Minimalism (The Not Owning Stuff Kind)

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by APK, May 1, 2010.

  1. APK

    APK Senior member

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    I'd probably just invest in a couple of 2 gig HDs and rip them all. Who wants to keep physical media around?

    This pertains more to vinyl than any other form of media, but I know for many, there's something about having the tangible item there. You can make a connection to the drive to gain material possessions, but there's a more deeply rooted aspect behind this mindset.

    To an extent, I'm the same way with DVDs. I could easily put everything on some external hard drives and clear up a lot of space. But there's something to be said for picking up the physical item and, in many cases, going through any bonus reading material included.

    Of course, that's just one theory. I can't even say it applies to me across the board, since I have no real desire to do this with CDs, despite the sound quality selling point of the CD vs. an MP3 and the inclusion of liner notes.
     


  2. zissou

    zissou Senior member

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    Awesome thread. I am just now seeing it, and reading through the whole thing. I don't think it's foolish at all. I try to live a minimalistic life, and try to have well-made and designed possessions as much as possible. That's where this forum fits in, at least for clothing. Personally, I'm sincerely happier with the fewer things that I own. All of my music is digital, and DVDs are kept to a minimum- only those that I know I'll like enough to watch over and over again (about a dozen). I recently pared down my closet to just the stuff I really like and wear often, and I won't buy anything else unless I am 100% interested in it. Nothing feels better than getting rid of stuff that I don't use, especially if I can make a few bucks. Regarding my wardrobe, it's fairly minimal, but I have a real dichotomy between what I own. It's about half cheap-ass J Crew stuff (which I think is actually fairly well made) and the other half is pricey, mostly Japanese-made goods, from labels like Mister Freedom and Nigel Cabourn. I've also gotten into making a lot of my stuff, at least accessories. Regarding how I grew up, yeah, my Dad has always had a ton of stuff, and it's so disorganized that he can never find anything. That's probably partly what inspired me to only have the minimum, and to be very well organized. I notice that both my Mom and step-mom never seem to be satisfied with what they have, so they are always buying or changing posessions, furniture, etc. My life is so freaking busy that I don't need instability in the crap that I own. I'd like to get to the point where, when I retire (which is many years away), I have virtually no possessions. Just a couple suitcases of clothes, a box or two of sentimental items, no home, no car. Then, I can go live in Paris for a few months, or Italy for some time, or anywhere. What a life that would be. At this point, I own: A small closet of clothes A small amount of rather nice kitchen ware A few pieces of furniture that I will keep A car, motorcycle, and bicycle A ton of tools from three generations of my family because I do a lot of home renovations. Oh, well, and a house that I am hopefully going to sell soon Oh, and I have recently become friends with a woman who is as much of a minimalist as I am and loves to be organized. She very relaxed, down-to-earth, and funny, and I think I'm in [​IMG]! In fact, I just made her a spinach, mushroom, cheese omelet with homemade salsa and bread for breakfast [​IMG] Interestingly, she's European, which I think has a lot to do with it. Americans are much more materialistic. With my daughter, she has plenty of toys, games, and stuffed animals, but they all have to reasonably fit in her room. Twice a year, just after Xmas and her birthday, she has to go through her stuff and donate what she doesn't play with anymore. With her clothes, I have to buy her a new wardrobe almost every season because she grows so much. Phew! Sorry for the long post, but I'm just catching up.
     


  3. longskate88

    longskate88 Senior member

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    Awesome thread. I am just now seeing it, and reading through the whole thing. I don't think it's foolish at all. I try to live a minimalistic life, and try to have well-made and designed possessions as much as possible. That's where this forum fits in, at least for clothing.

    Personally, I'm sincerely happier with the fewer things that I own. All of my music is digital, and DVDs are kept to a minimum- only those that I know I'll like enough to watch over and over again (about a dozen). I recently pared down my closet to just the stuff I really like and wear often, and I won't buy anything else unless I am 100% interested in it. Nothing feels better than getting rid of stuff that I don't use, especially if I can make a few bucks.

