With all the shifting back in time that we have done the house was getting out of order and I had to find a way to live more like the past in today's time.
Some of you have emailed me wanting to know what I have been up to so this post is to share what I have been doing.
We are not going to live off the grid but we want choices how to live with using minimal grid as well as living prepared so should we lose electricity and water we can hopefully remain comfortable. I figure if we live the old way as much as possible then if the new way goes out we won't notice it as much.
We have had many reasons to show us that we need to live a more prepared life. I wanted to find a way to set our house where we can live either way and without the clutter that comes with extra items and emergency supplies.
I want us to simply shift into living as our generations before us did should we need or want to but this takes a bit of different thinking to have both because everything has to have a place and a purpose or else we would just have clutter.
When we have company we don't make them live as we do, we have the modern things they need and if they want to live do as we do they can do that too. The one thing they won't find anymore are televisions except one very small television that only has a digital antenna for news and weather and sits on a shelf. I listen to NPR (national public radio) mostly.
One modern item that we are using regularly but sparingly is air conditioning. When it is very hot we turn on the air conditioners. We have two of them. I will not turn them on until it gets into the 80's and 90's plus temps unless we have visitors then I set it cooler. July, August and September can get pretty hot and humid where we live.
By living more like our generations before us did we can save money but having electricity and running water and appliances can help us if we need to use them since we do not have the family near by as many once did in the past.
This is where I stand now, live more like our generations before us did but use modern items in a bind when I need help. I am getting older and not as strong as I was when I was younger.
So I started pulling items out of closets and drawers and moving furniture around so I could find places for everything that was going to stay in our home and the rest went to donations. I mentioned before in a post that I am not a minimalist nor do I want to be. I like to stay busy and "live" in our "Home". We need tools and practical items to do this.
So it took me nine days to get our home in order. I wanted everything off the floor, nothing stored under beds and a place for everything. My genealogy research is in this bookshelf cabinet here in the hall under the radio. It has taken me years of research following all of our family tree branches back in time.
The two containers on top of the cabinet to the far back are his and her cloth boxes that hold our hats.
The chamber pots are stored under the dry sinks now. One on the right to use for a toilet and the one on the left holds pine shavings. I put a flashlight behind it to take this picture so you could see inside.
This old night stand was made in the 1930s. This place under the drawer holds a chamber pot. This is in the guest room. The pine shavings are under the wash stand on the wall to the left.
I have been looking for an old bed frame for years to go with our mahogany furniture that I had when I was a child. When I married the bedroom furniture remained with my mother but she moved to a different state and it was stored then the bed frame was given away. My son used the furniture for a while then it went back in storage. After he cleaned out his storage unit it came back to me, all but the bed frame.
I kept hoping I could find a bed frame that would match the furniture and that I could find a 1930s frame or older and I did not want to pay much for it and why we have not found one all these years but two weeks ago we found one at a thrift store /trading post. It is very old and the condition was poor but after some sanding and painting it turned out beautiful and I could kick myself for not taking a before picture. Now all the pieces of furniture have been reunited in the same room.
I love the details that you find in old furniture.
Each bedroom has electric lighting and oil lamps. Also each room has a chamber pot, dry sink, wash bowl and pitcher.
This dry sink was beside the front door with a lamp and not being used for its intended purpose. I put this in our bedroom and moved the one we were using into the guest room. Using pieces for what they were intended for feels right.
This one does not match the mahogany furniture in the guest room but it has good purpose and I am happy with it here.
Then there is the sewing room. This room has changed a lot. This big white dresser chest was in the guest room. The white electric sewing machine was in our master bedroom and all the sewing and craft notions are now in this dresser chest other than the fabrics.
One thing that took me so long with this organizing is every dresser and chest of drawers was switched and everything had to come out, go through it and move it to another chest or dresser.
It feels so good to be better organized. When our home becomes cluttered it makes extra work for us and often can be depressing.
If the power is out or I don't want to use electricity I can sew on the treadle next to the electric machine.
The hanging oil lamp has been moved to the sewing room. This room has a single guest bed. It is like a sewing room / walk in closet/ small guest room/ office. It is also shared with our Cockatiel named Bell.
The sweet potatoes like this window. It is not the time to plant sweet potatoes but two of them were sprouting so I stuck them in water and now we have slips, the green tops that are coming out of the sweet potato. These slips are what will grow sweet potatoes but they have to be removed from the sweet potato and put in water so they will root. Then they can be planted outside. With our goofy climate and if we have a warm winter again possibly I could grow them through fall and winter.
Then there is the chest of drawers that has been in every room in our house except the kitchen. Well, now it is in our kitchen and I really like it here. This is our grand central cabinet now. It holds emergency supplies such as solar light bulbs. small camping stoves, fuel, a tool drawer, furniture sliders to use when cleaning behind furniture. The top drawer holds my sidetracked organizing file, the scale I use when I make laundry soap, apple peeler etc.
I organized extra items that I want to keep and put them in bankers boxes. I wrote on the boxes what is inside so I can find what I am looking for easily.
We do not have walk in closets in our house and the closets that we do have are small. There is no entrance closet for coats and such so I have to keep the things we do have organized in some manner. These boxes are in one side of the guest room closet.
I finally got the pet items sorted and together instead of all over the house. This drawer holds grooming supplies, another drawer holds the dogs bath towels, sweaters, extra leashes and such. It is good to get everything together in one place.
We have one closet set up as a storm closet because it is in the middle of the house and in that closet we have two emergency back packs that are always kept ready, a bag with the dogs harnesses and leashes, extra shoes and socks and a pop out dog kennel in case we need to leave the house in a emergency. We also have a small travel cage for our cockatiel, Bell.
Also it my suggestion to make copies of important papers and put them in the emergency back packs and if you can grab that fireproof box with the important papers but if you cannot then you at least have the copies.
I took this picture several times but could not get my camera to focus because I could not back up due to the location of these built in shelves.
After doing a post showing our pantry someone mentioned to me about keeping a stock of pet food. I had not mentioned that but we keep dog kibble air sealed in quart jars and we rotate those jars. We keep back stock of dry dog food still in their bags and when we empty a jar we fill it from our back stock and put that jar to the right. We keep it rotated.
I also keep a large satchel to put dog food and water in should we have to leave in a hurry.
The girls are exhausted, they have been right there with me during the organizing and believe me they have done their share of sniffing their way through everything that I pulled out of the closets and drawers. If they could talk they would have been saying, "What does she have now"? Lets go see! or "Look what I found behind that dresser!" or "Maybe she won't notice it is missing".
There are still items that need to be sorted but the hard thinking part is over now that everything is placed.
I have had a few request posts that I will start working on and hopefully getting my rhythm back.
We do have some growing concerns about hurricane Irma. Things could change very fast around here if she should come our direction. Let's hope not.
It could come our way or we could become a place for family that is having to evacuate either way I will for sure be watching. I cannot help but wonder if this is why I was suppose to organize the house. At least I did the work that was needed so I am ready for the what if's.
Take Care, Grandma Donna