Author Topic: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without  (Read 3959 times)

Noodle

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Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« on: June 15, 2019, 12:10:13 PM »
...is an old saying that my New England relatives used to say, that I need to apply in my life.

After having lived in my current place for four years, I am in the midst of another round of decluttering (inspired by the declutterers here and Marie Kondo on Netflix.) What I am finding, though, is that although I do have some things that need to be rehomed or disposed of, honestly a lot of what I have are things that I do want to eat/read/use/wear--I just fall into routines or get distracted by shiny new things. I also live in a tiny condo, and although I am careful about accumulating, I tend to store things "cleverly" to make the most of my space...which means I forget about what I have.

Since summer is a less crazy time of year, and also a time where in my area you tend to be stuck inside with the air-conditioner, I thought this would be a good time to get started. So far:

--found two greeting cards tucked away that were meant for specific people and sent them. That meant that my best friend got a birthday card either five months early or seven months late, but she has exactly the kind of sense of humor that would find that hilarious.
--wore two pairs of shoes that I liked a lot, but have not worn much because my current life isn't very conducive to high heels. In the end I decided they were too worn to keep, but I wouldn't have known that without wearing them for a day.
--made a bag of Trader Joe's frozen inside out gnocchi that was a specialty item of theirs awhile back and had got shoved to the back of the freezer. It made a great Friday evening dinner/Saturday lunch.
--found an online frame company that would make a frame for a gorgeous but weird-sized photo my brother gave me as a gift awhile back. I had sporadically looked for a reasonably priced custom frame on and off for a couple years but never found anything that I thought was not ridiculously overpriced given I just needed a simple frame and mat. (I used Frame it Easy if anyone else is looking...you have to put the item in the frame yourself but I don't mind that.)
--finished a few puzzle games on my iPad. When I get stuck I tend to put the game aside thinking that my brain will solve the puzzle while I'm doing other things...which works sometimes, but equally often I forget it and start something else.

One big challenge is the bookshelves. I have acquired quite a few books which are out of print and really hard to find, so I want to read them before I say goodbye to them.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2019, 12:42:41 AM »
--found two greeting cards tucked away that were meant for specific people and sent them. That meant that my best friend got a birthday card either five months early or seven months late, but she has exactly the kind of sense of humor that would find that hilarious.

I love this.

While writing Christmas cards last December I found a card I'd written to friends from circa 2014 (they've since gotten married and she changed her name).

I didn't post it, but I did text her a photo and apologise for seemingly neglecting her that year. We had a good laugh over it.

Noodle

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2019, 08:28:58 PM »
We have a problem at my condo complex where the postal worker frequently puts small packages in the wrong box. So Amazon etc. claims it has been delivered but it's nowhere to be found, until the neighbor whose box it got put in thinks to check their mail. (And why would they, THEY'RE not expecting anything.) I had ordered a few small things including a couple of plate hangers, and then the package went astray. It finally turned up a week late, and I got to put up two beautiful plates by a local (now deceased, sadly) ceramic artist that had been stored in boxes. I moved a framed picture at the same time, and that section of wall looks much nicer!

Also cleaned out some bathroom drawers. I threw out a few things but mostly just rearranged so I could find all the mini lotions and soaps that have accumulated, and actually use them. In the process found a small make-up bag that will be great for a trip coming up. Also rearranged part of a closet so that the areas I can reach easily are where I store things I want to use, and the far reaches are where I store items that will be needed very rarely.

Ynari

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2019, 11:14:57 AM »
School's officially out for the summer, so I've been thinking about making this a focus. I should intrinsically have lower levels of consumption, and can deal with all the accumulated consumption that's been building up because of the "needs" of my job.

Most of my goals are typical "clean stuff out, eat the food at the back of the pantry, craft with the materials I already have, don't buy any thing but food, etc.", but one thing in particular I want to do is rewaterproof a hand-me-down 4-person tent. Even when properly staked, it "weeps" excessively in the rain. SO wanted to get a new one, but I think all we need is a good waterproofing agent. I also need to fix up my bike so I can see if I can avoid driving for most of the summer!

sparkytheop

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2019, 08:18:54 PM »
I do this all the time, but of course, I can't think of many examples at the moment...

Two things I did recently involve my vacation though.  I wanted to just take one bag (trip to Sweden and Finland from the US) and, because I bought cheap flights, my carry-on had to be under 17.5 lbs (no checked bag, 9 days).

