Why We Should DIY – Getting To The Root Of It

by Suzan Ferreira
Why We Should DIY - Getting To The Root Of It 4 images with centered writing

With the world of DIY, “do it yourself”, available at your fingertips, on TV, & on all the social media channels, there is nothing you cannot teach yourself to do. This is not a question of “can” you DIY, but rather getting to the root of “why” we should & the benefits of DIY that are available to us all.

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Being a self-proclaimed DIY’er for most of my life, doing it myself is nothing new to me. Having always have had a passion to teach myself new skills, including how to embroider at age 10, DIY became a part of my life without even knowing it was a thing.

At age 12, I took it upon myself to approach our landlord for purchasing paint and supplies needed to redo my bedroom myself & they agreed! A month later I had painted the walls off white & the wooden floors purple (my favorite color at the time), installed a corkboard wall, and redecorated my room (putting my mattress on the floor in the middle of the room), after all, it was the ’70’s 🙂 .

Being industrious was nothing new. Like being drawn to like, my partner in life is of the same mold, thank goodness. There is nothing that man cannot do and do well. So when it was mentioned almost 20 years ago that it might be a good idea to move to the country & create a small homestead so that our daughter would know where a carrot came from & what it took to create said carrot, and FYI, it’s NOT from a plastic bag or the farmer’s market, he didn’t blink an eye.

Why We Should DIY - Getting To The Root Of It front of chicken house
The Chicken Condo

We wanted to get back to the roots of living a sustainable life, one that is mindful, authentic and thoughtful.  In order to create a homestead & the life we envisioned, we needed to seek out those who had knowledge of the skills we needed. We asked questions, lots of questions, learned from mentors, researched online, & read everything we could get our hands on. Quickly realizing the depth of knowledge we lacked to create a sustainable homestead, and that we needed still learn a lot in order to successfully create this life became blatantly apparent.

Why We Should DIY - Getting To The Root Of It freshly harvested carrots with roots intact

Take carrots for example. Learning everything we needed to learn about how to grow an organic vegetable garden (yes, carrots were one of our first crops) was researched. From knowing the differences between seed choices, to preparing the garden beds for planting the carrots, learning the best way to thin carrots, & finally experimenting with the best ways to store the carrots long-term for fresh eating all needed to be learned. And that’s just for carrots!

The sense of joy & deep satisfaction in both the research of how-to and the actual DIY’ing how to grow, nurture and store carrots was incredibly rewarding. The beauty of DIY is that it’s available to ALL. All ages, genders, and skill sets have the ability to DIY anything no matter where you live, and not just growing carrots 🙂 .

The satisfaction one can receive from making your own “anything” is par none. Often asked, “why bother taking the time to create your own when you can just buy it?” got the wheels turning & a few questions came to mind. What are the reasons why more don’t make their own in today’s modern society? What is it that hold’s them back from trying? And, why exactly do we enjoy making our own “anything” here on the hill?


For generations, knowledge of old-fashioned skills have been lost, especially when it comes to the homefront. Interestingly, according to an article, “Why Millenials Don’t DIY”, the following statistics were quoted:

43% of millenials can’t wire a plug

More than 12% say they can’t change a lightbulb

32% don’t know how to bleed a radiator

The Big Issue

These are, for the most part, the easiest & most routine tasks in maintaining a household, and I believe not just directed toward millennials. So what are some of the reason’s why more don’t DIY? Here are a few:

  • Impatience – Wanting instant gratification
  • Lack of Skill – Lacking the knowledge of how to complete a specific task/project
  • Lack of Self-Confidence – It takes courage to attempt DIY and be willing to fail
  • DIFM Mindset – Standing for “do it for me”, many prefer paying someone to complete tasks/projects. Honestly, it should be TLTDIM = “too lazy to do it myself” 🙂 , just sayin’
  • Time – Claiming a lack of time to invest in DIY

In a world filled with technology that is ever-changing, growing, & expanding at phenomenal rates, children on iPhones, tablets, and computers at ages where they are still able to ride in the grocery cart seats, families sitting in restaurants together yet not together all absorbed in their electronic device(s), we have reached the point of disconnection through our “connections”. Instead of slowing life down with technologies “conveniences”, the opposite seems to have incurred. Life is often spiraling out of control with its fast pace.

