Monday, June 11, 2012

Seeking The Simple Life

 The race is on! We are moving North in 8 months. 
And we are in the process of down sizing our home to prepare.
On top of downsizing we are also looking for a rental (and property to eventually purchase 
after our first year), researching locations and also getting in mind what our home 
we are purchasing needs to have or not have. Our goal eventually is an off grid sustainable homestead. 
In order to do that we have to learn how to be more frugal with our resources. 
I'm not talking about just money. But with our energy as well. 
Being off grid doesn't just mean creating your own power but to use less power. 
We have seen many who go off grid and want to live the same life as they did before. 
Gadgets galore, lights on all the time and then needing to use propane to power their whole house
generator or still getting some power from the grid. Off grid to us doesn't just mean some solar power.
Off grid to us means we create all our own power with no help from the grid or alternative means of fuel.
We understand that the only way that can happen is if we just consume less power. 
Why wait until then to start? Using less can start now if we want a true off grid life.
We know this is a hard process which will have many learning failures. 
But we also know planning helps in any major change in life. So, we plan. 
What is necessary and what can go by the wayside?

Our list of things we are reducing or giving up :
Lights - We have begun slowly to use oil lamps for dinnertime and eventually will rely 
solely on them when we are in our own home. Whether we are off grid or not. 
Dryer - Given that up completely already. 
Dishwasher - Also have given that up completely already. 
Multiple Game Systems - We gave our oldest who is not living at home the PS3. 
We are selling are super outfitted PS2 and only keeping the Wii. 
We are also eliminating any games that are not favorites. 
I realize gaming systems are a luxury but at this point we enjoy playing 
them together as a family. And we only play it a few hours a month. 
But that could certainly change in the future.I am hopeful it will. :)
Heating - Before anyone has a heart attack understand we live in South Florida 
where in the coldest of weather we use maybe 2 weeks of heat. 
The climate we are moving to will be colder than we are use to. We are doing this 
this winter in order to save money and most importantly acclimate ourselves to the cold.
Microwave - We are trying to give up the microwave not only for money and electric 
saving issues but health ones. They are not safe for our foods and really break 
down the nutrients in food. So, we try to use ours less. We home in our next rental to 
either not have one or to unplug it. In the home we purchase we will not have one at all.
AC -  This is an area we are reducing now in hopes when we move we can REALLY
reduce or do without. Our thought is if we can brave South Florida heat with minimal
AC, then Northern heat will be easiest to tolerate. At least that is the plan!
Desktop Computers - My wish is that the 3 desktops we have be replaced with laptops that are 
better quality. They use less power and now a days, hold just as much.
Washer - Now, you really have thought I lost my mind. But we are using our washer 
more efficiently and less often because we are downsizing our laundry & reviewing 
our wearing habits. When we are off grid we will not have an electric washer. 
We will use a manual one, whether our hands or we may invest in a James Washer, 
either way we will have a wringer. This wont be the first time we have 
done laundry by hand, so we are prepared for that.
Small appliances - We have a vast array of small kitchen appliances. Many I really do not need. 
Seriously, they are a luxury items (stick blender, anyone?) mostly so I am parring them down.


Elaine said...

Interesting post! Great ideas. I live in the PNW so we are wet so much of the time.... and cold too. Heat is something we can't go without.

I've heard that about microwaves, but wasn't sure it was true? How far north are you going?

It will be fun to follow along and see how you do:)


Chele said...

No no no, you certainly can not do without heat! I have some friends in your area and goodness, y'all are still very cold when we are going to the beach in spring!
We are heading to Tennessee! Or so that is the plan. And we do plan to use heat there! LOL :)

Anonymous said...

Hey you'll be closer to us! I enjoy reading your posts on how you are reducing your consumption :)

Freedom Acres Farm said...

Like you, we began cutting befoe we moved from the city 8 years ago. We cut our electric bill by 40 before we ever moved! Our life is different living off grid but... it's just normal to us now LOL Hope your journey goes well. It will be fun to follow along with you :-)

Freedom Acres Farm said...

40% we cut the bill by 40%. I'm not sure where the percent sign went the first time. Sorry.

Chele said...

Yes we will! :)

Chele said...

@Freedom Acres Farm,
We have followed your blog and when you posted about giving up your washing machine....well, that inspired us. We too don't want to see a large propane bill! So we keep planning and reducing. :)

Leah said...

I can completely relate to your desire for the simpler life! My husband and I have been working hard at paying down debt and would love to have a homestead someday, maybe the plant city area (we live in central florida). Best of luck with all your endeavors!

Lisa Lynn said...

I understand completely :) Found you on Blogpinner!

Chele said...

We are getting there! And yeah for Blogpinner, love that site! :)

Anonymous said...

What a great list you have. My goals are very similar. I also found you on Blogpinner!

Chele said...

I am glad I joined Blogpinner! I have found so many wonderful people and blogs. :) I'm going to update our progress in this area soon! :)