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Old 11-14-2014, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Durham
660 posts, read 762,840 times
Reputation: 515

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Hello everyone!

While I was never what I would consider a "mass consumer" (I certainly have purchased my share of "stuff" - both necessary and unnecessary), several moves have prompted me toward "owning" less and less over the years (and note that I have really only moved about 5 times in the last 20 years -- which may or may not seem like a lot to people -- but I like to experience living in new spaces/places). And, as I prepare to move from the frigid temperatures of Western New York to the milder Winters of the South (North Carolina) in 2015, I'm feeling the desire to become even more minimal.

I'm finding I would rather live a small space (like a tiny home or studio apartment) and have few things (but have them be high quality so they last) than I would have a 3BR and lots of extraneous "stuff".

I am selling or donating about 75% of what I currently have as I gear up to move.

Can anyone else relate to this?

The "movement" is really well explained here: The Minimalists

Anyway, I'm interested in talking to others who are into this lifestyle/ideology, and to also get support; it can be difficult to be a minimalist in a HIGHLY consumerist society.

~ Jeffrey
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:59 AM
 
12,404 posts, read 9,203,248 times
Reputation: 8863
Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor46 View Post
Hello everyone!

While I was never what I would consider a "mass consumer" (I certainly have purchased my share of "stuff" - both necessary and unnecessary), several moves have prompted me toward "owning" less and less over the years (and note that I have really only moved about 5 times in the last 20 years -- which may or may not seem like a lot to people -- but I like to experience living in new spaces/places). And, as I prepare to move from the frigid temperatures of Western New York to the milder Winters of the South (North Carolina) in 2015, I'm feeling the desire to become even more minimal.

I'm finding I would rather live a small space (like a tiny home or studio apartment) and have few things (but have them be high quality so they last) than I would have a 3BR and lots of extraneous "stuff".

I am selling or donating about 75% of what I currently have as I gear up to move.

Can anyone else relate to this?

The "movement" is really well explained here: The Minimalists

Anyway, I'm interested in talking to others who are into this lifestyle/ideology, and to also get support; it can be difficult to be a minimalist in a HIGHLY consumerist society.

~ Jeffrey
I rent a room in a shared house. I've got my 1/4 share of common areas plus the room itself. The room itself is only about 100 square feet.

In 2010-2011 I lived in an apartment living room to save on rent. They only charged me $300/month. The market rent for a 1 bedroom apt in the area at that times was about $1000-$1100/month!
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:12 PM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 770,446 times
Reputation: 1180
When DH and I decided to travel for 6 years, we downsized from a 1400 s/f home with 3 bedrooms, 14 acres and all the equipment we could stuff into a 40 x 60 steel outbuilding to a less than 300 s/f motorhome.

We gave stuff away to family and friends and the rest we sold at auction. I have to say...it was a liberating experience. When all my friends asked if I was sad seeing my personal items sold to strangers, I responded "HELL NO!"

Since getting off the road in '07, we have amassed more 'stuff' unfortunately. Thankfully, I have a new friend that has been helping me...Craigslist

RVcook
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Old 11-14-2014, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Durham
660 posts, read 762,840 times
Reputation: 515
Default Freedom

It really IS liberating . . . some people just don't seem to understand that (or, I suppose, they never realized that so many possessions only bogged them down). To me owning things isn't "freedom"!


Quote:
Originally Posted by RVcook View Post
When DH and I decided to travel for 6 years, we downsized from a 1400 s/f home with 3 bedrooms, 14 acres and all the equipment we could stuff into a 40 x 60 steel outbuilding to a less than 300 s/f motorhome.

We gave stuff away to family and friends and the rest we sold at auction. I have to say...it was a liberating experience. When all my friends asked if I was sad seeing my personal items sold to strangers, I responded "HELL NO!"

Since getting off the road in '07, we have amassed more 'stuff' unfortunately. Thankfully, I have a new friend that has been helping me...Craigslist

RVcook
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Old 11-14-2014, 09:46 PM
 
404 posts, read 344,604 times
Reputation: 808
I can definitely relate. We have moved a lot and each time we got rid of more stuff. Eventually, we moved to a house that was less than 700 sf and had our stuff pared down to what could be considered minimal. Then we moved again and somehow the stuff began to multiply. We moved again and got rid of a bunch of stuff again. But, the stuff multiplied again. We have less stuff than most people, but I'm not happy with the amount. It's definitely time to go through everything and get rid of what we don't use and don't need. We're presently living in a two bedroom that has less than 1,000 sf. It's plenty of space and we've kept the furniture to a minimum. It's the junk and stuff that's in the closets and under beds that needs to go.

There have been times when we've moved and the moving truck hasn't brought our stuff yet and we've sort of camped out in our house. It was cheaper to buy the necessities than to stay in a hotel. We bought two cheap folding cloth chairs and two plates, two bowls, a pan, cheap flatware, two mugs, two bath towels and a dish towel. I might be forgetting something, but that's pretty much it. It was so freeing. I didn't want the moving van to come and when it did it was so overwhelming. The experience of camping out like that did help me realize how little you really need to function.

