Monday, June 27, 2011

Use It or Lose It Challenge

The last time I bought soap I found four new bars I had completely forgotten about hidden away in the bathroom and linen closet. I don't even want to tell you how many bottles of perfume I own, or how many bottles of shampoo I have in the shower (although, I've been working on that particular area). I keep buying new my favorite body wash (Tom's of Maine lavender, if you're curious) instead of using any of the perfectly good unopened bottles I already own.

Every time I try to declutter my linen cabinet or my half of the bathroom cabinets, I find "perfectly good" personal care items I just haven't finished or even gotten around to trying yet.

It's time to stop the insanity.

That's why I'm putting myself on a use it or lose it challenge, starting now.

The rules:

1. No buying more personal care products when you have perfectly good, unused versions at home.

2. If I don't like a product, I don't have to finish it (I'm not the suffer in silence type, as the Boyfriend will attest), but I do have to pitch it. No more keeping items around "just in case."

While I'm mainly concentrating on personal care products for this challenge, I'm also going to extend it to books. I want to downsize my book collection, but there's so many I haven't gotten around to reading yet. Instead, I find much more interesting reading material when I visit the library. So same rules apply to books, no buying or bringing home new books from the library until I read or donate the unread books I already own. And this starts today since I just hit the library again yesterday. Doh! Ouch, it hurts just typing the no more bringing books home from the library bit.


  1. I can completely relate to shampoo overload. And I am definitely not one to suffer in silence either. I found out that I can donate toiletries to a local women's shelter which makes me feel so much better about being a product junkie. They take shampoo, soap, skin care products, perfume etc. as long as they're not expired. Good luck with your challenge!

  2. I've been trying to apply this principle to clothing. Oh, but I WILL be a size 4 again some day, won't I?

  3. My 11 new bottles of body wash and 7 new sticks of deodorant in the bathroom closet are laughing at your puny effort.

  4. Christine - I don't see how anyone DOESN'T have to switch shampoos every few days...

    Does your shelter accept products that have been used? I don't have a problem trying things, but sadly I do have a problem finishing them.

    ECL - I can't remember *ever* being a size four so.... but I get your drift.

  5. Yes - they accept products that are used but not expired which is brilliant because I decide pretty quickly whether a product is for me or not.

  6. Yes - they accept products that are used but not expired which is brilliant because I decide pretty quickly whether a product is for me or not.

  7. Great resolutions. My downfall is lip balm. It's amazing how long it takes to use up one tube (and how easy it is to buy a new tube whenever I've had kind of a sucky day). I recently made my own and have privately resolved to not accrue any more until I've used up what I made and the x number of tubes still in my bathroom.

    The shelter is a great place to take your personal products. I just bring mine down to my complex's laundry room because I know it will take me forever to actually get it to a shelter.

  8. I bought 5 4-count packages of Gillette razor refills for $1.99 each yesterday. Guess I can add those to the bathroom closet. BTW, my shelf is full, you need to get rid of some more stuff.

  9. My downfall is deodorant :( And it's roll on, so I don't feel like I can pass it on. I'm trying to use up all the ones I don't like (along with one of my three perfumes).

    But with shampoo & soap etc, it's a family affair, so I really do gasp when soap is unpacked in the shopping and there is STACKS in the linen cupboard. My mum is Justin Case with so many things!!

    (ps found you through 365lessthings)


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