The Tannehill Homestead
Intentional Living Minimalism Simple Living

One Luxury Item We Couldn’t Eliminate for Good

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A few months ago, I wrote a the post Six Luxury Items Eliminated From My Life For Good. I explained why I had eliminated each luxury item, and why I intended not to turn back.

However, life does not always play out the way we hope.

My husband and I have lived without an iron and ironing board, cable/satellite TV, a dishwasher, bathtub, personal dresser, and dining table.

For the most part it has been relatively easy. However, there is one luxury item we have had to compromise on in the past few months….

A few months ago, I wrote a the post Six Luxury Items Eliminated From My Life For Good. I explained why I had eliminated each luxury item, and why I intended not to turn back. However, life does not always play out the way we hope.

1 Luxury Item We Couldn’t Eliminate for Good

Neither my husband nor I like washing dishes. It is not necessarily the exercise, but rather the amount of time it takes to wash, dry, and put away dishes.

For only two people, we seem to produce a decent amount of dirty dishes each day. When I cook, I use several pots, pans, and lids. We also take our lunch to work in reusable containers, so there are those to clean each day, as well.

At one point, I thought we were just being lazy with not liking hand washing dishes. We decided to compromise with this chore by having my husband wash the dishes while I rinse, dry, and put them in their designated location.

This may not sound like much compromise, but the system worked to where we could finish at the same time.

This agreement worked for a few weeks, until we realized all the time we were being robbed of that we could use for more beneficial work building our farm.

So what did we do?

We purchased a dishwasher!! Now I know some of you are saying, “WHAT?!” But I had to do what was right for my marriage. We both dreaded this particular chore, and often had arguments about it. For us, it is best to have a dishwasher.

Since we have gotten our dishwasher, we have added about 20 minutes to our day. That may not sound like much, but my husband usually works 6 days a week, and will take any extra time he can find!

We also don’t argue about who cleans the kitchen, because I am usually able to unload it when I get home from work, load what is in the sink, and fill it up as I cook. My husband takes care of whatever is left after supper is finished.

Each night we have been able to go to bed with a completely clean kitchen with less than half of the effort before our dishwasher. We don’t dread cleaning up after supper, and haven’t argued about it since!

The summer is usually a busier time for us after work due to working in our garden, mowing the yard, and whatever projects my husband is working on thanks to longer days.


Is there a luxury item you thought you could live without, but realized life was better with it? I’d love to hear about it below in the comments!

To keep up with my life on our farm, follow me on Instagram!


***Disclaimer: To me, a luxury item is something that is not necessary to live with from day to day. These items are different for each person, and what I consider luxury items are based on my personal experience. I am by no means expecting anyone to conform to my list, but rather hope to inspire you to see what works best for you.***

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33 Comments

  • Reply
    Renee
    May 23, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Wow, this surprised me having read all of your other posts…I can’t do without many of the things you can and have commented on this before..but I can definitely do without a dishwasher…I have done with out one now for 8 years after moving from a brand new townhouse I lived in for 18 years to an old 1890’s house in a small town. No dishwasher for me and honestly can say I haven’t missed it. But I do miss having a garbage disposal. Anyway, we must all do what makes our lives happy and enJoyable. Glad it is helping you two.

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 23, 2016 at 9:08 am

      I know, Renee! I almost did not post this, because of how passionate I felt about not having one. However, I feel honesty is the best policy when it comes to sharing about my journey, and we have all changed some choices we never thought we would change. Sometimes we have to do what is right for our marriage versus what we think we should do or have because of our lifestyle. My life a year ago was not as busy as it is now. We could have lived without the dishwasher, but now, we are so thankful for it for many different reasons, as above mentioned.

  • Reply
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More
    May 23, 2016 at 8:54 am

    haha that’s awesome! We’re all a bit different, but a dishwasher is something that I CAN live without. I’ve lived in many apartments where I haven’t had that option and while a dishwasher is nice, I’m only one person and don’t make dishes that quickly anyway. haha

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 23, 2016 at 10:04 am

      Katie, I agree, we all have different circumstances. I can understand how easy it is for one person to not have a dishwasher, but for us, it is better. If I wasn’t as busy, we could definitely do without a dishwasher.

  • Reply
    Kate
    May 23, 2016 at 9:13 am

    I’ve lived with and it bout dishwashers. And I’ll be honest- because I love to cook and I have 2 kids under 2, it is now a non-negotiable for me. Wih added bottles/cups/etc that have to be hand washed, being able to put silverware and dishes in the dishwasher and call it done!

  • Reply
    Ms MoneyPennies
    May 23, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I can’t wait until I am able to afford a dishwasher! I have been living without one for 5 years and I miss it each time I dunk my hands into the sink to clean dishes! I see it as an investment though. If you ever want to sell or rent your home I think potential buyers will appreciate the fact that you have a dishwasher. And if it gives you back time then it is well worth it. Congrats!

