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Old 03-12-2013, 12:08 PM   #41
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I agree. It was a unpaid ad for his designer small living space business, courtesy of the NYT.
Bingo.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:18 PM   #42
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To each his own. I'm inspired.

I think this guy reminds us that we can choose how much "stuff" we have. He isn't trying to force anybody.

That's 8 less books I buy this month that will fall on DW's head. Another $100 for retirement.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:35 PM   #43
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I generally appreciate the "living with less" mindset. But this article didn't do it for me for several reasons that others have touched on (it's an ad for his business, it's a lecture from an extreme consumer turned extreme minimalist, it's easy to be a happy minimalist when one has lots of dough in the bank).
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:36 PM   #44
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I agree. It was a unpaid ad for his designer small living space business, courtesy of the NYT.
Bingo.
Ah-hah! So I guess my 'spidey-sense' was right when I felt like I was being 'sold' something, rather than having someone 'share' an experience with me?

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I don't even know how many car loads of stuff we have sold, donated and recycled and haven't missed a single thing. The scary part is we aren't even half done. The cool part is that when we are done we will be able to slash our expenses and free up a lot of time by having a much smaller and easier to maintain house. And we can find things easier these days!

Another plus is that we've made a bit of extra cash, too, from the stuff we sold.
That's fine, but I guess I still don't see the value in this guy telling/selling us that, we don't instinctively know this?

I'm not living in a largish house to hold my 'stuff', I hold some 'stuff' because I happen to have a largish house, and have the space. We raised three kids here, and have it re-modeled to the point we don't really care to move right now. One day we will downsize, and it will be easy to get rid of lots of stuff. W/O a workshop, I don't need that stack of wood that I might use someday, or extra plumbing parts, extra tiles, carpet remnants, and other spare parts from re-models that I might use one day. The CDs and LPs that I've now got on a hard drive (and backed up) could be done away with - but as long as I have room, why not just keep 'em (there are some legalities/ethical issues in giving them away or selling them)?

I guess I'm saying, I control my stuff, my stuff does not control me. I think that is the measure, not 'how much' you have.

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Old 03-12-2013, 12:42 PM   #45
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I don't even know how many car loads of stuff we have sold, donated and recycled and haven't missed a single thing. The scary part is we aren't even half done. The cool part is that when we are done we will be able to slash our expenses and free up a lot of time by having a much smaller and easier to maintain house. And we can find things easier these days!

Another plus is that we've made a bit of extra cash, too, from the stuff we sold.
When we buy stuff, do we ever think about its life cycle cost to us? Let's say I bought a spiffy new Betamax player 30 years ago, and it has been obsolete for decades. Other than as an antique, it has no value. In fact, it's value is negative, because it is taking up space. Perhaps I moved long distance and had it trucked at considerable expense. I may never be able to sell it. So there is a great deal of waste involved in acquisition of stuff. Nowadays I find myself thinking of the product life cycle whenever I am considering a purchase. Do I really need this? Living in a smaller space is also an incentive to sell or donate stuff that I no longer have a use for.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:58 PM   #46
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That's fine, but I guess I still don't see the value in this guy telling/selling us that, we don't instinctively know this?
If you instinctively know this you are much smarter than me and a lot of our former co-workers. It took a lot of reading, forum participation and watching House Hunters International for us to get it.

Many of the people we used to work with would like to retire, hate their jobs, have long commutes, work overtime, live in big houses with garages filled with stuff, own expensive cars that sit out in the elements, have storage units for stuff they never use, and they don't see an easy way out. Simple living / the Money or Your Life book could provide that way out for them.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:21 PM   #47
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I agree. It was a unpaid ad for his designer small living space business, courtesy of the NYT.
In some countries it might be viewed as a propaganda piece on the wonderfulness of "living without".

"See, you don't need all that stuff those capitalists throw at you. All you need is a meager roof over your head and a bowl of soup...everything else leads to misery (now get back to work!)"
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:43 PM   #48
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I'm not living in a largish house to hold my 'stuff', I hold some 'stuff' because I happen to have a largish house, and have the space. We raised three kids here, and have it re-modeled to the point we don't really care to move right now. One day we will downsize, and it will be easy to get rid of lots of stuff. W/O a workshop, I don't need that stack of wood that I might use someday, or extra plumbing parts, extra tiles, carpet remnants, and other spare parts from re-models that I might use one day. The CDs and LPs that I've now got on a hard drive (and backed up) could be done away with - but as long as I have room, why not just keep 'em (there are some legalities/ethical issues in giving them away or selling them)?

