Show Notes

Episode 94: Use What You Have

It’s tempting to hang on to items to use for a special occasion. This week, Janine and Shannon discuss the benefits using what you have rather than buying new (perhaps more perfect) stuff.

Discussion topics include:

  • The thing that sparked this episode: Shannon’s decision to use up her abundant supply of gift soaps rather than buying new
  • The value of using things instead of saving “for good.”
  • Repurposing household items rather than buying new—even if it’s not perfect
  • Ending the cycle of “more stuff, more stuff”
  • Shannon’s proposal to put her great grandmother’s china in the dishwasher so that she’ll actually use it
  • How things can go bad when you don’t use them, which defeats the purpose of saving them
  • Cultivating and managing usable collections, like dishtowels
  • Shannon’s determination to use what she has this year and let it be good enough

5 thoughts on “Episode 94: Use What You Have”

  1. When my mom passed away when I was in my mid-50s, I found a dishtowel that I remembered using when I was a little girl! You couldn’t tell HER that dishtowels wear out. Likewise, she had a set of Haviland china that we used only one time. It took pride of place in her china cabinet, but we never got to use it. So now I have broken the cycle. I have no china that I don’t use because it’s “for good” and I try to only buy things that I love. For example, I was in St. Petersburg a couple of weeks ago, the art glass capital of the United States, and bought a vase and a bowl by two artists who I watched do a glass blowing demonstration that was fascinating. I bought these because I could USE them. I am hoping that the vase will inspire me to buy fresh flowers more often, and I will use the bowl for fruit.

    1. I love useful things that also spark great memories! My go-to souvenir purchase is earrings because they’re easy to store and easy to use. (This is Janine writing.) Your comment about your mother’s dishtowel reminds me that we just in the past few years discarded towels that had my husband’s parents’ monograms–they were wedding gifts from the 40s. My husband was using them when I met him in the 80s and we continued using them, eventually relegating them to dog towels until they were too worn out. Yikes.

  2. I love using up all that I have before buying new! We encourage our clients to do the same (when appropriate). I think of it as a challenge; especially all the random food items in your pantry. Then the reward is getting to choose carefully to new items to replace the items used up. Makeup and beauty products are a hard one since you can not always try it for a week or say, try the color in a good light. Those items I try to pass on to someone else who may use them (as long as it is safe to do so). Great topic!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Jen! Viewing using up what you have a challenging game is a great way to make it fun!

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