As kids, we knew instinctively how to reuse things. We filled shoeboxes with small toys, made a Superman cape from Dad’s old T-shirt, and created musical instruments out of used toilet
As adults, we’ve learned to reuse plastic grocery bags, twist-ties, and yes—shoeboxes (for old photos, recipes, tax receipts, etc.). But there’s no limit to the number of common household items that can be reused or “repurposed” before they’re sent off to the landfill.
What You Can Do
Here are five good ideas for giving new life to old things:
- Turn old cassette tape cases into fun little gift card boxes. Slide the gift card into the case, stuff some tissue paper inside, then wrap in gift paper and ribbon. The lucky recipient won’t be able to guess it’s a gift card!
- Repurpose deli containers as dry-goods storage in your cupboard. We’re talking about those sturdy, clear plastic containers you bring soup or cole slaw home in. Wash and dry thoroughly and fill with bulk-food items such as oatmeal, bulgur, seeds, or nuts. Use a permanent marker to note the contents, if necessary.
- Does your shaving cream can leave a rusty ring on the counter or tub shelf? Slip it into an old beer koozie to keep stains away.
- Convert an old bulletin board into a jewelry organizer. Mount the board on the wall and hang your necklaces and bracelets from pushpins. It’s an easy way to prevent necklace tangling and see your entire collection at once.
- Used dryer sheets have dozens of practical uses beyond their 40-minute tumble in the dryer. They work wonders for scrubbing soap scum off the shower door. Put one in your pocket for instant bug protection outdoors. Or stick them in your shoes, gym bag, or car to freshen and deodorize.
What other ways can you think of to give old things a new purpose? Share your ideas in the comments!