Author Topic: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?  (Read 23997 times)

FreeAsADragon

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #50 on: May 28, 2015, 10:45:14 PM »
I've minimalized massively (heh) over the last three years. I've gotten rid of over 80% of my stuff, and I find that the remaining 20% is *way* too much, still. So more to go. Paired with promising myself never to accumulate stuff again, it's the most impactful life change I've made.

Like several others have mentioned, my goal was to be able to easily pack all my possessions into a minivan. Since I moved somewhat frequently (every few years), I got tired of all the work involved in moving, but more importantly, got tired of seeing that I simply carry some 70% of my stuff from one place to another. This stuff is of no use either to me or to anyone else since I hog it, and massive energy (both personal and resources from the planet) is spent moving it from one place to another. It makes no sense.

I bet a few decades from now, people will look back at our generation and scratch their head at why on earth we spent all our time producing, working for, and then buying and storing stuff we never needed.

The more I get rid of stuff, the easier it gets to get rid of the remaining stuff. It's a great feeling. My whole living space looks *so* much better with less stuff!

Getting rid of stuff also frees up your time and mental energy to focus on things more important to you. Folks like Leo Babauta and others have articulated all the benefits very well.

I can't recommend this enough to people.

Axecleaver

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #51 on: May 29, 2015, 07:20:58 AM »
A lot of inspiring stories, this is a great thread.

Quote
I will be sad to part with my books, I've collected books since a kid and these days there is NO need to have them.
This was the hardest step for me. I've been an insatiable reader my entire life. Every book I own, I've read cover to cover. I built from scratch four 8'x4' free standing oak bookshelves, lovingly stained and sealed them, and crammed every inch with books. It was a point of pride for me, when people would look at my library, for them to ask "How many of these have you actually read?" and be able to say, "every single one."

It's taken me a year but I've managed to get rid of about half my books, stuff from when I was a kid, college poetry books, all the SF books I bought for a quarter at Annie's Book Swap when I was in middle school. Some things like the first book my wife bought me when we were dating, I can't part with yet. It's a process.

There's a great iphone app called BookScouter. You either type in the ISBN code or it will scan the book's code off the cover using the camera. Then it submits it to hundreds of book buyers on the Internet and shows you a list of them sorted by price. Many books are completely worthless - those go to my local library and they resell them once a year to raise money for the library. I take a very small and reasonable tax writeoff for it. The books that are worth money, I stack into piles by vendor, and when I have a box worth, I pack them up and ship them out for cash.

Every book evokes a memory for me, I have an old HG Wells Time Machine book from around 1900 that I found at a garage sale for a dime when I was 10. Books from my grandmother, long since gone. Books from past lovers, friends I haven't seen in 20 years, books I bought when I spent money on those instead of food. I miss them, but it's good to let these things go.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #52 on: May 29, 2015, 07:46:03 AM »
A lot of inspiring stories, this is a great thread.

Quote
I will be sad to part with my books, I've collected books since a kid and these days there is NO need to have them.
This was the hardest step for me. I've been an insatiable reader my entire life. Every book I own, I've read cover to cover. I built from scratch four 8'x4' free standing oak bookshelves, lovingly stained and sealed them, and crammed every inch with books. It was a point of pride for me, when people would look at my library, for them to ask "How many of these have you actually read?" and be able to say, "every single one."

It's taken me a year but I've managed to get rid of about half my books, stuff from when I was a kid, college poetry books, all the SF books I bought for a quarter at Annie's Book Swap when I was in middle school. Some things like the first book my wife bought me when we were dating, I can't part with yet. It's a process.

There's a great iphone app called BookScouter. You either type in the ISBN code or it will scan the book's code off the cover using the camera. Then it submits it to hundreds of book buyers on the Internet and shows you a list of them sorted by price. Many books are completely worthless - those go to my local library and they resell them once a year to raise money for the library. I take a very small and reasonable tax writeoff for it. The books that are worth money, I stack into piles by vendor, and when I have a box worth, I pack them up and ship them out for cash.

