Laundry

After dinner I washed up the dishes, then swept the floor and folded some towels. Since I use simple white towels instead of paper towels, those tend to build up in the hamper quickly!

To keep things simple yet tasteful, I have migrated to white towels, wash cloths, and kitchen towels. Bath towels and cloths are hotel quality from Sam’s Club. The kitchen towels were bought in bulk from the same place. Inexpensive, bleachable, and not bad to look at.

I do plan to continue to purchase bleach pens in bulk whenever I need them. I purchased two cases of them from eBay a while back for a dollar a pen including shipping, which is a lot better than one can purchase them in a store. At the rate I use them every penny counts! Whites are so beautiful when they are clean, and if you add blueing on occasion they stay so bright!

I used to have towels in every color of the rainbow, and every pattern too! Whatever caught my fancy was what I bought until I noticed how chaotic it all seemed. Through planned obsolescence if you purchase a supply of towels one year and need to replace one or two the colors will not be the same, and as a result anyone who wants to match their towels is either forced to keep mismatched towels, or buy complete sets every time.

I refuse to buy a whole set of towels when I just need one, and the thought of a set of towels just in case company comes is repulsive to me. Have something just hanging there for the one time a year someone comes over? What a waste, especially since they will probably be polite and NOT use the guest towels anyway!

After much thought on the matter I decided to switch to pure white towels, and have not regretted it one bit. I still have a couple of solid color towels in good shape I keep to dry the dog off, but when those are gone, they’re gone.

I may end up adding some solid black towels to the mix for variety, but I haven’t decided yet. I have plenty of towels right now so it’s not even a serious consideration. Since big business wants to plan obsolescence into towel colors, I will rebel by choosing no color at all!

I do wish I could get a job working for a laundry service, if only to see how they keep their towels so bright white. My whites stay pretty clean, my towels beautiful, but I would love to make my kitchen towels just a touch brighter if possible. Those poor towels get abused.

I once asked a hotel owner how he kept his stuff so white and he told me that he soaks his dirtier towels in this stuff called “iron out.” The rest he just washes really frequently. I have followed his advice ever since.

I read somewhere that cooks keep their aprons bright white by soaking them in dishwasher detergent overnight. I have done that as well and found it works great too. You take a quarter cup of detergent and mix it into a bucket of hot water, then add your towels. I assume that is what restaurants do to their towels as well, since they have to use them to wash dishes and everything as a result of regulations.

My Journey to Simplicity

As a single mother, things have not always been plentiful. Add to that some unpleasant experiences from the past, and you create a packrat.

I am that packrat.

Several years ago during a rough spot in my life, engrossed in pain and self-loathing I began to throw stuff away. Enough stuff to almost fill the dumpster near my apartment.

Then came the epiphany. I felt better with less stuff. A lot better.

Since then I have researched both on and offline about a simpler life. I have also given and tossed a lot more things.

Yes, I would be better helping the environment by donating these items, but my first attempts weren’t exactly thought out – they came from a need to have less surrounding me, suffocating me.

Not only do I need to have less stuff, but I need to learn how to control this urge, this drive within me to constantly stock up, just in case. It is just me and a kid, how much stuff do we need?

Do I really need to buy a bulk of paper towels when we may use ten rolls in a year? Do I really benefit from that purchase of dozens of notebooks at five cents each that are now mouldering in my building outside? How many things does one small family need?

This is where I stand. I am in hopes that you, my reader will become my therapist and aid me on this journey to peace and simplicity.

Small Steps to Financial Independence

My gas bill came in today.  I have gotten it down to $15.66.  I’m hoping I can get it a little lower, but don’t think I can lower it much more than that.

We went to the store and to my amazement my daughter did not buy a single toy.  Instead she bought a little candy, and chipped in by buying her burger at McDonald’s.  We got chips and drinks at the store, and got us a sandwich apiece off of the dollar menu for dinner.  Nice, inexpensive meal – and a cheap way to eat out on occasion!

