I've been experimenting with caprice as an aid to efficiency. Simply blowing through petty procedures that devour time is cost effective and easier than hiring help.
Given the supply systems that serve the neighborhood, a teaspoon of olive oil is worth less than the minutes or days it would take to use it up and bring out a replacement. I buy convenient small sizes of staples, finally having realized that hefting a giant jug of something or other while I try to refill a half-pint bottle a.traumatizes my fine motor skills, b.usually results in wasteful spillage, and c.takes too dog-gone long. The smaller containers recycle. I will let society work out the details.
The thrift donation bag by the front exit is the most efficient housekeeping aid under the roof. Anything in the inventory that is not performing at 100% goes, no quibbling.
Numerous mind-numbing trips on a lumbering articulated bus took me past the Montlake light rail terminal during construction. I had assumed that the rectangular wire cages filled with half man rocks that form retaining walls in the new landscape were cheap alternatives to proper masonry. They certainly look inexpensive.
My friendly neighborhood civil engineer explained that the things are called gabions. They cost more than cement and are designed to flex and drain surface water. Clearly, it is time to tweak my Seventies green sensibilities and take a look at what the culture has been able to put into effect for managing the built environment to general benefit.
Deconstruct a tasty old school recipe to deny a culture medium to pathogens. Hard-boiled eggs are convenient fast protein that keep well in the refrigerator. A loaf of good bread is the original fast food. Buttered, a slice of bread is half a sandwich already.
Double or triple the lettuce, sanitize it with sprays of hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar, rinse, dry, and dress with the olive oil and lemon juice that are the base of mayo.
Fill a rimmed soup or noodle bowl with greens, top with sliced egg garnished with the pickle or mustard of your choice, and set a slice of bread on the side. You have the same dish with half the carbs, zero risk of gut problems, and about the same prep time.
A cheerful flock of cousins approved my minimalist abode, and I decided to take the agenda to the next level. There is little fallow inventory left in the house, but I swallowed hard, passed along unworn dress clothing, a cooking pot that will be easy to replace, and got rid of redundant ornaments.
A recent article about costume featured a young woman wearing a skullie with the words "As if" knit into the brim. Sounds good to me. By exploring the growing fusion of dress and field clothing, I've been able to shrink my wardrobe by eighty percent. Fusing field and housekeeping gear has the same benefit. The less I have to sort and maintain, the more time I have to stay on top of paper work.
Five generations' keeping house in Western Washington know how to get the job done. Deft Home is the fruit of thirty years’ independent research with casual scholarship, deep-time experience, and no ties to commerce.
Deft home is about doing things the easy way, doing things you won’t get tired of, doing things in little specks of time, and doing things effectively so you won’t have to do them again. It’s also about working with things you already have or have scrounged, about respecting tradition and family legacies, and about making time to enjoy your living quarters. It’s about dignity, self-reliance, and innovation. Especially, Deft Home is about respecting the basics and the labor it takes to keep them right. Hope you enjoy the site as much as I enjoy developing the material.