Every book evokes a memory for me, I have an old HG Wells Time Machine book from around 1900 that I found at a garage sale for a dime when I was 10. Books from my grandmother, long since gone. Books from past lovers, friends I haven't seen in 20 years, books I bought when I spent money on those instead of food. I miss them, but it's good to let these things go.

Maybe it's because I just woke up, but I got choked up reading this. I want to go and apologize to all the books I ever had to get rid of. It could also be that one of the spots of anger I still harbor the most at my parents is when we moved when I was in high school- all my books got packed and put in a barn. They were put in the back where I couldn't find them. They weren't packed properly, either, and by the time I got to them after a trip abroad, they had been molded, mouse pooped, mouse chewed, and soaked with water. My entire collection was gone, including some really meaningful ones (and a copy of chamber of secrets signed by JK Rowling). While it's still a tender spot for me, I suppose in some ways I should be grateful that I never had to make individual tough choices about those books.

begood

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #53 on: May 29, 2015, 08:05:32 AM »
Ah, yes, BOOKS.

My mister and I were both English majors, and like others on the forum, I have always been an insatiable reader. As an extrovert, apparently I also engage socially with books, so the characters become my friends, making it that much harder to let them go.

The Kindle changed my life FOREVER. I was an early adopter - I ordered the first one before it even came out. When we moved from our bigass house to our sweet little farmhouse, I replaced two entire built-in bookcases full of classics for less than $20 on the Kindle, including an annotated Complete Works of Shakespeare with active table of contents!

I know book purists who want the printed page, the smell of the binding, the look of the spine on the shelf - my daughter is one of them! But for me, it's all about the words. If I have the words, I'm happy. So we are down to two bookshelves in my daughter's room and one bookshelf in our study. And even that has two shelves dedicated to my daughter's art supplies. So three shelves.

What I will probably NOT let go is cartoon books from the 1950s that were my dad's. Irreplaceable, sentimental, still funny after all these years (but WOW politically incorrect - holy shit!).

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #54 on: May 29, 2015, 08:21:46 AM »
Books - I've never been a collector, so books haven't been an issue for me (I am fussy for having the paper versions, but have gotten all from the library since childhood and give gift ones away extremely quickly), but... My last place was a suite in a house, and my landlord's SIL was a hoarder. Of his entire hoard, the aspect that hurt my heart was the book collection. Everything else stored in the garage was fine -if he'd ever pass them along, they'd still be in fine shape. But the books, oh, the books. Great books! Many untouched! Hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth! ...mouldy, mildewy, bent, folded, smelly. Sigh. How desperately I wanted them to have gone to good homes -libraries, library book sales, thrift shops- while they were in great shape.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #55 on: May 29, 2015, 08:34:16 AM »
You sounds like someone who would love google inbox. Makes zero-inboxing so much easier. You can delay an email until a later time (and VERY easily, too). Works so well for my brain. I can make something go away until I need reminding to deal with it when I have the time/opportunity.

What how who? More, please!

This was amazing timing! Inbox just opened up to the public yesterday ^_^ no invite needed!

arebelspy

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #56 on: May 29, 2015, 12:11:35 PM »
You sounds like someone who would love google inbox. Makes zero-inboxing so much easier. You can delay an email until a later time (and VERY easily, too). Works so well for my brain. I can make something go away until I need reminding to deal with it when I have the time/opportunity.

What how who? More, please!

This was amazing timing! Inbox just opened up to the public yesterday ^_^ no invite needed!

More details: http://lifehacker.com/inbox-by-gmail-is-now-available-sans-invite-now-has-tr-1707502384

I don't use Google Inbox myself because I use Mailbox app, an app that lets me "snooze" emails to act as my task manager and keep me at Inbox Zero, and they're redundant, but if you don't have an email system, it's well worth getting one.
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thegradwife

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #57 on: May 29, 2015, 01:04:04 PM »
We did it two years ago and my husband and I both agree that it is the best decision we have ever made. It has drastically changed our life plans and we have discovered many amazing people and ideologies from. The best thing it did was improve our marriage. I could honestly talk all day about it so I'll stop here.

arebelspy

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #58 on: May 29, 2015, 01:08:05 PM »
We did it two years ago and my husband and I both agree that it is the best decision we have ever made. It has drastically changed our life plans and we have discovered many amazing people and ideologies from. The best thing it did was improve our marriage. I could honestly talk all day about it so I'll stop here.

