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Living Minimally (in regards to possessions, appliances, etc)

shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior MemberPosts: 6,002 Senior Member
Or perhaps minimizing clutter is a better way of putting this.

I have somehow managed, despite being single and living on my own with a few transient roommates here and there (of the coworker variety, get your minds out of the gutter), to amass a 2 bedroom house and about 1/4-1/3 of a 2-car garage full of a lot of stuff. Much of it never gets used or sees the light of day.

Coincidentally, it looks like I'll have the chance to sell the house soonish and start looking at relocating. With this in mind it looks like a good opportunity to get rid of a lot of junk and shift my lifestyle to a more "minimal" style. Obviously one of the first steps is to start donating, recycling, selling, or just leaving at the curb anything I don't use regularly. With the exception of my gun collection and a few sentimental odds and ends this will definitely happen.

What I'm turning to this thread for are some ideas one how to reduce the sheer quantity of stuff you actually use. A great example is instead of having a huge set of kitchen knives you buy one extremely good kitchen knife of general use size and wash it after every use. This is the kind of shift I'm interested in.

So with that in mind, what other ideas exist? Some of mine are as follows:

- One extremely high quality kitchen knife to replace an entire set
- Reduce dishes, cups, mugs, etc to the amount to serve the maximum amount of people you will have at once in the foreseeable future
- With the advent of laptops work off of your kitchen table instead of having a dedicated desk
- Go paperless for bills, etc

What are some other ideas y'all can contrive?
- I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
"Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
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Replies

  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 7,467 Senior Member
    Every time I start thinking we have too much clutter around here my wife points out "what about all the gun stuff? Do we need all of that?" "Yes, yes we do." End of all the silly declutter talk. That said in you situation. I would have one really good item to perform a task( one great kitchen knife, etc). We have been paperless for years..... coming back to Colorado?
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Good idy, but don't toss stuff you will eventually replace all over again. Shouldn't be a problem with the HHG weight allowance you have the Army pays to ship. May dictate the size of new living quarters you will need and end up gettin at the next duty station.

    Get a wife and watch your "Stuff" multiply rapidly to the point you may be close to reaching the limit and have to pay for yersef. :tooth:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    Kitchen knives-- at the very least, you need a chef, paring, boning, and bread knife. It wouldn't hurt to have a carving knife either. Quality isn't compensation for function-- You can have the best ball-**** hammer in the world, but it is going to suck framing a house with one.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 6,002 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    Get a wife and watch your "Stuff" multiply rapidly to the point you may be close to reaching the limit and have to pay for yersef. :tooth:

    That isn't the worst sales pitch I've heard for marriage, but it's up there :D
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    It's pretty simple really, if you don't want to have a lot of stuff, don't get a lot of stuff. When I separated from the Air Force in 1980, everything I owned fit in the back of a Datsun B210 Hatchback. What most guys did back then was buy cheap or used furniture and just sell it when they PCS'd out. Back in the seventies a lot of guys even did that with their vehicles. I knew four different people that owned the same Rambler American and they all paid $100.00 for it.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,918 Senior Member
    Jerm's got a good point about the knives. You'll also need a good sharpening steel. I'd suggest a magnetic knife holder as a method of securing the knives, instead of a knife block that takes up a little more space.

    Another thing to think of is how often do you plan on cleaning stuff? Realistically. I have 3 thermos cups for coffee, not because I drink that much coffee, but because I don't always have the ability to do dishes every day. So rather than cleaning one or two items and letting the rest pile up in the sink, I just get extras. That way I can batch wash and get it all done.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,813 Senior Member
    I'm the wrong guy to advise anyone on reducing clutter. Honestly, I could walk away from all of it - I just can't throw it away.

    As for kitchen knives, I use a medium sized chef's knife for chopping and an 8" butcher knife for slicing. Neither of them works well in place of the other.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    The USAF had a good method of establishing that kind of lifestyle- - - - -"If it won't fit in a duffle bag, you don't need it!"

    Worked for me until I got a domestic accessory called a "wife"- - - - -the first time around, that was a disastrous mistake!
    Jerry
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Lots of things will cost more later to replace and when you need something, you need it. So things like tools and whatnot are nice to have O/H. They will ship empty brass and bullets, dies, presses and that kinda stuff.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,122 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    If you get married, your clutter will increase 10 fold.


    Yep. I was pretty proud of myself 'pre-engagement' that I could fit everything I owned in my one vehicle and move if needed in an afternoon.

    Now? Moving would either take a large fire or 2 eighteen wheelers.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    I've done the minimalist thang. It was called college.

    I like having lots of stuff better.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 25,090 Senior Member
    My wife was literally SHOCKED at the sheer amount of "stuff" I brought from California. And we don't have half the gadgets and electronics people seem to accumulate these days. Gun stuff wasn't too bad as its mostly pistols. Belly Dance stuff for two dancers? An entirely different story, and that was AFTER we purged 2 large boxes! And artwork, we managed to hang 99% of it; but had to get rid of some, and my man-cave/library is STUFFED with it.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Save for the garage and shed, about the only thing in the house that's specifically mine are my clothes. My wife has piles of shtuff EVERYWHERE.
    When my mom passed, she had crap everywhere. Knick knacks and assorted crap. I was throwing it in the trash. Mother in law was coming A-PART.

