Day 171 The end of the Use It Up challenge

Hi everyone,

How did you all go with the Use It Up challenge? I am quite happy with my efforts, not only because I got rid of a few things but it also encouraged me to do a bit of craft.  I was excited about getting through as many “left over bits” as possible. My plan is to keep going with the challenge for myself until I have depleted a lot more of my craft supplies and a few more toiletry products.

Here is the list of things I used up…

  • A box of adhesive tabs (craft supply)
  • The last of a roll of Terrificly Tacky Tape (craft supply)
  • The last of a tube of craft glue
  • A bottle of shower cleaner
  • A small bottle of body wash
  • The last of a bottle of UnDo photo cleaner
  • A sample bottle of face cleanser
  • The last of a jar of hair sculpting paste
  • A bottle of metal cleaner

There were only two items that I used slightly differently from their intended purpose. I used the shower spray  for cleaning the kitchen bench tops and the toilet as well as the shower. I had bought the metal cleaner to polish up a silver tea set. Then I decided I didn’t want to keep doing that painful task for the rest of my life and gave the tea set away. I used the rest of it to clean my stainless steel kitchen sink and my ceramic cook top.

Now I am curious to know what you all managed to Use Up over the last two weeks. Please send in those comments I am expecting big results.


Today’s offering is of course the items from the Use It Up challenge. I got a little over zealous and threw away the first couple of containers but then remembered to keep the rest.
Use It Up Challenge

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. I have a LOT of detergent left (since I use it primarily on towels, bathing stuff and bed supplies) but I’ve been using it. I also used some deodorant I really don’t like because I’m trying to use it up instead of buying my girly stuff.

    So…little by little…

  2. I have been using all the samples of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, lotion. We must have alot of it, because it’s all still not used up. Also, I’ve been wearing make up more often to use those up cuz that don’t last long either.

    • Hi Daisy,
      so not only have you been using things up but you have looked prettier as you have been doing it, well done! I must admit I have been moisturizing more since I started this challenge too so I know where you are coming from.

  3. Calico ginger

    Still using stuff up, but the kitchen cupboards have been tidied AND DYMO labeled and the rest of the hard-to-eBay stuff has been photographed and descriptions written! Colleen, you are an inspiration to us all – keep at it.

    • Oh! thank you Calico ginger
      Sounds like you are getting very organized. I am still using stuff up too. I am dying to know how well you go with your ebay sales. You will have to send me a message through my contact page with the details and maybe I can make a page of it.

  4. Colleen this was a very good challenge, but I honestly could not come up with five things in order to meet the challenge. I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) so am very limited to the household cleansers, personal grooming products, and food that I can use. For years I’ve only purchased those products, and I use them up completely. I’ve always been very thrifty in regards to using every last bit. For instance I routinely cut open toothpaste tubes, hand lotion dispensers, mustard bottles, and other plastic product containers to scrape out the last bit.

    However, I came up with three items for the challenge. The first one is a bit lame – a cabbage, left from last week in my fridge, which I’m using in a casserole today (in the past I would have tossed it), and two blouses. The blouses are identical, two different colors. They are lightweight summer tops that have been in my closet for two years. Being a bit thinner than I prefer to wear in public, they are barely worn. Due to your challenge I decided to pull them to the front of my closet, and that I will start wearing them around home on a regular basis until they are ready to be discarded. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Hi Betty Jo,
      clearly you didn’t need this challenge because you are already there. By there I mean, sensible about what you purchase and careful about using things up to the last drop. Good for you! I can relate to the cabbage, I made a red chicken curry for dinner last night and added some eggplant and red bell pepper, even thought they aren’t part of the recipe, just to use them up. As for your tops I am wearing a fleece vest as I write this that I almost put in the donation pile but gave it another chance. I have found it to be great for the mild winters we have here and especially for when I go walking.

  5. While tidying my bathroom with a girlfriend (many hands do make light work), we found a small sample of undereye cream. We opened it right then and there – some for me, some for Holly, and my youngest moisturized her whole face – then we went right back to tidying. Something used, and a bit of fun had.

    • Hi Cindy,
      you are lucky to have such a good friend who would help you with your tidying. You are also lucky to know how the make fun out of nothing much. Good for you!

  6. This is a fascinating blog. I just heard about it from a friend who reads it and it’s very inspiring. I have been trying to simplify my life this year and I think I’m going to get a lot of good ideas from reading about your journey. Thank you for sharing all this with us!

    • Hi Jennifer M.
      It’s nice to meet you and welcome to my blog. Please thank your friend for sending you to me, the more the merrier. I hope what I offer will be helpful to you and you achieve the simpler life you desire. I went over and had a quick look at your blog and will be back latter to have a better look, I love your layout.

  7. I’m using up various flavors of tea, lipsticks, cleansers, and shampoos. Got through the tea yesterday. Two lipsticks to go, four cleansers, and two shampoos!

    • Hi Meg,
      shouds like you are doing a good jub of the Use it Up Challenge. So you think you have learned to shop more wisely since you embarked on the minimalist lifestyle? I know I have although I was always a use it up kind of gal.

  8. Since I started minimizing, using up products before purchasing others is one of my goals. Still working on cleansers, health & beauty items, shampoo & conditioner, and food items. I have a long way to go. Glad to know there are others working on the same things. Thanks for the challenge!

  9. Hi Colleen.
    Just found your blog, and am going through a similar process–my boyfriend is calling this “The Year of Out”. The use it up challenge is an interesting idea. A couple of weeks ago, my 9 y.o. god-daughter asked me to help her make bracelets for a school project. I bought some memory wire, and pulled out a bunch of old bead stock–stuff that I knew that I would never use. We had a great time, her school project was a big success, and we used up of a bunch of old (but still useful) stuff. She’s got a great sense of color, and we’re planning to do it again!
    It’s nice to read along with somebody that’s going through some similar stuff. Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Terri,
      you have actually left me a comment before way back on Day 115 on the 25th of April. You wrote to let me know you were keeping your Mustang convertable. Welcome back. Sounds like you have been having fun with your god-daughter she is lucky to have an aunty like you to help with her school projects. It feels great to use things up doesn’t it? I find it so satisfiying to feel that I have gotten 100% use our of something. I can relate to those beads too I have quite a sellection myself that I haven’t been using nearly enough lately.