As a part of trying to conserve energy, I decided to try to live without the clothes dryer as well as the dishwasher. The first day I tried to live without these two appliances, I realized how easy they made my life. They were truly a convenience I had come to rely on. This is what I’ve learned over the past month by going without these two appliances.
Small Loads Are BestThe very first day I washed laundry, we had 3 large loads to do. I put in the first large load into the washing machine to realize all of the clothes would not fit on our 3 drying racks. So…I hung some up on the fireplace mantel and dried them extremely quick in front of the fire.
With the dishes, if I wash them as I go, it is not as overwhelming. I have been washing the dishes after breakfast, which takes about 5 minutes. I unload those dry dishes from breakfast while making dinner in the evening. When my husband cooks, he uses
all a lot of
pots and pans, and the days he cooks, I am completely overwhelmed with a stack
of dishes and want to throw up my hands in defeat by loading them into the
dishwasher and hit the “start” button.
Frequency RulesWith laundry, I have learned to do several (smaller) loads throughout the week instead of 2 or 3 large ones on the weekends. By doing this, we have enough room on the drying racks to allow the clothes to dry properly within 24-48 hours.
As I mentioned above with the dishes, I wash the dishes after every single meal to ensure I don’t get overwhelmed.
It Ain’t PrettyIn the beginning, we kept the drying racks in the family room and they were not very pretty to look at
every time we walked into the room. It then dawned on me that we could keep the drying racks in our spare bedroom to keep them away from cute little kitten claws (we have 3 – 5 month old kittens right now) and they are out of the way. This has been working well for us.
Patience is KeyI have to laugh at this because I have no patience whatsoever. It is so easy to hit a button and 34 minutes later you have dry clothes. Hit the “start” button on the dishwasher and 2 hours later you have clean and dry dishes.
Now, it takes anywhere from 24-48 hours for our clothes to be completely dry (I am looking forward to the warmer weather when I can hang clothes outside on the line!). I am learning to plan ahead instead of live in survival mode when it comes to dishes and laundry. To me, it feels better to have laundry done and put away every few days instead of 3 heaping baskets of clean laundry waiting to be put away once a week. It takes a little more time throughout the week, but it’s done and I don’t have to worry about it.
I joke that I would like to live the “simple life” like the Amish…without all the work. I am learning that by getting rid of just two appliances, it creates a noticeable change in work load; however, I am (surprisingly) keeping up.
I grew up with dishwashers and clothes dryers. This is what I am accustomed to. It is definitely a change in mindset to willingly go without, but I am enjoying it. Right now, I am doing this to see if we can lower our electric bill and put the savings toward our mortgage payoff; however, I would love to be able to one-day create enough electricity to power our home. Trying to reduce our energy consumption is one step closer to being independent of energy.
Do you live without a dryer or dishwasher?What are your tips and tricks or advice for those of us just starting out in our journey of less “convenience” appliances?
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