Meet the women who in­spire thou­sands of fol­low­ers to simpilfy their lives. By Ni­cola Conville

Sunday Mail - Body and Soul - - NEWS -

“About 10 years ago, I was work­ing as a tech­ni­cal writer and feel­ing un­ful­filled and un­happy. So I closed down my busi­ness and cen­tred my life at home.

“I started my blog in 2007. I’d been work­ing in my home for a few years by then and was writ­ing down a lot of the things I was do­ing. It started with mak­ing soap, laun­dry liq­uid and house­hold clean­ers and I also cooked ev­ery­thing from scratch. We al­ready had chooks and a veg­etable garden but we planted a lot more of ev­ery­thing and got more chick­ens.

“I looked around for an Aus­tralian book that would help me in this new life and I couldn’t find one. I sent a book pro­posal to some pub­lish­ers and no-one was in­ter­ested, so I turned that book into my blog. [ Hetzel has since had a book, Down To Earth, pub­lished by Pen­guin.]

“A blog is an ex­cel­lent way of reach­ing read­ers who have the same con­cerns and prob­lems as you. I also wanted to show younger women how all women used to do their house­work and that this work is im­por­tant, valu­able and sat­is­fy­ing.

“There are many ben­e­fits to liv­ing a sim­ple life. We have bro­ken out of the one-size-fits-all mould and live as we choose. We aren’t wor­ried about shop­ping for the lat­est thing or be­ing part of the crowd. We live well and we’re hap­pier than we’ve ever been. I think we’re show­ing our chil­dren, by ex­am­ple, that this gen­tle way of life is en­rich­ing and sig­nif­i­cant.

“My ad­vice is to start where you’re at. Make dou­ble por­tions so you only cook once ev­ery two nights. Start bud­get­ing to pay off debts. Pack lunches for work and school, spend more time with your fam­ily and have ev­ery­one sit at the ta­ble for din­ner. You’ll find one thing will lead to an­other and a whole new world will open up for you. Ev­ery small step mat­ters.”

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