For the past year, I’ve made a considerable effort to start purging excess belongings and inching my way towards preparations for tiny house living and a simpler lifestyle. It has been extremely satisfying to really look at areas of my life and see where I can be more mindful with my choices.

Recently, I’ve made a few changes that contribute to this journey I’ve begun taking you on – my path to tiny, so I wanted to share them with you. Some of the changes I’ve made came from a desire to live more thoughtfully, while others came from necessity.

Necessity – Washer & Dryer

For the first three years I’ve lived in Birmingham, I took my clothes to the laundromat. I was no stranger to it, having had to use public or shared machines since 2014 (and a decade before that when living in California apartments).

When a friend of mine was selling his washer and dryer set, I decided to get them. I had very little money at the time, so it was a luxury to drop a few hundred bucks to get machines. I was ecstatic. They weren’t much to look at and extreme money guzzlers (water/electricity), but I no longer had to get creepy looks from the laundromat owner or deal with always having to get quarters. They lasted almost three years.

The dryer died first. To be safe, I requested maintenance to come to the house to check that the vent was clean and there weren’t any electrical issues. Turns out, the dryer could have been repaired with a simple part, or it could end up never working again. Instead of putting a Band-Aid on these machines, I decided to take the opportunity to research THOW friendly washer and dryer sets.

The talks I have had with people who live in tiny houses has taught me that the all-in-one machines simply don’t cut it. There was also the fact that I am not currently living in a tiny house yet, and I wanted whatever I chose to work in either place. I started my research and even checked with a tiny house builder I trust. I ended up finding and liking the brand – Equator.

Right on cue, I started feeling a lot of anxiety knowing I was going to be spending money on brand new machines. That always seems to happen whenever I make an “adult” purchase like a car, or most recently, a mattress. When I was growing up, appliance breakdowns were always met with stress and frustration. The frantic handwringing to try and figure out if it can be repaired cheaply or if a “new” used one had to be purchased.

I had never had a brand-new washer and dryer or purchased a big appliance before. If you have never really spent money on these things, the feeling is hard to explain. Can you believe I actually had the thought that since it was “just me” I shouldn’t get something so nice? Thankfully, I quickly snapped out of my insanity and came back to my intent to live my best life. I was going to buy the damn expensive washer and dryer I want – fuck it. And so, I did.

Of course, I invested in Lowe’s 3-year protection plan (out of sheer fear these things would break down after a week). I went with an “unknown” brand instead of the Whirlpool tried and true and was certain fate would make me regret it. I’ve had the machines since July, and they are fantastic. They look funny sitting side by side because they are made to stack in a tiny space, but I couldn’t be happier with them! I know they are going to look great in the tiny house (one of these days).

The compact machines still hold and wash a full load of laundry, the dryer is fantastic, and I’ve even saved money on the water bill! I do have to laugh at one thing that is far from perfect. The very first time I used it, the sound it makes with brand new connection hoses and a full force of water is like aliens landing a spaceship. The machine itself is almost whisper quiet, but the water hose noise is epic – it is just hysterical.

If there is any lesson I learned during this purchase and acquisition, it is that you should never consider yourself unworthy of nice things. Yes, even material things. But to be clear – it isn’t the “fancy” washer and dryer that made me happy, it was the fact that I have been working hard and was able to buy something nice for myself. I was just as proud when I purchased the second-hand ones a few years back.

Life is short – and we all need clean clothes so if your “big” household appliance suddenly goes kaput, look at it as an opportunity to upgrade. You’re worth it!

Earthly Desire

The only concern I ever gave my laundry detergent was that it was sure to make my clothes smell as good as my sister’s did. She used Gain and the Gain dryer sheets – utter perfection, smelly goodness.

During the new washer and dryer adventure, I was re-arranging my laundry room cupboards and noticed my detergent bottle. I usually purchase cleaning products made by Method (Target); I specifically liked their more “stream-lined” bottle because it was less bulky than most of the other ones on the market. But it still felt so wasteful.

Then I remembered an ad I saw on social media about detergent “sheets” that looked like dryer sheets. It didn’t take me long to google it and found Earth Breeze. Now, my side copywriting gig is writing about these types of products all day long, and I get paid to do it. But this PSA is all me.

I was really surprised by the cheap price, the 100% recyclable materials, the delivery and carbon footprint elimination, and the donations they make. Not to mention how it takes up NO space – none. And when you are done, you can literally tear up the paper it arrived in and bury it in the dirt – it will compost naturally.

For the life of me, I cannot ever buy another bottle of laundry detergent, especially after I’ve seen the footage of plastic in our oceans. Yes, there are other types of containers out there too, but laundry detergent is almost 90% WATER – we do NOT need these huge plastic bottles. Period.

So dear blog readers, I hope you’ll give Earth Breeze a try for yourself. It is a very satisfying feeling to know that I’m doing something – and it’s not so small a thing, even for one household! You’d be shocked at how many of those you purchase in a year. And I don’t mean to diss anyone who recycles these bottles already, but you know as well as I do that most plastics are not recycled.

One last thing – the Earth Breeze sheets clean and smell great! And I still buy the Gain dryer sheets so it’s a win-win.