You may have heard the term “reduce, reuse, recycle,” but did you know that many items around your home can be repurposed for uses you never thought possible? Repurposing everyday items not only stretches your budget further, it reduces clutter. Here are five of our favorite clever reuses for things around your home.
Some of the best household tips we’ve collected over the years involve coffee grounds. Damp coffee grounds can be put over fireplace ashes to weigh them down and make for dust-free removal. Dry coffee grounds can be used as deodorizers – put some in a paper bag, punch a few holes in it, and put in a musty closet or basement. The most unbelievable use for coffee grounds is to combine a little with olive oil and use it as an exfoliating scrub. It’s great for treating cellulite because it gently dehydrates the cells. Who knew?
Denim is incredibly durable. Cut up old jeans for great potholders and cleaning rags (especially in the kitchen and in the garage). If you have a dog that comes in and out of the backyard, large denim scraps are perfect for wiping off muddy paws. Dogs who like to play tug-of-war will love pulling on a jean leg tied in a knot! If you’re interested in sewing and crafting, there are dozens of other things to make with blue jeans, including Christmas stockings and coffee cozies. Or check out these roads for toy cars made out of the pant-legs of jeans!
Unlike denim, nylon isn’t durable at all, and it’s frustrating to have to buy new pantyhose as soon as one pair gets a snag. But if you hang on to the damaged pantyhose you’ll find that the delicate fabric is great for polishing silver, or for using as extra stuffing for couch cushions or throw pillows! Because yellow onions spoil more quickly when they’re close together, we hang them in the pantry in separate legs of pantyhose, tying knots in between each onion.
Believe it or not, newspaper is a natural companion for gardeners. Place sheets of it over an area where you’re trying to germinate seeds, and it will trap the necessary warmth close to the ground. Wet newspapers placed around plants and covered in dirt will keep weeds from growing. Ripen tomatoes more quickly by wrapping them in newspaper and storing them in a dark cabinet – this is a useful tip if you need to pick tomatoes early to protect them from frost. For those of us who use the backyard not to garden, but to grill, place several sheets of wet newspaper (for example, the entire sports section) onto the grill after you put the fire out, and close the lid. The dampness will create enough steam so that the grease will easily scrub off in an hour or so.
Okay, we admit that this one is a little less conventional than our usual household tips, but it’s so creative we couldn’t pass it up. Netflix has filled an entire website, NetflixOrigami.com, with instructions on how to fold the tear-off flaps from Netflix envelopes into paper airplanes, animals, and more. We love the idea of making a snack tray to hold our popcorn in while watching a Netflix movie.
Do you save old household items to reuse in your home? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below!