I'd love to hear a little more at least.  :)

You changed from what to what, and what positive impacts did you see?  Any drawbacks?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #59 on: May 29, 2015, 01:08:54 PM »
We did it two years ago and my husband and I both agree that it is the best decision we have ever made. It has drastically changed our life plans and we have discovered many amazing people and ideologies from. The best thing it did was improve our marriage. I could honestly talk all day about it so I'll stop here.

Me too, I love talking about it. 
My friends who still are very consumer-focus cringe at times when I am around.
Some great shares & ideas here.
It's inspiring to hear about getting down to what fits in your car.
I've read Colin Wright's blog about the 51 things he owns as he travels the world.
That is it, 51 things.
I do not think I could do just 51 but.....certainly want less than the 20% left of what I'm housing right now.

thegradwife

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #60 on: May 29, 2015, 01:12:06 PM »
We are down to less than 200 personal items including clothes in our home. We keep that rule for our 2 year old too. It's allowed us to happily live in a 600 sq ft apartment and I don't have to clean. I can't quite figure out how to get it down to under 100. I know many people don't like having set numbers but we find it helps. 100 started cutting into our hobbies, and we like being at home a lot.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #61 on: May 29, 2015, 01:24:04 PM »
re: Relationships and "stuff", I want to say -because I am so proud of this accomplishment- that our "everything fits inside the compact car with us" piece includes the copious stuff my 10 year old felt the need to keep. He likes stuff! It was important to me that in my goal of getting our stuff down to one car's worth, that I be honouring his need for stuff. My smartest move in that was to:

lay everything of his out, so it was all on full display to him
on one end, put what I suggest he keep (things he was using regularly)
on the other (much wider) end, put what I suggest go
offer him $100 if he lets the wider side go.

He moved two or three things from the wider side to the "keep" side, and said, "The rest can go." I was stunned.

I then stored the "go" stuff in bags for a few days (leading up to our move), in case he changed his mind. He then requested to keep his collection of stuffies. But still, everything else went.

It's been a very careful, methodical process -starting a few years before that day- to converge my desire for zen-minimalism with his natural tendency to collect.

Also, just realizing not everything fits inside the car at once. After much humming and hawing, we did decide to keep our bikes (one each) in that move. If everything's inside the car, the bikes have to be attached to the outside.

DagobertDuck

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #62 on: May 29, 2015, 02:54:28 PM »
The two previous posts are really intriguing me.

stlbrah

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #63 on: May 29, 2015, 04:30:07 PM »
I was on a hike this weekend, and talking with people about this exact topic.

The wife and I are getting rid of all of our stuff this summer, and taking off in August with only a backpack each to our name (and a box in the parent's garage for keepsakes like wedding album).

And on the trail right behind me was a guy named Matt, and he had gotten rid of his stuff in December and semi-ER'd (at age 30) and was telling me how great it was.

And on the trail right in front of me was a guy named Brandon (aka The Mad FIentist) and he and his wife got rid of everything last fall and moved overseas (in their mid-30s), and he was telling me how great it was.

Both of them emphasized how freeing getting rid of all of your stuff was, and how they couldn't even put it into words.

It was a powerful affirmation that this is a course that many who follow are very happy with, and that it's not that outside the mainstream anymore (you can find tons of examples online).

I would love to do this and work abroad in Bangkok

Cookie

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #64 on: May 29, 2015, 04:40:28 PM »
Following for inspiration! My husband and I (and our two cats) are trying to figure out how we can downsize from 1,000 sf to 700 sf. Our hobbies include computer games and indoor aquaponics, and I want to make sure our home doesn't feel crammed.

Ricky

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #65 on: May 29, 2015, 11:01:03 PM »
In the process of moving and, other than basic furniture to "show" the house for selling purposes (which will be donated or sold when house sells),  everything I own will fit in a compact car with room to spare. I am a minimalist so never had much anyways - the 2 spoons, 2 plates, 2 of whatever kind of thing even while living alone in a 3 bedroom house. The cupboards are always pretty bare as are most closets and even the 3rd bedroom and 2 car garage are empty.

