Make It Do

Following a “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” philosophy not only protects our planet’s natural resources, but it provides a pause in the consumption cycle allowing for contentment with what we have.

I filled the shopping cart three times, on separate occasions, but stopped short of hitting the checkout button. I selected a beautiful silk dress, cashmere sweater and leather clutch. It would have been a show stopper and I felt good about each piece because they were ethically made.

Continue reading

Make It Do

Following a “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” philosophy not only protects our planet’s natural resources, but it provides a pause in the consumption cycle allowing for contentment with what we have. In this series I share personal stories of making do.
Weed Barrier and Mulch from Free Materials | the beauty in simple

The weeds got away from me this summer in a disastrous way. I didn’t attack them early in the season and they spread and went to seed. I left them in fear of sending all those seeds afloat, making matters worse. Ultimately, my solution to the problem was a weed barrier.

Continue reading

Reflections on Buying Nothing New

A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy | the beauty in simpleThe book “A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy” came into my hands at just the right time. The author tells a story through words and art of her year of painting, rather than buying, the things she coveted. There’s much wisdom and humor on consumerism and living with less to be gleaned from these pages. I had been feeling worn out by my own self-imposed restriction of buying nothing new this year and this book picked me up, made me laugh, and renewed my dedication to opting-out of consumerism.

Continue reading

Make It Do

Following a “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” philosophy not only protects our planet’s natural resources, but it provides a pause in the consumption cycle allowing for contentment with what we have. In this series I share personal stories of making do.Seeking Perfection by Making Do | the beauty in simple

Continue reading

Make It Do

Following a “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” philosophy not only protects our planet’s natural resources, but it provides a pause in the consumption cycle allowing for contentment with what we have. In this series I share personal stories of making do.

Details on a Vintage Pillow Case Dress | the beauty in simpleI received a child’s birthday party invite last week. Running to the store to buy a present would be the normal thing to do, but the only stores I shop at these days are thrift stores. This mama friend of mine loves to thrift and would appreciate a secondhand toy or book for her daughter, but my favored gift is giving something sewn by me using materials I have on hand. Looking through my dwindling fabric stash the choices were meager, but I remembered the beautiful vintage pillow cases sitting in the linen closet. A pillow case dress would be the perfect gift for a sweet two-year-old girl.

Continue reading

Buy Nothing New Year Update

An Update on My Buy Nothing New Year | the beauty in simpleYou may remember that I committed to buy nothing new in 2016 with some allowed exceptions. A few people have asked me how it’s going, in which I’d say, pretty splendid. Outside of food and household consumables, the only new purchases I’ve made are three pairs of shoes for my teenage children that were for a birthday and a school related event. No doubt I could have bought the kids used shoes, but sometimes it’s best not to force my own aspirations onto others. My secondhand purchases have been few, but when I have a need to fill, the challenge has been fun. Continue reading

Tightening the Belt: 7 Tips for Buying Nothing

Tightening the Belt to Buy Nothing | the beauty in simple

I’ve pledged to buy nothing new (as in brand-spanking new) for a year. Second-hand purchases are allowed, but really, my first choice is buying nothing at all. While you may understand my motivation to be environmental – and it is – I’m also motivated for financial reasons. I want to live lightly on the planet, but I want to do so with financial freedom. To me debt is like slavery, and while I’ve taken it on voluntarily, I’m anxious to rid myself of its shackles. I think financial freedom, which I define as being debt-free, can play a major role in achieving a simple and satisfying life.

Continue reading

Make It Do

Following a “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” philosophy not only protects our planet’s natural resources, but it provides a pause in the consumption cycle allowing for contentment with what we have. In this series I share personal stories of making do and welcome you to share yours in the comments.Making Do with a Camping Mattress | the beauty in simple

Continue reading

Buying Nothing New: 15 Tips for Success

15 Tips for Success in Buying Nothing New | the beauty in simpleWith a few exceptions, I’m buying nothing new in 2016. It’s a pledge I’ve made, but even more so, it’s a way of life I’ve adopted. I’ve been on the slow path of voluntary simplicity ever since I read Your Money or Your Life nearly two decades ago, but as each year passes I become more dedicated to the lifestyle, both for the freedom it gives me and the kindness it shows our planet.

Continue reading

Buy Nothing New in 2016

Buy Nothing New | the beauty in simpleIt’s a new year and one that I’m particularly excited about. I’m pledging to buy nothing new for the entire year, with a few exceptions that I’ll share below. I made the same pledge last year with some, but not complete success. I did finish the year feeling empowered and excited to recommit in 2016. Truthfully, I can’t imagine ever going back to consuming like I once did. I may not always be guided by a set of rules of what I can and cannot consume, but what I’ve learned from following the principles of a “buy nothing new” year has been life changing.

Continue reading