No Washing Machine

The new apartment I moved to doesn’t have a washer or dryer. I debated buying at least a washer because I could always use the balcony to line dry. (Fortunately, the balcony is on the side of the apartment, away from the ‘public’ area and strategically hidden from the apartment next door by some tall evergreen trees).

I considered my alternatives:

  1. Rent the washer. Well, this certainly is not consistent with my goal to reduce my monthly expenses.
  2. Purchase new- absolutely not considered due to the cost.
  3. Buy used from Craig’s list, etc. I nixed this idea because I get nervous about buying something that either ‘needs work’ or will soon ‘need work’. And then there is the problem of getting the washer from there to here. I would need a truck. And a dolly to get it up to my second floor apartment.
  4. Buying used from an appliance store would provide some assurance that the machine would work and it would also be delivered. However, considering I plan to move in a year, do I really want a washer to add to the moving list?

Do I even need a washing machine? That became the question. Is there something else I could use?

I could go to the laundromat. But I hate going to the laundromat. And that means more money being spent.

Then I remembered the posts I read at annienygma when Annie’s washing machine went kaput.She mulled the options she had.

What options do I have? Hand-washing is one of them. And it is a viable option, at least for me, because I work at home, I pretty much wear the same clothes a few days in a row (except the undies, of course) and I really don’t have a lot of laundry to wash.

I discussed this option with my roomies- my sister and my mom. My sister was pretty much game for anything because she has a goal very similar to mine- downsize, minimize and frugalize.

My mom, who doesn’t even do her own laundry by the way, was aghast at the thought of living without the convenience of a washer. At the age of 94, she has lived through a lot and, while she didn’t experience the beating the laundry on the rocks at the local creek era, she pretty much saw the evolution of the modern day washer and certainly, raising a large family, saw it as a necessity.

However, since she doesn’t do her own laundry, I decided to proceed with my decision to not buy a washer and come up with an alternative.

I would be fine washing my clothes by hand either in the bathroom sink or tub. But my sister wasn’t really keen on that. So, we came up with this option:

The laundry pod the-laundry-podWill let you know how it works!

 

I moved (again) and downsized (again)

Finally done with the move and settled into the new apartment. I could not believe all the stuff we accumulated during the 5 years we lived in the previous apartment.

And that was after having a moving sale when moving from the huge house we lived in during the 5 years previous to that. (What’s up with this 5 year thing?)

In all fairness (to me), it is not all of my stuff. There are three of us moving but one is heading off to college.

imag1387
Seriously?

This is what was left after having yet another moving sale- sans the furniture.

Do I really need all of this stuff??

Putting things into the moving sale, packing up the remaining ‘essentials’ and then unpacking it all again caused me to reflect on just what is essential and what is not.

One of the criteria I came up with in selecting what to keep and what to sell is whether the item is single-purpose or multi-purpose.

For example, this has one purpose:

cheese-slicer

It slices cheese.

 

 

But this does the same thing, plus more!

knife

So, I gave the cheese slicer to my daughter.

Did I really need this?

kitchen-step-stool   or this  computer-chair

when I have four of these?

kitchen-chair

 

 

 

 

 

So, looking at pretty much everything I owned, I got rid of anything that had just one purpose.

Single-purpose items. I thought they saved time or worked better but now I realize that I wasted my money on a lot of things when I already have something that could do the job just as well.

 

More Optimistic About the Move

Things are looking a bit better in the future housing issue. There is a house that meets a lot of our criteria and the only thing that needs to be in place is a high speed internet that provides the speed and bandwidth I need for my job. The ISP is going to do a site survey of the house early next week so I will soon find out. I did talk to a co-worker who had speed and bandwidth issues. She still has them, unfortunately.

The company we work for requires 10 mbps for downloads and 1 for uploads. Dee could barely get 3 for the downloads. The potential ISP I am working with on this move could get me 6. If I get a business line, that may be enough. I have a business line now and like the reliability of it. It doesn’t cost me any more considering I tap into it wirelessly for 2 PCs, 1 laptop, 1 Kindle, 1 Ipad, one Amazon Firestick and 3 smart phones.

The rental house we are looking at is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath one-level home on on acre of lawn. The one-level home will be great for my mom. Three bedrooms and two baths will provide plenty of space.

I am not too keen on the one acre lawn for a couple of reasons. First, we have to take care of it, which means, I will need to purchase a lawn mower and a trimmer. Second, I think having one acre that is just lawn is a sinful waste of space. What is the point?

I would much rather prefer that the lawn be just enough to avoid parking or stepping off the porch into the weeds. The rest of the acreage should be trees, native growth, maybe a garden, perhaps an area for a chicken coop- anything to provide birds, bugs and critters with shelter.