I guess I'm saying, I control my stuff, my stuff does not control me. I think that is the measure, not 'how much' you have.
+1

Stuff is a hobby for me. House is not cluttered, but tons of stuff that I buy from the resale shops, (never spend more than $2), take apart, get to work, then play with... and eventually return to another resale shop where they price it higher, and the proceeds go to 'PADs' our local homeless shelter.

A cross between American Picker, and Hoarders.

At no time more than will fill a few canvas waste management tubs.

+1 also on spare parts... the few times is toss them, I end up needing them the next day, and have to pay top dollar.

With all of that, after being in a Japanese household in Tokyo, am sure I could live like that... family of 4, in about 200 s.f. Tatami mats, paper screens, single electric plate, two changes of clothes, and 3 cu. ft refrigerator.

http://freshome.com/2012/10/01/bes-s...designs-ideas/

"Stuff expands to overfill the space allocated to it's intended use."
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:15 PM   #49
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Sheesh, and I thought I was cynical...
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:17 PM   #50
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I have no problem with the article's recommendation to own less stuff and take up less space, but the fact that the author is a multimillionaire using the piece to make still more money = right message, wrong author IMHO.

I know plenty of people in the U.S. who have no choice but to "live on less," and then there's the small matter of the rest of the world. Remember this slide show with the total household possessions of various people around the planet? Kinda eye-opening:

Everything You Own In A Photo: A Look At Our Worldly Possessions : The Picture Show : NPR
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:41 PM   #51
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As george carlin said " a house is just a place to keep your stuff"

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Old 03-12-2013, 02:56 PM   #52
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I know plenty of people in the U.S. who have no choice but to "live on less," and then there's the small matter of the rest of the world. Remember this slide show with the total household possessions of various people around the planet? Kinda eye-opening:

Everything You Own In A Photo: A Look At Our Worldly Possessions : The Picture Show : NPR
Thanks for posting that link.

The 7th picture cracked me up. A yurt living family in a super desolate desert had some things you'd expect (wood fired stove, for example) and some things that surprised me (satellite dish and tv.)

The 6th picture - a family in Texas, didn't have any tv's... that surprised me.
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:00 PM   #53
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rodi, that is about typical in Mongolia, where they will also usually have a couple of big solar panels as well. As remote as some of those folks live, especially in the Gobi, the radio and TV are big features in their connectedness to the rest of the world. I loved that series as well.
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:12 PM   #54
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george carlin and stuff

thanks, rbmrtn!
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:28 PM   #55
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Sheesh, and I thought I was cynical...
+1. I just read the NYT article again, seems consistent with YMOYL and LBYM? So the uproar here is surprising to me, but then I agree with the basic less is more/stuff.NE.happiness POV - ideas I thought were widely held here.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:39 PM   #56
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The 6th picture - a family in Texas, didn't have any tv's... that surprised me.
Me, too!

A few years ago, my Texas niece and SIL visited us for a week. We had had no TV for a few years; it broke and we just didn't care enough to replace it. My cheapo Mr. Coffee had just broken down, and I hadn't replaced it yet.

Worst of all, we were still using the microwave we had bought back in oh, 1980.

When my SIL told my brother about the situation here, he asked her, "What are they, Quakers or something?"

We are now known as the family's California Amish.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:44 PM   #57
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The 6th picture - a family in Texas, didn't have any tv's... that surprised me.
Look again - I see one left center, next to the easy chair.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:58 PM   #58
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In retrospect, I must agree with those who are questioning the motives of the messenger. Perhaps if this new business venture of his doesn't work out, he'll go back to his former pattern of consumption?

The message resonated so heavily with me that I paid little attention to the author. This is where I have been in my life for the last few years - slowly and methodically getting rid of stuff so that I can move closer to my full-time RV dream :-)

Boy, is it slow work, but that's another story...............
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:14 PM   #59
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Is my reading unfair to the author?

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No, not unfair at all.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:25 PM   #60
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Is my reading unfair to the author?

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