Trials and tribulations of the simple life

We’ve been consciously moving in the direction of ‘simple living’ for about 4 years now. We make our own bread, grow some produce, shop locally etc. but there are a few things that we started and no longer do. These things were making our life trickier not simpler.

Things we no longer do:

Make our own toothpaste

This one is super recent, as in I bought our first tube of toothpaste in about 12 months yesterday. I loved the process of making our own toothpaste, I love that if we ran out I could just make some up. Initially, I started making it as a step towards zero waste, but to make it we were buying small plastic bags of bi-carb soda. I also found that while using the homemade toothpaste I began avoiding brushing my teeth, it was a completely unpleasant experience. So instead we’re going to search for a natural toothpaste in a tube.

Making our own washing detergent

I made our washing detergent all through building out house, and while we had a new born baby, and I still have all the ingredients in the cupboard but I haven’t made time recently to make it. It is on my list, and I do intend on making it again but it’s just not a top priority right now.

Using cloth nappies

We’ve used cloth nappies almost exclusively for two years. You can read more about our experiences here, here and here. We originally bought our nappies second hand on eBay and over the last two years from heir huge amount of wears and washes they have inevitably worn out. They were no longer catching what they needed to catch and being so close to toilet training we’ve decided not to buy more. Honestly, it’s a relief. After 2 years of multiple loads of washing nappies a week, washing poo off nappies, the hanging out, the folding, rinse and repeat, deciding to not do cloth any more is like a big weight off my shoulders.

cloth nappy washing basket

The ‘simple life’ is living an intentional life, it’s making conscious decisions and doing what works for you. We’ve made deliberate decisions in all aspects of our life, and removing these 3 things has been what works for us.

What steps have you taken to make simple living work for you?

12 thoughts on “Trials and tribulations of the simple life

  1. Hi Clare,
    I found your address in a cafe in Geelong where you apparently teach breadmaking which is a great interest of mine. I also grow my own vegetables and being an older woman off the land I’m pretty used to treating the earth gently. I love your concept and hope people your age are watching you

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  2. In my experience “Simple Living” can become as much as a trap as the busy life we were trying to escape….it’s hard sometimes, isn’t it, not to take everything onto our shoulders? I admire you making your own toothpaste for so many years. I’ve never even considered making my own soap, washing powder or toothpaste as I know I wouldn’t enjoy it and it would just become an added stress. And half of the recipes I’ve seen for washing powder require you simply buying more ingredients in boxes anyway – like your small bags of bi-carb I realise that I wouldn’t really be saving much.
    If you’re looking for a good toothpaste brand there are two I buy, depending on availability. Coles usually stocks Red Seal http://www.redseal.co.nz/product-category/toothpaste/

    And Woolworths has Grant’s Natural https://www.woolworths.com.au/Shop/Search/Products?searchTerm=toothpaste&name=grants-toothpaste-mild-mint&productId=426901

    Sarah x

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  3. I wouldn’t say you are failing, you’ve just tried different things. Some work well others don’t. And disposable nappies / pull ups are so much easier for toddlers!!

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  4. Agree, used cloth for my first when it came to my second the only thing that was great about going into drought was that I could no longer justify the amount of water needed for the cloth nappies. I did not realise how much of my life they were taking up!!!!

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