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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

I'm not talking about the artform either.   I'm talking about living a minimalist lifestyle.

As one-income homes, we all live SOME form of minimalism.   Our income and, therefore, our budgets are smaller.

However, I'm curious, are you a minimalist by choice or by necessity?   Do you find yourself accepting every bag of unwanted items that people send your way out of nicities, or is that like Christmas to you?   Do you LOVE pouring over the "treasures" that you might find among someone's trash?  

Maybe you earn plenty of extra cash, but just hate having too much stuff, so you live a minimalist lifestyle on a kings budget?  (wish we all could do that!)

Are you sometimes bothered by not being able to provide some things you'd like to for your kids?   When the two income household next door has a swimming pool, video games galore, four wheelers, trampolines, etc...  do you wish you lived somewhere else???



by on Oct. 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Replies (21-30):
sheila5745
by on Oct. 26, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Wow, what I would give to see that! That is so cool to have those kind of things from far back family.  I have a couple of pictures from family but certainly not that old,, I sure wouldn't get rid of that either..

Quoting black.eyeliner:

I was a minimalist for years. I am gypsy and our trailer only held so much. My mother had a way of making everything fit and still have the place be beautiful. That meant she had to have only what was absolutely necessary. 

My partner is a wonderful man whose family has saved so much over multiple generations. I have paintings in the basement that are 300 years old. All of our furniture is at least 150 years old and most hand crafted by a family member. I use antique china cabinets to hold craft supplies in my studio. Hope chests are over flowing with yarn and fabric. 

I only have what we need but it is still a lot since I am professional artist and I need many supplies. I clear the house constantly of what we don't need but I can not imagine getting rid of the history that we have in the furniture, art, and photos. It is so important to me to have our family cradle, their great-grandmothers sewing table, and the prayer shawl their great-great-grandfather brought home to his bride during a war.


sheila5745
by on Oct. 26, 2012 at 3:08 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting SusanTheWriter:

I'm a minimalist by nature - except for books. My dh and my mom like decorating with tchotchkes and knicknacks and it drives me crazy. Visual clutter is hell on my ADD.

I keep trying to get rid of stuff all the time, but I swear pixies bring in more while I sleep. Stinkin' pixies.

My DS prefers a clean line, but my DD, the artist, has all kinds of random bits all over her room.

Yep those pxies just can't trust them!!!!

sheila5745
by on Oct. 26, 2012 at 3:12 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting CleanAir1:

Would you post more information about your solar system.  I'd really like to be able to get my well and maybe some other appliances "off the grid."  Thanks

I would like to hear about that too... Solar system.. Sounds amazing..

rowansmum
by on Oct. 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM
By choice. I HATE clutter. It just makes my home so chaotic. We are still paring back the stuff we have and taking up alternatives as things break. The latest is our dryer. After 3 years of loyal service it is finally dead. Now we use a drying rack and the line. The microwave is a breadbox and not donated because the man is worried we'll regret it. I haven't used it in forever.
I've donated maybe 15 bags and 4 boxes of stuff over the summer. The house feels so much more peaceful :)
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
sheila5745
by on Oct. 26, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Well you all make me feel bad. I have been trying quite some time to control spending. I used to work 2 jobs, while I was a single mom raising 2 kids and now the 2 are gone. I seem to spend so much.I am sure I don't need have of what I have. I home school, I have material that will last us until she graduates, she is special needs, I have started her back at 1st and 2nd grade. But still way more stuff, she has clothes that I bought she doesn't like and will never wear.(I have given those away) But I can never find clothes big enough or the way she likes them. I have all kinds of stuff sitting around, hubby just bought me an ipad. I am determed that is going back, I haven't even opened it. I guess I better get off and go clean some house.After reading this and looking at my house I feel bad. I really do feel I live like this because when I was a kid, there were 11 kids jammed into 2 bedrooms, 1 bath. We heated with wood. We had NO electric in our rooms, we had no heat in our rooms. Pipes froze in the winter, no running water. No handles on pots and pans. I always swore I was going to have better for me and my kids. Well I did and now I see we have over done it. I live in a good size place. I do hate clutter,a place for everything So no nick nacks. I do have alot of rm for special needs child to play and run. In Ohio we need that,when it gets cold outside. 

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 26, 2012 at 4:38 PM

 

Quoting CleanAir1:

Would you post more information about your solar system.  I'd really like to be able to get my well and maybe some other appliances "off the grid."  Thanks

 Hi,

Well first off we reduced the amount of electricity we used.  Energy efficient appliances, led light bulbs, hanging out our clothes, all that.  When we got down to 300 kWh per month, we started picking up panels. 

We would buy 1 or 2 a month and store them in our cold cellar.  It took a year and a half to buy them.  Then we saved to buy a Sunny Boy inverter.  We went grid tied.  We have 12 panels in our system and in March, April, September and October it provides exactly what we need.  In the summer months we get a check from our power company for what we make above what we use.  And in the winter we pay a very small bill.  Our bill hasn't been more than $20.  We also needed a different kind of meter (net metering).  It runs both ways.  The power company provided it for us when we were ready to go, but that was back when the credits by the state was high, I don't know what they do now. 

We do have a tiny (3 panel) system that has a very small battery box.  That one is for power outages, it only runs the refrigerator and deep freezer.  If you want off the grid it will cost twice as much as a grid tied system, the batteries cost a whole lot of money. 

Let me know if you want more info.

