can all go away in a bad hurricane.

I've therefore become very zen about it all. I buy stuff, sometimes go to an actual store for furniure, and enjoy it. Yet, in the back of my mind I know it can all disappear in a category 3 or higher hurricane.

P.S. When I first came to Florida I use to ask what should I do when a major hurricane was coming. I mainly got one answer - "Get out of Dodge."

After sitting out a few minor hurricanes, I now know what they mean.
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Old 04-19-10, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by SunnyMiami
I've learned to live simply only because Mother Nature dictates it. I live in hurricane country. I've seen rain seep through my door and windows and watched my back yard turn into a small lake. I've had to pack my most prized possession in a carry-on and run up stairs and hope the water doesn't reach and isolate me. This means I've replaced furnitue more than once.

You know around here, people don't necessarily shop in retail stores, they shop at Goodwill first. It's almost as if people don't want to get fond of their possession because it can all go away in a bad hurricane.

I've therefore become very zen about it all. I buy stuff, sometimes go to an actual store for furniure, and enjoy it. Yet, in the back of my mind I know it can all disappear in a category 3 or higher hurricane.

P.S. When I first came to Florida I use to ask what should I do when a major hurricane was coming. I mainly got one answer - "Get out of Dodge."

After sitting out a few minor hurricanes, I now know what they mean.
Hurricane country will do that to you
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Old 04-19-10, 10:48 AM
  #704  
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My first real full house move was out of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It was then that I got an idea of how much stuff I really owned. Though most of it was inherited it was still mine. Before the move I sold two bedroom sets, a dining room set, much of a living room set, a large screen TV, and still had much more than a truckload of possessions. I left behind one bedroom set and a garage full of stored items of all kinds. I wanted to sell much more but the hurricane destroyed the market for everything else I had to sell, therefore I took it with me to sell from my new home.

I've sold the remainder of the living room set, my major appliances, and now I'm trying to get rid of the remainder of the furniture and small knickknacks. I don't think I'll ever live in a hurricane zone again but other parts of the world have natural disasters that also require moving quickly. Having fewer possessions and living simply is a great benefit in those situations.
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Old 04-19-10, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Smallwheels
I don't think I'll ever live in a hurricane zone again but other parts of the world have natural disasters that also require moving quickly. Having fewer possessions and living simply is a great benefit in those situations.
I think it would be psychologically helpful also. If you're less attached to your belongings, you might be less upset if they're lost or destroyed.
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Old 04-20-10, 05:24 AM
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I own hardly anything and rent a furnished room downtown in a beautiful old Victorian era house. I have no credit cards and cook all my own food (mostly). I have a guitar, 3 old bikes, a few basic tools, a desktop computer and some clothes. That's it...

Pretty simple...eh?
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Old 04-20-10, 06:02 AM
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This is such an interesting thread. I'm enjoying reading the new replies as well as going back to read some of the older ones. Seeing how simply some folks live is amazing. It makes me realize that, while I do enjoy some creature comforts, I could live with a lot less than I have now and be perfectly happy.

There are some things I would never part with voluntarily, like the dining room furniture that has been in my family since the late 1800s, and was originally owned by my great-great-grandmother (whom I was named after). Those pieces are still just material possessions, but they have an emotional value. Then there's all the junky IKEA furniture, exercise equipment, boxes of books/CDs, dishes, etc that I've acquired over the years. Do I really need all that stuff? No.

One thing that's wonderful about living in the city is that there are shared resources available to the community so you don't have to buy something you may only use once in a while. I belong to the West Philly Tool Library and, as soon as we sell the car, will sign up for either Philly Car Share or Zipcar. These resources will be a huge help as my partner and I go car-free and try to pare down our material possessions to a more manageable amount of stuff.
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Old 04-24-10, 07:52 AM
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This is a very interesting thread. Many of my friends in the States think that I have a very Spartan existence. They all live in McMansions with large mortgages and loads of credit card debt. But I'm happy with my life, and that's the important thing. Here are some of the things that I do to try and live a simpler life:

* My family is car-light. Like many of the local German families in my town, we have one car. In the winter we like to ski at some places which are only accessible by car. There are other times where I need a car. But my husband and I found that we can live fine with just one.
* When the weather is nice (translation: not raining, snowing, or hailing), I ride my bike or walk to take care of local errands. I ride my bike to work an average of 3 days a week.
* I have a clothes dryer, but only use it to keep our towels and jeans from getting stiff. All other clothing is dried on a clothesline.
* My family is making more of an effort to eat less processed foods. I can't see us totally cutting out processed foods, but any increase in buying fresh foods is a good thing. I also use my crock pot a lot for homemade soups and stews. My son recently told me that my homemade soups are so much better than canned soups. The only times we go out to restaurants are on special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries.
* I live with my husband and son in a 2-bedroom, approximately 900 square foot apartment.
* I don't need to buy the latest and greatest gadgets. One of my friends in the States was making fun of me for having a 3-year-old iPod Nano. But it works fine and suits my needs. It seems silly to buy a new one when the old one is good.
* Even though I'm an avid reader, I own very few books. I go to the library on an almost weekly basis.
* I only have one credit card and use it mainly for ordering things online.
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Old 04-24-10, 09:06 AM
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Interesting lifestyle thread. I believe that travel and experiencing other cultures provides a wonderful tutorial on alternatives to super-sized everything of the good old USA.

My 2006 trip to Panama, specifically the little town of Volcan, near Costa Rica, changed my life. Lucky to get invitation to locals' home for dinner. Seeing their simple lifestyle, happy home and attitude got me researching Latin America as a possible relocation site.

