For the last 5 years or so I have been on a major frugality kick, which is also a part of my get rid of your possessions theme.  It all began when I first started spending long stretches of time with nothing more than my laptop, kindle, and 10 days or so worth of clothes.  After repeated trips to Africa and later eastern Europe and then returning home I continually found myself less and less happy at home.

There are a number of reasons for this but foremost among them was that in the US I  had a house full of possession and possessions=obligations.  In Africa I realized that  my computer, kindle, and 10 days worth of clothes was all that I needed and that everything else was just a drag on achieving my goals. I get more and more extreme with this outlook with each year.

What I have discovered, in short, is that frugality and lack of possessions = freedom. (Interestingly, this is the number one subject that my friends ask me about via email).

Earlier in the year I lived in Riga, Latvia for almost two months in a three bedroom apartment owned by Bobby Casey that I shared with my good friend Stephen Hilgart.  Steve and I didnt have a dryer.  Guess what?  I was fine with it.  Not only was I fine with it I was happier without one than with one.

Short breaks from email throughout the day to entertain oneself with music or to spending a few minutes a day improving your outlook by focusing on what you are grateful for in your life are important to simultaneously achieving work goals as well as your overall happiness.

A few minutes every other day or so of hanging clothes to dry and/or taking them off the drying rack to fold and put away is a perfect little diversion from the daily routine.


My clothes rack better than a dryer




In addition, I have actually found that not using a dryer is LESS of an obligation than using one.  That sounds counter-intuitive but let me explain:

If you want to do laundry with a washer and a dryer you have to set aside a solid two hours of your time waiting for the washing cycle to get done and then to listen for the dryer buzzer to sound when the drying cycle is done.  If you arent around when the dryer buzzes in order to promptly fold your clothes then you are going to have to iron them.


Without the dryer, when the wash cycle is done it takes a few minutes to hang the clothes.  With the clothes hung properly they wont ever need to be ironed except for your best dress shirts.  You can even skip the folding process if you just want to choose your clothes off of the drying rack.  All the while taking care of your clothes is an easy five minute diversion during the day to listen to music.  Your clothes will also last much longer without using the dryer (and theoretically you are saving some nominal amount on the electricity cost of the dryer. but Im not THAT extreme in my motivations yet).

After my trip to Latvia I spent 2 months in the US.  About 3 days after I returned my dryer broke.  I didnt fix it or replace it.  My quality of life improved.  Now I live in Panama full time and dont have a dryer.  Im better off for it.  Give it a try.