Don’t get me wrong, as I sit here on my computer writing this post and heavily absorbed in social media for the blog, there are times when a good self-check is needed. Time to move the body, or balance out “screen time” with time elbows deep time in the garden or a visit to my creative room.

Why We Should DIY - Getting To The Root Of It wide view of vegetable garden

There is a reason that people are drawn to the “farmhouse style” created and largely promoted by Joanna Gains, or the minimalist lifestyle, or even the KonMari approach to living. People are seeking simplicity in their lives. A way to slow down, disconnect from the electronic world & reconnect to themselves, those around them, and even the earth.

Many are feeling the need to take control back. Control of where their time is spent and the type of quality that time consists of. There seems to be a “maker movement” according to an article, “The Joy of DIY”. The simple joy of “making” something, regardless of the outcome, has energized many to give DIY a try.

Making stuff with your hands is joyful, especially if you detach from the outcome.

The Joy of DIY


Making your own “anything” does take the investment of time & effort. When we began the journey of creating our homestead, lost skills had to be learned. Vintage skills that had been generationally lost in our family, needed to be re-visited. These skills included much more than just gardening.

Why We Should DIY - Getting To The Root Of It backyard picture with pool and blooming crab apple tree

The more DIY projects we completed the more we wanted to tackle. Not just how to grow carrots but learning how to grow our own food (both vegetable & meat) & how to prepare & preserve those items. Transforming, repurposing, & giving life to vintage items became a “fun time” for the whole family. Warning! The art of creating something from nothing with “our own two hands” can become a lifestyle.

The benefits of DIY’ing go far beyond the deep satisfaction received from the accomplishments. DIY is GOOD for us on so many levels! How? Here are a few examples:

  • SAVES $$$ – Learning new skills whether how to fix a leak in the faucet (plumbers average hourly wage ranges from $45 to $200), how to sew or mend damaged items (avg. $12 to $15 per hour), how to make your own meals from scratch (avg. yearly cost $3,008 for dining out expenses), or how to repurpose items, all will save you money & keep those dollars in your pocket.
  • EXERCISING THE BRAIN – We’ve all heard the adage “use it or lose it”. This applies the brain as well. Stimulating the creative & cognitive aspects of brain activity through “DIY Therapy” works our brain as a muscle. allowing us to “reclaim our psychological and spiritual wellbeing”.
  • DIY GOOD FOR THE BODY – Let’s face it, to complete most DIY projects you need to be active both physically & mentally. Take gardening for example. Gardening or landscaping works to strengthen our muscles, our cardiovascular systems, reduces stress, and creates happiness!
  • IMPROVES MENTAL HEALTH – A Stanford study found ” quantifiable evidence that walking in nature could lead to a lower risk of depression”. With half the worlds population living in urban settings, the disconnect with nature through urbanization has grown dramatically and right along with that is the rate of “mental disorders and depression”. Many DIY projects take you to the out of doors, oftentimes into nature itself. For example, wild-crafting herbs & flowers to DIY oils & tinctures, or picking wild berries to DIY home remedies, or simply playing outside will put you back in touch with Nature.
  • RECONNECTING – Something as simple as making your own food from scratch and sitting down as a family to eat can have a positive impact on family life. The importance of family dinner time, having all disconnect from electronics is proven to improve familial relationships, & reduce risks of drug and alcohol abuse among the younger generation.
  • FOSTERS PRIDE & SATISFACTION – Consider how you felt when you created “anything” with your own two hands. “When you make something you feel productive, but the engagement and exploration involved in the doing can move your mind and elevate your mood”. Creating “anything” yourself creates and “fosters pride and satisfaction”.
  • POSSIBLE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES – Learning new skills and perfecting them often lead to job opportunities & opening new businesses. Whether creating opportunities for the handyman or making your own organic products 🙂 , the opportunities are endless for how you can actually make money from your DIY.
  • INCREASES APPRECIATION – Once you have learned the skills needed to complete a project, the level of appreciation for what went into the making of that product increases.
  • INCREASES SELF-CONFIDENCE –  When have you ever heard someone say they didn’t benefit from learning a new skill set? A wonderful quote from Creativity, Happiness and Your Own Two Hands: “If we can treasure doing as much as having done we provide new avenues for success, self-esteem or self-repair”, says it all.
  • INCREASES SELF-RELIANCE – The more you can do on your own, the less you rely on others!
  • BETTER END RESULT – Often times the end products quality far exceeds that of anything that you can purchase!
  • IT’S FUN!! – It’s been said before and will be said again, DIY projects are fun to do!
Why We Should DIY - Getting To The Root Of It homemade clothespin holder from recycled jeans

