About a month ago, I quit using my dishwasher.
My old habit? Dishes were rinsed and stacked in the sink. When the sink got full they got loaded into the dishwasher. That repeated until the dishwasher was full. Then I'd run the dishwasher, but unloading it would take me days. Basically the sink and the dishwasher were just holding areas for dishes.
My new habit? I'm training myself to hand wash a dish when I'm done with it. That sounds really logical, doesn't it? I know, to me, too - but it's harder to make myself do than it should be. But I'm getting better at it. I must admit, it is really nice to have an empty sink all the time... and it is also making me more conscious about water usage. When I have a reservoir of water, that will become very important...
I've quit coloring my hair.
Before you laugh at that, remember that I do live in Dallas! My hair guy has teased me for a long time that coloring my hair blonde is the only reason "they" let me stay in Dallas, because I certainly am not your typical Dallas girl... I made the decision to go "au naturale" for a few reasons -- I'm trying to reduce expenses anywhere that I can. I try to live a life that is chemical free, and well, ewww hair bleach/dye? It's pretty bad. And finally, when I'm traveling, Warren my hair guy is not going to be traveling with me! Lots of people have said they want to come along, but Warren is not one of them... LOL As I see friends I haven't seen in a while, I am getting quite a few remarks about my hair - apparently it's, um, a rather drastic difference. I just reply, "Yep! This is the color I grow!" Ahhhh. It's weird how soft my hair is without chemical damage...
I'm reducing the number of electrical appliances.
I hope to be off the grid a good part of the time - although admittedly the electrical logistics are still hazy - and accordingly I'm examining how many electrical things I'm using and thinking about what I can ditch. In my November sale I ditched the food processor. I've found that chopping and dicing is sort of therapeutic, and I believe it's good to pay attention to what you are eating, and to take the time to put good intentions into the preparations. Gone are the hot rollers (my Dallas status is probably even more threatened...) and my curling iron is likely not far behind. Gone are the floor lamps. And my favorite change? I've quit using my old (but wonderful) electrical percolator coffee pot and I bought a ROK. Holy cow. Now, I had to order this thing sight unseen from the UK. And quite honestly, it wasn't cheap. But - it's a solid YES in the quality of life column. This thing makes the most caramelly delicious espresso you've ever tasted - and mix that with some vanilla soy milk and ice? D I V I N E. All you need is coffee and boiling water. And the clean up is a snap - just rinse out the portafilter. I find myself day dreaming in the afternoon about a second coffee -- and that's unusual for me.
There are a handful of things that I haven't been able to part with...
My electric blanket for example. Don't judge - I know, I live in Dallas, I mean seriously how cold can it get here? Cold enough, I say, and I was scarred by the cold as a child. I like my bed sheets to be warm when I slip between them. I really can't imagine giving it up. (It's May and I'm still using mine...)
I'll will keep my toaster oven. I use it almost every day.
I hope to let my blow dryer go... I don't use it daily as it is... I guess if I'm not working downtown where some expectation of looking pulled together exists... maybe. As it is, this time of year, I use my convertible as a hair dryer on the way to work.. BMW used to advertise that its convertible was the ultimate tanning machine. Mini could advertise that it's a natural hair dryer...
My television will probably go. I think I can be happy watching shows on my computer or my iPad... we will see. At the very least, the size of the TV will need to be drastically reduced...
I have my own washer and dryer now, but I won't have that amenity in my tiny house; I'll be at the laundromat. But the upshot is, I will have a lot fewer items of clothing and they will all be items that I love to wear. I would love to have a clothesline when I'm parked somewhere for a longer period of time.
My pantry re-work is moving up on the list. My tiny house plan is mason jars. For a couple of weeks now I've been saying that I am going to switch my pantry over - figure out how many I need, and what sizes... so I can figure out how much shelf space I'll need. That's something that I want to do ahead of time, and live with it for a while, to make sure that I've made the correct allowances for actual living and day to day food preparation.
Things I wish I could do without?
A freezer/refrigerator. There are books out there on living without one that I intend to read. It is a energy suck and it's noisy. Living without one seems drastic right now, but at some point I am going to start seriously mulling that over. At this point it's just a fantasy. On the flip side, I don't eat that many things that require refrigeration.
I'd also like to be able to do without an air conditioner. That will be dependent on where I am parked. Not only what state I am in, but sun versus shade. I am pretty bummed that it doesn't appear I'll be able to have a ceiling fan. I'm hoping for some type of alternative - maybe just windows open all over! I like my air to be moving.
As the calendar days flip by, I'm constantly reviewing my life habits, and thinking about change. What will be easy? What will be difficult?