Why don't you have a journal here? Judging from some of your posts, it seems your life can be quite interesting with the whole minimalist/living alone/in process of becoming more nomadic by selling house/etc...Just a thought :)

I keep challenging myself to go further and further. I hear some people here saying everything they own can fit in their car. Me, I don't even want a car! I sometimes consider buying a Vespa and commuting with it until I realize I am too scared to do that long-term. I also have an external monitor and laptop and sometimes I just want to get rid of the monitor so I own less and could consolidate. It wouldn't benefit me financially or really make a difference in space, I just sometimes get these itches to get rid of stuff. By the same token, getting rid of my car wouldn't make a huge financial difference (maybe $10k? instantly, and then reoccuring expenses saved) or really make me that much happier. I bought the car new (owned for almost 4 years) and will likely never have to purchase another vehicle in 10+ years so realistically there would be no point in selling it.

I just hate inefficiency in wasted space. I have a 4dr and never use the back seats for anything other than groceries and the trunk/boot is never occupied either except with a bike pump. I do take my bike places to ride but that could be solved if I just lived somewhere where I could ride right outside my front door (hard to ride enjoyably on hilly mountain roads).

Minimalism can be liberating until you get to the point where there is nothing more to get rid of and you constantly try to consolidate and think of ways to get by with less. Kind of a good problem to have, I guess, but it gets frustrating. Not owning a car would be nice, but I'd be stuck at home a lot of times if I actually went through with selling it. Love/hate relationship.

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #66 on: May 30, 2015, 04:25:26 AM »
I moved abroad a year and a half ago with one gigantic suitcase and one carry-on sized suitcase, plus a camera bag. It was about 85 pounds of mostly clothes and shoes. Knowing that I would eventually leave and have to sell stuff or give it away, I've resisted bringing in much new stuff, and it's been GREAT! My boyfriend and I live in about 550 square feet, furnished, and with worn-out clothes and shoes will probably have lots of room in our suitcases when we go home in a few weeks.

That said, I stored a bunch of stuff in my parents' attic when we left, so I'm hoping to eliminate a ton of that stuff when we move to a new apartment, Kondo style.

I hope this thread will keep me honest!


Squirrel away

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #67 on: May 30, 2015, 04:35:22 AM »
These stories are fascinating.:)

bryan995

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #68 on: May 30, 2015, 07:33:46 AM »
My wife and I are seriously considering doing exactly this!

We both work/live outside of Boston.  My wife is a recent MBA, and I am in the process of finishing a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics.

We are considering moving to the Bay Area for 3-5 years in pursuit of some high-tech careers.  While there we will try to live as minimally (MMM) as possible, and stash all extra cash. 

In the process of moving, we've talked about downsizing everything ...  Moving from a luxurious 2bed/2bath 10ft ceiling 1400sqft condo, filled to the brim with 'stuff', to a dingy 1bed/1bath 600sqft apartment in SF.   We'd also sell/donate almost everything we've accumulated over the years.  Prior to finding MMM we accumulated quite a lot of 'things' that we 'needed'...

We'll be moving over our clothes and some small electronics (ipads/laptops).  That's it.  Day one we will go to ikea and buy some cheap items.  Kitchen table, some plates, some utensils, cups etc.  Then off to costco for some food items, and toiletry supplies. 

We may store some things at a parents house until we return, though I am tempted to just sell what we have now, and then reset once again when we return in 5 years (if we even do return!).

I am interested to read more about other's experiences downsizing!


 

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #69 on: May 30, 2015, 07:40:21 AM »
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-dirty-secret-of-small-space-living-219439#.rbv9wx:WmXH


Ahhh, the truth comes out.

Edit: I added this before seeing the above. Sorry! This isn't meant as a judgement on you! I think that's what storing with family is made for- fixed term, while traveling/living abroad, that sort of stuff. It was meant as a humorous entry to the conversation!

