Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Reviewing my simple progress

January seems an appropriate month to review my progress in living a simple life. As I set up this new home, I want to ensure that I do so in a way that will enable further simplicity, by taking this opportunity to reduce clutter and arranging things in an organised way.

So to help me organise this, I am reviewing the various things I am managing to do simply, and looking at the areas I want to improve or embrace next.

My boyfriend is the one who introduced a weekly menu plan, but this has drastically improved our diet, and reduced the amount of waste food. We have actually found this more expensive than ready meals in the local supermarket, but we know it's worth it for the health benefits, and we save huge amounts of time because we have a list when we go to the supermarket. Plus it means we can actually fit a whole week's groceries in the fridge at once.

I am baking all my own bread - although sometimes I run out of time, in which case I either make myself a couscous-based salad with the intended sandwich ingredients or (terribly) cheat and buy something. I must confess that this week I did patronise a local bakery but I am baking between once and twice a week on average.

I am still making my own breakfast cereal, although when time is short and/or it's cold and snowy, I make porridge. I would like to build up a stockpile of ingredients for this as I can't get them at my local supermarket.

I do occasionally bake cakes and biscuits, but not as much as I would like to.

In 2013, I would like to continue planning our meals, baking bread and making cereal, and also bake more. I particularly want to begin my first steps into making drinks - cordials and homemade herbal teas first, and hopefully eventually beer and wine.

I am still no-poo - I wash my hair twice a week with water and follow this with a rinse of dilute lemon juice. I do need to cut it more frequently though, and oil the ends regularly. I would also like to experiment more with different styles this year, and maybe cut myself a fringe if I'm feeling brave.

I am using homemade daily cleanser and oil-based moisturiser - but not every day! I am using shop-bought deodoriser and toothpaste, and soap. In 2013, I would like to expand my repertoire of beauty recipes and get into the habit of taking care of my skin a bit more regularly.

I am using almost entirely homemade cleaners at the moment - the only thing I am buying (by request of the boyfriend) is laundry detergent. However, as with toiletries, I'm not really very good at maintaining routines and this year I would like to take a leaf out of FlyLady's book, and adopt small daily routines to maintain my environment rather than having a monthly splurge.

I am only buying second-hand clothes these days but I would like to be more proactive about making things - so far, I have accumulated a wealth of patterns and fabric but haven't really finished anything.

I have lots of ideas but never really seem to deliver on them - too easily distracted with the internet. This year I am going to finish all the projects currently sitting on my metaphorical desk, and hopefully be able to start some new ones focusing on improving our home and quality of life. Projects currently on my list include: finish curtains for all the rooms; crochet a tea cosy for our pot; make place mats or tablecloths; make slippers for myself; and knit myself a hat for the cold weather.

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