When I have a little bit of stuff it feels okay, but then it gets to the point where I feel like the stuff owns me instead of the other way around. That's when I know it's time to purge again.
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Old 11-14-2014, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Durham
660 posts, read 762,840 times
Reputation: 515
Default "Stuff"

YES! I'm similar . . . though with each move I have re-accumulated less and less stuff . . . hopefully with this next one I'll really be able to live an intentional minimalist lifestyle.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lily4 View Post
I can definitely relate. We have moved a lot and each time we got rid of more stuff. Eventually, we moved to a house that was less than 700 sf and had our stuff pared down to what could be considered minimal. Then we moved again and somehow the stuff began to multiply. We moved again and got rid of a bunch of stuff again. But, the stuff multiplied again. We have less stuff than most people, but I'm not happy with the amount. It's definitely time to go through everything and get rid of what we don't use and don't need. We're presently living in a two bedroom that has less than 1,000 sf. It's plenty of space and we've kept the furniture to a minimum. It's the junk and stuff that's in the closets and under beds that needs to go.

There have been times when we've moved and the moving truck hasn't brought our stuff yet and we've sort of camped out in our house. It was cheaper to buy the necessities than to stay in a hotel. We bought two cheap folding cloth chairs and two plates, two bowls, a pan, cheap flatware, two mugs, two bath towels and a dish towel. I might be forgetting something, but that's pretty much it. It was so freeing. I didn't want the moving van to come and when it did it was so overwhelming. The experience of camping out like that did help me realize how little you really need to function.

When I have a little bit of stuff it feels okay, but then it gets to the point where I feel like the stuff owns me instead of the other way around. That's when I know it's time to purge again.
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Old 11-14-2014, 10:42 PM
 
404 posts, read 344,604 times
Reputation: 808
Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor46 View Post
YES! I'm similar . . . though with each move I have re-accumulated less and less stuff . . . hopefully with this next one I'll really be able to live an intentional minimalist lifestyle.
I would also like to live an intentional minimalist lifestyle. I've heard of people limiting themselves to a specific amount and if they bring something new into their home then they get rid of something, so they are careful to not end up with more stuff. That might be a little more strict than I'd like to be. What I find works best for me is to periodically go through closets, drawers and anything else where stuff accumulates and get rid of things I don't use. I throw out the pure junk that no one would want and donate the rest. Sometimes I find something to re-purpose and that's good, too. Well, good luck with your next move.
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:32 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
207 posts, read 312,375 times
Reputation: 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor46 View Post
Hello everyone!

While I was never what I would consider a "mass consumer" (I certainly have purchased my share of "stuff" - both necessary and unnecessary), several moves have prompted me toward "owning" less and less over the years (and note that I have really only moved about 5 times in the last 20 years -- which may or may not seem like a lot to people -- but I like to experience living in new spaces/places). And, as I prepare to move from the frigid temperatures of Western New York to the milder Winters of the South (North Carolina) in 2015, I'm feeling the desire to become even more minimal.

I'm finding I would rather live a small space (like a tiny home or studio apartment) and have few things (but have them be high quality so they last) than I would have a 3BR and lots of extraneous "stuff".

I am selling or donating about 75% of what I currently have as I gear up to move.

Can anyone else relate to this?

The "movement" is really well explained here: The Minimalists

Anyway, I'm interested in talking to others who are into this lifestyle/ideology, and to also get support; it can be difficult to be a minimalist in a HIGHLY consumerist society.

~ Jeffrey
I've never been much for shopping and buying stuff just for the sake of buying, but I too like good quality items when I do need to purchase something because I believe that it lasts a lot longer than poorer quality items. I tend to reuse a lot of my stuff too, and also buy used so that works out well. My goal is to become truly minimalist. I feel that I'm not there yet. I still have TONS of books, but not much else. I do have the usual mod-comms (stereo, Mac, TV, etc) but I'm very careful about things I subscribe to, or buy. For example, no cable, cell service is $10/mo, can't remember the last time I purchased new clothes, or shoes, etc) but I still have too much.

I like what you said about selling / donating 75% of what you own. I'm beginning to believe that I'll never, ever need ALL my books so I'm trying to get used to the idea of selling / donating those. They also weigh you down, and I feel that it's difficult to move anywhere with those books. Once I'm done with school (I work and go to school now) I'll decide for sure where I want to live and then downsize a lot more. For now, a 1 bedroom apt is great but I don't have a yard now which is not good. I think a great part of being minimalist should also include growing my own food, which I used to do when I lived in a house. I plan to get back to doing that someday.
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Vermont
5,439 posts, read 14,329,796 times
Reputation: 2609
I think 2 year rule is a good one (get rid of it if you haven't used it in 2 years ... unless there's some other significant reason to keep) The 1 year rule is too strict for me. My family of 4 lives in 700 sq ft. It is definitely tricky and right now I'd say we're due for another good purge. We are constantly donating things but it's better than shuffling junk around that you don't really need or want.
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:21 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,718,901 times
Reputation: 38829
Quote:
Originally Posted by lily4 View Post
I've heard of people limiting themselves to a specific amount and if they bring something new into their home then they get rid of something, so they are careful to not end up with more stuff.
That's us - one-in-one-out.

We have enough. So if we want something, we have to be willing to give up something we already own.
It really make you think twice about purchases.
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