(But also to bring up the point that it's hard to have TRULY clean minimalism without somewhere else to store meaningful things that can't really sit out, and practical thing like tax paperwork).
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 07:42:36 AM by Bracken_Joy »

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #70 on: May 30, 2015, 08:33:37 AM »
Re: books

Books were hard for me until I realized, I am a librarian, I can keep all my books at the LIBRARY.

I also use goodreads.com to keep track of the books that I've read and enjoyed. Great free digital bookshelf!

scrubbyfish

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #71 on: May 30, 2015, 09:02:06 AM »
I hear some people here saying everything they own can fit in their car. Me, I don't even want a car!

Before this stage (kid, tax files, etc), everything I owned fit inside one daypack, plus blanket roll on top. That was really good, too.

But then I think Peace Pilgrim had only a toothbrush in her fanny pack... The very thought is delicious to me!

I went 17 years with no car, and was generally fine with that. Some variables ultimately combined that I opted to get one and I LOVE having it. Often I drive only once a week, but I'm still so happy having it so I have no compulsion to get rid of it.

It wouldn't benefit me financially or really make a difference in space, I just sometimes get these itches to get rid of stuff.

Me too. At one point, a hoarder neighbour who was angry about people being angry with her hoard said to me (even though I wasn't one of the people angry with her hoard) that my minimalism was the same as her hoarding. I felt she was right: We were both acting out of compulsion. Ever since then, I've aimed to stay short of that.

Exhale

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #72 on: May 30, 2015, 09:48:38 AM »
Day one we will go to ikea and buy some cheap items.  Kitchen table, some plates, some utensils, cups etc.  Then off to costco for some food items, and toiletry supplies. 

Go to Goodwill first, even cheaper. Craigslist is awesome too.

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #73 on: May 30, 2015, 09:50:34 AM »
This threads is slowly becoming my life story. I'm 27 and have always been a big spender, and have always had a good income. I've acquired tons of "stuff."

3 years ago I quit my steady job and decided to start doing contract work. Moved to east Texas, back to south Texas, to Houston, to Alabama, to Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and now I'm moving back to Texas next week! All that in 3 years.

2 years ago I bought a 42' 5th wheel to live in full time. This meant a MAJOR downsize of all my "stuff." I got rid of a ton. I have lots of storage in the trailer and keep on downsizing. Last winter we got an apartment for the winter, and were disappointed they wouldn't allow myself, fiancÚ, and dog, to rent a small studio. Instead we got a 2 bedroom for not too much more. We knew it was temporary so all we got was a new bed (which we moved into the 5th wheel when we moved back into it this spring) a card table for the kitchen to eat at, and a few storage totes for clothes.

While we had a 2 bedroom, we never used the bedrooms. Our bed was in the living room and the TV was leaned up against a tote. Mind you, my gf and I were taking home around $2800/wk combined, so we weren't scraping to get by. Our rent cost us around 700/mo which was a small fraction of our income.

When we moved back into the trailer we had another major cleansing. Donated tonnnnnns of clothes, sold some stuff off Craigslist, etc.

While we still have quite a bit, i'm far from the person I once was.

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #74 on: May 30, 2015, 09:51:53 AM »
In the process of moving and, other than basic furniture to "show" the house for selling purposes (which will be donated or sold when house sells),  everything I own will fit in a compact car with room to spare. I am a minimalist so never had much anyways - the 2 spoons, 2 plates, 2 of whatever kind of thing even while living alone in a 3 bedroom house. The cupboards are always pretty bare as are most closets and even the 3rd bedroom and 2 car garage are empty.

Why don't you have a journal here? Judging from some of your posts, it seems your life can be quite interesting with the whole minimalist/living alone/in process of becoming more nomadic by selling house/etc...Just a thought :)

I keep challenging myself to go further and further. I hear some people here saying everything they own can fit in their car. Me, I don't even want a car! I sometimes consider buying a Vespa and commuting with it until I realize I am too scared to do that long-term. I also have an external monitor and laptop and sometimes I just want to get rid of the monitor so I own less and could consolidate. It wouldn't benefit me financially or really make a difference in space, I just sometimes get these itches to get rid of stuff. By the same token, getting rid of my car wouldn't make a huge financial difference (maybe $10k? instantly, and then reoccuring expenses saved) or really make me that much happier. I bought the car new (owned for almost 4 years) and will likely never have to purchase another vehicle in 10+ years so realistically there would be no point in selling it.

