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Frustrated to Satisfied
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Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Frustrated to Satisfied on 02/12/2012 11:33:32 MST Print View

Came upon this and thought it may be applicable to some of the more recent threads about minimalism and also packing light. In the video, the speaker mentions why we like travel and backpacking: everything is in a suitcase or backpack, enforcing a minimalistic environment where we can truly relax. Then he pitches doing this at home to replicate the peace we feel on vacation (assuming your vacations are peaceful if course), shows his state of the art 420 sq ft apt (interesting number), etc... Not sure about 420 .... square feet that is but like the multiuse panel, etc... Thoughts?

To hear it try the link, them play the video in the article:

Christine Thuermer
(GermanTourist) - F - M

Locale: in my tent
Frustrated to Satisfied on 02/12/2012 11:58:22 MST Print View

Thanks for posting that - great video!
I have not owned or rented a house or apartment for 4 years now more or less constantly living outdoors hiking, cycling or paddling. When I gave up my last apartment I have given almost everything away to charities or sold it. The little that is left is in a tiny little storage unit and consists mainly of outdoor equipment.
With so little wordly belongings of my own left I realised how relieved I felt. Material possessions can be a huge burden. One thing leads to the next: you need money to buy them, space to store them and you are always worried that something might happen to them. Reducing your worldly belongings to a bare minimum sets free a lot of money, time and energy - that I use for being outdoors. I do not feel that I have given up something, but that I have gained something.

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Oregon
I like it! on 02/12/2012 12:56:52 MST Print View

I'm really happy to see more people coming around to this idea. I've been trying to purge all of the extraneous stuff that I have and when I do make purchases, make them critically and with the goal of buying something that is multi-use (i.e. a pack with a removable frame that can serve as both a long distance pack, daypack, and bag for around town). I think the BPL way can sometimes lead to having so much gear that while your base wight might be 5 lbs, the other 20 lbs of gear in your closet might beg to differ...

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: Frustrated to Satisfied on 02/14/2012 07:48:20 MST Print View


What the speaker isn't saying . . . .

1. The cost of the 420 sf apartment.
2. His carbon footprint hasn't actually changed much (house construction only makes of 10% of a persons carbon footprint)
3. He doesn't actually live in the 420 sf apartment he's lecturing about.

Still a very good lecture with a lot of great points about how we can live.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re: Frustrated to Satisfied on 02/14/2012 09:01:22 MST Print View

I once shared an 800sf apartment with another person. I think that's one of the most spacious apartments I ever lived in. My favorite apartment was so small I put my bed on stilts so I would have a place for my desk, my bicycle and to hang my clothes underneath. I also somehow managed to fit a wall of big bird cages, a book case and a large old-fashioned dresser. I think the apartment was about 200sf. Loved that place.

Alas, I have so much crap now that I can't seem to get rid of. I feel bad about throwing stuff away and most of it isn't good enough to give away. The stuff that is good enough to give away, I keep thinking one of these days I'll gather it together but then I never get around to it. The worst stuff is the good stuff. Someday I'll have a garage sale. Yeah, right. that'll be the day.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: Frustrated to Satisfied on 02/14/2012 14:08:38 MST Print View

Through ten years of research as an architect I can say with some degree of authority the needed area per person to live comfortably in america is right around 450 s.f. This is living space (sleeping, cooking, eating, bathing, lounging, and moderate storage) not including mechanical or electrical equipment required to heat and cool such an area (typically 60 to 100 s.f.)

Now this number is below the national average of 700 sf per person that is typically used and as such requires mulit-use space planning, modest possessions, and off site laundry facilities. It also does not include a garage or space for cars or other such personal equipment.

Keep in mind the numbers I'm proposing where developed for the area I practice in; northern Minnesota so warmer climates with temperate climates and access to year round outdoor living spaces could get away with a smaller area per person.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Frustrated to Satisfied on 02/14/2012 14:25:45 MST Print View

When my wife and I emigrated to NZ all we had was the luggage we could take on the plane. Two kids and 15 years later we can't fit a car in our garage (full of stuff I am planning to get rid of very soon). However, I am about 80% of the way through a major de-cluttering and the Salvation Army came to collect all sorts of stuff today. I loved it when we had just a few bags of stuff and lived in a small apartment and the de-cluttering has been great. However, we do live in a big house today and it works well for us with the kids, but I plan to go to something smaller in the future.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Frustrated to Satisfied on 02/14/2012 18:18:18 MST Print View

Jason -- good for you! I bet you feel a lot "lighter and freer" without some of that clutter. :)

Moi, I currently live in a three-bedroom house with 1,700 sq. ft. of space. But I'm pretty sure I can be perfectly happy with 400 sq. ft. of living space, so long as it's well built and maintained, comes with modern flushing toilet and shower, and in a reasonably clean/quiet/safe neighborhood.

As you can tell, I like to have a bit of modern creature comforts. I've never viewed my home as my 'sanctuary'. It's a place to sleep. Besides, for "my" space, I've got the whole world out there! It's mostly a state of mind -- esp. if you don't clutter the space with excessive material junk.

Edited by ben2world on 02/14/2012 18:26:13 MST.

Leigh Baker

Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
re:"Frustrated to Satisfied" on 02/15/2012 05:10:58 MST Print View

It's nice to see others are out there proposing a simpler way of living.
I, like some others, began scaling back "stuff" in the past several years. I moved from a 1500 sf home to a just under 1000 sf one 6 yrs ago....if the market were better, I'd sell it and go with something even smaller, but then it's just me, a dog and a cat. I have gradually gotten rid of more and more stuff as my KISS lifestyle has evolved. I could easily live in 400-600 sf. I have 3 years til I can retire, so I'll likely stay here, hope for a better market and then sell. And who knows, depending on my situation at that time, opt not to buy but look at other options that allow me more freedom. I think most Americans own an obscene amount of "stuff" they don't need and don't even get me started on size of home/car, etc. :)

I'm very frugal on my spending and the only debt I have is my home. The one thing right now that erks me, is that being rural, I only have one choice of internet which is my cable company, and they hold me hostage with a package that while reasonable (60 bucks) includes TV (been unplugged for over a year)phone service (don't own a land line) and my internet (which I use for work and play). I hate the idea of paying for something I don't use!!

Edited by leighb on 02/15/2012 05:11:46 MST.