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May 19, 2020

In this new six-minute episode of the Tiny Ambitions podcast, I’m sharing an unexpected side effect of spending much more time at home these past few months – doing my best to use what I already have. From personal care products to repurposing clothes, I’m getting thrifty and crafty because of the global pandemic.

You can play the episode here, listen to it wherever you listen to podcast using the links below, or keep scrolling to read the episode transcript – your choice!

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How are you using up what you’ve already got at home? Let me know!

Image Credit: Photo by heather mckean on Unsplash

Episode Transcript:

Welcome back to the podcast! I hope wherever you’re listening to this in the world you are staying home and staying safe.

Thank you to everyone who listened to the relaunch episode a couple of weeks ago. I know I took a long break so I didn’t expect anyone to stick around but I’m so glad that at least some of you did. 

As I’m sure you’re all very aware, the world is currently engulfed in a global pandemic. To keep ourselves and others safe, many countries have implemented various forms of lockdown. That means we’re staying home if we can and non-essential services and businesses have moved operations online or closed. That being said, as I am recording this, my home province of Ontario is starting Stage One of re-opening. Fingers crossed that that goes well.  

But what I want to talk about today was an unintended consequence of spending more time at home that I hadn’t anticipated.

I’m one of the lucky folks out there who has been able to transition to working from home. That means I’m spending a lot more time at home than normal and only leaving the house once a week for groceries and other essentials. (I know that going out every two weeks is the recommendation, but my fridge is too small to hold that much food at one time. Since we’re going out more often than others we are taking extra precautions like wearing gloves and masks). 

Anyway, trying to minimize my trips out of the house, and reduce unnecessary expenses has meant I’m kind of operating as though I’m doing a shopping ban. Which if you’ve been listening to this podcast or reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that a shopping ban is something I’ve done before.

When I did my full year shopping ban a couple of years ago, key components of the ban were things like using up my stockpile of personal care products before buying more or trying to find ways to alter old clothes to suit my current needs before hitting up the stores. 

These same sorts of things have started again, accidentally, because of the pandemic. And I think it’s actually more important now more than ever to use up what we already have in our homes.

For me right now that means using every bar of soap I’ve been gifted from family (I kid you not there are at least five from last Christmas alone). I’ve also been using all kinds of old face moisturizer that I wouldn’t normally wear to work. Sure, they make my face look oily but I’m the only one seeing myself every day so it makes no difference.

I’ve also altered some old clothes to suit my new reality. I have an old maxi dress that used to be a summer staple of mine that I never wear anymore because it doesn’t fit in the midsection region like it used to. Coincidentally, I also needed a new top to practice yoga in for filming purposes for my yoga Youtube Channel – Terrible Yoga (side note, if you want free, no-nonsense yoga practices you can do at home, go check out Terrible Yoga on youtube, my yoga partner in crime and I will be releasing some short and sweet practices in the coming weeks). 

Anyway, I took this maxi dress and cut it into a crop top that will be perfect for practicing and recording yoga. There are a couple of other pieces of clothing in my wardrobe that I’ll be repairing or altering in the near future to ensure I don’t have to buy something online or otherwise leave the house to go get. This is something I’d probably be doing even without the pandemic because I just really like giving old things new life. But it is especially important right now.

You might be experiencing this same sort of thing right now. Maybe you’re trying out new recipes in the kitchen to use what you’ve got in your pantry (I’ve been doing this too and it’s led to some very interesting but tasty meals). Maybe you’ve been making an effort to finish old bottles of shampoo or lotion you’ve never gotten around to using until now. Or maybe you’re finally getting around to darning your old socks or patching up old pants that you normally would have just donated or tossed. 

Either way, now is definitely the time to use up what you have. Using up what you’ve already got in your house means you won’t have to leave the house as often, will save yourself a bit of money from having to restock as often and reduce pressure on the postal system if you’d normally buy certain things online. And on the repurposing side of things, turning something old into something new is always better for the environment than buying a brand new product. 

It might seem small and inconsequential to focus on using up what you already have right now, or finding new ways to use old things, and there are plenty of more important things you might have on your plate right now. But if you’re able to do so, try to use what you’ve already got in your house. I know that this process has been another new learning experience for me that has reminded me of how much I love being thrifty and crafty and making do with what I have. It’s kind of like a fun game to see how I can make use of what I already have in my home. And if there’s anything we could use a little more of right now, it’s a little light-hearted fun. 

That’s it for this episode of the Tiny Ambitions podcast. If you’ve happened across this podcast on the big wide internet, welcome! Feel free to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and if you like what you’ve heard so far, I’d love it if you left me a review on iTunes. Shoutout to Liesl who left me a five-star review and some kind words on my re-launch episode, it honestly made my day. 

If you want to connect with me between episodes, you can follow me on Instagram, my handle is @tinyambitions. You can also email me with all your questions or thoughts about living a tiny life at I’d love to hear from you on how you’re using up what you’ve already got at home. 

Thanks for listening and until next time, keep living that tiny life. 

  • Daisy May 25, 2020 at 11:24 am

    So good, Britt! Like you, I’ve been using up pantry ingredients and skincare. And I already mentioned how I read books I’d always been meaning to these days and setting them aside to pass on afterwards.

    Aside from those, I’ve also been using up notebooks that belong to people in my home (with their permission, of course, as they’ve lost interest in using them). I journal everyday these days (lists, answering prompts, affirmations…) and though they’re not “pretty” notebooks and they’re not completely blank, it’s lovely to write on pages that wouldn’t have been used anyway. I also have “new” workout clothes I swapped with my roommate.

  • Steveark May 19, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    You have a great podcast voice, I’m always jealous of people that do. I’ve guested on a dozen or so podcasts and I never like how I sound. You’ve got a good niche too and its one that you live, and that kind of integrity/honesty is critical to success. I’m not really in your target area but I enjoyed subscribing and listening to this episode and maybe some of that common sense frugality and minimalism will rub off on me!

    • Britt May 20, 2020 at 7:27 am

      Thanks Steve! It’s taken me a long time to not hate the way I sound when I record. And thanks for listening even though this isn’t your area!

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.