Things got complicated here.
Life got in the way of my plans, but also goaded them on. My plans were for the summer to remove 1/2 of all the stuff here, right?
I didn’t make that goal. But now I really need to, one way or the other. We have decided that we’re going to live in the main part of our house, and turn the areas where we currently sleep and work into storage and other auxilary space. It makes a lot more sense for aging in place; it also will be easier to use the mini-split by itself to heat/cool this place, etc. It will be more economical as well.
This requires a huge shuffle of furniture and stuff. It will also require a huge cull of the same. We talked this morning about what moves where. What the obvious culls are. About getting estimates for moving the kitchen plumbing, etc. We intend to sell what we can of the excess stuff to pay for this, or just pay down the debt, either will put us in a better place in the future.
I have become completely fascinated by self-sufficiency videos. I’m not chasing the idea that if we don’t grow it, we don’t use it. But one video I watched talked about turning a house into a place producing what you need, instead of being a place where you consume what you need — and get somewhere else. I found another where a retired first-generation geek has automated his house in various unique ways. Many of the videos I’ve found are of people in Texas, California, etc. and we don’t have weather which enables us to use some ideas they do, but there ARE things we can do, sanely. Consolidating our living space is a big way we can cut down what we own, what we “need,” and use.
It’s remarkably easy to think you need socks when you can only find one pair, because the others are in another part of the house, waiting to be washed or whatever.
Consolidating our living space won’t automatically solve all our disorganization problems, but it likely will help quite a bit!
The minisplit may be put off until spring 2020, but the beginning of the consolidation won’t.
Posted in calendar, cleaning, cleaning up, Culling, Cultural Shift, dehoarding, Digging Out from Under, domestic economy, Getting Organized, Goals, home improvements, Links, Links list, Making Home, New Habits, organization, projects, psychological stuff, Resolutions, saving money, scheduling, self-interest, selfishness, stuff
Tagged decisions, moving forward, next steps, plans
Today is the day I usually go to the farm for our week’s food. If I’d been home yesterday, I would put aside whatever remaining foodstuffs from last week I didn’t think we’d use.
I’ve started that effort today instead, but it IS being done.
I’ve also planned what I’ll get at the farm, that makes food use a bit less random!
Finally, I go right by our favorite markets on the way home, so I’ll do the weekly shopping. There’s a package of chicken thawing in the fridge for tomorrow and Sunday.
Tonight’s dinner is probably a cheese omelette and salad, or that’s the plan. This is subject to DH’s input, how much and types of cheese we have, etc. We had HM hummus, freshly baked bread, and green salad. It was too hot to cook and I’d been gone all day, no interest in cooking at all!
I culled 2 jars from the pantry as their contents will be replaced, starting today.
This is working! We’ll see if I can keep it up. DH and I have had a few discussions about the “menu plan,” and he thinks it’s a good idea and agrees with my long-term goals: getting us used to smaller, cheaper meals like we’ll have when he’s retired, spending less on restaurants/prefab food, less meat, more veggies, better use of the veggies we’ve paid for (from the farm), and less food waste.
And for me, the kicker is that this isn’t so rigid that I resent it and it takes away the creativity I normally use when cooking. The I don’t know what to make with what I’ve got randomness is the only piece of cooking I really like: taking a bunch of random ingredients and using up what needs it in a meal.
I know people who sit down and plan a year’s worth of menus at once. I couldn’t do that, any more than I could do something similar to Once a Month Cooking or Mega Cooking. I tend to put pieces aside, not meals. (For example, cooked rice and stems from greens for soup.)
Posted in calendar, Cooking, domestic economy, Food, food waste, frugality, future plans, Gardening, Getting Organized, Goals, New Habits, old fashioned housewifery, organization, pantry, Planning, projects, saving money, scheduling, Using up stuff
Tagged food, food planning, food planning goals, food prep, food storage, food waste, retirement planning: food, using farm foods, using it up rather than tossing it, using seasonal foods
Other things I can do:
- Look at the bulk price per lb for turkey parts at the co-op. I don’t like the taste of turkey as well as chicken, but turkey pound for pound, with bone in, is usually a better deal — there are fewer bones.
- Get the coupon file up to date, haven’t done this since April.
- Make food from recipes I have using foods I almost always have, first.