I just hate inefficiency in wasted space. I have a 4dr and never use the back seats for anything other than groceries and the trunk/boot is never occupied either except with a bike pump. I do take my bike places to ride but that could be solved if I just lived somewhere where I could ride right outside my front door (hard to ride enjoyably on hilly mountain roads).

Minimalism can be liberating until you get to the point where there is nothing more to get rid of and you constantly try to consolidate and think of ways to get by with less. Kind of a good problem to have, I guess, but it gets frustrating. Not owning a car would be nice, but I'd be stuck at home a lot of times if I actually went through with selling it. Love/hate relationship.
You can get USB-driven external monitors (very small/thin, no external power required), if you're just looking for a second display for your laptop.  :)

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #75 on: May 30, 2015, 10:12:05 AM »
In the process of moving and, other than basic furniture to "show" the house for selling purposes (which will be donated or sold when house sells),  everything I own will fit in a compact car with room to spare. I am a minimalist so never had much anyways - the 2 spoons, 2 plates, 2 of whatever kind of thing even while living alone in a 3 bedroom house. The cupboards are always pretty bare as are most closets and even the 3rd bedroom and 2 car garage are empty.

Why don't you have a journal here? Judging from some of your posts, it seems your life can be quite interesting with the whole minimalist/living alone/in process of becoming more nomadic by selling house/etc...Just a thought :)

+1 - I really enjoy reading about your slow travel plans and frugal minimalist life. I fantasize about getting rid of most of my stuff, and hitting the road once I FIRE - and in the meantime living with only what I really use. Just couple of plates, bowls, spoons, etc., yet I hold on to the service for 6-8 people. You actually do it! 

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #76 on: May 30, 2015, 11:30:17 AM »
I moved three times in one year. Each time I got rid of probably 10 boxes of crap. I went from having about 4K books to about 200 currently. I've moved twice since then and have gotten rid of more stuff each time. There is always room to get rid of stuff though.

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #77 on: May 31, 2015, 09:15:59 AM »
We just did this slowly over the past year. Of course, downsizing means something a tad different with a family of four. We were a two car, 1800 sq ft family in Denver and just made the move to Minneapolis to a 1200 sq ft house with one car. We sold and gave away a lot of stuff to make the move and pared down our things to three storage cubes of stuff. While I was pretty proud of this, I suppose in retrospect this doesn't sound THAT downsized. :)

I suspect that when we become empty nesters that we'll downsize again, but for now our downsized life is providing us more time together and more time to enjoy the little things in life.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #78 on: May 31, 2015, 11:16:08 PM »
The three things that have most impacted my minimalism are:
kid
self-employment
disabilities

For kid, I like to give him something of "normal", so that his friends are comfy spending time here, he's not embarrassed, people stop thinking we're poor and charity-ing us, etc. I like this decision very much. Travelling full-time with a kid could eliminate this piece, as no one expects a child "on the road" to have stuff. Spectators would assume he has them at home. They'd be wrong, but their assumption would alleviate some pressures.

Self-employment means very thick tax return files, project pieces, printer, some electronics. Normal employment or no employment would have eliminated one crate.

Disabilities are more thick files, and some equipment. These are simply worth having.

I imagine that when kid grows up and heads out, I will likely go back to almost nothing, as it's my nature. By then, the "past seven years" of tax returns will be very skinny again, and his disability stuff will be in his home. I guess I will live in a standard tiny home then, or rent a room in a shared house. My own stuff is about what Spartana describes.

On the flip side, I realize it's very helpful that I don't have an equipment-based hobby (collections, tool-intensive sport, hunting, etc). My kid, on the other hand, is very "sensory" oriented and thrives with everything from tennis rackets to screwdrivers, and I would really want to see him honour that to a balanced degree (not more than he actually needs, but also not less for the sake of minimalism).

arebelspy

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #79 on: May 31, 2015, 11:19:43 PM »
We have a ton of files due to our rentals. It's all getting digitized before we go. Everything can be electronic now.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
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scrubbyfish

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #80 on: May 31, 2015, 11:23:57 PM »
We have a ton of files due to our rentals. It's all getting digitized before we go. Everything can be electronic now.