Hopefully, if you haven’t already, you will begin to incorporate more DIY into your life. From simple things like hanging clothes on a line to dry by the power of the sun, to taking it a step further and upcycling jeans to create a unique clothespin holder, the benefits of DIY will far outway any negatives.

What ways do you incorporate DIY into your life? Let’s get the conversation going by joining in the comments below! Be sure to subscribe to stay up-to-date with all the “happenings on the hill”!

Love, Light, & Laughter ~

Signature of Suzan from It's My Sustainable Life
Why We Should DIY - Getting To The Root Of It pinnable image for Pinterest

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Beth Shields August 10, 2020 - 4:42 pm

Loved this post. I am all about the DIY and completely agree that we have become a society of instant gratification and many lost arts, that I think are critical to who we are. Love the sense of accomplishment, the use of creative skills, and just the thrill of trying something new. This was a good reminder for me. Thanks.

T.M. September 16, 2019 - 2:30 pm

While I willingly admit I love the convenience of getting things done quickly thanks to modern technology…I do love the sense of accomplishment that comes with doing something myself. Putting in the hard work, the toil and the sweat to see a job come to fruition is truly satisfying.

Suzan Ferreira September 16, 2019 - 5:31 pm

Couldn’t agree more, Tina. Thanks so much for reading!

Lisa Lombardo September 14, 2019 - 9:15 pm

So true! I grew up on a small farm and wanted to get back to that life for most of adulthood. So glad I am able to have a small homestead. Thanks so much for sharing on Farm Fresh Tuesdays, Suzan!

Suzan Ferreira September 16, 2019 - 11:48 am

It is a wonderful life 🙂 Thanks for reading Lisa!

Marilyn Lesniak September 12, 2019 - 11:01 pm

Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too!

Lisa September 11, 2019 - 6:18 am

We have been doing a DIY project at home and it has really helped my husband and I reconnect. I also feel like there is a new outlet for energy and I love it! I agree that DIY is the way to go!

Suzan Ferreira September 11, 2019 - 12:19 pm

That’s so wonderful! It definitely is a relationship builder.

Pauline September 11, 2019 - 12:49 am

I love this. I absolutely think that people are losing these skills, even the smallest things like cooking and sewing, which I take for granted. Being able to do things ourselves has saved us so much money. My husband has really improved his mechanic and carpentry skills over the years to save us money. We just finished our shed which the siding alone would have cost us about a thousand but cost us 150.00 instead.

Suzan Ferreira September 11, 2019 - 12:19 pm

I couldn’t agree more, Pauline!

Christina Furnival | Real Life Mama September 10, 2019 - 11:35 pm

I love DIY! I don’t always have the time, energy, or brain power, but when I do, it feels so good!

Suzan Ferreira September 11, 2019 - 12:20 pm

I too have to be in the right mindset to get my creative juices flowing, and certainly agree…it does feel good!

Chris September 10, 2019 - 9:03 pm

What an excellent and well thought out post! I’ll confess that as a big city resident my entire life, I fall back on that “Someone will just do it for me” mentality. This post is just the motivation I need to change that.

Suzan Ferreira September 11, 2019 - 12:22 pm

So glad to hear that it was motivating for you & you enjoyed it, Chris. Thank you for reading!

