Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Experience of Having Less - Transportation Edition

I have too much stuff. Don't you? I watch shows like Clean House, Clean Sweep and Organize This with an overexcited fervor. I *could* only have 1 of everything, monk-like closets and always know where everything is.

I'm a little bit of a pack-rat, and I tend to hold onto things for the potential fun. "Wow, that t-shirt COULD be modded into a rag rug! How much fun would that be? No, we're going to make a collage out of that old TV atenna and some USB cables! Really! It's art." I'm doing better - I have less crap, and set expiration dates on the stuff that's in the 'almost fun category'.

I have managed to get serious with transportation. Today, we became a one-car family. We've been been testing this out for about two months, since my clutch was shaky at best. Since we're fortunate to telecommute, live in an urban area, and have scooters for supplemental transit, we found out that we just don't drive that much.

- We rarely drive about 40.
- We don't go much past a 6 mile radius.
- We tend to drive when we have to carry a lot of stuff (the grocery store), date night, and when we visit friends.
- We drive to town.
- Brad drives to play hockey.

I'm happier with the one car - for one thing, it's nicer than either of the two cars we had. It's also making me think about consuming less,

- less impulse purchases, since most transit is on scooter
- more appropriate grocery buying - more trips, less quantity (yes, I use more gas, but I waste less food - and it's on something that gets 80-100mpg.)
- more walking for trips to the bank, post office, library, etc (about a mile)
- more thoughtful purchasing - driving the car is a bigger deal
- driving the car is more fun, since it's not something we do all the time, or have to do
- we're starting to combine trips more - last weekend, we both were going to up to Maryland, but we carpooled.
- pressure to keep the car cleaner, since we're sharing

Maybe part of the answer to my less cluttered dreams is to have less stuff, but enjoy it more.

No comments: