September 2021 Use It Up Challenge – School Supplies

Gather your binders, pencil cases, staplers, and paper! It’s time for the September 2021 Use It Up Challenge. This month we are focusing on school supplies. Most schools return in September, though some places return as early as August. This makes it the perfect time to use those school supplies around your home. Whether you have recently stocked up on the necessary items for school or have leftovers from the previous year, it’s time to sort through it all and make sure it will actually get used. Hopefully, you have already established a back-to-school routine with your kids. Now, it’s simply a matter of seeing them off to school and ensuring they take those necessary items with them so they can get used.

The previous categories this year covered were kitchen items, pet supplies, technology, seeds, movies, outdoor decor, tools, and hardware.

September 2021 Use It Up Challenge – School Supplies

What is the Use It Up Challenge?

This is a monthly decluttering challenge that focuses on using the items instead of simply getting rid of them. This helps to reduce waste and also gets your money worth out of those items. Each month, a new category is chosen and we will focus on that category all month long. However, you don’t have to stop once that month ends. Keep decluttering and using up those items all year long. It will have a huge impact on your home and life at the end of the year.

If you are joining in, be sure to share your progress on social media using #IHUseItUp. I’d love to see how everyone is getting along with the challenge.

Where to start

Gather all the supplies you have. Now, this will depend greatly on what ages your children are, as each grade has different requirements. Whether your child requires the basics, like pen and paper, or something more specialized like protractor sets, find all these items.

Next check that all items are in good working condition. Do all the pens have ink? Are the pencils sharpened and have plenty of life in them? Does the binder open and close properly? Having the school supplies in good order will make everything less stressful for parents, teachers, and children. Now, you can divide it into what items each of your children need for their grade. You may not know for sure everything they need ahead of time, some schools send a list home in the first week of school, but it’s easy enough to compare that list with what you have on hand.

Once you have the necessary items divided by grade, get enough ready in their respective backpacks for the beginning of school. Put the rest away, keeping it organized for future use.

How to use it up

This is fairly easy. Send those items with your children to school! They may not necessarily need all 8 glue sticks that you have in your home on the first day. However, knowing that you have these on hand for when they need them will stop you from running to the store to get more. As the year progresses, your child may need different supplies, but since you already sorted and organized what you have, it will be easy for you or them to grab what they need. Hopefully, by the end of the school year, they will have used all or most of the school supplies, freeing up some space in your home – at least until you need to buy more.

What I’ll be using up

With my son entering high school, the need for many school supplies has diminished. Instead, he will be using a laptop for most of the work. However, we still have a plan to use up the minimal school supplies that we have. He will have a binder filled with paper for those times taking notes by hand is better, or for any handouts he receives. He will be using pens and pencils as well.

There may be other supplies he will need, however, at this moment we have not received any information from the school about this.

Are you participating in the September 2021 Use It Up Challenge? What school supplies will you be using this month?


  1. I like this concept of a Use It Up Challenge. Very clever! Our home could definitely benefit from doing a challenge like this.

    1. Author

      Thank you. I think it’s a great way to declutter with a purpose. I hope you join in on the challenge!

  2. I love this challenge for school supplies! I had so many leftovers every year and my mom would just donate them overseas to schools that needed them. It’s reasonable to try and use what you have instead of purchasing new things every school year! Thanks for sharing x

    Lynn |

    1. Author

      Thank you. That’s great that she was able to donate the excess supplies.

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