I learned a trick a few months before the trip to make your own shampoo and conditioner concentrate, so you could pack it in a smaller container.  I had a few bottles of a nice hotel shampoo, in those little hotel-sized bottles.  I left one open and let the moisture evaporate for a week or two, then poured more shampoo into the bottle.  I did this over several months until I had more than enough concentrated shampoo for my trip.  For the conditioner, I did the same, but I put my own conditioner into the hotel bottle (my hair is curly/wavy and somewhat picky).

I get a new pair of work shoes every year.  Some years my old ones are falling apart by the time I get new shoes, other times they still have some life in them.  I took one pair as my extra shoes, just added some nice insoles.  When it was time to come home, they were pretty much used up, so I dropped them in the trash can on my way to the airport (I kept the insoles though).  I also bring older socks and underwear that are pretty worn, might have holes in them, when I go on vacation.  After wearing them, I finally toss them in the trash so I don't have to wash them or bring them home.

ItsALongStory

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2019, 03:27:27 PM »
I also bring older socks and underwear that are pretty worn, might have holes in them, when I go on vacation.  After wearing them, I finally toss them in the trash so I don't have to wash them or bring them home.

I do this as well, take stuff planning to use it one more time and then toss it. Works great because my wife never wants to get rid of anything without washing it (she would rather donate something that is mostly worn out than just toss it).

okcisok

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2019, 07:53:15 PM »
I also bring older socks and underwear that are pretty worn, might have holes in them, when I go on vacation.  After wearing them, I finally toss them in the trash so I don't have to wash them or bring them home.

I do this as well, take stuff planning to use it one more time and then toss it. Works great because my wife never wants to get rid of anything without washing it (she would rather donate something that is mostly worn out than just toss it).

I do this, too! I get a Mustachian thrill of using it *one more time* whilst making room in luggage, and my closet when I get home.

Noodle

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2019, 05:29:51 PM »
Started this challenge and then promptly left the country; came back with a nasty upper respiratory bug so have accomplished nothing other than sitting on the couch oozing mucus. Finally feeling better so I can dive back in. I rummaged through a small basket this weekend and found lip balm and mints to be used up, and started another book on my TBR shelves. Bret Harte's short stories are a LOT darker than I remembered.

lollylegs

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2019, 05:56:28 PM »
I'm in!   
I'm working on using up my work clothes instead of buying more out of habit. I've got two pair of pants, a pair of winter ankle boots & four tops that I'm rotating through this winter, all getting a bit worn so will probably be able to toss them in a few months and move onto another set of clothes.

I recently went through all my makeup - I have a heap of lipsticks that are not used much as I didn't like the colours - now - who cares!  I'm just using them up, mix some with a bit of pink on top. I don't think I'll buy lipstick until I retire if I use them all.

I've started sorting all my toiletries collected from hotels & from gifts I've been given that I never use  - still a work in progress as I have heaps to go through.

I am just sick of working, found out I might get laid off next year and am feeling ruthless about saving every cent so this thread is just what I need right now.

sparkytheop

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2019, 09:21:08 PM »
Started this challenge and then promptly left the country; came back with a nasty upper respiratory bug so have accomplished nothing other than sitting on the couch oozing mucus. Finally feeling better so I can dive back in. I rummaged through a small basket this weekend and found lip balm and mints to be used up, and started another book on my TBR shelves. Bret Harte's short stories are a LOT darker than I remembered.

Glad you're feeling better!  I came back from Sweden/Finland in May and was knocked down for a few weeks (went to work after the first few days, but I felt awful for a long time).

sparkytheop

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2019, 09:29:33 PM »
I've been going through clothes...  So many clothes!

Anything I don't love, or is just way too small, I donated or am going to sell (Mainly selling the Carhartts, some new with tags.  Not allowed to wear them at work anymore, so trying to recover at least some of my expense.)

The rest are being sorted by "fit for public" and "home use only".  Then a few items that are "wedding or funeral" type, that hopefully are worn extremely rarely.

I have a LOT of "home use only" clothes, and due to stains or holes, some are not fit for donation outside of rags.  I have more than a drawer full of them.  In balancing "waste and hoard", I've decided to use under the bed storage  for the extras.  When something is no longer "fit for public", it will go into the storage bin.  As I completely wear out an around-the-house item, I'll "go shopping" from the bin.

