Frequently Asked Questions:

Why are you doing this?

I have more stuff than I could ever possible use or need. But society constantly encourages us all to keep buying. I could cook from every cookbook on my shelves and feed my family until the end of time, yet I still feel I “need” new cookbooks. I have 26 (?) pairs of shoes, don’t wear most of them, and somehow think I need more shoes. Etc. etc.

I’m also not comfortable with how easily I spend money and buy things on impulse, simply because I have the luxury to do so.

This is a project to see what happens when I use what I have, for a year.

What about your family?

My husband is not involved. He’s free to buy whatever he likes. My kids are off-limits, sort of. If I can make something for them rather than buy it, I will because I enjoy sewing and knitting. I’ve already been doing that for the past year with some of their clothing. I will also continue to buy consignment clothes for them when I can’t make something. Again, something I’ve already been doing. Mostly because I can buy higher quality, nicer clothing for the same price as something from a chain store if I buy it used.

What about food?

Obviously I have to buy food, but during the year I’m going to try and use up what’s in my pantry before I buy more nuts, dried fruits, exotic grains, etc. And I’ll keep my shopping local and seasonal, which I already do. Just a reminder to keep focusing on it.

What’s your goal here?

I don’t have one, except to minimize buying things and to see what happens. I suspect the experience will be profound and not what I’m anticipating. I may well be wrong.

What about the psychological hole you’re trying to fill?

Yeah, there’s a yearning for “better” or “perfect” in my life, and often it seems the next purchase could be just the thing to “finish” the living room and make it perfect. Or that new pair of pants will really turn around my whole wardrobe and make better dressing (ergo a better life) possible.

I’m curious to see what happens when the solution to these gaps isn’t buying something.

I don’t know how much there will be to write about, I’m assuming there will be but I don’t really know. But if I don’t make the site, I’m afraid I won’t have the same accountability, that I could just say, “I’ll try to buy less” and then try and no one will know, except me, if I do buy less or not.

Is this about being frugal?

No. The goal isn’t to save money. In fact I’d say the project is unrelated to money, as much as that’s possible. It’s about not accumulating more stuff. It’s about making do, in every possible sense.

More questions to come…


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
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