I started trying to scan the tax ones, and it got crazy. The scanner moved them through quite fast, but would miss a page at times -faster than I could tell what had been missed- and jammed several times. Still working on that.

The disability stuff I end up needing to provide in paper form over and over again, so right now I find it faster to have the paper versions handy.

I do aim, ultimately, to have at least all archive stuff electronic only. The stuff they need to see frequently would be very little paper.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #81 on: June 01, 2015, 05:16:38 AM »
Saturday was "garage sale day" where we live, where you don't need a permit for a garage/yard sale and thus people are just driving slowly through the community looking for stuff they want. Suckers! We get rid of a lot of clutter that we still had and put $60 in our wallets, too. Probably could have gotten more, but honestly we were planning on giving most of it away, so this was even better.

cjottawa

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #82 on: June 01, 2015, 06:38:07 AM »
I've downsized. I'm a minimalist by most standards. All of my administrivia is electronic; I only keep paper if it's legally required. (passport, birth certificate)

There's a bell curve though.

Billionaires can afford to own nothing.

The poor can't afford to own anything.

In the middle: most of us.

I have an apartment. I need a fridge, stove, and cookware so I don't have to dine out all the time.

Other than the basics, I limit my "stuff" to things I use regularly that bring me joy. (camera)
« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 05:30:21 PM by cjottawa »

Axecleaver

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #83 on: June 01, 2015, 07:32:53 AM »
Quote
We may store some things at a parents house until we return, though I am tempted to just sell what we have now, and then reset once again when we return in 5 years (if we even do return!).

If your experience is anything like ours, you will realize how little you missed that stuff, and when you see it again you'll wonder why you ever thought it was important to you.

arebelspy

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #84 on: June 01, 2015, 08:00:38 AM »
We have a ton of files due to our rentals. It's all getting digitized before we go. Everything can be electronic now.

I started trying to scan the tax ones, and it got crazy. The scanner moved them through quite fast, but would miss a page at times -faster than I could tell what had been missed- and jammed several times. Still working on that.

The disability stuff I end up needing to provide in paper form over and over again, so right now I find it faster to have the paper versions handy.

I do aim, ultimately, to have at least all archive stuff electronic only. The stuff they need to see frequently would be very little paper.

We decided not to skimp on the scanner and spent more than we normally would to make sure it was fast and easy.  We just have too much to have to babysit it.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

bryan995

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #85 on: June 01, 2015, 09:06:43 AM »
Quote
We may store some things at a parents house until we return, though I am tempted to just sell what we have now, and then reset once again when we return in 5 years (if we even do return!).

If your experience is anything like ours, you will realize how little you missed that stuff, and when you see it again you'll wonder why you ever thought it was important to you.

Agreed!  If I had my way, then we would store nothing!   I think the only things we will store would be wedding photos/keepsakes and maybe a china set passed down to my wife from her grandmother.  Not much else!

catccc

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #86 on: June 01, 2015, 09:22:32 AM »
Not dramatically, but I dream about it.  It seems to get harder as the kids get older.

We are down to less than 200 personal items including clothes in our home. We keep that rule for our 2 year old too. It's allowed us to happily live in a 600 sq ft apartment and I don't have to clean. I can't quite figure out how to get it down to under 100. I know many people don't like having set numbers but we find it helps. 100 started cutting into our hobbies, and we like being at home a lot.

Until our first kid was around 18 months, we lived in 399 sqft.  It was fine, and super quick to clean.  It has gotten harder as we have added another kid to our family, and as they have gotten older.  But we still try.  It is a perpetual effort.

Can you tell me about your 200 personal items?  Where do things like pans, dishes and forks fall in your count?

scrubbyfish

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #87 on: June 01, 2015, 09:29:15 AM »
We decided not to skimp on the scanner and spent more than we normally would to make sure it was fast and easy.  We just have too much to have to babysit it.