There are a few things (sweat pants, a sweatshirt, etc) that are just so soft and amazingly comfortable, but have large holes/torn seams.  They are in my "mend" pile. 

Total clothing storage plan is limited to two dressers, a very small closet, and under-the-bed storage. 

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2019, 03:25:43 PM »
I recently went through all my makeup - I have a heap of lipsticks that are not used much as I didn't like the colours - now - who cares!  I'm just using them up, mix some with a bit of pink on top. I don't think I'll buy lipstick until I retire if I use them all.

I'm using up a peach-tinted lip balm the same way.

Also using a pink eyeshadow palette as blush/highlighter.

Once these are gone, they won't be replaced.

Noodle

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2019, 07:53:05 PM »
Have been having snacky meals the last couple of days that have been using up a lot of bits and pieces. The big win was at work, though...I found a couple of boxes of what I thought were outdated brochures under my desk and went to put them in recycling, then thought I had better double-check what was in there. Turns out that they were actually still usable, and the receptionist was glad to have them because she was running low on that particular print piece.

Serendip

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2019, 10:10:59 AM »
This thread is a spot-on reminder.
Am planning a few longer hikes this year (multi-day vs. day hikes) and started browsing new hiking boots (the ones I loved are $350!/italian made)..instead I've talked myself into using my Scarpa shoes (which I normally wear) and if I want boots--bringing some older ones out of retirement. This week--will test hike some leather ones that have been in the basement and see if they still work for my feet :)

sparkytheop

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2019, 12:48:02 PM »
1/2 gallon milk jugs and yogurt containers

My mom grows hundreds of plants from seed.  In years past, she has grown over 350 tomato plants alone.  She starts them in "little green houses" (usually a covered cookie tray, clam-shell container, or astronaut chicken container).

Once they start to grow, she transplants them into little yogurt containers.  Eventually, she transplants them again into milk jugs (1/2 gallons with the tops cut off and holes poked in the bottom).  We save all the milk jugs we have, along with her coworkers, all year round.  Some people, after planting the plants, will give the jugs back to her to use again.  We found out this is a much cheaper route after she gave away all her little pots the first year, and barely anyone returned them, even though we had asked them when the plants were offered up.

She didn't grow near as many this year, but she was able to use "free" pots, and give the jugs one last use before being recycled.

Noodle

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2019, 01:14:50 PM »
I have not made a whole lot of progress as I am now involved in a local theater production and don't have a lot of free time, but I did really like this article!

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-life-changing-magic-of-making-do/

I finished up the last of my prescriptions for my upper-respiratory crud this week, so I guess that's something used up!

pachnik

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2019, 01:20:52 PM »
I am using as little plastic as I can - in the very early stages of doing this. 

Right now I am working on personal care products.  So my plan is to use up the skin cleanser and toner that I already have that happens to come in plastic containers.  Then I will buy similar products from Lush - a store that recycles/reuses its own containers.  Some of their stuff is sold in solid form too such as shampoo bars etc. so no containers at all. 

sparkytheop

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2019, 04:01:51 PM »
I took my mom to Ikea the other day (we made a fun trip "to the big city").  She was looking for juice glasses, but everything was "too big".  She wanted something about 4 oz.  We were talking about how she's always just reused small jars, but hasn't seen the items in the stores recently.  I ended up buying fake cheese as part of an online order (you know, the Kraft "Old English Spread") recently, and told her I'd get the jars to her when they were emptied.  They'll match one she already has...

The neighboring town has a store where they "tare" your containers and you can refill them with bulk foods.  There are a few things I'll get this way, but would do it more often if it was an option in my town.

I've found a bar shampoo that agrees with my own breed of curly hair, so it's nice to reduce some bottles that way. Plus, the bar has already lasted forever, and I've barely made a dent in it.

Step37

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2019, 10:14:52 PM »
I have not made a whole lot of progress as I am now involved in a local theater production and don't have a lot of free time, but I did really like this article!

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-life-changing-magic-of-making-do/

I finished up the last of my prescriptions for my upper-respiratory crud this week, so I guess that's something used up!

Totally loved that article! I get so much satisfaction from using stuff up and finding ways to NOT buy things.