    "Why don't you want to keep that!?!?"
    "I don't have room, and don't want it!"
    "But it was your moms!"
    "So?"
    "Is this what you are going to do with my stuff when I die!?!?"
    "Absolutely!"

    My mom, jokingly, once told me that she would write me out of the will. My reply was something like "good, then I won't have to clean up your junk!"
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,122 Senior Member
    My mom, jokingly, once told me that she would write me out of the will. My reply was something like "good, then I won't have to clean up your junk!"

    my mom THREATENS us with getting the contents of the house.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 2,040 Senior Member
    If you dont' wear it, use it, or it doesn't work, get rid of it.

    That special day you might use it is likely not coming.

    Doesn't apply to you, but to those of us who've been through a divorce, they're pretty good for cleaning up clutter.
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    The only flaw in my plan is that when the inlaws die, my wife will want to keep all of their crap.

    If they will hang on just long enough....
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,161 Senior Member
    Something we learned living in a small house....something comes in...something goes out...anybody want my vintage barb wire collection?
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,367 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Something we learned living in a small house....something comes in...something goes out...anybody want my vintage barb wire collection?

    Yeah.

    Will swap it for 10 empty Folgers plastic coffee containers and 5 empty Don Francisco's coffee cans. Can throw in a drawer full of used wine corks to sweeten the pot.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    We just moved my mother into an assisted living facility and sold her house and a lot of her furniture, etc. There was still plenty of stuff for each of us to take with us. It's amazing how much stuff she had collected over the years.

    In addition to that, we recently moved to a smaller house, and had to give away a lot of stuff we had room for in the other house. We still have some of our stuff in plastic containers on shelves in the garage.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    You are attempting to go against the nature of Nature. Nature abhors a vacuum, and will work diligently to fill that vacuum. You get rid of all that 'stuff' and move to new digs. Nature will immediately notice that new vacuum, and the filling will begin in spite of efforts to head it off at the pass. Nature is relentless; you will NOT win. :tooth:
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    Yeah.

    Will swap it for 10 empty Folgers plastic coffee containers and 5 empty Don Francisco's coffee cans. Can throw in a drawer full of used wine corks to sweeten the pot.

    Are the Don Francisco fans metal? I have some vintage woven wire I need to unload.
    ETA Plus a plastic Maxwell House coffee can of vintage rusty only used twice 16p nails.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    That isn't the worst sales pitch I've heard for marriage, but it's up there :D

    Don't bother with all the legal hassles- - - - -just find a woman you can't stand to live around after a while, and buy her a house! You'll end up with nothing but the clothes on your back.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyqe8n-pbqQ

    :roll:
    Jerry
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    When you buy land and need certain equipment such you build an outbuilding and shed to store it is the gateway thing ‘cause one building leads to 3. As to the wife thing ... she might comes close in number of items but in tonnage I got her beat in my shop alone. Between tools and equipment along with just firearms related stuff I do not open my mouth about stuff to her. She could pack the house up and be out in 3 days ... me 3 weeks would be more like it and that is if I had a dumpster to trash my “I might need that” stash of nuts, bolts, screws, wire, etc that I have accumulated along with other good junk.

    I told her some years back “I ain’t moving from this house except for 2 things ... we have a catastrophic fire or I die ... and in the case of the latter cremate me and spread my ashes on the shady side of the pond where we have spread our animals ashes over the years.”
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,367 Senior Member
    Are the Don Francisco fans metal? I have some vintage woven wire I need to unload.
    ETA Plus a plastic Maxwell House coffee can of vintage rusty only used twice 16p nails.

    Metal ones with plastic lids. The lids are cracked btw but fit loosely.............
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 25,090 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Buy the best you can and only buy one/once.

    :that::agree:

    I *hate* buying something twice - or again and again and again...

    Buy it once and be done with it.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    Metal ones with plastic lids. The lids are cracked btw but fit loosely.............

    Oh you may have a deal. Metal coffee cans seem to be getting scarce.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,365 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Dollar store coffee comes in one pound metal cans. So if you want a metal can, buy the coffee, dump it in the trash and keep the can.

    You can get Café Bustello in a metal can and it is pretty good coffee AND kinda sorta cheap.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,367 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Dollar store coffee comes in one pound metal cans. So if you want a metal can, buy the coffee, dump it in the trash and keep the can.

    Orchidman 'Likes'' this.

    I dont care how much I am on the bones of my arse, life is too short to drink crap coffee. I normally serve the low quality stuff to guests I dont like and make myself a cup of the good stuff.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    Hi, my name is Buffco, and I am a hoarder. I cannot throw things away. Even broken things. It hurts too bad.

    I have more than one coffee can full of slightly used nails I pulled from lumber that I was salvaging. Waste not, want not.
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    Hi, my name is Buffco, and I am a hoarder. I cannot throw things away. Even broken things. It hurts too bad.

    I have more than one coffee can full of slightly used nails I pulled from lumber that I was salvaging. Waste not, want not.

    I come from a family of hoarders, I myself have a hoarding problem if I am not very careful. I draw a hard line at nails, I have straightened thousands before I got my own place. Dad would go so far as to reuse air gun nails.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
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