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Simple Living – the first (blogged about) thoughts

October 13, 2009

Recently I have been looking at my life, home and finances and in some ways rejoicing that I am so fortunate and in some ways dispairing that I have too much and that I don’t know where all my money or time goes.

So I have decided to do something about it!!  Using this page set on my blog to organise my thoughts and maybe help others or have others help me!!

I started with a stream on a Ravelry Discussion Group and found a few quotes/thoughts I liked:

  • How do you execute “Living in a way that is outwardly simple and inwardly rich.”(Duane Elgin)
  • “Saying yes to something means saying no to something else – are you prepared to make that sacrifice.”
  • ‘What does a person lack in himself that he needs so many things?’
  • “The things you own end up owning you.”
  • “Nobody ever laid on their deathbead saying “I wish I’d spent more time at the office”, or “I wish I’d bought that flatscreen TV”
  • “To actually enjoy the process of doing things instead of just the finished product”
  • “People: Where I need to improve is simplifying my schedule. I’m always the one who if up for anything with anyone, but then I get frazzled because I have too much scheduled in my life. I need to spend more time alone to do my own thing. Which tends to mean doing more knitting or sewing.”
  • “Doing as much as possible for myself rather than paying someone to do it, and avoiding consumerism as much as possible. It means cooking and baking, mending and making, taking time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures”
  • “It means NOT spending to fill ‘the void’, or feeling like I have to drive a new car and have a ‘perfect’ home to be accepted by society, NOT working round the clock”
  • Simple Living? Unprocessed food as much as possible – fruit and veg., home-made bread. Asking myself “Do I really need this?” when thinking of buying something. Natural fibres. Trying to keep in touch with the natural world. Being content with what I have.
  • “Maybe I should start by throwing away all the pens in my house that don’t work any more…” and the chipped plates/glasses/dishes that threaten to fillet our lips/fingers and the clothes that have not fit since 19…..
  • “Whenever I sew, I cut up the remnants of fabric into 1.5”, 2.5”, 3.5” strips, whatever sizes fit, and put them in bins. Then I make a Log Cabin quilt, for instance, when the 1.5” bin gets too full. “
  • “Living simply means getting rid clutter. It means making items and food that you need. It means enjoying the simple pleasures that you’ve worked to have ( a rose from your own rosebush, fresh herbs from the garden etc.) It means hanging laundry on the clothesline and enjoying the smell of fresh air and sunshine on your clothes. It means sharing what you have with neighbors, family and friends. It means being a lifelong learner and enjoying the process. It means running through sprinklers and enjoying nature, animals, art, music and walks around the neighborhood.”

I already compost kitchen and garden waste, I have a water butt, I grow my own herbs (currently at 6 pots) I have started to grow my own veggies (Beetroot and beans last year, strawbs and onions currently in the ground.)  I have mostly energy saving bulbs (am replacing them as they die) I recycle plastics, papers, cans/tins and glass – but I want to do more of this.  I have recently read “Simplify Your Life” by Elaine St James which has set me on the declutter path (currently finishing declutter number 2 – as I am doing this in waves)  I am developing a home business (www.elliefants.moonfruit.com) Ihave also read “Your Money or Your life.” Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robbin and most recently India Knight’s Thrift Book.

I have thought long and hard about all of this and I have decided to set some goals:

  • Declutter (using the 1000 things method – see Ravelry’s simple living group linked above)
  • Knit through my stash!!  (which is now contained in a chest of drawers ansd a wardrobe)
  • To go from May 09 to May10 without spending one new penny on clothing  (this one I started a while ago showing how long my thought process has been!!!)
  • To get outside more (into parks, nature reserves, nature and into my own garden)
  • Try green cleaning (Karen Logan-Clean house, Clean Planet as well as many internet sources)
  • To get myself Debt free with 6 months basic living expenses as savings in the bank
  • Turn off the power as much as I can. (starting with simple things like not having the TV blaring away when I am on the computer!!! or switching off lights, not using the tumble dryer etc etc)
  • Develop my outside growing space for vegetables/fruit.
  • Develop a pond for the wildlife in the garden.
  • Develop a bird feeding station
  • Develop my home business…
  • Bake my own bread again..

For updates on this see the blogs tagged simple living or the good life and gardening!!

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