Tag Archives: editing

Bucket Washing Machine

Washing your clothes by hand can be a Meditation.

I know it’s not the type of meditation that most people find appealing, but if you slow down and do it with Mindfulness, it can be quite satisfying.

You can closely observe your clothes while you handle them and if you’re like me, you can sometimes see what you ate the last time you wore that particular shirt!

Now, if you’re a Hardcore Minimalist, this Bucket Washer may even be too complicated, since you’ll probably prefer to wash them completely by hand. Still, maybe you’ll like to use the two bucket system without the plunger?

Environmentalists will probably love this Super Simple Human Powered Bucket Washing Machine since it saves water, power, and can give you a workout all at once.

There is a post on fivegallonideas.com on this, and if you do a YouTube search you’ll find tons of videos on this as well.

Here’s how I got into this: We don’t own a washer or drier, so for us, washing our clothes meant a trip to the apartment’s Coin Laundry Room.

There were a few things that bothered us about doing the laundry:

  • Hauling clothes back and forth.
  • Going back and forth to move clothes from washer to the dryer, and to pick them up when done.
  • Sometimes the coin machine would be out of coins!
  • Sometimes a dryer would go bad and would leave the clothes wet, so we’d have to re-dry it in another machine.
  • People would leave their clothes in the machines and not come pick them up.
  • Some people would hog many machines and leave none for others to use.
  • It was easier to keep putting off doing the laundry because the mere idea of it would be painful…
  • Couldn’t do laundry on the weekends because there would be no machines available.

I believe this is an awesome alternative for single people or small families of three – four may be stretching it a bit. We didn’t do it to save money, we did it to save ourselves some time and hassle. For us, it turned out to be much easier than we thought and much more fun, and if we do it on a regular basis, it isn’t a hassle at all.

Here are some Bucket Washing Tips:

  • Use two buckets one to wash and one to rinse.
  • Let the clothes soak in the bucket for about an hour or more – plunging a few times in between – rather than using up a lot of energy plunging them repeatedly for a long time.
  • Replace the small stick with a Broom Stick on the Plunger and stand straight to save your back.
  • No need to buy a special Plunger just use a hard plunger and drill holes in it – see more on this below.
  • If you live in an apartment, you can put the bucket in the bathtub to control splashing.
  • We found it easier to not use the lid with the hole. It won’t really splash much if you don’t plunge it too hard, and as noted above, you can put the bucket in the bathtub.
  • Stack the Buckets and drop the plunger inside to store.

I don’t think it’s worth it to buy a specialized plunger:

Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) – $21.00 (shipping included) at Amazon.com:

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But if you’re handy and own a drill, you can make one yourself for $5.98 + tax. This is a good, hard rubber plunger:

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I cut off the bottom flappy part with a razor and drilled holes in it:

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These cheaper ones are too soft and flop up on you, turning inside out – not good…

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Now, you can also wash your clothes in a bag. thescrubba.com sells a pretty pricey one for $64.95 a bag:

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But you can just use a Waterproof Camping Bag from eBay for $7.99:
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I haven’t tried bag-washing yet, but there are many videos on YouTube that make it seem like a good method if you’re camping or traveling light.

You can haul your stuff in a waterproof bag, and then use that same bag to wash them in. Awesome.

Conclusion:

Bucket Washing isn’t for everyone.

If you already own a washer and dryer, I don’t see why you’d go nuts and sell them off to do this, but if you’re a real Hard Core Minimalist, this may be a step up from washing by hand alone.

Because you can only do small loads, I believe this is an awesome alternative for single people or small families of three at the most – four may be stretching it a bit.

We didn’t do it to save money, we did it to save ourselves some time and hassle, and for us, it turned out to be much easier than we thought and much more fun, and when we do it on a regular basis, it isn’t a hassle at all.

Some people prefer the walking on your clothes in the bathtub method, since there’s nothing to buy at all, but we found it much harder when it came time to rinse since you have to wait for the whole bathtub to empty out. Now, if you let your laundry pile up, you can use the bathtub method, or combine it with the Bucket + Plunger method.

This is a good thing to know though. You never know when you may actually need something like this, like say you’re hit by a hurricane and you have no power for a week, or you’re traveling to a less advanced country.

I’ve been without power for over a week because of a hurricane and didn’t know about this back then.

This is also a great thing to teach your kids so they feel less dependent on gadgets and in case they ever need it some day.

Einstein’s Simple Wardrobe

It has been said that Albert Einstein had a closet full of the exact same clothes so he could wear the same thing every day and not have to waste time and energy in deciding what to wear.

Although there doesn’t seem to be any evidence to the fact, I once decided to follow what I thought to be Einstein’s brilliant example.

I’ve never been a morning person and always slept till the last minute and then rushed to get to work on time.

I actually timed my morning ritual to the point where if anything didn’t go as planned I’d be late for work, and although I usually made it on time, my work environment was pretty forgiving about this type of thing, so it was no biggie if I was late.

Since time was of the essence, I had turned my morning ritual into such a refined work of precision that even Einstein would have been proud of, but… I still had one annoying variable that would often trow a monkey wrench into the whole operation and inevitably mess with my morning Zen thing: trying to decide what to wear.

Maybe not really deciding what to wear, it was more about combining my clothes correctly, cause I didn’t really care too much about looking good, I was aiming for just looking decent. I had given up on learning how to dress myself since third grade.

