Last winter my husband (who is a paint contractor) had almost no work for about 4 months. That has NEVER happened before. Since he is a sole proprietor, no work meant NO income at all. He worked whatever he could, many times at a huge rate cut compared to what he normally made.
To compensate for barely having income, I did my best to stop as much outgo as possible. I could have gotten a low paying job, but I decided NOT spending money would be a better use of my time and would result in the same if not MORE available income. One area I could easily save on was the heat. We live "Up North." The fuel prices (as you remember) were ridiculous. SO, we put a wood heater in the basement (where the chimney flue was), collected lots of free wood, and kept the house at 58 degrees. We put on more layers. We wore fleece hats to bed. We were still cold.
We stuck it out, all the while recalling that 58 degrees would have been a luxury for the pioneers.
THIS year I was determined to have a plan in place because I don't LIKE being cold, pioneer inspiration or not. I'll explain this in parts as it's a little involved and would require too many pictures on one post. (Also, I have 30 days of posts to fulfill LOL!)
The first part of my plan was to close off part of the house.
We live in a Cape style house which means that there are two large bedrooms upstairs with a bathroom in the middle. The total area for the first and second floors is just under 1500sf. We have also finished (almost) the basement which gives us another 700sf. That's lots of room for just 3 people!
I began to plot and decided that we could:
- Close off both bedrooms upstairs.
- Keep the upstairs bath door closed and use a tiny space heater to deal with the cold of coming out of the shower.
- Move the office/homeschool stuff into the living room, so that the office could be closed.
- Watch TV in the basement and close off the den.
- Hang a blanket over the door to the tiny laundry area which is also where the garage door is located, and keep the cold/hot air separated better.
- Primarily use the wood heater, saving the kero for emergency use. There are holes in the first floor that allow heat to rise.
Doing those things would eliminate a LOT of square footage that would require heat. Now, how would I go about making this plan work?
Stay tuned for the next post: The Bunker.