The home is a bit too remote to do without a car, unfortunately. However, cats are allowed. And, at $900 a month split between the four of us, the rental fits my budget,

So, yes, things are looking better for the upcoming move.

That Fresh Start is Not So Easy

Traveled to the state of my fresh start and I am finding that fresh start to be not so easy. I envisioned moving with no restrictions but soon found out that the reality is, I do have restrictions.

The major issue is trying to find a long-term rental that is in the area of 10/1 high-speed broadband Internet. This is a work requirement and non-negotiable. Plus, I am restricted from using satellite. Trying to find this in my preferred new locale proved impossible so now I have shifted a bit eastward. I have two calls out on potential rentals and am waiting for responses.

Hopefully, if either of these pan out, I hope my second restriction- that of having a cat- does not pose a problem. In my search for housing, I am amazed to find that many rentals do not allow either any pets, or, even more specifically, a cat. I do love the cat that my lovely daughter gifted me with (without my permission, may I add?) however, kittie is posing to be quite the restriction for my choice of rentals.

In my daughter’s defense, knowing that I was planning on moving, my daughter did say that, if I couldn’t find a place that allows pets, she would be happy to take the cat. However, said daughter is very busy going to vet school and working. She is really home only to eat and sleep.

The final restriction is needing a rental that is big enough to accommodate what has now ended up to be four adults. In addition to myself and my elderly mother, my sister and my disabled brother will be living with us. My sister and I will be the caretakers of Mom and bro, sharing responsibilities and providing each other respite when needed. So, while it does pose some challenges, the arrangement will be a good one.

Finally, and perhaps the most restrictive, is having to limit my search to rentals only because I have no money to purchase any properties that would meet my needs. While my intention is to live in a rental for the first year or two to get to know the area, I am finding that rentals are very, very scarce. Rentals that meet my needs are near-non-existent!

This is definitely proving to be a difficult start to my ‘new life’.

Saving on Groceries

I know that the ‘experts’ advise that, to avoid overspending at the grocery store, we should shop weekly or monthly. I tried that and it just doesn’t work for me.

I have spent hours creating a beautiful menu for the week based on what’s on sale at the stores, shopping on a Saturday and buying all that I need for the week.

And I end up wasting so much food! I am talking about fresh vegetables, like lettuce, tomatoes and salad greens.If I buy enough to last the week, I don’t have room in my smaller fridge and we don’t eat it all or it rots before we do eat it.

I have to drive to the store ( I walk the three miles in nice weather) everyday to buy my mother’s daily newspaper (don’t get me started on that!) so I pick up the fresh food for the day when I am there.

I buy only what is on sale in the produce section and enough for the day, sometimes for the next day or two. I stick to my daily budget of $20 or less using the spending tracker.

When the farmer’s market is in full swing, I do go there and buy almost a week’s worth- whatever will fit in my fridge. The produce I buy there is fresher and lasts longer.

I keep our meals simple- the evening meal is usually a type of meat/seafood and a generous serving of vegetables.

It’s been working for me so far.

 

Enough: Finding More by Living with Less

I am currently reading Enough: Finding More by Living with Less, written by Will Davis, Jr.

The American way of life pushes people to constantly strive for more–more money, more stuff, more clout. But how much is enough? And how do we know when we have too much of a good thing? In this provocative, paradigm-shifting book, Will Davis Jr. challenges readers to discover the peace that comes through contentment with what we have and compassion for those in need. Through surprising statistics, scriptural insight, and real-life stories, Davis gently leads readers to consider living with less in order to do more for the kingdom. Thought-provoking discussion questions and short chapters make this a perfect study for small groups.

No one will come away from this powerful book unchanged.

The book is changing me. I am beginning to understand why God gives people more than enough.

Minimalism in the Closet

There is certainly no one way to minimize and simplify one’s life but, for me, it means simplifying whatever I can to minimize the number of decisions I need to make.

So here’s what I did to simplify my clothing- I got rid of all the clothes that were too big now that I lost 50+ lbs. (go me!).

As I replace what I wear out or size out of,  I will stick with a few basic colors. I opted to go with black, white, jeans and khaki.

I went to the local St. Vinny’s and was lucky enough to hit a day where everything in the store was half-price! I scored 4 black shirts- 3 long-sleeved and one 3/4 sleeves. I think I paid $3.50 for all of them and each top was in excellent shape.

Still in my closet after the purge are a couple of pair of jeans, a couple of khaki slacks, some black pants and some shirts. Some of these don’t fit me yet but I promise I will get into them after the Biggest Loser challenge that starts tomorrow at work.

What will I wear? I don’t even need to ask myself that anymore.