    Regarding my wardrobe, it's fairly minimal, but I have a real dichotomy between what I own. It's about half cheap-ass J Crew stuff (which I think is actually fairly well made) and the other half is pricey, mostly Japanese-made goods, from labels like Mister Freedom and Nigel Cabourn. I've also gotten into making a lot of my stuff, at least accessories.

    Regarding how I grew up, yeah, my Dad has always had a ton of stuff, and it's so disorganized that he can never find anything. That's probably partly what inspired me to only have the minimum, and to be very well organized. I notice that both my Mom and step-mom never seem to be satisfied with what they have, so they are always buying or changing posessions, furniture, etc. My life is so freaking busy that I don't need instability in the crap that I own.

    I'd like to get to the point where, when I retire (which is many years away), I have virtually no possessions. Just a couple suitcases of clothes, a box or two of sentimental items, no home, no car. Then, I can go live in Paris for a few months, or Italy for some time, or anywhere. What a life that would be.

    At this point, I own:
    A small closet of clothes
    A small amount of rather nice kitchen ware
    A few pieces of furniture that I will keep
    A car, motorcycle, and bicycle
    A ton of tools from three generations of my family because I do a lot of home renovations.
    Oh, well, and a house that I am hopefully going to sell soon

    Oh, and I have recently become friends with a woman who is as much of a minimalist as I am and loves to be organized. She very relaxed, down-to-earth, and funny, and I think I'm in [​IMG]! In fact, I just made her a spinach, mushroom, cheese omelet with homemade salsa and bread for breakfast [​IMG] Interestingly, she's European, which I think has a lot to do with it. Americans are much more materialistic.

    With my daughter, she has plenty of toys, games, and stuffed animals, but they all have to reasonably fit in her room. Twice a year, just after Xmas and her birthday, she has to go through her stuff and donate what she doesn't play with anymore. With her clothes, I have to buy her a new wardrobe almost every season because she grows so much.

    Phew! Sorry for the long post, but I'm just catching up.


    This sounds ideal, I'm pretty minimalist but worried what will happen when I get with someone long-term. I haven't dated any minimalists before, most of them seem to find comfort in having lots of stuff [​IMG] . Good for you though, hang onto her!
     


  4. otc

    otc Senior member

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    I'm improving! I was at a thrift store yesterday (gotta get rid of that stuff I won't wear post-SF) and found a NWT cocktail shaker that I really liked. It was nicer than the one I have...but I already have a perfectly functional one.

    So instead I bought it and brought it to dinner at some friends' new apartment as a housewarming gift. BAM! I still get to enjoy it occasionally but I don't have to store it.
     


  5. kaiserkarl

    kaiserkarl Senior member

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    what about heirlooms? pictures before there was digital?
     


  6. cross22

    cross22 Senior member

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    The less I own the more free I feel. I go through my crap every year and throw away about 70% of them, basically anything that I haven't used in the prior year must go.
     


  7. zissou

    zissou Senior member

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    Cheers, longskate. At the moment, we're just friends, but it's refreshing to spend time with a woman who isn't obsessed with acquiring crap or decorating.

    I was just walking across campus and thought about how nice it is to have my closet pared down...
     


  8. Davidko19

    Davidko19 Senior member

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    As a followup...


    I put about 40 of my 150 old NES games on ebay individually and they finished with almost $480 in bids! Im putting another batch up now and the balance of the lot memorial day.

    These things take up a ton of space and never got used. It was pretty much the most frivolous, pointless thing I owned, so Im happy to be getting rid of "Cowboy Kid", "Godzilla 2" and "Mario's Time Machine". It doesnt hurt that I could potentially net close to a grand out of it - perfect for vegas!
     