I thought I had done exactly that, for that reason. ScanSnap ix500 for $600 (price in Canada). What did you get that has been working better, please? (I can return mine for a 100% refund.)

arebelspy

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #88 on: June 01, 2015, 09:37:18 AM »
We decided not to skimp on the scanner and spent more than we normally would to make sure it was fast and easy.  We just have too much to have to babysit it.

I thought I had done exactly that, for that reason. ScanSnap ix500 for $600 (price in Canada). What did you get that has been working better, please? (I can return mine for a 100% refund.)

That's the same model I got.. haven't had any issues.  (As long as we remove any staples.)  It's definitely never missed any pages, or jammed.  Maybe exchange it for a different one of the same model?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #89 on: June 01, 2015, 10:02:36 AM »
Not dramatically, but I dream about it.  It seems to get harder as the kids get older.

We are down to less than 200 personal items including clothes in our home. We keep that rule for our 2 year old too. It's allowed us to happily live in a 600 sq ft apartment and I don't have to clean. I can't quite figure out how to get it down to under 100. I know many people don't like having set numbers but we find it helps. 100 started cutting into our hobbies, and we like being at home a lot.

Until our first kid was around 18 months, we lived in 399 sqft.  It was fine, and super quick to clean.  It has gotten harder as we have added another kid to our family, and as they have gotten older.  But we still try.  It is a perpetual effort.

Can you tell me about your 200 personal items?  Where do things like pans, dishes and forks fall in your count?

Based on the phrase "personal items" I'm guessing that includes clothes, books, hobby items, etc., but that things like dishes and laundry soap count as 'communal'. TheGradWife can jump in and clarify, but that's how I've seen it used by the minimalists and others.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #90 on: June 01, 2015, 10:27:45 AM »
That's the same model I got.. haven't had any issues.  (As long as we remove any staples.)  It's definitely never missed any pages, or jammed.

Oh! Has yours worked fine for older papers, too? I wondered if my 2009 tax papers, more frayed (especially receipts) than fresh papers, would be the most problematic of the bunch. Has your scanning worked fine even on papers with wrinkles, etc, or have you started with the freshest ones? If yours has worked for all, I might exchange then, yes!

arebelspy

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #91 on: June 01, 2015, 10:31:54 AM »
Yeah, no problem even old wrinkled papers.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #92 on: June 01, 2015, 10:49:17 AM »
Wow, okay, thanks! Will try one more time, then exchange if it happens again. I was so disappointed in my first three tries. Thanks, arebelspy.

jrubin

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #93 on: June 01, 2015, 11:32:38 AM »
My hubs and I both grew up poor - when older, he turned into the type that needs to prove his success by having more, on the other hand - I am the type that wants to save now that we have something to save. Plus he comes from a hoarding family - so his pack-ratting makes things tough for me. I've been slowly chipping away at all the stuff/clutter in the house when I can. Selling some items (and saving the money), donating, giving away, whatever - just getting it out. But it's hard since we aren't on the same page - and our kids like to "collect" things too. But we will get there. I don't have a specific goal - but figure in the next 8-10 years, when the kids are moved out - we will be able to downsize tremendously without piles of junk standing in our way. Hopefully we'll be fairly minimalist by then and packing/moving will be a breeze. My problem is we have a lot of "keepsakes" - for example - my mother makes those scrapbooks - huge books with pictures and journaling - and so far she has given me 5 or 6. Alone they would take up 2 large rubbermaid totes. I guess I will be making some exceptions for keepsakes - but hoping most everything else can be whittled down :)

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Re: Who's dramatically downsized their stuff/life?
« Reply #94 on: June 02, 2015, 07:54:21 AM »
We are in the process and we are all on board! We are a family of 5 with young kids looking to downsize, get out of debt, get a smaller house and purge ourselves of the stuff that we seem to accumulate out of thin air. Maintaining space for and managing our "things" is expensive and exhausting. I regularly purge the house to avoid clutter, but we still have too much. Books and  kids' clothes are the most difficult for me to part with. I hang on to the hand-me-downs for later use by the younger kids, and the books are so much a part of who we are that it wouldn't feel like home without them. Our cache is much smaller than it one was, and we seem to get along just fine with less, so maybe I can bring myself to rid ourselves of even more.