Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year! Today is the first day of the new financial year in Australia.

I thought today would be the perfect date to take my first steps towards a simpler life.

I have been reading Rhonda's Down to Earth blog for many months now, and have been taking peaks here and there at other readers blogs, who have committed themselves to living a more simple life. What I love about Rhonda's blog is that she does not set out 'rules' about how to lead a simple life. She instead says that a simple life is unique to each person and their situation, and what some of the changes are that they can make. Big or small, all are valued.

So, here I am making the pledge to live a simpler, more mindful life. I am excited and nervous about this commitment. I know I will have successes and failures as I try to make the changes to my life that will help me make this a reality.

I have spent time identifying the skills I already have that I can use:
* Sewing
* Cooking
* Gardening

I will make use of these in the following ways:

1) I am making the pledge here and now that I will not buy a single piece of clothing for the next six months - I will have to make any clothes I want instead! The exception being undies, singlets (yes I wear singlets) and stockings. The rest I will make! It is just too easy as a 25 year old girl living in Sydney to go to the massive shopping centres and pick up 'bargains' on sale that I do not really need. I'll admit that I am so guilty of this - going into brand name shops and buying a piece on sale just because it is cheap. Not because I actually need it. Six months might not sound like a long time to others, but to me its a big but hopefully achievable goal.
Two changes of season. 26 pay cheques. 183 days. I can do it!
So, if I do want a new piece of clothing, like some skirts for summer, or some spring dresses, I will have to source the fabric, design the pattern (or use one I have already) and actually MAKE the clothes.

2) I will make more homemade foods. I am actually already pretty good at this. I am not the kind of person who buys frozen or pre-made meals for dinners regularly, and we don't have take-away that often. What I am talking about is taking the time and effort to actually make bread, yogurt, jams and biscuits instead of buying them.

3) I will grow seasonal vegetables and maintain a herb garden. I am still waiting for my first round of vegetables to be ready in my garden. My friend Mel gave me an awesome potted herb garden a few months ago, and all the plants have either been used up or have gone to seed. I want to replant this pot as it was just the perfect size and shape for a balcony herb garden!

Now the skills I want to learn:

1) How to use my overlocker. I want to find a place that gives actual lessons on how to use these, as I am sure there is a better way to use mine than I currently am (plus I need to learn how to adjust the tension correctly)!

2) Knit dishcloths. I am ok at knitting, and would love to find a free online pattern for a dishcloth using basic knitting stitch - any suggestions???

3) I want to establish more environmentally friendly cleaning methods. I want to actually learn how I can use environmentally friendly materials to clean my house. I know there has been a lot written about this, and I am sure I can look it up online, but I have not yet, so hence this is a goal.

I will continue blogging about my progress, and I am sure my skills/goals list will continue to grow.

First steps!

Sam xox


  1. Hi Sam....sounds like you are on a roll.. Here is the pattern for dishcloths I use...there are plenty of fancy ones, but I consider this a good utility dishcloth and I make them with natural colored cotton yarn.

    Have fun!

  2. I commend your decision! We've been living on much less money the last year because of Ron's job situation. You make less, you spend less. I bought one pair of capris on sale and a couple of tops for .99 at a resale store I volunteer at. I splurge by buying some .50 books or a yard of fabric. I do a lot of vegetable gardening, canning and freezing. I don't make my own bread very often, but I do a lot of cooking and baking. It's not a bad life! There's a certain satisfaction in it. BTW, you said it's middle of winter there but you have lavendar ready to bloom. Middle of winter here means 2 feets of snow!: )

  3. Welcome to the revolution! Looking forward to reading about your journey!

    Check out ravelry - a free online resource for knitters and crocheters -there's a link from my blog.

    I only use 100% green and home made cleaning products in my home, and I plan on posting the recipes in the near future, there are some great online resources too, check out'ausies living simply'


  4. Hi Sam

    What a fabulous post from you! I was so excited reading it that I think you have spurred me on to create my own pledge!

    Stay tuned to my blog in the next few days (so I have time to nut out what I will pledge!) and we can encourage each other over the next 6 months.

    YAY to working towards living the life we want now!


  5. Hey honey, that's great! I'm so excited for you! Especially as it means more craft nights :) Miss you lots xoxo

  6. Wow! That is really wonderful! I'm wishing you the best of luck in your endeavors and would love to hear your progress! :D. Oh, and don't be too hard on yourself if you don't execute your plans perfectly! The joy is in the journey and trying is what is important!

  7. Sam, I have been thinking of doing something similar as I am having a hard time organising my thoughts and priorities. I just don't know what to focus on next. is where I got started with knitted dishcloths, there is also a link at the bottom of the page for crocheted ones. These days I just choose stitch patterns I like and add a border.

    As for green cleaning, I use vinegar diluted 1:10 in a spray bottle (and sometimes undiluted), soda crystals, bicarb and soap flakes. I still use Ecover washing up liquid too. I think that wooden scrubbing brushes (the ones for floors) are a good investment too. Also some nice smelling and possibly antibacterial essential oils!

  8. Welcome to the adventure of living simply, Sam. It's very satisfying to have cleared one's life of much of the material and emotional clutter that can creep in and cause havoc. Keep us posted as to your successes and please share ideas that we all can use.

  9. Hi! Thanks for coming over to my blog, I figured it was time I made it over here! I think your goals are wonderful, and I agree that Rhonda's blog is such an inspiration.

    My suggestion for you is regarding not buying clothes: I have achieved this by getting together with my girlfriends every few months for a clothing swap ("Naked Lady Party"). We all walk away with a refreshed wardrobe, have gotten rid of anything we don't want in our closets anymore, and have the fulfillment of new clothes without paying anything, and just reusing something someone else is tired of! We take the clothes that go unclaimed to a thrift store or charity shop.

    I wish you all the best and hope that you can find some helpful things on all the wonderful blogs out there- so many resources!

  10. Good for you Sam. I keep meaning to try to do this but I've yet to be successful with a lot of them. There's another pattern just like Becky's here
    Those are the ones I use. I never use anything else. They are so great for wiping up crumbs, etc, on counters cause they really grip them. Bernat has a cotton yarn called crafter's cotton.

  11. Good Luck with your Goal of not buying any new clothes, Im sure you can do it! :o)

    In regards to environmentally friendly cleaning products,I cant reccommend vinegar and bi-carb soda enough!
    Im not big on things like jiff or spray for the counter in the kitchen and had a few issues getting some stubborn (husband created) burnt on curry stains on the stove top. Bi Carb sprinkled on, then sprayed with white vinegar mixed with water and some elbow grease got it cleaner than anything else could! Awesome stuff :o)

  12. good for you. I can't wait to read more about your journey. I use good old vinegar, bi-carb and elbow grease for my cleaning.

  13. I want to wish you good luck with your simplifying journey. I think you will enjoy making your own clothes.

    I am sure Rhonda Jean has links to dishcloths and green living housekeeping on her blog. I think that is where I found my simple dishcloth pattern, just plain knit...

    Vinegar, bi carb and water are the only products I use for cleaning.

    Have a great week,


  14. Hi Sam,
    Best wishes with your pledge. I'm sure you will have fun on your journey towards a simpler lifestyle.
    P.S. Hooray for singlets, I wear them too.