  9. unjung

    unjung Senior member

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    I traded an old car for a bottle of Scotch last week. I will be selling the summer tires for that car separately soon. I don't own any movies and my only CDs are in a Tupperware case, waiting for me to buy a new computer so I can rip them and then toss them.

    My biggest issue is probably furniture. I outfitted one apartment and then ended up moving in with roommates later, so now I have a futon, coffee tables and lamps that I have to haul around. I am regretting buying a bed, should have just stayed with the mattress I slept on through college.

    I am looking at moving again in a few months because I can't stand my current place. The good thing is that there is light at the end of the tunnel and I think if all goes well I might be able to buy a place in a year.
     


  10. APK

    APK Senior member

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    I've come to the realization that for as much as I like the convenience and visual aspect of a strong DVD library, I really dislike CDs. Maybe it's because half of my CD cases don't even have the CD in them (god only knows where those are scattered) or perhaps it's the cheapness of the jewel case. Whatever the reason, I'm chucking/selling all of my CDs.

    I'm opting to go digital with a dash of hipster (all of my music on an external hard drive and purchasing my favorite albums on vinyl for an intimate, essential record collection).
     


  11. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Just remember, harddrives die much easier than CDs or DVDs (well unless you are one of those people who can't figure out how to take care of a plastic disk).

    It is random and often has no warning. My few month old 1TB drive failed recently. Luckily I was able to get it to spin up again in order to clone it to the few year old 500GB drive that it replaced. I also had a semi-recent backup on the 300gb drive that the 500gb replaced.
    The 20GB laptop drive from an old ibook is still trucking away but another 30gb drive from the same vintage is kaput and a much newer 60GB laptop drive has awful data errors (but I still use it occasionally on an external cable to move large files (non-essential ones since sometimes they don't work).

    Would hate to see someone dump all of their photos/music in one place only to discover that their harddrive was dead.

    I don't make frequent backups (I should) but I always clone drives whenever I do something major or during my annual reformat/reinstall so I can't lose anything more than 1 year to a single failure. The only irreplaceable stuff are photos but if you figure the expected value on a crash is .5 years...I tend to rotate through enough memory cards that I still have photos from .5 years ago on the camera...covering my expected losses.

    Music can be recovered since the bulk of my collection is more than 1 year old (and the newer stuff worth listening to should be in your recent memory so you can go find it again). I have never been a huge hoarder of TV/Movies--grew up with almost zero tapes but frequent blockbuster stops so no big loss there. I don't tend to delete old shows or movies I have seen unless I need the space--I don't usually rewatch them, but it seems like wasted time to go about searching for stuff to delete when XBMC has the "show unwatched" option.
     


  12. zissou

    zissou Senior member

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    PK- I'm the same way with CDS vs DVDs, although I don't own many DVDs at this point.

    Anyone who doesn't back up their HD frequently, especially if all their music is digital, is a crazy person.
     


  13. Cool The Kid

    Cool The Kid Senior member

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    Me and my girl just moved into a new place... we have about 6 small TV boxes worth of crap we are looking to dump on Manhattanites. Just wasteful crap and clothes we will never wear.
     


  14. APK

    APK Senior member

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    Just remember, harddrives die much easier than CDs or DVDs (well unless you are one of those people who can't figure out how to take care of a plastic disk).

    It is random and often has no warning.

    No doubt. And I'm precisely the type of technologically cursed person this would happen to. I've had my external HD for more than two years and have yet to have any problems with it (knock on wood).

    To be fair, I rarely buy CDs and probably only own maybe 25-30 that I would still listen to with any regularity. I was a big CD buyer in my teens, but cooled off considerably once I was able to, erm, acquire albums online.

    Physical pictures are one of the few categories I won't likely ever dispose. I'm going to scan what I have this summer, but those will be more of a backup than anything else. Music, movies, etc. are replaceable. Old family pictures and the like aren't. I wouldn't trust my own copies of them to be digital.
     


  15. gungadin25

    gungadin25 Senior member

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    I too am a minimalist -- in words and possessions.
     


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