Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
Colleen has issued a Use It Up Challenge several times. The most recent one I can find is in September. I’ve been thinking a lot about this challenge recently because we are finally coming to the end of it here at the Bogard household. Along the way, I consumed all the multiday vitamins and calcium I had in the cabinet, and we used all the various extra bottles shampoos and conditioners along with several toothpaste tubes that the girls had not squeezed down tho their last drops.
Those items were quickly finished in comparison to the soap challenge. I had no idea we owned so much soap! I tried a couple of times to give away the Mr. Bubble then put it into the dispenser with the kitchen soap. (Not the best idea, according to my husband. He feels it lacks any grease cutting ability.) The rest of it, we have been using up one shower, one bath at a time. We had soap the girls had made, soap their friends had made and given as gifts, chunks of soap left over from when we made soap, fruity smelling bath bars that had been given as gift, little soaps from hotels, and at least a dozen smallish bottles of bath gel that had been gifts. Obviously, the trouble with even a useful gift is that it’s clutter if you don’t use it, so using it is what we’ve been doing, apparently since September. That’s eight months ago!
As we’re approaching the end of the soap supplies, I’ve started thinking about other things that can be used up. The only thing I’ve really latched onto is plastic bags, specifically the sturdy plastic bags that mulch comes in. The last time I did a big mulching, I neatly cut open the tops of the bags and saved them, all stored inside of one bag. I found them when I was cleaning the shed. I decided that since I’d saved them, since they were still intact, and since they really can’t be recycled despite the recycling symbol on the side (too many bits of mulch still clinging to them), I would use them as kitchen trash bags.
I typically only use one kitchen-size trash bag a week, and it holds everything. These mulch bags are quite a bit smaller than my kitchen trash can – not as wide nor as tall. I had to consciously decide to use them. Because they don’t hold as much, I’ve been using one and a half or two bags per week and am very gradually making my way through them. (I also reuse the large bags my toilet paper comes in as well as dog food and bird seed bags, but those I have much less frequently.) I am packing for a camping trip this weekend and decided to put a couple of the bags in with my kitchen things. They’ll make sturdy camp trash bags. (I am also taking a recycling bin.) If I hadn’t consciously chosen to use the bags, they’d have been wasted when I was dumping the mulch out – it’s a lot easier to get the mulch out if I split the bag down the center than it is to cut just the top – but I chose to Use It Up. (Or, to be more truthful, in the past I decided to Save It Up. In the present, I decided to Use It Up.)
What do you have that’s consumable and in excess to your needs? Food? Check the pantry and the freezer. Toiletries? Check under the sinks and in the bathroom drawers. Craft items? Check your supply drawers. Or is it something more creative like my reduce and reuse mulch/trash bags? Let me know what you’re using up.
Note from Cindy: I am driving the 5th graders on an overnight field trip Tues and Wed (US) or Wed and Thurs (Aus), and I likely will not be able to respond to comments. I have asked Colleen to try and keep up with them if she has time. If not, I’ll jump in when I return.
Today’s Declutter Item
My Gratitude List
- Something that made me laugh ~ An amusing email response to my ki-ai story yesterday. I will not embarrase the author of the email by revealing her name or the details but needless to say her story was way more hilarious than mine and Ki-ai has forever had a special significance to her from that day onward. To be able to laugh at yourself is a good quality to have to give someone else permission to laugh at you is a special gift.
- Something Awesome ~ When you are late for an appointment but they were running late and you arrive just in time.
- Something to be grateful for ~ The opportunities that life continues to deal out to us whether we are expecting them or not.
- Something that made me happy ~A wonderful unplanned day of eating, chatting and laughing with old friends and new.
- Something I find fascinating ~ The things women talk about when we get together. I wonder what men talk about when we aren’t around. I bet they don’t have nearly as much fun or are as open as us females.