Use itI came up with the idea of the Use It or Lose It Challenge in January this year.  Its actually quite a fun challenge but also a very practical one.  The key to this challenge is the fact it is quite open to interpretation, so its pretty flexible.  No matter how it is interpreted though It has the basic principle of either use it, or get rid of it!

Ideas of how to use the challenge include:

Do you need to de-clutter your home? Then how about trying to find at least one thing a day that you don’t use anymore.  Most of us have lots we don’t use anymore.  So rather than hold on to these things we can clear them out.  Lose it – sell it, give it away, throw it away – whatever you choose to do to lose it is fine.

Do you want to stop wasting food? Go through that fridge and make a point of using something before it needs thrown out!  Sometimes you might need to think about how to use a mixture of ingredients but its quite fun really!

Do you have lots of half used toiletries? Then use them up before you buy any new ones – don’t lose the money you paid!  You can even get creative with this one, old sun tan lotion can be a great body moisturizer for example, old toothpaste  is great for cleaning marks off paintwork etc.  Its amazing the things you can find to do with some toiletries when you stop and think about it!

Since I started this challenge I have made money by selling things, saved money by using things up, and more importantly I have changed some old habits and created some new ones.

For example, it used to take me quite a while to get myself motivated to sort out items I no longer need.  Then I had to photograph them and get them listed on Ebay.  Now I look for just 1 thing each day and get it on there.  Its no longer a long and frustrating task and as a result I have sold more items.  It has also made a difference to the amount of money I spend on groceries.  I no longer throw unused food in the bin so I am more careful about what I buy.  I ask myself will I actually use it? Do I already have something like this in the house? I don’t really need ANOTHER pair of shoes do I?

Its amazing how much of a difference just thinking about the Use It or Lose It Challenge has on daily life.

To give myself a target to aim for on this one I will aim to either use up or lose 100 items.  To give an idea of how effective it can be I will also keep a running total of money saved by using things up and not throwing them out.  This is in addition to money made by selling items too.   I wonder what the result will be……why not give yourself the same target and see how much it changes your behaviour too. 🙂

Have you already tried to change your old habits of wasting money? If so I would love to hear about your experiences.  Or will you give this one a try?

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