Whether you’re looking to increase recycling efforts, save money, or just hate to see things go to waste, repurposing household items is a good idea. As consumers, the choices we make every day impact our bank accounts and the environment. Finding multiple uses for items can help on both fronts. Here are eight common household items that can be repurposed:
1. Plastic bags
With pandemic stipulations banning reusable shopping bags in many stores, you’re probably bringing home more shopping bags than ever. Use them to line wastebaskets, pick up pet waste, and store produce (with a paper towel to absorb moisture). They can also be useful for organizing and storing crafting materials and gardening supplies.
Before you discard or donate furniture, think about ways that pieces can be reused. Small chests or nightstands can make good storage pieces for garages and attics. Entertainment centers can be reworked for linen storage, dollhouses, bars, and wine racks. Toy chests or hope chests can make great storage containers for bags of fertilizer, topsoil, and other lawn materials.
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Wash empty glass bottles, and soak them to remove any labels. Bottles can be reused as flower vases, candle holders, or can be filled with twinkle lights for holidays and parties. A collection of bottles in different colors can be arranged on window sills to catch the light. They can also be used to store homemade vinegar and infused oils.
Glass jars can be washed and reused for votive candles, storage, and organization. Arrange jars down a table and fill with baby’s breath or wildflowers for a fun, casual meal setting. Glass jars provide great pantry and cabinet storage and organization for rice, beans, pastas, flour, sugar, spices, and other ingredients.
Give old clothes a new purpose by rethinking how pieces can be used. Old ball caps can be turned into visors, t-shirts and cotton clothing can be cut up and pieced into quilts or afghans, and sundresses and men’s shirts can be turned into swimsuit cover-ups.
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Stack Styrofoam plates, cups, and bowls between china and glassware to pack for moving or help prevent chipping when stored in cabinets. You can also cut or tear pieces of Styrofoam to use in the bottom of potted plants to facilitate drainage or make your own “popcorn” packing material.
7. Tissue boxes
Empty tissue boxes can be used to store plastic bags or sharp objects like razors and scissors. You can also use the empty boxes to organize makeup and jewelry items, as well as ribbons and gift-wrapping materials.
8. Shower curtains and liners
Old shower curtains and liners make great drop cloths for painting or to protect furniture from dust during home renovation work. You can also place shower curtains under high chairs to collect dropped food. Plastic liners are great for protecting counters, tables, floors, and carpets during art and craft projects. Cut smaller pieces to use in the kitchen when rolling out dough or other messy cooking projects for easy clean-up.
Take a look around your home and see what you can add to this list. You may be surprised how many things can serve a new, useful purpose and make your life easier in the process.