Saturday, December 03, 2005

back in the salad again

While in the Far East, we had some work done on the house. In the kitchen we had the cabinets refaced, a new countertop, a new cooktop, and a new floor.

So before we left, we had to pack up everything and empty the kitchen completely. This, at the same time as packing for a trip. (We also had to empty the family room, but that's for another blog.)

When we came back, the kitchen wasn't quite done (as expected). We were able to use it, but we couldn't stock it yet.

Finally on Thursday the work was done. We cleaned up after the work (mostly sawdust), and now the kitchen is ready for the stuff to come back.

However, we're trying to reduce how much stuff we have. One of the techniques I've used a couple times is to take away a bunch of stuff, and then see what comes back. Whatever's left after a certain time period goes to the thrift store. So instead of unpacking all our stuff back in to the cabinets, the kitchen is full of boxes of as-yet-unused stuff.

To make things more interesting, we decided not to bring the microwave back in to the kitchen. Furthermore, we found out that the dishwasher is kaput, and the new one is still on the way.

This means that all heating of food is on the stove, and all washing is by hand. Is it possible to live in the suburbs in 2005 with neither a dishwasher nor a microwave? Well, we'll find out.

Today was a big day. I got the ginger soda starter & kefir going again. I started a batch of yogurt with a starter I brought from my grandmother. I set up an oatmeal ferment for breakfast tomorrow. And I replaced two power outlets.


James Adams said...

It is certainly possible to live without a microwave and dishwasher, but when you have a bunch of people living in the same place, it makes life a whole lot easier. Think of it like this; one of the reasons why you started to reduce how much stuff you have is to free up time, right? So if you have a microwave, that can save you time on cooking. (Usually when I'm cooking a big meal, there'll be lots of little things that only need to be warmed up slightly, but would otherwise have to wait for a spot on the stove to clear up, if I didn't have a microwave.) And if you have a dishwasher, that can save you time on washing dishes. So the question, I think, is how important is simply not having stuff in comparison to having more free time? It's definitely a thin line to walk, and there's plenty of arguments both for and against. But as I get older, I find that having more time is the most important factor for me.

Tim said...

I've been living without microwave & dishwasher for nearly two years now (and without TV channels for nearly three). I love it.

Jay Bazuzi said...

Has anyone tried living without a clothes dryer? A clothes washer?

In my family I end up doing a load of laundry almost every day. I think it would be a big stretch to do without those machines.

Tim said...

I'd have a tough time giving up the clothes washer/dryer as well, even though my laundry cycle is more like 3 loads every 3 weeks. I wouldn't know where to start if I had to do it by hand. The bathtub? Not to mention getting them dry would be really rough in this climate. Seems like this is a case where the saved time is well worth the energy cost.

With dishes, I feel like I do a better job at keeping them clean by hand than the dishwasher can. I'm using direct pressure with abrasive or absorbent material; the machine uses periodic jets of hot water. I can see when the food bits are gone. And it doesn't take much time - especially if I wash my dishes right away instead of stacking them in the sink.

I just wish I could reclaim the cabinet space that landlords devote to this giant box I don't use. I tried storing root vegetables in it for a while, but that didn't work out so well.

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