Repurpose Your Everyday Items


People throw away a lot of things. Often, it's because those things break. But at other times, it's just because they've decided they don't want those things anymore. If the items are donated to other people, or given to those who want them, it's not a problem. But what about all the things people just toss in the trash because they aren't interested in keeping them or don't see a use for them anymore? Rather than throw these things away, it's possible to repurpose a lot of your everyday items into something great.

When you're thinking about what to save -- and why you'd want to save it -- consider the kinds of items you have and the ideas you have for salvaging them. You can also take a look at what other people have done to salvage and repurpose items, so you can get some fresh ideas and inspiration. By doing that, you'll be more prepared to create something new and useful from something that was just going to get thrown away. It's a good feeling to save something destined for the trash pile, and can help the planet, as well.

Why Repurpose Everyday Items?

The biggest question people might have is why they would want to repurpose items. After all, they can just toss it and get a new one, and sometimes it's a small item that doesn't cost very much at all. It may not seem worth the effort or time. But once you start discovering all the things that can be repurposed, you may find that it almost becomes a game to see what you can salvage and reuse for something else. Many items have multiple uses, and can be repurposed or adapted to be used in other ways, as well.

When items are repurposed, it gives them new life and keeps them out of landfills. It also makes it easier for you to have something on hand you can use when you need it, instead of going out and buying something else. By storing some items in a self storage unit, you may also want to consider how you can turn them into a side business, selling what you've repurposed. A lot of people do that with furniture and other larger items, because they want to give it new life and make a profit at the same time.

There's definitely a market for that, and a self storage facility can give you a great location for all the items you plan to repurpose until you can get to them. A lot of the smaller items, though, may just be stored at home because it's easier and more convenient that way. You don't want to have to go to your self storage unit to get something every time you need it, or there's no point in having it as a repurposed item. Save the storage for bigger items, like furniture, and find a good location at your house for the smaller ones.

What Kinds of Uses Should You Consider?

The types of things you can repurpose and use for something else are almost endless. For example, consider something as simple as the bag that cereal comes in, inside the box. When you rinse, dry, and save the bag, you can use it for all kinds of things. It makes a great piping bag for frosting, and it can also be cut into squares for keeping burger patties separate or used to wrap things like homemade bread and rolls. A lot of people would see the liner in a cereal box as something to throw away, but it can be useful.

Naturally, it doesn't make sense to keep everything. There are some things you simply won't reuse, but the goal is to think carefully about how you can repurpose the things you're about to toss in the trash. That way, you can end up with some ingenious opportunities to use something you would have otherwise thrown out. That keeps the item out of the landfill, and also stops you from needing to buy something else to use in place of it when you need to work on a project or start something new.

There are a lot of "unitaskers," meaning items that are only used for one specific purpose and that's all they're designed to do. If you try to implement a "no unitaskers" rule in your home, you can often find a lot of great ways to take something that's used for one purpose and make it work well for other purposes, too. That's not going to be possible for everything you own, but there are unique ways to use a multitude of things that you might not have considered in the past. People get used to just throwing things away.

Past generations were less likely to do this, and they had lower levels of waste. Of course, they also didn't have things like plastic packaging, so there wasn't as much of that going to landfills and recycling centers. Still, reducing your carbon footprint, helping to protect the planet, and getting some interesting, valuable, and creative uses out of items that would otherwise be thrown in the trash isn't as difficult as it might seem. Plus, being creative at that level can become a bit of a game, to see what you can still use.

Where Can You Keep the Excess?

One of the biggest concerns you might have when you start saving things to repurpose is where to keep them. You don't want to rent a self storage unit for cereal liners, used razors, and, and mesh produce bags. But for larger items, a self storage facility can be just the thing to keep them out of your house and still have easy access. If you're planning on repurposing things to sell, that's another great reason to rent a storage unit. It's a business expense, and also gives you a place where you can work on ideas, too.

Furniture and other larger items that you want to repurpose is a great use of space in a self storage facility. Even if you have smaller items, but there are a lot of them, you might want to rent a unit where you can keep them. Also consider if you have pets or children, and if that could affect anything you're trying to repurpose -- especially if selling is your plan. If you're saving a lot of glass jars, for example, but you have small children or large dogs in your home, you might want to have a self storage unit just for safety.

There are all kinds of ways to focus on reusing and repurposing everyday items, whether you're doing it for your own use or for reselling to others. Being creative and focusing on new ideas and ways to use things keeps your mind active and sharper, and can make life more interesting as you consider how you could keep and use something that most people wouldn't realize still has value. It's like a puzzle, and can be fun and entertaining along with saving you money when you don't have to buy something else.

Consider keeping things like glass jars, so you can store things in them, mesh produce bags to hold yarn or scrub up countertops and more during cleaning, and butter wrappers for greasing baking pans. You can also use a dull disposable razor to take the extra "fuzz" off of sweaters, or an egg carton to store jewelry and other small items you need to keep sorted out, so they won't get lost, damaged, or tangled up. Consider saving an empty tissue box for holding plastic bags, or as a tiny trash holder on your desk.

What Should You Really Throw Away?

Sometimes you just don't have a realistic use for something, or you use a lot of a particular item and saving all the "leftovers" would just cause too much of a mess. If you have a big family with several kids, and go through a lot of cereal, you probably don't need to save all the cereal box liners, for example. There are so many opportunities for repurposing items, but there are some things that really should be thrown away -- and having way too many of something generally falls into that category.

With plenty of great reasons to rent space at a self storage facility, you don't want to get a unit you can fill up with boxes of tiny items you'll never be able to use all of. That would be a waste of space and money, and could also lead to problems with insects if there are food wrappers and related items, as well. It's okay to throw away things you'll never really use and can't repurpose in any way. If there's a place to donate them to people who want them, that could reduce any guilt you have about just tossing them, too.

Overall, don't feel like you have to save everything. Repurposing your everyday items isn't about becoming a hoarder and never throwing away anything, or even keeping so many little items that you need a self storage unit to put them all. Instead, it's about making sure you're taking care not to throw away things that have a perfectly good use left in them, only to buy something designed for the same thing the other item could have been used for. That can become a waste of money, and there are ways to avoid it.

When you're thinking about what to repurpose and what to throw away, consider how you use your time and the items you have in your home. If you're never going to be doing any baking and don't need to grease baking pans, you probably don't need to save a lot of butter wrappers. But if you make a lot of cakes for parties and other occasions, you may want those along with the cereal box liners to use as piping bags for icing. Repurposing items is all about how you'll use them, and if they're right for your needs.

Whether you choose to rent a self storage facility unit and fill it with items you're going to repurpose and sell to others, or you have a small cabinet in your kitchen where you save mesh produce bags and cereal box liners, you can repurpose a lot of your everyday items and get more use out of them. You don't need to throw away something that could really be useful, just to go out and buy something else that does the same thing. That contributes to spending extra time and money that could be used in other and more valuable ways.

With the right level of repurposing, you'll be happy with the items you have and how they're used, and you may be able to give back to others in unique ways, as well. 

By: Lee Preston
Lee is the Director of Marketing and Promotion for When she is not working with our storage facilities partners, she is writing about topics that affect our daily lives.


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