That Darn Refrigerator and Other Electric Things for Week 29 (Decluttering and Simplifying 2010)

Saturdays remind me just how much electricity I use in an average week, and there’s nothing I can think of to do about most of it.

You see, it’s laundry day. That means running the washer and dryer more than once. (I could, of course, wash the items by hand, but that takes time away from other projects. And I could dry them on a clothesline, but with pollen outside and cats inside, I’d end up with clothes dirtier than when I started.)

Plus, I’m home all day today, so the air conditioners are attempting to keep me cool in the near-100-degree Texas heat. Around here, even chocolate has to stay in the refrigerator to keep it from melting. And that darn refrigerator keeps running away — whether there’s much else in it or not.

And that refrigerator was the target of this afternoon’s cleaning project. It was a terrible mess — both cluttered and dirty. As I started the cleaning process, David joined me for a somewhat-grueling session. I threw away lots of almost-finished jars of salsa, pickles and olives and a few items I didn’t know were still in there. We wiped down everything (in the refrigerator compartment — the freezer isn’t too dirty and is a project for another day), then spent extra time removing several dried on bits of nastiness.

When we were done, the fridge (I never call it that) had one less shelf and the long-abandoned crisper drawers were back in place. All shelves and drawers are now clean, and the very few remaining food items are well placed inside. I plan to write a post about my new refrigerator tactics soon, so I’ll leave it there for now.

Earlier today, we almost completed another major project — inventory of my bookselling business. About once I year, we go through the stock on hand to make sure it’s all listed correctly and eliminate now-worthless items. Except for a few easy-to-reach strays, that’s done now.

I can’t remember what else I sorted through earlier in the week, but there was an extra bag of trash, so I must have done something good.

Now, about all that electricity we use. Any ideas how to limit it?


  1. Doesn’t it feel great, though? A good fridge cleanout might even lead to eating fresh veggies. At least that is what a clean fridge makes me WANT to do, even if I end up eating too much meat and peanut butter again.

    Got the a/c going 24/7 here too, allergies abound, humidity ridiculous, and feeling almost as cooped up now as I do in the middle of a Great Lakes winter. Ugh!

  2. Yes, Meg, I was thinking how much nice, healthy food I could get into that clean refrigerator. Of course, I probably won’t buy anything healthy, but it’s always a possibility.

    Thanks for joining this blogging community. I look forward to hearing more from you.


  3. Hi Gip,

    In the summer, we turn on the ac all the time and in the winter, we have the heater on all day. Do you see what the electric people are doing to us? lol Thanks for sharing

  4. I hate an empty fridge…Not just because there is no food in there but because I just imagine I see ‘ $$$$’ jumping out of it and floating around the room every time I walk past the thing.

    To Dave’s dismay (I don’t really know why either cause it is not causing any harm really other than strange looking) I have huge pieces of styrofoam cut in chunks and lined up against the back of the fridge shelves. Then I fill milk jugs with water to take up the rest of the space.

    When I have food I just remove a jug or two and when needed back in it goes. This is good for two-fold…takes up space and IF you would need water for whatever reason you have jugs of it hanging around. I do the same thing in the freezer with the jugs…

    The thing about the fridge is the fuller it is the colder it stays and the less it will ‘cycle’ (which is really the only time it is burning through the electric)…

  5. If you want to save electricity, then anything with a heating element warrants examination. Try not using your dryer for a month and see what happens to your electricity usage. Places Ive lived (UK, Ireland and NZ), few people use dryers because electricity is expensive. Find an airy place in the shade to put a washing line – hell in your heat, you could probably dry your stuff outside overnight.

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