Kathy Phillips September 10, 2019 - 7:37 pm

This is a great post filled with so many ideas. Thank you for sharing. I think everyone should be doing some sort of DIYing.

Cindy September 10, 2019 - 6:53 pm

Great post! I love DIYing. It’s a creative outlet for me. I especially enjoy creating something new from something old. A few days ago I turned a vintage chair, that was falling apart, into a work of art that carries deep meaning for me. There’s a blog post about it, of course! 😉

Suzan Ferreira September 11, 2019 - 12:23 pm

That’s wonderful, Cindy! I will definitely check it out 🙂

Malia September 10, 2019 - 2:18 pm

I’d love to know what the repurposed jeans are used for in the last picture. Are they are clothespin holder? It looks similar to the clothespin holder I made but thought I’d check. Painting the walls is one thing, but painting the wood floor purple?!?! The ex-realtor in me cringed! Gotta love the 70’s and willing landlords!

Suzan Ferreira September 10, 2019 - 5:27 pm

Yes, it’s a clothespin holder I made from a pair of out grown jeans that were my daughters. I know, right? The floor actually looked really good, light purple with off white walls…a bit ahead of my time, LOL.

Lina Thao September 10, 2019 - 11:49 am

What a great post! I love the idea of DIY and try as much as I can. As you mention, time and lack of skills are some of my biggest reasons for not being able to DIY more often. Nothing that a book or youtube can’t fix. Thanks for sharing!

Suzan Ferreira September 10, 2019 - 1:32 pm

Thank you for reading, Lina!

Melissa Jones September 10, 2019 - 3:00 am

Very neat article! Great perspective!

Suzan Ferreira September 10, 2019 - 11:00 am

Thank you, Melissa.

Jane September 10, 2019 - 1:22 am

Another great post Suzan! Growing up, I’m very lucky to be raised by my parents to live a self-sustaining life. We live in a farm with no electricity & no running water so we had to be resourceful. Weekends for us is about helping my parents plant & vegetables as this is where our main source of income. So I can definitely relate. Thanks for sharing. Brought back amazing memories.

Suzan Ferreira September 10, 2019 - 11:02 am

Thank you for sharing your story! What an amazing wealth of knowledge you learned while growing up.

Jen September 9, 2019 - 11:33 pm

Love the premise of this post! It really is not a matter of “can “ you DIY… the older I get the more I enjoy DIY projects and find satisfaction in completing them.

Heather September 9, 2019 - 11:27 pm

I have to admit when I was younger I was better at this than I am now. I am trying to get better at it, as it could be a big money saver. I do cook most of our meals and I make all the family albums by scrapbooking. When my kids had birthday parties and other events, I made all the decor, invites, favors, etc. My husband does a lot of home stuff himself, but more so because he can be cheap, not because he enjoys it. LOL.

Suzan Ferreira September 10, 2019 - 11:04 am

Sounds like you still are DIY’ing when you can! And yes, we DIY’ers do save a lot of $$$ in the process 🙂

Magan September 9, 2019 - 9:50 pm

I’m not much of a DIYer, though I do every now and then. I do love watching my daughter’s face once she accomplishes something. Pride and confidence can be amazing things to a tween.

Maria Gustafsson September 9, 2019 - 9:29 pm

This is such a great message, and I grew up in a home where this was how we lived. As a city and apartment dweller, there aren’t a lot of DIY’s that can be done in my place, but I like to make things, and that’s where I use my creativity.

Natalie September 9, 2019 - 7:32 pm

DYI has always been a staple in our household. So many pluses to saving money to making money repurposing stuff for sale.

Suzan Ferreira September 10, 2019 - 11:05 am

Absolutely, Natalie. Thanks for reading!

Karla Petersen September 9, 2019 - 7:25 pm

DIY is SO important for me for these reasons and also for the connection factor with other people and especially these days, my kids. I am teaching my 16-year-old how to sew. We chit chat. The Littles and Bigs are working on fairy habitats together… for months. How can we make beds, rugs, etc? Their give and take is fun. AND…. since we are coming up on October… I REFUSE to buy Halloween costumes. Homemade all the way!!!!!

Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 7:31 pm

Love it and couldn’t agree more. The connections & memories you make and the relationships you build are irreplaceable!

judean September 9, 2019 - 7:23 pm

I very much understand where you are coming from with DIY and saving $$ is something I need to do! My problem is the impatience and laziness – hey at least I admit it! When I was younger, I loved to paint, decorate, make things, etc. The older I get, the more I would rather have someone do it for me. I don’t have anyone do things for me, therefore, nothing gets done! I would rather go out for a run with friends then tend to a garden or wait for clothes to dry outside. As I read all of these DIY posts, I hope my mindset changes someday soon!

Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 7:33 pm

Thank you for your honesty! Maybe start with something small that’s manageable and doesn’t take long to accomplish and go from there!

Ramae Hamrin September 9, 2019 - 6:38 pm

This is a fantastic post and very encouraging. I have always been a DIYer mainly because of frugality and a strong independent streak. I sometimes forget about the inherent sense of joy in the sense of creating something. I also let fear seep in when it involves things I feel are too complicated for me to learn. Thank you for the wonderful and thought-provoking post!

Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 7:34 pm

Thank you, Ramae, for reading and your kind words! I’m so glad you found it thoughtful.

Angela September 9, 2019 - 5:46 pm

Honestly one of the main things I look fwd to in retirement is way more DIY! I just have no time with FT job, PT starting my own company and 3 kids (oh plus husband and dog – haha!)

Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 7:34 pm

Life does have a way of getting in the way at times 🙂

Melissa Parcel September 9, 2019 - 4:33 pm

Your post is very convicting for me…I don’t tend to DIY very much because I just don’t make the time to do so. We do grow all of our own herbs, and I cook all of our meals, so I guess I do DIY a bit.

Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 5:09 pm

Yes, you do!!

Haley Kelley September 9, 2019 - 4:31 pm

We love, love, love DIY everything! So glad so many people share such great ideas!

Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 5:10 pm

Me too, Haley! Sometimes, its fun to just look for the ideas 🙂

Lisa Manderino September 9, 2019 - 3:58 pm

I am a very diy kind of person but my husband is not! We did finish our entire basement with only the help of sheet rockers. But since then my husband doesn’t want to do anything himself! I guess I have to be the DIY in our family!

Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 5:10 pm

That is the way sometimes!

jen September 9, 2019 - 3:40 pm

I loved this article! I agree with everything you said! It’s something we really strive for in our family… teaching our girls good old fashioned value and to appreciate the generations who came prior to us. It gives a real sense of appreciation for all that we have now and what it took to get there.

Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 5:11 pm

Agreed, Jen! Thank you for reading.

Matt Epley September 9, 2019 - 3:16 pm

DIY projects are so empowering, big or small. Thank you for all the other benefits you listed. I hadn’t even considered the added appreciation or mental health benefits before.

Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 5:12 pm

Thank you for stopping by Matt!

Kendra September 9, 2019 - 3:03 pm

I love making homemade gifts and projects! I grew up learning to can and make jam, jelly, preserves, pickles, and so much more from my mom. We still bond over that today, and it’s such a great feeling to know that you can make something amazing yourself!

Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 5:12 pm

And create such wonderful memories with your Mom. Love it!

Tricia Snow September 9, 2019 - 2:58 pm

Our kids know all the basics because we have rentals. We HAD to learn how to do it ourselves. We made sure they knew how as well.

Amy September 9, 2019 - 2:54 pm

A great post with very good advice. I was raised by DIY-ers on all sides before it was “a thing,” but that DIFM mentality of which you speak is so easy to slip into. And, unfortunately, it’s easy to pass on. A great reminder to get off the couch, open a book, and learn to create something!

Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 5:13 pm

Thank you, Amy. I couldn’t agree more…stimulate the creative side.

Lisa September 9, 2019 - 2:31 pm

My momma grew onions, tomatoes and potatoes in our small (city) garden. Those were the best!

