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Old 01-29-2012, 09:00 PM   #41
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I absolutely agree that this is a miserable existence
I believe the typical homeless person in America is at least as happy as the typical corporate employee. Not because homeless people are happy, but because the typical rat racer is so beseiged and desperate.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:23 PM   #42
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I believe the typical homeless person in America is at least as happy as the typical corporate employee. Not because homeless people are happy, but because the typical rat racer is so beseiged and desperate.
I wonder which one is more affected by cigarettes, drugs, & alcohol...
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:24 AM   #43
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I'm in the typical American crowd.

I expect to eventually die in an avalanche of thrift store children's toys.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:58 AM   #44
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I am typical, but moving to minimalist. Owning stuff is it's own slavery. I want a few nice things that are special to me, otherwise, I am spending too much time fixing, cleaning, maintaining, that it is too easy to become a slave to my possessions. No thank you.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:10 AM   #45
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Typical American. But the early examples on this thread hardly touched on my possessions. I think for me the insights come from spending the years from 30.5 to 49.5 in the same house. In my 30's, I was buying and buying. At 40 to 43, I donated things to people who were burned out, and to nieces and nephews. At 49.5, I see I hardly ever use 90% of what is here, but it's here. It's not the worst problem in the world, in fact it's quite easy to ignore. Since I did not move after the accumulating years, I haven't ever done a thorough clean out. Yet.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:49 AM   #46
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We are in the process of downsizing from a five bedroom house to something that we can lock up and walk away from for a few months at a time. We are now on the third pass and becoming somewhat ruthless about what to keep and what to pass along to others.

Prior to starting the process we thought that it may be difficult. The opposite it true, we find it liberating and continually ask ourselves why did accumulate so much and why did we ever need such a large home. Can't wait to get out of here and move on with our lives.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:05 AM   #47
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Housebound minimalist describes me the best I would say.

No garage even though we have the lawnmower and cars. Small 8x12' storage shed where we keep all the outdoor stuff (like lawnmower) and general storage.

1800 sf house which is bigger than we really need but we bought it at auction at a dirt cheap price (around $60/sf). We do have 2 kids and another on the way, so my idea of downsizing is still 18.5-22.5 years away. I imagine as the kids get older we will grow into our house for a period of a few years before they leave the nest.

In terms of decor, I don't think we have ever bought any furniture new other than our main couch, and most of the remainder was given to us or acquired for free or nearly free (thrift shop, craigslist, FIL found it in an abandoned house he was cleaning out, etc).

We don't own a lot of tools, but we do use most of the ones we have. I don't like owning a bunch of stuff or spending time acquiring stuff so we just don't buy much. Although I will stock up on consumables if I know they are a great bargain since I know we will use them relatively quickly (under a year).

Our cars demonstrate who we are pretty well - 12 year old accord and 12 year old civic. Powertrain is very well maintained, but the exterior looks like garbage. I guess not washing them in years will do that, along with driving through mud and concrete dust/slurry on the job site. But they get us where we need to go and will probably last another 12 years. However I take the bus to work about half the time (when I don't need my personal car for work trips out of the office). Most families with kids have big honkin SUVs or minivans but so far our ample sized trunks seem to have taken care of kid related cargo hauling. I have entertained the idea of a small hitch addition to one car in order to tow a small utility trailer (for personal watercraft which we don't yet own). Or to put a hitch mounted luggage rack or bike rack. I'd rather do that than buy a big SUV to haul the same stuff rather infrequently (since I do a lot of downtown urban driving and parallel on street parking when I do commute to work by car).

