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Thread: Fitting everything I own in my car?

  1. #31
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    In 1977 we moved from Alaska to Indiana. Brought what we could fit in a Buick Station Wagon, 300 pounds were shipped, and the luggage (including one cat in carrier) that I could bring on a flight. Started all over again.

    Our last move took the biggest semi trailer the moving company had and a 12 foot moving truck. Never again.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larknm View Post
    In 1974 my partner and I and our two dogs moved from Austin, TX to Williamsburg, VA in a VW Bug. I had just finished my PHD and we were going to my first teaching job at the college there. We sold almost everything of value--much of it she had made--to friends. We had been living on $800 a month with my TA salary and her Social Security Disability. Some of our stuff had no monetary value, for example the grandmother clock packing box that had served as our coffee table. We made it to Williamsburg and only missed one cabinet she had made that had especially beautiful dimensions. We didn't have the money to move any other way and didn't think that was a disaster, we just did it, happy to be able to move when we needed to.
    Nice! I like your style.

  3. #33
    thunderseed
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    Quote Originally Posted by UltraliteAngler View Post
    Hey, I was wondering if anyone had insights on fitting everything they own into their car.

    I have moved 27 times in my life, 25 of those moves happened after I turned 18 (I am 36 now). That is a lot of apartments, houses, dorms, rooms, townhouses, etc. haha

    While I have always been fairly minimalistic by American standards I have only gotten really, deeply serious about simplicity in the past two years. The last time I moved (June 2015) it took four carloads in my Nissan Versa hatchback. Now, with proper Tetrising, that could have been three carloads (maybe two!) but it would have been tough.

    Any suggestions on a challenge such as this? Thanks.

    -Jake D.
    Well, it's fitting with your username, but you could always just get rid of all of your stuff and survive on ultralight camping gear, because it's small, compact, lightweight and really awesome. But make sure it's actually practical. This one time I went camping with some guy who brought an ultralight frying pan that looked like it was made for a barbie, it was no bigger than the palm of my hand. I collected some oysters and wanted to cook them up and gave him one, but he had to use my pot to cook them in because nothing could fit in his, not even the oysters LoL. That tiny frying pan looked cute and didn't take up a lot of space, but it certainly wasn't good for anything. Anyway, if I was in your shoes and had to start over somewhere new that's what I would do but I already have a bunch of camping gear that I would be more than happy to just live on. I think it would be awesome to camp for the rest of my life, but my situation is the opposite of that now.

    It all depends on how minimal you are wiling to go, and that depends on a lot of factors, what is important to you to have, what your hobbies and interests are and if you are willing to set aside certain comforts for extreme minimalism. If the only reason you are doing it because you can't move all your stuff, then maybe consider using a truck.

    In my opinion, simple, minimal living doesn't have to mean that you can't have comfort and health, it's not like you have to force yourself to make do with nothing. I think a huge part of being zen and minimal is learning to actually enjoy the things you do have, being healthy, and finding a better balance in life. So it's not like owning furniture or comforts is taboo.

    I know people who prefer to sleep on the floor or in a hammock or on a matt instead of owning a bed and I've also done it myself before but it really depends on if that's truly comfortable to you, because those options are not healthy or comfortable for everyone. For example, I could never do it now because I have a tailbone injury. But there are some people who swear by some of those alternative bed options.

    But if you really do want to fit everything in a small car, forget about having any luxuries, no furniture, and no useless things.

    I used to move a lot and live in very small places. The only thing I had was a bike, a longboard, a bed and some clothes and some dishes that were given to me. Back then my priorities were the bike and longboard. And my longboard is HUGE, it's the longest longboard in town. I usually had to keep my bike and longboard inside so they took up the entire space but I sacrificed the space (back then I could only afford to live in tiny places) because it was the only way I could get around. All I cared about back then was that I had a comfy bed to sleep in at night, other than that I was never at home so I didn't care about aesthetics, decorations or owning anything really.

    I live in a long term house now and the way I want to live has changed. I spend more time at home and view it as a safe haven where I can relax and be surrounded by things I love. I have pretty much everything I could ever want here, a swimming pool, sauna, hottub, nice soaker bathtub, my art studio, etc. It's minimal in the sense that I like it to be spacious and zen with no stuff or clutter, but it certainly is not lacking when it comes to all the things that make me happy, if you know what I mean. I do not make do or survive here, it's like an oasis where I can truly be myself.

    Making do with extremely minimal stuff is possible if you know how to survive on bare minimum, but just remember survival is merely survival, it's not healthy and it's not always pleasant either, so make sure you know just how minimal you want to go lol, maybe think things through before deciding to get rid of absolutely everything you own. Downsizing is great but getting rid of practically everything can really reduce the quality of your life.

  4. #34
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    So...

    Over the past couple weeks I have gotten to the point where I can fit everything I own in (or on!) my little Nissan Versa hatchback.

    Well, there are a couple caveats.

    One: I will need to get a different mattress, a tri-fold or an inflatable. I am due for one anyway -- the one I have is over ten years old now.

    And two: I'll need a bike rack for my car. Currently I just throw my bike into the hatch if I need to transport it somewhere (like to the repair classes I took not too long ago which were on the other side of the city).

    Truth be told, I have not done a full dry-run of fitting everything in my car. But I took all the measurements, did some mock-ups, and fit some of the larger and/or awkwardly-shaped items into the car to see how much space would remain.

    This has been an interesting experiment in "Tetris" and showed me how to use space rather creatively.

  5. #35
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    I've slept on air mattresses for the past 6 or so years. Target has a folding air mattress cot thing that is aluminum and open up to a queen size base with a knit fabric casing to put the air mattress into. I liked it because I could replace the mattress every year or so when it would stop holding air. I left mine in Honduras. I now sleep on an IKEA hack base of 2 6' long shelving units on their side with square end tables the same height in the middle. My clothes go into cubes in the squares of the shelving. I think it is 17" high? Anyway, using an air mattress is not a bad way to avoid the hassle of a traditional mattress.

    EDITED TO ADD:

    http://www.target.com/p/coleman-fram...mattress+frame

    Not the same one I had but looks very similar.
    Bad spellers of the world, UNTIE!
    formerly known as Paula P

  6. #36
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    I did a "dry run" of actually fitting everything in or on my car. And I did it!

    All I need to do (as I mentioned above) is get a bike rack to attach to my hatchback and trash my old mattress and get an air mattress.

    It took me less than two hours to Tetris everything in, I even have some internal space to spare. haha

    It took my about a half hour to unload everything. So fast!

    Moving should be a breeze in the spring!

  7. #37
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    color me impressed! But what do you do for furniture, like a couch? Just use the air mattress as all seating?

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by freshstart View Post
    color me impressed! But what do you do for furniture, like a couch? Just use the air mattress as all seating?
    Yes, I just sit on my mattress or sometimes the floor. But I am really active when I am not at work.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    That's fantastic! I'm shamed to say it took about 20 trips to move all our stuff, and we have a mini van.

    I prefer the tri-fold matress to the inflatables, but I do like a very firm bed.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardenarian View Post
    That's fantastic! I'm shamed to say it took about 20 trips to move all our stuff, and we have a mini van.

    I prefer the tri-fold matress to the inflatables, but I do like a very firm bed.
    Thanks!

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