Recycle, Reuse, And Repurpose Common Household Items

It’s easy to get trash bag-happy when giving your home a clean sweep, but hold off on that dump run! You just might be wasting money and meanwhile making unnecessary waste. There are many ways to reuse, recycle and repurpose common household items you might otherwise be throwing away. So rather than throw away money buying brand new, consider some of these earth-friendly DIY projects and home hacks while also giving your house a good recy-cleaning.

Glass jars and old coffee canisters make great containers to fill with your stock of  pantry staples like pastas, beans, rice and baking basics such as flours and sugars. You can also use them to make desk organizers or bathroom containers. Mason jars are also good for this. But with respect to food preservation, if you don’t happen to have a Mason jar, many pasta sauce brands use jars that are ideal for this purpose. If you’re feeling especially handy, check out Pinterest for some creative ways to build a wine rack or shelving options using coffee cans!

Plastic bottles and jugs make for easy DIY bird feeders, self-watering plant containers, homemade natural cleaning product storage, food bins and can even be crafted into a shoe cubbie or a dustpan.

Old clothes, towels and bedding can be ripped up and made into cleaning rags or if you’re in the crafty category — braided rugs and reusable dusters

Reuse dryer sheets for dusting, removing soap scum and polishing chrome.

Plastic grocery bags — if you still use them — are perfect pet waste bags. Also, try recycling and repurposing the inner plastic bag from your cereal box as your lunchtime sandwich baggie.  

Toothbrushes are great for many purposes especially cleaning hard-to-reach and delicate areas around faucets, grout, electronics, scrubbing off shoes or sneakers and more. They also work well as eyebrow brushes or hair color applicators but be sure to give them a good cleaning first though!  

Coffee mugs or teapots that have become stained, knicked or cracked make fabulous little flower pots. 

Old newspaper can be used to dry wet, stinky shoes. Crumple the newspaper and place inside the shoes overnight to dry from the inside. The crumpled newspaper method can also be used to remove smells from other household items such as food containers along with a sprinkling of baking soda. And don’t forget when you wash your windows to dry them with some of the stuff for a streak-free shine.

Coffee filters can clean your screens such as computers, smartphones, tablets, or television  to clear dust and lint without streaks and residue.

Old cardboard is easily recycled and can be used to prevent ice/snow build-up on your windshield. Rip open a shipping box and cover your windshield before you go to bed to ward off the impact of an impending snow storm 

A plastic drinking straw can double as a handy kitchen tool used to pit cherries or core strawberries. Simply push the straw through the fruit starting at the top and inserting all the way through to the bottom. The pit/core will get stuck in the straw and pop right out the other side. 

Cookie sheets or larger bread tins that are no longer usable can be repurposed as a shoe-drop to hold muddy boots, sweaty sneakers and the like.

Egg Cartons, which are essentially sectioned storage boxes, can safely stash small or delicate items such as Christmas tree ornaments. 

Ice cream sticks and wooden spoons make super signage for your garden seeds or plants. 

A seasoned or shabby suitcase can still be used in-home as storage. You might want to make it more decorative by cleaning and painting it and then stash as a storage chest for under the bed. 

Save old candle bits and use to release a stubborn zipper by lightly rubbing a candle along the teeth on both sides to smooth the way. Scented candle remnants can also be recycled as an easy-to-make air freshener. Chop up some candle bits, place in a small jar, and punch a few holes in the lid to release your favorite fragrance. 

Paper towel tube bag holder: Store and dispense plastic bags by stuffing them inside an old cardboard tube. Stick the tube in a drawer for easy access.