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Old 03-19-2013, 10:28 PM   #101
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This is a video where this guys describes his apartmnet. It was interesting:

GIZMODO - The Tiny Transforming Apartment That Packs Eight Rooms into 350 Square Feet on Vimeo

I do find his lifestyle too extreme for me and I wouldn't be happy with that amount of space and possessions.

That said, over the past few years I have found that I am happier with less "stuff" and a smaller home than I had in the past. I do find more happiness with less. It has been a process. 3 years ago we were living in a 4500 square foot house with a guest house and 2 double garages in which we did not park. One garage was solely used for storage and the other partially. Now we live in an about 3000 SF house and we can park in one side of our garage. We got rid of so much stuff when we moved. At one time we had about 20 book cases, now we are down to 3 plus the ones in our son's room. Even with all we have gotten rid of, I still have stuff that I know we have but I don't know where it is. The article did inspire to pick back up on my decluttering and just getting rid of stuff.

I found this article helpful in suggesting to get rid of stuff rather than "organizing" it:

A Secret to Happiness? Don’t Get Organized. The Happiness Project
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:22 AM   #102
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Thanks I enjoy watching these small space living concepts. Having spent many days on sail voyages, you learn how to live comfortably in much smaller spaces.

We don't plan on anything that small either, but it's a good source for ideas. Our next house will be smaller, how much is still subject to mild debate between DW & I.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:28 AM   #103
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This is a video where this guys describes his apartmnet. It was interesting:

GIZMODO - The Tiny Transforming Apartment That Packs Eight Rooms into 350 Square Feet on Vimeo

I do find his lifestyle too extreme for me and I wouldn't be happy with that amount of space and possessions.
I also like these, just for the ideas. I wish they also showed some floor-plan and elevations for a different perspective.

I esp liked the table at ~ 3:00. I looked at these two tables, was thinking they would be great for our kids - they fold up and can be a small table/shelf in an apartment, or fold out for when you have guests. But I wasn't thrilled with the build quality. If I can figure a relatively easy way to make one with high quality materials for a decent price, I'd like to build one for each of my 3 kids.










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Old 03-20-2013, 01:51 PM   #104
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I'll also add that in the past 15 years, I've probably been more and more aware that we will downsize at some point. So I think a little harder about collecting more stuff.

In particular, for my hobbies. For my beer brewing for example, I could afford to buy the cool stainless steel conical fermentors with programmable temperature control, and a brewing system with auto temperature control and pumps for everything, and a full size kegerator. But that would not fit in a small space. So I've developed my brewing method to work with a minimum of equipment. Some plastic buckets, two 5 G pots that go on the stove-top. And I bottle and use mini-kegs that fit in a fridge w/o mods. This would be easy to adapt to a small space.

My stereo system has gotten smaller over time. I recycled my broken and no longer needed anyhow cassette deck. Once my records are all digitized, I wont need the turntable. And with digital audio on the hard drive, no need for the CD player either. I don't really need the pre-amp/tuner anymore either - my computer's DAC has a volume control and feeds the amp direct.

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Old 03-20-2013, 04:32 PM   #105
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I've never seen the floor so clean as on these pictures after we've got kids & dog...
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:36 PM   #106
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I've never seen the floor so clean as on these pictures after we've got kids & dog...
"You could eat off my floors. Just look at all that food down there..."

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Old 03-20-2013, 08:00 PM   #107
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Yes, DH and I foresee downsizing within the next few years. But our approach is sooooooooooooo slooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww because we are enjoying ER way, way too (?) much. We've apparently eased into a defacto compromise:

1. We've lost most interest in shopping for anything beyond necessities. Taking the time to buy more stuff takes us away from our bonfires, book-reading, time with friends, "you-name-it"..... all the fun. For the first time since childhood, we can go to the library just for the pleasure of it. No papers to write or grade; no reports to write for megacorp.

We just go, check out whatever we want to read, get some free videos, head home, build a fire, pour a glass of wine. (Refuse to trade this for a trip to the mall.)

So, the good news is that we are adding nothing to the closets, basement and garage that need cleaning out.

2. Since winter is waning, garage sale time approaches. When the daffodils bloom, spring fever will hit. Then I'll be motivated to start tossing old stuff in boxes, hold a garage sale, and collect some cash for vacation.

So maybe this is the down-sizing plan: buy little to nothing more/use warm weather to clean out the house. Then, be sure to still buy nothing more.

Maybe this will help us eventually move.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:35 PM   #108
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We sold our five bedroom 3600 sq. ft plus home six months ago. We wanted to downsize but did not find a smaller place that we wanted to buy. We had a 16X8X8 PODS container delivered. We kept what fit into the container, other than a few boxes of documents that went to our son. It was difficult at first, but after the second or third pass we found ourselves eagerly giving up stuff that we had not used, opened, etc for years.

It was difficuclt to get rid of our 'stuff'. But after 6 months of travel...hotels, cruise ships, etc. we have come to the realization that we really need far less living space and that we had, and still have too much 'stuff'. There are things in that container that we will be discarding or sending to a non profit.