I describe our consumption patterns as "value conscious consumers". If there is a cheaper way to accomplish something that isn't significantly inconvenient or burdensome then I will usually choose the cheaper way.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:24 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by brett
.
Prior to starting the process we thought that it may be difficult. The opposite it true, we find it liberating and continually ask ourselves why did accumulate so much and why did we ever need such a large home. Can't wait to get out of here and move on with our lives.
Ditto! Downsizing has felt liberating. Downsizing my book collection was the hardest part!
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:59 AM   #49
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Oops! I should have said we aspire to be house-bound minimalists, not minimalists-travelers. The "house-bound" was a red herring to me because after we retire, we will be less house-bound than now. We'll have good access to public transit, whereas now, I drive, but only for what I absolutely have to. And I LOVE getting rid of stuff! Spouse, not so much... (I don't mean I am trying to get rid of him! He just resists the, "But do we ever use it?" argument and has the "but we might need it someday" point of view.)
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:57 AM   #50
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What really frosts me is the following "safety feature" dreamed up by the manufacturers - I use heavy-duty outdoor electric cable with 3-prong male and female ends, but the hedge trimmer and chain saw only have TWO prong plugs - the better to suddenly fall out, causing the machine to quit while you're using it.
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Wrap the two cords around each other, and then plug them in, it helps........
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:58 AM   #51
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Ditto! Downsizing has felt liberating. Downsizing my book collection was the hardest part!
I know, DW loves books. If I get her a Kindle, can you buy at a reasonable price the books she HAS to have, and load them on there?
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:29 PM   #52
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Ditto! Downsizing has felt liberating. Downsizing my book collection was the hardest part!
Liberating for us too, though books took care of themselves too. I love books, but I resolved long ago that I wouldn't let myself accumulate more books than I could fit in 1 full sized bookcase (that I made myself). It holds several hundred, and I get rid of a book if needed to make space for a new one. After 35 years, I quit sailing a year ago, and culled about half my sailing books then, emptying about half of one shelf. Old books I'll never need again, gave them to young sailors/racers.

Probably because my parents and sister have kept every book they ever bought and they're all over their homes, even though they'll never read at least 80% of them ever again.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:55 PM   #53
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Ditto! Downsizing has felt liberating. Downsizing my book collection was the hardest part!
Since I am knee-deep into it, I find downsizing somewhat bitter sweet. On the one hand, a lot of stuff should have gone to the dumpster a long time ago and it feels great to finally get rid of it. On the other hand, there are things that are hard to toss in the trash. Thankfully, a lot of those things can be stored in digital format (photos, greeting cards, letters, drawings from my niece, books, home movies, etc...).
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:08 PM   #54
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Typical American

I contract only for snow plowing service.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:46 AM   #55
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Wrap the two cords around each other, and then plug them in, it helps........
+1 Like a square knot and then plug in, since there is no pulling on the plugs they will stay connected.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:55 AM   #56
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Typical American

I contract only for snow plowing service.
My plow guy bought a new truck and plow last summer. Has to be frustrated at the lack of snow. I'll admit that he is good in that there have been a couple 3-4" snowfalls where he could have come but the forecast was for rain so he didn't.

My plow guy I had before this guy seemed to come if we got 2" - which pi**ed me off since it wasn't necessary.

The new guy was in to paperless billing before it was fashionable - he calls his customers on the first of each month and tells us what we owe - saves on paper and stamps!! I admire his frugality.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:58 AM   #57
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+1 Like a square knot and then plug in, since there is no pulling on the plugs they will stay connected.
Another +1 here.

Here's a link with an explanation and pictures, for those who are more visually inclined:http://lifehacker.com/5833990/knot-y...ted-unplugging
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:27 PM   #58
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I do it the way shown in the second picture, but the first picture actually looks a bit better to me.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:44 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Amethyst

What really frosts me is the following "safety feature" dreamed up by the manufacturers - I use heavy-duty outdoor electric cable with 3-prong male and female ends, but the hedge trimmer and chain saw only have TWO prong plugs - the better to suddenly fall out, causing the machine to quit while you're using it.

Amethyst
Here is the solution: always attach the cord to the extension cord with a knot. That is, a simple overhand knot -- cross the cords, and bring the plugs back and plug them in.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:52 PM   #60
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35 years young,
You're not allowed to use that expression unless you are over 70.
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