- Figure out how many potatoes and onions I’m likely to need over the winter. (Garlic is < 1 full braid, so are chilis. Carrots approx. 6 dozen.) Onions and potatoes were all used or tossed a month or more ago. After I have a number, I can explore purchasing enough to make it through winter, my goal.
Develop a basic stew/soup veg recipe and conversion recipes, so I’m not putting food aside to toss the following spring. Found something to try, a veggie soup recipe that has 2 distinct parts, the first pretty generic!
- Make more “stewed” tomatoes this year so I don’t run out in Feb. again.
- Try the celery thing.
- Make a sourdough starter and USE it.
- See if you can find unpasturized wine so you can make your own vinegar?
Photo by LoboStudio Hamburg on Unsplash
- 17 heads of garlic still on braid, one in basket.
- Cayenne ristra jarred. Old pepper flakes discarded. 5/16/19
Posted in calendar, Cooking, Cultural Shift, domestic economy, Food, food waste, frugality, future plans, Gardening, Getting Organized, Goals, home improvements, learning, minimalism, New Habits, old fashioned housewifery, organization, pantry, Planning, projects, saving money, self-interest, Storage, Using up stuff, workarounds
Tagged food planning, food prep, food savings, food storage, food waste, pantry, pantry planning
There are things I definitely agree with in Aslett’s book, Make Your House Do the Housework. And things I don’t.
One of the main things I do agree with him is that the easiest way to make something easy to clean/not require cleaning at all, is to change the overall system/design of something to that end. He has some favorites:
- Vinyl (which we won’t use because I’m allergic or sensitive to many kinds of plastics and petroleum products). I don’t disagree with him about the stuff being easy to clean but I don’t want easy to clean and makes me sick at the same time!
- Medium tones in colors, as very light or very dark show stains and spots more easily.
- Built-ins. Built-ins take away areas to clean (or should) as they frequently go from floor to ceiling. Last week I found someone making a “built-in” from Ikea bookcases and they left a 4-6″ gap at the top, so you have a weird looking top and an impossible to clean horizontal surface? I don’t know what’s up with that? Built-ins are just that, built in. And if they go up over my head, they’re going to go to the ceiling, not almost!
- Suspended Furniture. Wall mounted tables, chairs mounted to the front of a counter, etc. All make the single biggest horizontal surface in a home, the floor, easier to clean.
- Water filtration removing things like iron which cause staining.
- Reduction of surfaces, like using mirrored glass doors instead of louvers.
Okay, I mostly agree with him. I’d love a whole-house vac, but there’s no way thats possible in our solid-wall log home, forget it. That means at least 2 pieces of clutter/tools, vacuums. Of course, being us, we have 3. [We had 5 — I’m doing better, don’t get on me about this!]
DH has one for the workshop. I have a small portable I can and do carry around. Finally, I have an upright for the large rugs. We use all of them, every week. The workshop one DH has can be connected to tools to clean as he goes. MUCH better than before, I’ll put up with the extra piece to store! Not to mention that it’s much stronger than the other 2 vacs, so if I have something really filthy I borrow it . . . . And he made it a place to be put away, so it isn’t part of the floating clutter. That’s 2 of the 3. The upright doesn’t really have a put away place, and it needs one. It IS a part of the floating clutter. . .
I need a list! (I’ll add to this as I come up with other items.)
FLOATING CLUTTER (Cull, find a place to put it away, and/or use them)
- Upright vac
- All 3 rakes
Empty kindling bins
Proud of myself! Just figured out a spring/summer use for these: taking leaves to the dump! I have been reluctant to bag up leaves, because I couldn’t figure a way to do it without getting my face right in it.
My neat-nick neighbors put their leaves down a slope on the edge of their yard or put them in a trash barrel and haul them to the dump. They have trucks. We don’t. Putting leaves in barrels isn’t a solution here!
Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash
I’ve had a cold for a month now. The idea of using the kindling bins for hauling the leaves to the dump means that 1) they now have an out of season use which is much better than storing them empty 2) I won’t need to use bags to haul leaves to the dump, which means we won’t need to buy them and 3) I can get leaves prepped to go to the dump without getting my face near them.
Posted in Culling, domestic economy, frugality, future plans, Gardening, Getting Organized, Hoarding, home improvements, learning, Life Lessons, Making Home, minimalism, New Habits, organization, outside chores, projects, saving money, Storage, stuff, Using up stuff
Tagged doing without and not being deprived, eliminating things to buy, figuring it out, new uses for things we already have, planning to eliminate unnecessary cleaning