23 “Disposable” Items in Your Home You Didn’t Know You Could Re-use
There are hidden gems hiding in your own trash can!
It’s often said that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. However, what if your own trash could be that treasure? Believe it or not, many of the things that you’ve been throwing away could actually serve a second purpose. And that, in turn, could help you save both money and the environment. Herein, we’ve rounded up some simple ways to reuse “disposable” items.
Use dryer sheets as fire starter.
Don’t throw out those dryer sheets once they’ve served their original purpose. Rather, Karie Truman, the money-saving blogger behind Happy Money Saver, recommends using these sheets as fire starter. All you have to do is shove your used dryer sheets and some lint in an old toilet paper roll, fold the ends in so that nothing can escape, and voila!
Use toilet paper rolls to organize cords and other loose items.
If you’re tired of untangling your smartphone charging cord and TV wires on the regular, there’s a simple solution: Store them inside old toilet paper rolls, labeled with marker. Doing so will prevent your cords from becoming entwined and make it easier for you to distinguish your iPhone charger from your micro USB cable.
Use an empty tissue box to store plastic bags.
Once your tissue box is completely empty, you can repurpose it into a storage bin for your plastic bags. Instead of haphazardly throwing those baggies into a cupboard, stow them away in the tissue container for easier access and better organization.
Use old corkscrews as succulent holders.
Save money and get creative by repurposing your corkscrews into DIY mini succulent planters. Check out a full step-by-step guide on The Succulent Eclectic. You won’t be able to resist these adorable and eye-catching home accents.
Use an old pool noodle as a wrist rest.
Do you have an old pool noodle lying around that’s seen better days? Instead of throwing it out, just cut a quarter of it off horizontally and repurpose it into a wrist rest for your desk. While you type, this padding will prevent your wrists from tiring and becoming sore.
Use a mesh vegetable bag as a scrubber.
Those mesh sacks that some fruits and vegetables come packaged in are hardly reusable as bags, but that isn’t to say that they’re entirely useless. If you fill a single mesh bag with other mesh bags and tie it up, you can transform your trash into a pot and pan scrubber to keep by the sink. It’s easy, eco-friendly, and economical!
Use old newspaper as wrapping paper.
Once you’re done flipping through the sports section of The New York Times, you can repurpose it into chic and handy wrapping paper. Around the holidays especially, this repurposing technique is a great way to save money and lighten your recycling load.
Turn old CDs into coasters.
The majority of us have quite a few CDs lying around that haven’t been played since long before the advent of Spotify. But just because CDs are all but obsolete in terms of music, that doesn’t mean they can’t still serve a purpose. The next time you want to safeguard your coffee table from the condensation on a cup, you can use a long-forgotten CD as a protective coaster. What’s old is new again!
Use a paper bag as a compost bin.
You don’t need to invest in a fancy compost bin in order to help save the environment. Simply toss your compostable scraps in a wax-free paper bag and, when you’re ready, you can either use them to fertilize your garden or bring them to a municipal composting company.
Use coffee grounds to fertilize your garden.
Why spend money on fertilizer when your coffee grounds will do the trick? According to the gardening experts at Oregon State University, this disposable product is a great source of nitrogen, which aids in proper plant growth. Not to mention that coffee grounds also improve soil structure and have been known to repel creatures like slugs and snails.
Or use them to exfoliate your skin!
If you don’t have a garden, then you can also use your coffee grounds to create an exfoliating scrub. Karissa Besaw from Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen recommends combining 1/2 cup coffee grounds, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup coconut oil to create a scrub that will remove dead skin cells, making your skin look “more lively and rejuvenated.”
Clean your keyboard with a Post-It Note.
Don’t throw out those Post-Its scribbled upon with tasks you’ve already completed; use them to clean the empty spaces on your keyboard. Even if they’ve been stuck to something for a while, your Post-Its will still have enough adhesiveness left to grab some of the debris stuck between your keys.
Mark your place on transparent tape with a paper clip.
The problem with a clear roll of tape is that it’s all too easy to lose the end of it. Luckily, all you need is an old paperclip to keep your place for you. Every time you need to tape up a package or wrap a present, you won’t have to worry about struggling to find where your roll of tape starts.
Or use that paper clip to remove cherry pits.
Instead of spitting out cherry pits as you snack on the sweet fruit, use a paperclip to remove the middle before consumption. That way you can chow down on cherries without having to worry about choking.
Turn old popsicle sticks into DIY bread tongs.
Whenever you lift your freshly toasted bread out of the toaster, you risk burning your fingers on the metal. Thankfully, you can repurpose old popsicle sticks into DIY bread tongs to avoid getting burned. Simply tie the top half of two sticks together with some string and you’ll have your very own makeshift pinchers.
Use an old straw to take the stems off of strawberries.
Though strawberry stems are edible, they are hardly appetizing. That’s why you should hold on to your old straws and use them to de-stem your strawberries. Unlike cutting the tops off, this method ensures that the only thing you’re taking off of your snack is that little green leaf.
Store loose buttons in an old gum container.
Most new garments come with an extra button just in case an original falls off and needs to be replaced. But where are you supposed to store all of these extra accessories? In an empty gum container, of course! This vessel is the perfect size for loose buttons, and it won’t cost you anything extra to rinse and reuse it once you’ve chewed your last piece of gum.
Use tea bags to give your shoes a fresh scent.
There is a simple solution for smelly shoes: tea bags. All you have to do is plop a few tea bags into each of your stinky shoes and let them sit for a day or so. As they rest, the tea bags will absorb all of the bacteria and other particles causing your sneakers or sandals to stink.
Turn an old water bottle into a bird feeder.
If you have an old water bottle lying around—and who doesn’t?—then consider turning it into a backyard bird feeder. Simply cut a hole in the center of the bottle, fill it with bird food, and watch as flocks of fowl gather to indulge in your offerings.
Or use an old water bottle to store spaghetti.
If birds aren’t your cup of tea, then you can also use your old water bottles to store your spaghetti. This is an easy way to keep your pantry more organized and to always know which food staples you do (and don’t) have on hand.
Repurpose eggshells into planters.
Even eggshells can be repurposed into something beautiful and useful. Take these planters, for instance. All you have to do is place eggshell halves in an egg carton and fill them with some soil and starter plants and you’ll have a miniature DIY garden that you can keep on your window sill.
Transform an old mason jar into a toothbrush holder.
The next time you buy something packaged in a mason jar, don’t throw it away. Instead, grab some crafting supplies and transform your jar into a fun DIY toothbrush holder. This is a great project to do with the kids on a rainy day or in the middle of the winter!
Use an empty Pringles can to keep your ponytail holders in one place.
Everyone with long hair knows that hair ties go missing almost as often as socks in the dryer do. However, there’s an easy way to ensure that you never again lose sight of your ponytail holders. Instead of storing them in a random drawer, simply house them either in or around an empty Pringles can! And for more life hacks that’ll make things easier, don’t miss these 17 Genius Email Hacks That Will Improve Your Life.
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