Bought my lot here in northern Baja 8 months later, built house, moved in Sept 2007.

My 1989 Jeep Cherokee use is at 4,000 miles per year. It often does not move for 7-10 days at a time.

I dine out approximately once per month. Like my own cooking too much. Tacos are my usual dinner and add variety with different local fish, pork, chicken, veggies, salsas.

Yes, I do have a television. But, most of the time, I'm playing music from the tv satellite feed. Reading, hiking, kayaking, spanish language, philanthropy
https://Golf4Ninos.wordpress.com and watching the waves provides me endless entertainment possibilities.

Only thing I miss about U.S. is the wine values. Huge wine valley with more than 30 wineries on north side of Ensenada. But, mexicans favor sweeter wines than me and the tax laws here also makes the few local wines I like $25/bottle.

For a gringo, I live very humbly. But, most mexicans think I'm muy RICO!
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Old 04-26-10, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by FatBaldMen
^ ride a bicycle

My place, as simple as I can possible live & its been this way for some 12 years now...its so relaxing to own nothing except what I absolutley need.

I've been wondering: what is the board thing in between the bicycle and the chair
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Old 04-26-10, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by iron.wren
I've been wondering: what is the board thing in between the bicycle and the chair
I looks like a skateboard without the wheels and trucks (the things that hold the axles and wheels).

Last edited by Smallwheels; 05-05-10 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 04-28-10, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast
Your brain builds bridges while you sleep etc. Don't you mean more harmonious?

No, I meant simple, though harmoniousness may be a byproduct of inner simplicity.
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Old 04-29-10, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by iron.wren
I've been wondering: what is the board thing in between the bicycle and the chair
Its a skateboard deck/back rest for when Im sittin on the floor/against a wall & a tray to hold my dinner plate as well as a dinner plate w/ the help of a lil alluminum foil for when I dont feel like washing my actual plate.
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Old 04-29-10, 02:44 PM
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I thought it was a skateboard deck but i had no clue what you used it for because it had no wheels, but it make sense now, that is ridiculously resourceful. Once i move back home for the summer. I'm going to go through my stuff and get it down to where all my possessions can fit into my truck, a 08 tacoma, That does not include furniture in my room which is a bookshelf, desk, drawers, a couch, a Bed, and a end table. I am keeping the couch because it is extra and so i have one when i move out of the house. As in a certain movie that we do not talk about: "What you own ends up owning you."
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Old 05-03-10, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bajadock
My 2006 trip to Panama, specifically the little town of Volcan, near Costa Rica, changed my life. Lucky to get invitation to locals' home for dinner. Seeing their simple lifestyle, happy home and attitude got me researching Latin America as a possible relocation site.

Bought my lot here in northern Baja 8 months later, built house, moved in Sept 2007.
How does one go about purchasing a lot in Baja?

Sounds nice. Are they expensive?

PW
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Old 05-03-10, 01:19 PM
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Awesome Thread! I have scaled down alot and seek to live with bare essentials.
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Old 05-03-10, 01:41 PM
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Non-Mexicans can't legally buy land in Mexico. People who do it go through some legal twists and turns so their name isn't on the property. Maybe they've change that law in the last few years because there is a big population of Americans there.
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Old 05-03-10, 02:06 PM
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I've seen some people say they use futons instead of matresses and this idea intruiqes me greatly. Yesterday I helped move some furniture and it hit me that matresses take up a ton of room and can be really heavy (and expensive). Not to mention the fact that our matress, which is less than 2 years old, is sagging pretty bad in the middle and is becoming increasingly uncomfortable. I'm wanting some experiences from people moving from a matress to a futon and whether they found it gave them better sleep and general durability.
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Old 05-03-10, 02:57 PM
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Futons

I've seen many futons and none of them were comfortable. All of them had big creases that made laying on them uncomfortable.

My cousin has a huge couch with very wide seat cushions and it was very comfortable to sleep on for one person. It wouldn't work for two people.

Beds and mattresses cost way too much these days. I tried a Tempurpedic mattress and liked it. They do not breathe as well as other mattresses. I'm considering getting a foam pad to put on the floor and covering it with a down top. It would be easier to transport than a bed frame, mattress and box spring. It would also be easier on my tiny dogs back since she wouldn't need to jump so high. Right now my mattress is on the floor without a box spring. It feels just as good as if it were on a bed.
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Old 05-03-10, 03:37 PM
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Personally, I'd prefer a hammock to a futon. I wonder just how lightweight and portable you could make a tensionized indoor hammock frame.
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Old 05-03-10, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Platy
Personally, I'd prefer a hammock to a futon. I wonder just how lightweight and portable you could make a tensionized indoor hammock frame.
You could just do eyebolts into the studs

Last edited by iron.wren; 05-03-10 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 05-03-10, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by iron.wren
You could just do eyebolts into the studs
Might work for some. But if a folding bike can easily support a person, I think it should be possible to have a folding hammock frame that weighs no more than say 20 pounds. That would be a nice comfortable bed that's easy to move without a truck.

Edit to add: I should have Googled. Here's an example folding hammock from Cabela's, $80:

It has a set-up size of 93"L x 35"W x 32"D and compacts down to 30-3/4"L x 10-1/4"W x 6-1/4"H for easy transport and storage.

Last edited by Platy; 05-04-10 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 05-04-10, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Magnificent777
We really don't need alot. Society has fooled us in thinking we do.
Quoted for trooff!
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Old 05-05-10, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by seafoamer
Quoted for trooff!
Absolutely!
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Old 05-06-10, 03:36 AM
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+ no job and money in the last 10 months
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