Monthly Challenges Organisation and Productivity

Using Things Up in June

Every so often, I like to have a clear out of my space. It’s satisfying to give away items that I no longer use, re-organise my storage space and make room for new items.

Some things are easy to clear out. I can give clothes to charity or a clothes swap, recycle old paperwork, and give books to friends or charity. But there are certain items that are not so easy to deal with. What do I do with a hair product that I used for a while and then stopped, and I have half a pot left that is going out of date? I don’t want to throw away a perfectly good product, and yet I can’t give it away because it is half used. How about a craft set that I never completed? Old magazines that I wanted to read but never got the time?

As I said, I don’t want to just throw away these things, because that would be wasteful. I would rather use them up, even if it’s something I wouldn’t buy again. So, I have been adding these items to a pile. Whenever I come across something that qualifies for my use-up pile, I add it.

What kind of items are in my use-up pile?

These are some of the things in my use-up pile at the moment:

  • Cosmetic products that are out of date (or getting there).
  • Cosmetic products that are half used but I don’t use any more.
  • Free samples or gifts I received that I wouldn’t normally use.
  • Magazines and pamphlets that I never got round to reading.
  • Craft sets that are half used.
  • Old puzzle books.
  • Candles that are half burned down.

A lot of the things in my pile are things that I do want to use! I just never found the time, or always had an alternative that needed using first. Others I wouldn’t normally opt for, but I still intend to use them up so that I have less stuff taking up valuable space. This month, I want to make a special effort to use up these items!

My June Challenge

In addition to my Pinterest challenge, for the month of June I am challenging myself to use 3 items from my use-up pile every day. I don’t have to use the entire item up in one day, because most of them will take multiple uses. I just have to use them, for example, I could do a puzzle, use a free sample of body lotion after my shower, and spend 20 minutes reading a magazine. 

This should be manageable, because if I don’t have much time on a particular day, I can pick items that don’t take long to use. For example, I could use a body spray from my use-up pile, read a magazine for 5 minutes, and make a drink using a sachet from there.

I am aware that it’s not good to use old cosmetics, particularly make-up (although I admit I do this)! Therefore I will be careful about what I add to my use-up pile. If I am in doubt about a product, I won’t risk using it.

I am looking forward to using things up, and trying some different things, for example, samples of products that I wouldn’t normally use. After all, if I don’t like them, I don’t have to buy them again.

Hopefully I will be able to make a dent in my use-up pile this month. It will be nice to create some more space and not feel bogged down with excess products and items that I wasn’t using. I also feel good about the fact that I will be using things up, rather than wasting them. I will be able to recycle the packaging from a lot of the items too.

What do you do with items like these? Do you use them up or do you just throw them away? Let me know in the comments!

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Using Things Up in June


  1. I think you must have read my mind because I’ve had a itch about getting this done myself! I’ve been really wanted to have a good sort through all my stuff so this has urged me on!

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      It’s really satisfying to use things up and sort stuff out! I’m glad I’ve motivated you!

  2. I used to have a lot of make-up and beauty brands and I had the same struggles. Products that were too old to use. That is the reason why I now only buy things when I really need it. I own 1 mascara, 1 foundation etc.


    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      It’s great that you’ve managed to get to the stage where you only own 1 of each type of product, and only buy new ones when you need them! I aspire to get to that stage, but my problem is that I am still trying out different products to find ones that I really like!

  3. This is a brilliant idea for a challenge – good for clearing space, good for saving money, good for the environment… good all round! I am trying to do this, albeit in a less regimented way, with bath/shower/moisturising stuff particularly. I really like buying Lush stuff, but I have quite a lot already, either that I’ve bought myself or that other people have bought me. Although some people do collect it, I do buy it to use it, so I’m making sure now that I’m only buying what I need – and I DON’T need another shampoo when I have three already…

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      I tend to accumulate a lot of bath/shower/moisturising stuff too! That’s one of the main areas I am trying to clear out / use up. I’m also a fan of LUSH and it’s always tempting to buy new products from there! I don’t mind having a few different shampoos / shower gels hanging around because I know I use them regularly so I will get round to using them. But things like body lotions I don’t use as often so I definitely need to use up the ones I have before accumulating more!

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