Noodle

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2019, 09:20:26 PM »
Also making my way through digital/media clutter this summer...watched three movies that I had had on my list, some online videos I had bookmarked, etc, finished a book I had borrowed via interlibrary loan that had to go back, etc.

I've finally made it through the make-up/personal care samples that I found while excavating the bathroom. The sample make-up cleanser wipes finally came in handy when I was doing a local theater production and troweling on the make-up much heavier than usual.

I have one more trip starting next weekend and then am looking forward to revisiting my clean-out of various nooks and crannies and the treasures to be found there!
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 11:00:36 AM by Noodle »

Noodle

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2019, 09:09:25 AM »
I am back from my travels, finished with my theater production, and excited to spend the fall actually enjoying my home. I have decided that one of my fall projects will be "using weird stuff from the pantry." I do pantry/freezer eating a couple of times a year, but have realized that I tend to focus on the easy stuff (frozen bananas) and never get around to using up the more oddball items. I especially tend to accumulate condiments, because I need a quarter cup for some recipe and then never touch it again. So far I used up the remainder of a packet of taco seasoning in a dip (successful) and a package of sugar-free jello in a dessert concoction with Greek yogurt (less successful, I got the liquid ratio wrong, but edible.) Next up, dried hibiscus?

halftimer

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2019, 11:31:07 AM »
We did a lot of this before moving this month, and I plan to continue. When you box up your life you can really see how many things you have and I want to dispose of extras responsibly by either swapping with locals or just using them up and not replacing. We were able to reduce from a stand alone freezer to just a fridge top one by eating all the food extras, then sold the freezer and didn't have to move it up 2 flights of stairs - that was the biggest success so far!


ItsALongStory

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2019, 02:07:27 PM »
Ever since my wife and I have settled on a worst case timeline for our move we have been purging a little at a time. Never thought she would celebrate eating on paper plates for no reason other than to use them up. We do our silly high fives when we have another empty bottle, canister or box. 

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lazycow

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2019, 04:47:13 AM »
Loved that Canadian article!

My husband just asked me to sew up a hole in his new (thrifted) Levi's. He was very interested in how to do it using the sewing machine, as he has a friend who sews his own plus fours for golf (retro golf style is a big thing amongst his friends!)

Stuffed a saggy couch cushion with a flattened European pillow so it looks plump and inviting to sit on again.

I 'visibly mended' a hole in my daughter's jeans with some vintage wool plaid and pearl cotton and it looks great. I am not a great seamstress but would like to get better. Just need to do it more.

Imma

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2019, 08:59:07 AM »
I went through my winter clothes last week. I was in doubt about keeping two pairs of shoes (one pair of ankle boots, one pair of heels). I decided both are beyond fixing and need to go. I've had them both since 2007/2008 and they were repaired several times so they were certainly used up. I've decided to only replace the black heels that I wear to work and not the ankle boots. I've also got regular boots, I don't need ankle boots as well.

I have a few days off this week and next week and I'm wearing some old, wide skirts (boho style). I wouldn't choose these skirts now, but I have them so I'll wear them around the house. That way I'm using those and not wearing out my good clothes.

I'm repurposing the plastic bin I keep my laundry pins in, so I needed something else to hold the pins. I'm making a bag from a scrap of fabric that I got for free from someone else and a wooden clothes hanger I inherited from my grandma.

Serendip

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2019, 09:50:11 AM »
Was about to spend money on a pair of rain pants for an upcoming hiking trip but decided to make-do with some lightweight waterproofs that my hubby doesn't use (ski shell). They are a bit too large for me but that shouldn't matter too much if I have a layer on underneath. Feel like I just saved $150 :)

Catbert

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2019, 10:20:19 AM »
I am back from my travels, finished with my theater production, and excited to spend the fall actually enjoying my home. I have decided that one of my fall projects will be "using weird stuff from the pantry." I do pantry/freezer eating a couple of times a year, but have realized that I tend to focus on the easy stuff (frozen bananas) and never get around to using up the more oddball items. I especially tend to accumulate condiments, because I need a quarter cup for some recipe and then never touch it again. So far I used up the remainder of a packet of taco seasoning in a dip (successful) and a package of sugar-free jello in a dessert concoction with Greek yogurt (less successful, I got the liquid ratio wrong, but edible.) Next up, dried hibiscus?

For hibiscus try herbal tea or tacos (yes hibiscus tacos are a thing).  Google it.

