After spending the last six years basically a homeless vagabond — bouncing from couch to floor to closet to shared bedroom, to tent, to shared bed (insert slut joke and assumptions about my promiscuity here), to several months on the road in a cramped truck with three other chicks — I feel worthy of proclaiming myself an expert couch surfer. By letting go of some pride and dignity there are ways to keep a roof over your head with the limited funds you make being a snowboard bum. And the more money you save on this basic necessities of life, the more you have to spend on boarding, so here are my tips.
–Keep your shit tight. If you’re living in a closet under the stairs, probably best to keep your shit contained to your closet, not spewing into the living room.
–Embrace the gossip. If you’re living on a pull-out couch or futon, and bring someone home from the bar, accept the fact that your whole house will be privy to your exploits.
–Become a minimalist. Mo’ possessions, mo’ problems. Living on a couch doesn’t give you much closet space and as a transient, you want to be able to pack up your entire life quickly and easily (into your Honda Civic) and move on to your next home.
–Beggars can’t be choosers. Be thankful for anything soft to lay your head on — Bean bag, hammock, lay-z boy, carpet under the coffee table, etc.
–Learn to love yoga and stretching. It will correct back problems that occur as a result of sleeping on a bean bag, hammock, lay-z-boy, carpet under the coffee table, truck bed, bath tub… etc.
–Invest in good headphones. Your roommate with the actual room and bed is getting laid a lot more than you, you’ll want to drown out the sound effects that will remind you of this sad reality. These will also be useful when the 15 Australians renting the upstairs part of your house decide to party to dubstep until 6am.
–Girls: When sharing living space with boys, there is a good chance they are going to get drunk and pee somewhere that is not the toilet. I speak from multiple experiences. I don’t know why this happens, I’m not a boy, but if you accept it, it will be easier to brush off.
Jess Kimura’s been car camping since before it was cool. Photo: Jeff Holce
–Living in your car is great in the summer. Make sure to keep it organized. Find a public gym with a cheap membership fee so you won’t even have to sacrifice daily showers.
–Learn to adjust to roommates schedules. If they’re partying, you’re partying. Don’t bother trying to resist and go to sleep. You will end up having a lamp fall on your head, or being mistaken for a pile of blankets on the couch and sat on.
That should get you started and take it from me — over the years I’ve almost learned how to be a grown up and live conflict-free with other humans. If you chill the fuck out and enjoy life, you too can have a cost-effective and drama free season! Good luck.