Robin September 9, 2019 - 2:24 pm

I completely agree! I raised 2 teenage boys and I try to teach them how to do everything on their own! I even remind them that this “technological age” may not last so they need to know how to live without it! Thanks for sharing- great read!

Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 5:14 pm

Sage advice Robin. Thank you for stopping by!

Jody September 9, 2019 - 2:08 pm

Now a days it is easier to go to the store and buy what you want. But making it yourself gives you so much more satisfaction I so agree with what your saying.

Mother of 3 September 5, 2019 - 9:14 pm

I enjoy learning new things though I have learned there are some DIY things I’m not very good at (gardening for example! Everything I try to grow dies… but I keep trying and learn something new each time I accidentally kill a plant). Thanks for sharing with us at Encouraging hearts and Home.

Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 11:41 am

Too funny Joanne! Practice, practice, practice and hopefully one day they will grow 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!

Michelle September 5, 2019 - 6:52 pm

When I was a teenager, my parents introduced me to self-sufficiency. We raised our own cattle, rabbits, and chickens, grew vegetables and canned them. I appreciate having had the experience, but it wasn’t something I particularly enjoyed. I do quilt, crochet, and within the last few years taught myself to make jewelry. I guess these would qualify as the more arty end of the DIY spectrum.

While I completely agree that knowledge of how to be self-sufficient is an awesome set of skills, I also get that society is made of people with different skill sets that help society in general function. I have a dear friend that is a Unix administrator for a national defense company. He has whole worlds of computer code in his mind that I cannot begin to fathom. He does very few things that qualify as DIY. His brain just doesn’t work that way. But it works in wonderful ways.

Millennials are a product of the society they have grown up in. Their brains are wired differently because of it. That’s okay.

Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 11:48 am

I agree. We all have our gifts that we excel at. However, I also believe the benefits of giving DIY a whirl, even if you are not great at it the first go-round, are there for the taking. It’s wonderful to break out of our comfort zones at times and challenge ourselves.

For me, DIY is not just about becoming self-sufficient (although that has morphed into a great part of our lives), it could be as simple as cooking a meal from scratch or even cooking a meal period. Anything that gets the creative juices flowing, no matter what form that may take.

Thank you so much for your insights and for reading Michelle!

Michelle September 11, 2019 - 4:36 pm

Good point that DIY doesn’t need to be a complete way of life, but occasionally would be beneficial. My friend who works with the computer code is a fabulous cook. 😄

Sarita September 5, 2019 - 2:23 pm

Yes! Having a DIY mindset is such an important skill to have – and something that parents need to encourage in their children. One of the things we always tell our kids is that while they can’t know how to do everything immediately, they should always ask “How can I learn to do this?” Thanks for this post – found you from the Simple Homestead Blog Hop!

Suzan Ferreira September 5, 2019 - 6:45 pm

I couldn’t agree more, Sarita! Fortunately, our daughter is not of the 12% who say they don’t know how to change a light bulb either 🙂

Darlene September 5, 2019 - 2:13 pm

I love your post! Because we grew up in an era where you DIY for most things, we passed those skills along to our kids. Our daughter who is in her early 20’s taught her boyfriend to drive a standard car and he is teaching her how to grow a garden in a small space. I feel at peace knowing the art of DIY is still alive and well and for sure these 2 kids will keep passing it down from one generation to the next.

Suzan Ferreira September 5, 2019 - 6:46 pm

Love to hear this! Not letting those skills become lost once again is so important!

Lori Roach September 5, 2019 - 2:13 pm

Loved this week’s post, Suzan! You always seem to hit me right in the feels! In fact, I have pinned it to 4 of my boards, to make sure I reread it again! I find I have gotten away from many of the creative pursuits that I had when I was younger, but I am working to change that. At the end of this month, I’ll be taking a weaving class so that I can restore several blankets that my great-grandmother made back in the 50’s!

Suzan Ferreira September 5, 2019 - 6:47 pm

Ohhh…that’s something I’ve yet to try! Be sure to come back and let us see those blankets!


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