We found the whole process very liberating and we highly recommend it. Now, if only we could find the smaller 'perfect' place to buy or rent life would be great. Otherwise we may have to go back on the road.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:11 PM   #109
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We will be downsizing again in 5-10 years.....either here in the US or back in the UK (small is all we can afford there...really small). For the two of us... 1200sf with a garage is about right. Keep bicycle/golf clubs etc in the garage and out of the way. Without crap in the house.....1500sf+ is too much room. In the UK.....likely around 1000sf.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:40 PM   #110
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My stereo system has gotten smaller over time. I recycled my broken and no longer needed anyhow cassette deck. Once my records are all digitized, I wont need the turntable. And with digital audio on the hard drive, no need for the CD player either. I don't really need the pre-amp/tuner anymore either - my computer's DAC has a volume control and feeds the amp direct.




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Does it sound as good? I really, really enjoy good sound. Unfortunately for me that means large planar speakers, a beefy 60 pound amp and tube preamp and plenty of space (My speakers are 8 ft from the front wall). Although to be honest shrinking things at times sounds appealing from a back to the earth standpoint. Then I think I really enjoy what I have and it is important to me. If there isn't a pressing reason to minimize things why should I do it?
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:43 AM   #111
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We are quite interested in eventually having a smaller space with modular furniture like in the video Katsmweow posted. It would be bigger than 350 sq feet since there will be two of us in retirement plus maybe adult kids wanting to visit or needing to move back now and then. I would like to have some kind of pull out or pull down beds.

When our kitchen was remodeled a while back we just used small appliances for cooking like in the video during the construction time and never missed the cook top or wall oven. I think I would prefer the counter top space instead of large built in appliances in the future. The smaller appliances are more energy efficient as well. Our electricity usage charts really spike when we use the large appliances for cooking.

I am reading a book now with lots of space saving ideas from traditional Japanese homes where modular furniture and movable walls are more mainstream ways of living.

We want to have more free time and money for hobbies, travel, and part time work in the future. I am looking forward to less cleaning and upkeep as well as smaller insurance, property tax, utility and maintenance costs with a downsized home. And lots less clutter.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:38 AM   #112
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I had forgotten about it - too much going on at work. Writing these lines very early this morning. I will send you a PM when time permits.


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I said yes. Do you have a response to share?

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Old 03-21-2013, 06:32 AM   #113
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Eighteen months ago, we sold our primary house and moved into our second home. We brought over with us so much stuff in boxes that right now (and I just counted them) we've got 26 4-shelf units in our basement loaded with stuff.

Now we've decided to relocate in about a year. That means I've got 50-60 weeks to clear out 26x4=104 shelves worth of stuff. That's 2 shelves a week if I don't put this off and start on it right now. It would be fine if I were okay with just tossing the stuff, but I'm not. I'll want to craig-list a bunch of it, and resort and repackage some other stuff so I don't lose track of it again.

Good grief!

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Old 03-21-2013, 07:33 AM   #114
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The article was interesting, but to me it came across as someone who goes on an alcoholic drinking binge, and then changes to the other extreme and drinks nothing but water.
Yeah, I agree. The author was addicted to spending and now he's abstinent, or as abstinent as anyone can be. But not everyone develops such an unhealthy, addictive relationship to spending, and not everyone needs to take such a radical cure.

Still, I always like reading stories about living ultra-cheap.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:03 AM   #115
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Does it sound as good? I really, really enjoy good sound. Unfortunately for me that means large planar speakers, a beefy 60 pound amp and tube preamp and plenty of space (My speakers are 8 ft from the front wall). Although to be honest shrinking things at times sounds appealing from a back to the earth standpoint. Then I think I really enjoy what I have and it is important to me. If there isn't a pressing reason to minimize things why should I do it?
I only downsized the sources. The quality of the smaller sources is IMO (arguably in some cases, not in others) better than the quality of the larger sources.

My amp (B&K ST202E) weighs more than 60 pounds (I think, it's heavy enough that I never moved it after buying it ~ 10 years ago). My speakers are about as tall as I am (Magnaplaners). I would hesitate (maybe be in my grave?) before I would downsize those components!

IMO, it sounds better - much better. I like the fact that I totally bypassed the pre-amp/receiver, since the DAC can drive the amp directly. Though you could still keep the tube pre-amp if you like what that does for you. And the flexibility of all my music on a hard drive is wonderful.


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I had forgotten about it - too much going on at work. Writing these lines very early this morning. I will send you a PM when time permits.
Why not keep it public? All my comments on the subject were in public.

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Old 03-22-2013, 12:35 AM   #116
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Can say Hill does not know how to self-promote. He was featured on Today's show and doing the lectures circuit. He has another gig now.

http://www.myspace.com/video/nbc-tod...home/109245923

Will his next move be back to a mansion in the Hamptons?
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:57 AM   #117
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As I said, I will send you a PM if and when time permits. You can share it in public then if you wish to, but I don't want to keep highjacking the main topic of this thread.
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Why not keep it public? All my comments on the subject were in public.

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Old 04-12-2013, 11:45 AM   #118
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My wife and I are working on this - we don't replace anything that we use, except food etc.. Seems to be working as we acquire stuff while the kids grow and now can reflect on the next stage of life with less! The house is starting to look less crowded and neat.

Moving to a smaller place is in the cards within 3/4 years so less is more!
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:27 PM   #119
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We've been getting rid of 35 years of accumulated junk over the past year. Made sveral passes through the stuff, each time eliminating a little bit more; tsooong it or giving ro Goodwill. Not upgrading any furniture, because will want to sell the 4 bedroom 2 story home in a few years, and we really only live in two rooms. It gets easier and easier to get rid of stuff, and easier and easier not to accumulate - with practice.
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