Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose

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I am a huge fan of recycling.  It practically kills me that there is no recycling available at our apartment complex.  Did you know that it takes about 60 days for an aluminum can to be recycled into a new aluminum can?  Granted those aren’t all labor involved days, but it is a lengthy process.
So to avoid that lengthy and costly (although cheaper than making something from scratch) process, we should reuse things as many times as possible or pass them on to someone who can. FreeCycle and  Craigslist are excellent places for finding someone who can use something that you can’t. (Yes, each scrap of paper helps save trees, but don’t overdo it with reuse ok? Some things are better just being put into the recycle bin as is)

My favorite way to reuse is actually to repurpose something and give it a new life.  I have been wanting to get a space saver high chair for Little One for months now.  I really wanted this girly one, but never even found any space saver on Craigslist in the Tyler area or at a sale.   So nearing Little One’s 6 mo. birthday I pulled out the plain hard plastic high chair that I bought off Craigslist for Turkey.  Instead of making her a new cover I took the insert for Turkey’s car seat (one of those where you take out layers as the child grows) and added a few velcro dots to help hold it on and now Little One is nice and comfy in the old, albeit plain, high chair.  I’m still planning to make a girly cover, but meanwhile the insert isn’t floating around in the back of the van collecting dust.

Another repurposing was this old desk.  I had picked it up at a yard sale several years ago and we used it as a desk for the older kids.  As we downsized when we moved here, this became our new TV table.  It worked great for CD and DVD storage, but not for the VCR and XBOX.  I ended up asking Hubby to build a shelf underneath to hold those up and to give us some storage space for the kids’ bags and shoes.  (the tv is right by the front door)

Turns out 2 long bolts will do the trick.

All over our apartment are things that have been repurposed:

Turkey’s closet organizers are all nice heavy boxes from our move.  They stack well and I like that they keep things separated.  I also like that they were acquired from stores after their contents were unpacked- that makes 2 reuses and 1 repurpose per box. 

The big Cars stickers that came with the Huggies Pullups Potty Training kit were put into inexpensive frames and became the artwork in Turkey’s transportation themed bedroom.

Peanut Butter Jars hold smaller items within larger storage tubs.

The George Foreman has now become a quesadilla maker.  Hubby didn’t know where our QM was after the move and the GF worked great in a pinch, so we’ve cleared another kitchen item from the house.

Ice Cream buckets keep smaller and oddly shaped toiletries together under the sinks

Oh BTW, I’m still trying to learn the Reduce side of the 3 Rs.  Both with my time and our stuff :-)

I’ve seen a very crafty friend turn a chest of drawers into a great tv stand and a sheet set into some adorable little girl curtains.  I’ve seen adorable dresses made from womens shirts and toy kitchen sets made from nightstands.

What have you repurposed or seen repurposed? If you have pictures I’d love to post there here too!


  1. Thanks for the link and advice for my organization. I really do like the idea of the sturdy boxes in the closet. E have already ordered her a disney princess toy organizer from A 9 bin one for only $25. We are waiting for it to arrive. Should be soon I hope, but that won’t take care of everything. I think my biggest problem is that she like to make up new places to put things every day, so I hope this will help 😉 I think we will need some more storage though, and also for the younger sister, so I am going to tell my husband to keep his eyes peeled for those copy paper boxes at work. Those are awesome!

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