We hear a lot about reduce, reuse and recycle but how many articles tell us new ways to reuse? The ones I have seen lately have been more about furniture, mostly cutting an old table in half and using it as a side table screwed into your wall. While I've seen that done well, I've also worried about how much time it was going to take to fix my wall after I was tired of the side table and wanted a new look.
I hate to throw out anything that I could use again but I also don't want things just sitting around my house. I've adopted a philosophy of only keep what you use. Don't save your good china, new outfit, or any new item for a special occasion. That day just may never come. I remember my grandmother used to have a suitcase she kept packed with new pajamas and underclothes in case she would have to go to the hospital sometime. When she did have to go to the hospital for her gall bladder she wasn't at home and couldn't take her little suitcase. I've found life never goes as planned.
Here are a few of the items I have reused and their new lives.
When I first started finding sheets in tiny cloth bags to cut down the packaging materials I was so excited. They were cute and fun but what would I use them for after I opened the sheets? I found they were very useful to put my purses in for storage. It would save the items from scratches and dust. Also, I use them when I travel to put shoes in. If the shoes are soiled it keeps the rest of the items from getting dirty.
I was out at the antique store and I found this wonderful little box. I moved it about the house trying to find a good use for it when I stumbled on my favorite idea. I put all my vitamins and medications that sit on the counter in it. This isn't a good use if you have small children but it's perfect for keeping our counters uncluttered.
When we went to Scotland recently we toured the Edradour Distillery. Geo brought home a bottle of Scotch and it came it a cardboard cylinder. He wanted to keep it but I didn't want it just taking up space, we settled on using it for small change. He can now have it out to remind him of our trip and it has a use.
To save on paper use, I use pretty tea towels as a wrap on presents. Then after the person receives their gift they can use the towel as well.
Remember all those gifts you receive at your wedding? Occasionally you look at them and wonder -- what am I going to do with a decanter? If I open a bottle of wine, we often finish it. I found they are a beautiful way to have your mouthwash on your counter in your bathroom.
I know these aren't revolutionary ideas but I like to find new ways to reuse things that may be sitting around. I would love to hear any ideas of things that you are reusing in your home. Any time we reuse items and don't buy new or throw away, I think we all help our earth.