When I was younger, my mom always got frustrated when I threw away certain household items. Now, I’ve learned that reusing items prolong their “life”—as in the Japanese way—on top of letting us save money and the environment. Here are some repurposing ideas my mother taught me, which you could also apply in your own home.
Containers and jars
Keep any plastic or glass jars, remove the labels and wash them out. You can fill them up with soil and fertilizer to store plants or flowers. There’s no need for plantitos and plantitas to buy new jars when there’s a lot of alternatives at home.
You can also reuse containers and jars as a DIY pen holder in your home office. Just decorate it with stickers or add a ribbon to make it prettier. In the kitchen, you can also use them to store your small food items or leftover oil or grease.
Old picture frames
You can convert old picture frames as a handy holder and storage for your earrings and other jewelry. Just get a mesh frame about the same size as the frame, remove the glass and you’re good to go.
Tissue or paper towel rolls
Don’t throw away tissue or paper towel rolls just yet! You can reuse them to organize your charging cables at home. You don’t have to shop for cable organizers online when you can put them through the roll to keep them organized.
If you have leftover gift wrappers, you can also put them through the tissue or paper towel rolls so they don’t scatter around.
Unsure how to reuse your old shoe boxes? You can use them as an organizer for your WFH essentials such as your planner, work phone, hard drive, or flash drives. Just keep them inside a drawer to keep them handy.
Parents can also use a shoebox to store toys for their children or pets. There’s no need to buy plastic containers when you can keep them secure in the box.
Do you have a lot of old clothes and you can’t sell them online? Reuse them as rags at home to clean spilled liquid, wipe off countertops and other surfaces. But don’t recycle old underwear; it’s unsanitary.
Are you struggling to let go of your certain jewelry? Don’t worry, you can recycle them as magnets for your fridge or corkboard. Just get fridge door seal magnets in the nearest supplies store or online.
Old newspapers and magazines
Don’t toss old newspapers and magazines in the trash just yet! You can use them to cover fruits, vegetables, and even for items that you’ll be shipping out, or for cleaning mirrors.
You can also recycle them as customized wrapping paper for gifts. It’s creative and unique since no other patterns will be alike. Just add a greeting card, stickers or a ribbon.
Fruit or vegetable seeds
Grow your plant collection by reusing fruit or vegetable seeds. Set the seeds aside in a small container. Wash them out, bury them in soil, and treat them like your other plants. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save since you’re regrowing your food.