Noodle

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2019, 11:00:05 AM »
I am back from my travels, finished with my theater production, and excited to spend the fall actually enjoying my home. I have decided that one of my fall projects will be "using weird stuff from the pantry." I do pantry/freezer eating a couple of times a year, but have realized that I tend to focus on the easy stuff (frozen bananas) and never get around to using up the more oddball items. I especially tend to accumulate condiments, because I need a quarter cup for some recipe and then never touch it again. So far I used up the remainder of a packet of taco seasoning in a dip (successful) and a package of sugar-free jello in a dessert concoction with Greek yogurt (less successful, I got the liquid ratio wrong, but edible.) Next up, dried hibiscus?

For hibiscus try herbal tea or tacos (yes hibiscus tacos are a thing).  Google it.

I saw the hibiscus tacos recipes, and if I had had a larger quantity to work with, I definitely would have tried those out! I ended up making a hibiscus syrup which will be poured over a warm lemon pound cake. I have no idea if this will work, but I'm looking forward to the experiment!

Noodle

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2019, 11:02:16 AM »
The hibiscus syrup pound cake worked out OK. I didn't poke holes deep enough into the cake, so it didn't infuse the way I was hoping, but my co-workers liked it!

Over the Labor Day weekend I finished cleaning out and reorganizing the bathroom. Tossed a few really outdated things, but mostly got things organized so I could find and use them. There are a few supplies I am not going to need to buy for the rest of 2019! Next is the bedroom. I will have to do two sweeps...one for "stuff" and one for "papers."

Other than that, I have been making some progress using up weird cupboard stuff. I have done a few desserts and snack mixes that used up various bits and bobs. Also have been reading some things from my bookshelf and Kindle queue, although I got sucked in by the Labor Day sale at the local used book store and may only be at neutral on that project! :)

Imma

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2019, 12:04:12 PM »
I went through my closet today.  I took out the bag of winter clothes from under the bed and went through the content, I put away the summer clothes and neatly folded everything on the shelf.

End result: a good looking closet, half a bag to be donated (most of it truly worn out) one dress to be sold, two items need to be mended. My summer shoes don't look good enough anymore to wear out (after 3 years) but I've put them next to the backdoor to wear outside. I'll have to get a new pair next summer.

Tomorrow I'm doing the socks, thights and underwear drawers and then I'm done.

FunkyChopstick

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2019, 08:48:06 PM »
Yes, yes, yes!
Me and hubs are both out of work right now so this is our motto!

I have to iron patch a pair of my jeans that is now showing a 4 inch slit of my right thigh. They are poor quality jeans but they fit and they will live on, for now.
I realize that I could go LITERALLY 2 years without buying a toiletry. I am eyeballing a bidet because I am trying to go low waste but that is going to have to wait. Aside from SPF for my face I am good on the bathroom/beauty front. I just have to use the items I have.

I want more plants. I am not spending money on new plants. I have taken a TON of cuttings from my plants and that is making me new plants. Ta-da! They are small right now but they will grow.

Noodle

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2019, 03:16:10 PM »
Have been pecking away at this project. This week needed something to do while on the phone so I went through all of my jewelry. I have some pieces that I like that were gifts or souvenirs, but had more junk than I had realized mixed in. I found several things that I had forgotten about that I am looking forward to wearing, and a few pieces to give away to my niece who just had her ears pierced.

Also making good progress on the pantry...I actually have space in the cupboards and freezer now (refrigerator not so much). Am NOT making progress on the bookshelves, thanks to the Rotary and their darned book sale. (At least it was for a good cause :))

Imma

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Re: Use It Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without
« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2019, 10:21:03 AM »
Helped an elderly family member move and they've decided to stop burning candles for safety reasons (very good decision). I saved a big bag of candles from landfill, some really fancy handmade beeswax candles and also a lot of tealights, which I use in my teapot warmer. During the move I used up some paper disposable plates that were left over from my own most recent house move (years ago).

My favourite sweater is on it's truly last legs so I'm doing some visible mending as a last resort (a few really big patches).

I mentioned last month that my summer shoes needed replacing. I bought a very similar pair from the same brand, just a different colour, lightly used for about 1/3 of the retail price. They look like they've only been worn a few times.

I found a recipe that uses a few unusual spices that have been lingering in my cupboard for ages.