A few months ago I attended Camp Mighty in Palm Springs, CA. One of the requirements, prior to arriving, was to complete my life list. I filled mine with over seventy items, and a few stood out:

#21 More self sufficiency

#55 Sew more for myself, make a dress

#69 Buy quality stuff, no more IKEA/throwaway, things that can be repaired/fixed/handed down.

And most importantly:

#44 Go 1, 2, or 3 months without buying anything except food for my family

In December, 2011, something clicked. I realized that going even three months without buying anything would just defer purchases. Going a year would require some real change in how I operated. And those changes could involve some of the other things I’d identified as important to how I wanted to live my life. Also I read “Little House in the Big Woods” to my four-year-old son and was reminded how little people can have and still lead a very rich life.

I’d always loved the expression “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Do without.” And so I decided to do that for one year, 2012. This site documents my project.


I’ve been doing web stuff since the mid-nineties. I co-founded Blogger. I also co-founded Kinja, an early news aggregation site. I’m a Senior Advisor to the James Beard award-winning food site Serious Eats. Since 2007 I’ve been taking time off from internet entrepreneurship to raise my two children, Ollie and Minna, in New York City. I graduated from Tufts University. I love to ski. I have a blog at megnut.com that doesn’t get the attention it deserves anymore, but you can find out more about me there if you’re really interested.


In 2012, I'm not going to buy anything except what I've used up or worn out. For all else, I'll make do with what I already own or I'll do without. I've come up with some guidelines. Update: for 2013 I'm going to continue along, but not as strictly.


I'm Meg Hourihan. I live in New York City but was raised in Massachusetts. I blame my Yankee-ness for this crazy idea. Read more about me and this project.


Some answers to frequently asked questions.


Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @makeitdo
Tumblr: Ask me a question



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