Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Update on the Latest Happenings

     As of September 29th, 2014 I will be done with university classes for now as funding runs out, and it is time to get back to the grind stone. With a BAS in Human Services, and a Masters started in Management, I am sure to find something along the way. Working toward a mobile career, and beginning to write again on the side, there are so many things to look at, and explore. One thing is for certain, the experience, and knowing that it is done made college worth it, and I graduated with no debt from school, which is awesome at epic levels unknown to me. It has been a long ride getting to this point, and now concludes the adventures of school. Exploring the world, learning about new technology, and looking forward to what comes next is both uncertain, but a level of greatness.

     A few key areas of interest: I have settled on a Wolf Pup 17RP or finding another small toy hauler that has the same layout. I am in love with the size (under 22 feet for National Parks that require it), and love the front bunk bed layout that allows for storage up top, the bottom area for sleeping with the bathroom and kitchen facing each other, and not on one end or another to help balance the weight out. The garage area comes equipped with a ramp and open space on one side, and a fold up couch bed with a fold out table that is perfect for entertaining, or if I have a second person along. A large issue that has come up is where to put my bike, or if I want a kayak, as well as extra storage, and this is perfect as a custom built stand to hold storage above, along with a  kayak and bike complete with cabinet doors, and double as a desk on the bottom to serve as a home office. Below is the link to the Wolf Pup RV.

     Having lived the minimal lifestyle now in an upstairs, shared a bathroom and sometimes kitchen, while having to keep in mind that weight is an ongoing issue, I am looking forward to having a workspace that holds and doubles no matter where I live. My indoor space is no larger than a Class A bus without many of the ammenities, but I am on the go quite often, and that requires items that move as well. I have discovered a few things for those of you out there considering any type of minimalist lifestyle, whether it be due to mobility, space, or moving frequently.

     First things first, light weight electronics are great, but remember they require power to charge, and the screen is not that large, and the power can go out, so it is good to keep a few manual backup items for times when electronic entertainment is not available. There seems to be a shortage of surge protectors, USB hubs, and counter space when considering that a printer is not getting any smaller, and doing any type of project requires space to work. If any electronics are required for daily use, as mine are, then keeping a spare is a great idea. I work off an Acer Aspire 10 inch screen with a keyboard and mouse hooked up running a full version of Windows 2010 (Word, Excel ect included) that is good off the umbilical chord for about three hours. Maintaining an old XP desktop, CRT monitor, and a flat screen TV that can hook up to the tower or laptop as a backup has proven useful more than once, although not preferred.

I prefer to use the TV as is, and the CRT monitor is heavy and bulky, but it works in a pinch. I also have an old television with a clear TV digital antenna as a backup in case the TV goes, or I want to watch something local that I cannot get on Dish. It is clearly the largest item I own, and it is rivaling the dinosaurs, but it works great, and is better than nothing at all should the main TV go out. As I have gained new technology in the past few months, it can feel confusing at times just as Windows 8 rolls out, which has left me with the conclusion that my next computer will be a Mac Mini, and used flat screen monitor (I see them on Craigslist for 20-30 bucks)  as apple basically works the same throughout, and actually updates their products in a timely fashion. I do not like the new Windows 8, and the laptop is becoming outdated quickly as time goes on since 2011 when I bought it.

   Next minimalist thought, if it does not work, is not a backup, is taking up space, and a long distance move were to come up, and it would guaranteed not move, it is time to let go. Take a picture, back it up, or ensure it goes somewhere it will be loved, but let it go. The clutter build up from unused stuff, cleaning the dust off it, and the amount of space it takes could be occupied with something of better use. I am taking three old TVs in the house that do not work right anymore to a recycle place this week along with mailing out old college books that will clear up some space. Open space in a small space where everything has multiple purposes is so very important due to how quickly one mess can be a disaster as it can take up every square inch of floor space without batting a thought.

    Did I mention that everything needs to have its place, and remain there? Remember that when one item goes in, another must either go out, or be added to the new structure as nothing can just be for keep sake. I am vastly learning what using something means as I clean my personal space, and attempt to organize everything, and move items in order to clean, and redo the wood floors that are in need of some touch up work. Make sure furniture fits between doorways, and can be moved up and down stairs in order to reorganize. There are down falls to minimalist living, but by keeping things in order, not stuffed into closets, and behind closed doors, the things that are out are easy to find, and may find more frequent use.

    Just because the system works today does not mean it will tomorrow, and that is the key; whenever there is a major life change, ensure to go through each space and clear out what is not needed, and reorganize based on life priority. Having a desktop space, and a dedicated TV and printer stand are critical at the moment, and therefore organizing a dedicated office, tools, and personal products section makes life easier. One cart stand serves as a modified kitchen area, and the closet shelf fits personal items, while a bookshelf, and open shelf stand hold just about everything else. Keeping items off the floor, and using big rugs is incredibly handy to open the space up, but remember that any personal going trhrough projects will change things up in a drastic way. Tackling one project at a time works great, and buying only as much stuff as needed is also crucial to success. However, on that note, buying in bulk saves time and money, of which the less clutter laying around, the more storage space for in bulk items.

More ipod ramblings...
     The ipod organizer app called Moms Planner is the greatest item ever, and is what I use to do indiivdual plans. The WIFI calling feature of Text Now is handy for long distance calls over WIFI, and it even comes in clearly. I made a call today, and was very impressed with the overall experience, which means the ipod makes a good backup phone. The camera is good enough that snapping photos of important paperwork to be mailed in works great, and the editing software is good. It is not a replacement for a professional grade camera, but it gets the basic pictures done, and with the icloud email function, I have had a very good experience so far. FreeMusic+ is also great for offline music on the go, and the picture quality is good as well. I enjoy Dragon City on the go, which also requires WIFI, but actually looks better on the ipod than on my regular computer screen.

     And finally, the Anker Bluetooth keyboard paired with the ipod 5 touch using the Anker adjustable stand works great. Organizing paperwork that is not to heavy, and moves frequently can be done with the blue foldable cloth organizers sold at the dollar store. I have added the little baskets from the Dollar Store as well to organize cables, pens and pencils, and every other random item so that is easier to access, and can be moved easily. Some of us just aren't built to lift and haul oak furniture throughout, or have a cat that has fur, and in order to keep the place clean and sanitary, requires frequent vacuuming and sweeping. Maybe a few ideas made it out there, and I will take pictures as soon as I get a few more items organized for a few ideas.

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