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 26, 2012 at 4:40 PM

 

Quoting sheila5745:

 

Quoting CleanAir1:

Would you post more information about your solar system.  I'd really like to be able to get my well and maybe some other appliances "off the grid."  Thanks

I would like to hear about that too... Solar system.. Sounds amazing..

 I gave some more info.  Let me know if you need more info.

Boobah
by Nikki :) on Oct. 26, 2012 at 4:53 PM
Could you share about how many sq ft your home is, how many people live there, and approx how much it cost to be completely up and running? We are hoping to build soon and I'm thinking it might be worth it to do it this way.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 


Quoting CleanAir1:


Would you post more information about your solar system.  I'd really like to be able to get my well and maybe some other appliances "off the grid."  Thanks


 Hi,


Well first off we reduced the amount of electricity we used.  Energy efficient appliances, led light bulbs, hanging out our clothes, all that.  When we got down to 300 kWh per month, we started picking up panels. 


We would buy 1 or 2 a month and store them in our cold cellar.  It took a year and a half to buy them.  Then we saved to buy a Sunny Boy inverter.  We went grid tied.  We have 12 panels in our system and in March, April, September and October it provides exactly what we need.  In the summer months we get a check from our power company for what we make above what we use.  And in the winter we pay a very small bill.  Our bill hasn't been more than $20.  We also needed a different kind of meter (net metering).  It runs both ways.  The power company provided it for us when we were ready to go, but that was back when the credits by the state was high, I don't know what they do now. 


We do have a tiny (3 panel) system that has a very small battery box.  That one is for power outages, it only runs the refrigerator and deep freezer.  If you want off the grid it will cost twice as much as a grid tied system, the batteries cost a whole lot of money. 


Let me know if you want more info.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 26, 2012 at 6:42 PM

 Our house is about 1500 sq ft.  Our family of five lives here.

It's really hard to say how much it cost since we bought them over such a long period of time.  The best rates out there are about $1.40-2.50 per watt.  Each of our panels cost about $350-500 depending on what they were selling for at the time.  We installed it ourselves and bought everything when it was on sale or when one particular company went out of business.  Our whole system cost us around $8,000.  If you can't install it yourself you would about double that price to have it installed.  And if you want off grid, multiply it by about 3.

Quoting Boobah:

Could you share about how many sq ft your home is, how many people live there, and approx how much it cost to be completely up and running? We are hoping to build soon and I'm thinking it might be worth it to do it this way.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 


Quoting CleanAir1:


Would you post more information about your solar system.  I'd really like to be able to get my well and maybe some other appliances "off the grid."  Thanks


 Hi,


Well first off we reduced the amount of electricity we used.  Energy efficient appliances, led light bulbs, hanging out our clothes, all that.  When we got down to 300 kWh per month, we started picking up panels. 


We would buy 1 or 2 a month and store them in our cold cellar.  It took a year and a half to buy them.  Then we saved to buy a Sunny Boy inverter.  We went grid tied.  We have 12 panels in our system and in March, April, September and October it provides exactly what we need.  In the summer months we get a check from our power company for what we make above what we use.  And in the winter we pay a very small bill.  Our bill hasn't been more than $20.  We also needed a different kind of meter (net metering).  It runs both ways.  The power company provided it for us when we were ready to go, but that was back when the credits by the state was high, I don't know what they do now. 


We do have a tiny (3 panel) system that has a very small battery box.  That one is for power outages, it only runs the refrigerator and deep freezer.  If you want off the grid it will cost twice as much as a grid tied system, the batteries cost a whole lot of money. 


Let me know if you want more info.

 

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 26, 2012 at 6:49 PM
1 mom liked this

 DH says that the square footage of your home doesn't matter and the # of people in the home doesn't matter.  The only thing that really matters is your electric bill.  Take killiwatt hours per month, divide by 30.4 days permonth, divide by 4.2 average hours of sunlight per day (that's for Pennsylvania) and divide by 77% overall system efficiancy.  That give you the size of your system in killiwatts.  For an installed price multiply the watts of the system by 3-4 ($ per watt).  

Sorry he's crazy technical.  But that would give you a ballpark of what it would cost you. 

Quoting Boobah:

Could you share about how many sq ft your home is, how many people live there, and approx how much it cost to be completely up and running? We are hoping to build soon and I'm thinking it might be worth it to do it this way.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 


Quoting CleanAir1:


Would you post more information about your solar system.  I'd really like to be able to get my well and maybe some other appliances "off the grid."  Thanks


 Hi,


Well first off we reduced the amount of electricity we used.  Energy efficient appliances, led light bulbs, hanging out our clothes, all that.  When we got down to 300 kWh per month, we started picking up panels. 


We would buy 1 or 2 a month and store them in our cold cellar.  It took a year and a half to buy them.  Then we saved to buy a Sunny Boy inverter.  We went grid tied.  We have 12 panels in our system and in March, April, September and October it provides exactly what we need.  In the summer months we get a check from our power company for what we make above what we use.  And in the winter we pay a very small bill.  Our bill hasn't been more than $20.  We also needed a different kind of meter (net metering).  It runs both ways.  The power company provided it for us when we were ready to go, but that was back when the credits by the state was high, I don't know what they do now. 


We do have a tiny (3 panel) system that has a very small battery box.  That one is for power outages, it only runs the refrigerator and deep freezer.  If you want off the grid it will cost twice as much as a grid tied system, the batteries cost a whole lot of money. 


Let me know if you want more info.

 

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