As I walked through the store and looked at all the things they had for sale I reminded myself that all my needs have been provided for, that there was really nothing in the store that I needed, only a couple of things that I wanted.  I picked up a few things, like some tomato plants, a box of borax, some sulfodene medication for the dog, a bag of chips on clearance and a pack of capri-sun for dinner, then it dawned on me:  we really honestly truly don’t eat that many tomatoes, so instead of paying money for the plants,  transplanting them, caring for them, dehydrating the excess why not just buy the couple I want to eat green, or better yet bum a couple off a friend of mine who has several plants in the ground already?

I also reminded myself that I still had a little bit of borax at home, and considering how little I use I could safely let the store keep their box of borax for a little while longer.  So I put the tomato plants and the box of borax back on their shelves, double checked our purchases, and left the store happier because I managed to put things back than I was going there thinking I needed all of these things!

Every time I buy less, every time I reduce our consumption will make the next time easier.  Yes we did not have to eat out, but it cost us just a couple of dollars at the restaurant, and a couple of dollars at the store for additions to the meal that will actually last us for days.  The chips will still be around for snacking next week, though the drinks will be gone with the weekend.  Considering that I could have spent that amount and only had a single meal but instead have a little more makes me feel better, especially since we have drastically reduced the amount we eat out anymore.  We used to eat out once or twice a week depending upon my schedule, but now we may eat out once a week tops.  It has been two weeks or so since last we ate out, so I am content with how well we are doing.

I mean, I want us to save money but I don’t want us to be totally deprived.

I have managed to pick up some hours to make up for the hours lost these last couple weeks.  I am having to give up my weekend, but such is life. You do what is necessary to pay the bills.  Once I saw they were drastically reducing our hours at work I hoarded my last paycheck, so I have enough for rent and stuff next month, but every single hour I can squeeze in at work will keep me from getting in the hole.

Besides that, when they send me home early I try to submit more articles at Associated Content.  Every advance payment, every single page view helps me to pay bills that much better.  My content producer page is here.  Will you please read my articles and leave a comment on them, for good or bad?  Every article you read helps me better support my daughter.  You can subscribe for free as well.  Thank you!

I wish that I had enough articles, enough page views every month that I could just write full time instead of worrying about a day job, but I am thankful that I have made it to clout Level 4 in less than six months! Then I would never have to worry about my schedule or my daughter’s schedule.  But it will come in time.

A long time ago I got a fortune in a cookie.  It says, “Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps.”  I am making those steps.

Peace.

I Love My Mower!

It is pretty, the grass is high, time to mow.

I don’t have the perfect yard but in order to save money I use a reel mower instead of a gas or an electric one.  It was not only cheaper to purchase, but I don’t have to pay every time I operate it.  If the grass gets too high it doesn’t do so well, so must keep on top of things lawnwise.  Made it really hard with this wet spring we have had, but such is life!

I love my reel mower!  It feels good to be able to listen to music or just think while I’m out there instead of hearing all of that noise!

Peace,

~Annie

Getting Started with Freecycle

After a few days lurking on the very quiet local freecycle site, I have decided to wake things up a bit with a couple of offers, just to see what happens…

I’m more accustomed to a local trading post you call into, which is what we had where I used to live, but I have some things to eliminate from my life, so freecycle it is.

I really want to put my old television on there to get rid of it.

I really really do.

Even my daughter wants me to get rid of the monstrosity.. Well, a small monstrosity.. Only a 19 inch, but huge compared to the monitors we have available these days!

Last time we watched it.. I think was when  a friend came over and wanted to watch a movie few weeks ago.. 

I don’t know why this decision bothers me so much!  We don’t use the stupid thing, and we could use the freed up space!

I know!  We could take the tv apart and set it aside, and if we don’t use it in a set amount of time (say a month) we put it on freecycle… I don’t think it is worth much cause it isn’t digital, and maybe it would help someone who actually uses a television…

I hate this.  Why does a logical decision have to be so darned hard? sed0 \ls