My first technique to deal with my problem was to do all this matching the night before and leave my clothes laid out and ready for the morning rush, but this wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to be rid of this clothes matching nonsense once and for all!

I gave this problem some thought and remembering Einstein’s wardrobe story I thought – I’m not trying to impress anyone at work. Most of my peers already think I’m kinda odd, so what’s one more little eccentricity going to do to my image? They can’t fire me for that, can they?

So I went out and bought five, white, long sleeved shirts and five khaki, pleated Dockers slacks. Then I decided to use a brown belt and shoes. The best part for me was buying a big bag of plain white cotton socks because matching socks with the rest of my clothes was what made me give up on this stuff in the third grade to begin with!

Although I was freaking out quite a bit over the whole experiment, the socks were what made me the most nervous. I was sure everyone would notice my plain white socks and I would get my butt fired on the spot.

I know you’re dying to hear about how I became the butt of everyone’s joke at the water cooler, and how all the ladies ran away from the freak, but in reality, the experiment was a success.

I must have shaved off at least ten minutes from my morning routine since I had what I thought to be an Einstein-Type office wardrobe, and at work, no one ever asked, commented, nor avoided me as if I had forgotten to put on deodorant – at least not any more than usual…

A friend at work once commented on not liking to spend money on work clothes and I told him that’s just one of the reasons I had come up with my “office uniform” and proceeded to tell him how I was following Einstein’s lead, because I’m smart like that…

So it all worked out for me because:

  • I picked a decent enough uniform for my office environment (slacks and long sleeved shirt).
  • White and beige doesn’t call much attention to yourself, I could have also used a blue shirt and Khakis but I didn’t want to be mistaken for a Blockbuster employee…
  • I had a good back story if some one questioned be about wearing the same thing every day – Einstein’s Simple Wardrobe.
  • I’ve never really cared what anyone else thought about me – I am shamelessly immune to peer pressure.
  • The peace of mind of not having to deal with matching shirt, pants and especially socks outweighed any worry about being thought of as odd…

Since I really got into this no-brainer-wardrobe-routine, I expanded it to my weekend casual-ware this way:

I usually wear jeans, any colored t-shirt and Teva sandals – no socks at all – Woohoo! So there is nothing at all to match because Tevas and jeans go with any colored t-shirt.

I know that this type of radical, gorilla warfare wardrobe editing is not for everyone, especially for most women, since they have much worse clothes matching complications that men do – with so many purses and shoes thrown into the mix, but with a bit of effort, I believe they can also come up with a viable office uniform of their own.

Females should do a search on capsule wardrobe to open their minds to a much simpler wardrobe experience. There are even capsule wardrobe professionals! I am definitely working too hard to make a living…

So, if you are immune to peer pressure like me, and want to simplify your life a bit, try Einstein’s Simple Wardrobe Technique and save yourself some time, money and clothes matching agony and watch how one simple life editing exercise spills over to other areas of your life.

Simple + Life = Peace

less is MORE

Less is more – the minimalist mantra made famous by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as the ruling principle for his minimalist design could very well be confused for a Zen Koan.

It’s simple, catchy and true.

But you, my young grasshopper, may ask, “How can the simplicity of having less give me more? This makes no sense!”

I shall demonstrate…

Most of us will agree to the fact that we own way too much stuff, and most of these things go above and beyond our basic life’s necessities.

Each thing you own begs to be stored, cleaned, maintained and more, and most people don’t take this into consideration when they decide to get their greedy hands on new things.

That shiny new car becomes a burden when it’s time to clean it, have its oil changed, take it to the mechanic, and more. Then, with each car payment, you start to feel resentment, regret and bitterness toward it, almost as if it was an estranged lover.

The more exotic the car, the more expensive it is to maintain – not to mention the fear and anxiety of having it crashed into, stolen or worse.

You may have bought that printer at sale price, but you’ll be paying out of the wazoo for the ink or toner – maintenance costs.

Let’s say you go nuts and give away all the stuff in your house, you still have to pay to heat, cool, paint, clean all that empty space.

But people are waking up!

People have come to realize that they’ve been duped by the consumerist mind control of the powers that be. They have come to understand that the more crap you have, the more you are a slave to them.

While you may think that you own all this stuff, stuff ends up owning you.

Now, don’t go crazy on me and sell everything and run naked into the wild…

Balance is key.

Things are neither good nor bad – they just are. It is we who must find the balance between what we want and what we really need.

Next time you hold that shinny new something in your hands that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling, remember that you’ll have to store it, clean it, maintain it, and so on.

Also ask yourself, “Do I really need this, or am I letting my emotions sweep me away here?”

Even if it’s a cheap thing, do you really need it? Will it end up just taking up space, both physical and mental? Because that’s another thing… Objects take up more than physical space and energy, they take up mental “space” and mental, emotional and spiritual energy. There is spiritual energy attached and “stuck” to each and every one of your your things. These things occupy your thoughts, even if at a subconscious level, and stress you out, weighing heavily on your peace of mind.

Compare a river battling many rocks in its path, clashing and trashing to move ahead with the clean, gentle flow of another one with no obstacles in its path. Keeping our environment clean and clear of extraneous junk, gives a calm and peaceful flow to our lives.

So here’s the simple equation:

less Stuff = MORE Peace! [ less IS more ]

More free time.

More peace of mind.

More spiritual equanimity.

More/smoother flow…

Simple + Life = Peace