One of the keys to living a frugal and creative lifestyle is being able to create something out of nothing or recreate something out of something else. We call it repurposing!
Repurposing household items can be a lot of fun! We know it helps the environment because it reduces waste, but its also ideal in a frugal home because you’re spending less money and my favorite part of it is that it helps you tap into your creativity!
One of my favorite cartoons to watch when I was growing up was The Flintstones. I always loved to see how they were going to use the leftover dinosaur bones or utilize the animals that existed in the stone age. Nothing went to waste. Pebbles worked those bones as hair accessories , Wilma held small creatures like vacuums and cleaned the floors and Fred combed his hair with the skeleton of a fish. They were repurposing geniuses! Now, I’m not telling you to use old nasty bones in your hair, but I do have a list of a good number of items you can repurpose from around your home.
1. So number one - you can repurpose a Hanging Shoe Organizer. Instead of paying for expensive shelving units and space-guzzling bins, why not grab an 8-pocket version of one of these hangers from the dollar tree or a 24-pocket one like this from Walmart and just hang it anywhere you need it to store a variety of items. Use it to store arts and crafts supplies, or hang it on the back of the bathroom door and store beauty supplies, put it in the pantry or just hang it on the wall and put snacks in it for the the whole family.
2. Magazine Holders. I've seen plastic lid organizers on Amazon for about $17 - $30 and they look like they do a great job but they also take up a lot of space and cost more money than I would want to spend on something like that. Instead, you can grab an unused book/magazine holder you might have at home or grab some plastic or cardboard ones from the Dollar Tree and use them to store those plastic lids that always fall out of the cabinet every time you open it up or that you can never seem to find when you need them. The magazine holder is far less expensive and takes up less space and holds just as many lids as the expensive organizers. You can also use them to store produce on the counter top or in the bathroom cabinet to organize cleaning supplies. You can also use one to keep gift bags nice and neat. Plus, you can use it to stack those reusable water bottles that frugal people like to have.
3. The next item that’s great to repurpose are Tissue Boxes. Have you ever had a tissue box that seemed to match perfectly with the decor of your room and when you're finished with the tissues you don't really wanna throw it away 'cause it's like perfect now what you can do is when you buy brand new tissues you can open it up, take out the roll of tissues and put it in the other box that you already had and your’re just reusing the same tissue box 'cause it matches your room or you can completely repurpose the box and use it to store plastic bags, you could also add a couple of hooks and make it a little desk caddy or you can store your hair brushes and Combs in it lots of different things you can do with the tissue box.
Another great thing that you can do with the longer tissue boxes is cut the tops off and then roll your scarves or your socks or even your underwear and place them very neatly into the box and you can use them as dresser drawer organizers.
4. Another cool item that you can repurpose is a Paper Towel Holder. My husband went through the house and mounted paper towel holders on the wall and so I had this one left over and I decided to put all my Bengals and bracelets and watches on it. You can also use it to store your large spools of decorative ribbons.
5. Another item that you can repurpose - and I'm sure we've all seen this one - is a Glass Jar. If you have a glass jar from spaghetti sauce or any jarred food, you can use it to store so many different things. You can use it to jar your own special sauce or grains in the pantry. You can use them to grow plants or make a memory jar. My grandmother always liked to use a glass jar to drink her ice water.
6. Cereal Boxes are always a fun item to repurpose because you can just cover it with some contact paper, cut holes of different shapes and sizes and turn them into movie night caddy for your kids. You can also take about 3 boxes and cover those with contact paper and turn them into file trays on your desk or you can even hang them on the wall for paper or file storage.
8. If you have an empty Cleaning Wipe Container don't throw it away! It's a perfectly good container you can reuse. All you have to do is, if you have some paper towels like bounty or some other brand that's really absorbent and heavy duty, just tear off several heavy duty towels without separating them – roll them loosely and place them in the empty cleaning wipe container. Pour in enough cleaning spray (Fantastic, or other multipurpose cleaner) to saturate. Pull one corner through the hole/slits in the lid. For an old school cleaning alternative – if you can stand the odor – add vinegar to the container and maybe add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to reduce the smell. You’ve got your own cleaning wipes!
12. Plastic Resealable Bags! Do not underestimate them! You get them free with electronics, sometimes jewelry. Don’t throw them away! Put your phone or tablet in one, seal it up, attach a pant hanger to it and hang it in the shower. My hair washing sessions get really long so I like to watch a movie or binge watch some Youtube videos and I also use one for my phone so I don’t have to miss any important calls while I shampoo and condition.
14. Now, I use these little gizmos all over the house – Binder Clips! They come in a bunch of different sizes and I use them as clips for my snack and cereal bags. I clip them on top of a chalk or dry erase board to hold markers in place. You can attach them to your desk area to keep cords visible and accessible. You can even use them to keep your sweater closed if it doesn’t have buttons on it. That one I seem to do often. And then of course, you can use them for paper which I never seem to actually do. Binder clips.
15. Old Ice Cube Trays – a couple years ago I switched out my regular ones for ice trays with lids so I’m like what do I do with these old ones. Instead of sticking them in a cabinet somewhere, I put them in my daughters desk drawer to store small school supplies and they also work really well for organizing small crafting materials like beads and clasps. Plus, they’re stackable so you can put more than one in there.
There’s really so many ways that you can repurpose so many things that you just have around the house that can save you money on a regular basis. Take a look around. Maybe one of my ideas sparked a new idea for you. There’s no telling what you can come up with when you decide to spend less and create more!