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 23, 2016 at 10:08 am

      Thank you! I agree! My husband saved up the money for ours. We also didn’t buy the biggest or nicest, just something that would get the job done.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    May 23, 2016 at 11:09 am

    I love how honest you are about how important it is for you and your husband to have a dishwasher! I like that you are willing to accept that the extra 20 minutes is really worth it and that the fight is definitely not. For me, I don’t really think I could live without a dinning room table. I love sitting around it at night and having a space that is free of distraction for visiting with my family. Kudos to you!

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 23, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Thank you, Ashley! It means so much for you to be able to hear my heart within this post. I wish we had room for a dining room table! I think it is an important piece for a family as well! That is one thing I am looking forward to having again, once we build our house.

  • Reply
    Ryan | A Polished Palate
    May 23, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    I can’t say that there is an item that my husband and I have personally eliminated. But, my parents have never had a dishwasher. I was their dishwasher. So, needless to say, I am very thankful to have one in our home. It does make life a bit easier, and there’s nothing wrong with that! 🙂

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 23, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Oh wow! I remember when I was really little, we didn’t have a dishwasher. I was also little enough to think helping my mom with chores was more fun than work.

  • Reply
    Sharon
    May 23, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    I’ve read lots of articles stating that machine washed dishes are more sanitary and use less H2O. These two claims alone are enough to convince this minimalist to keep the dishwasher!

  • Reply
    Cara
    May 23, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I definitely don’t blame you there. I boycotted dishwashers for a long time, but now I wish I would have jumped on the bandwagon a long time ago. It makes my life so much easier, and it’s never fun to spend the majority of your time cleaning dishes. Love this post!

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 23, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      Thank you, Cara! I’m glad to have a dishwasher again for the sake of saving time. My chickens and garden have definitely needed more attention these past few weeks.

  • Reply
    Christine @ The Mostly Simple Life
    May 23, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    When we updated our kitchen we put in a dishwasher. For just 2 people, we make a lot of dirty dishes! And I hate doing dishes, so I really wanted it. I totally understand!

  • Reply
    Neely Moldovan
    May 23, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Doing dishes is one of my least favorite chores! I would have to have one.

  • Reply
    Lane
    May 24, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Me and my husband have a dishwasher and I wouldn’t want to live without it. Now that I am into minimalism it means even more to me. Now that my table and counters are uncluttered and minimal it looks so nice and calming. I like that I can put the dishes (most of the time, immedeatly after I use them) in the dishwasher until it is full enough to run and have a nice clean look. I do not like to have dishes piled up in the sink or on the counter waiting till I can get them washed.

  • Reply
    Ashley Stephenson
    May 24, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Props to you and your husband for trying! I know I could never not have a dishwasher! I have always had a garbage disposal in my sink and when my husband and I moved into our house now (it is my dads old house) we realized it doesn’t have one! It took me a loooong time to be OK with it but lets just say when we move again our sink will have one!

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 24, 2016 at 7:57 am

      A garbage disposal is something we live without, but that is because we have farm animals that love scraps! Nothing goes to waste at our house, as long as the pigs or chickens can eat it.

  • Reply
    Laura Kathleen
    May 24, 2016 at 8:00 am

    I’ve lived without a dish washer and I don’t know if I could ever look back! I think one item I couldn’t give up is my car. I live in the city so I don’t really need it, but I like it for going to visit my parents, running errands in the suburbs, or last minute trips to the beach. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your new purchase!

    Laura | Laura Aime Vous

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 24, 2016 at 8:11 am

      Thank you, Laura! I definitely could not do without my vehicle, as well. It’s a 25 minute drive to work for me.

  • Reply
    Katie @ Adulting Daily
    May 24, 2016 at 8:02 am

    I’m about to move from an apartment with a dishwasher to one without a dishwasher, so I hope I don’t feel the same way you do!! I’ll be moving into grad student housing, so I don’t really have the option to purchase one/add one to the apartment.

  • Reply
    Marette @ Floradise
    May 25, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    I had no idea that older apartments wouldn’t have food disposals in the kitchen sink. When we moved to Chicago I didn’t even check for that, so when I discovered it didn’t have one I was so disappointed. But I’ve been without one for a year now and you just deal with it. I previously didn’t consider it a luxury but I guess it is!

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 26, 2016 at 7:18 am

      I would consider it a luxury item, Marette. Growing up, I had a garbage disposal, but there were a lot of problems associated with it. For me, I think I would prefer to not have one.

  • Reply
    Heather
    May 30, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    We went years without a dishwasher, but when we added the second child it became a necessity. I hate doing dishes…and I love cooking…which means there are a lot of dishes. I think that and the washing machine…I could line dry my clothes definitely, but washing? We would return to the one regular outfit and one fancy outfit days if I had to hand wash everything 🙂

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      May 31, 2016 at 8:49 am

      Heather, I am the same way when it comes to cooking! I love to make a mess! haha! I couldn’t imagine living without a washing machine. It is definitely at the top of my necessity list!

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