Guest Post: Stay at Home Mom Tips: Recycling Within Your Home

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Guest post by Reader Danielle. I have always secretly wished to be one of those women who has three plastic bins labeled “plastic,” “paper,” and “glass” in my garage for recycling.  But sadly, I am not.  In my hometown, there isn’t a place to take your recyclables, and you must pay a fee each month to have a green trash bin for compostable items (I hope this is not the case in every town).  Now that I’m taking notice of how much gets thrown away in my home every week, I have begun to change my ways a bit and have found ways of recycling within my home.  If there is an item that I would have previously thrown away, I now try to think of ways to recycle it, or repurpose it.   Here are a few ways I’ve repurposed what I have:

Kleenex boxes: 
Let me just say, I am a sucker for the cute little designs that get printed on these things.  Some of them are downright pretty.  So, when I have an empty tissue box, I have found ways to use it.  I have one in each bathroom that holds my plastic grocery bags (which I use for trash bags in my bathroom trash cans).  Storing the bags this way helps sacks stay confined to a small space and stay right where I need to use them–in the bathroom.  (A cleaning tip I learned long ago was to store items where they will be used).
I also use them in my kitchen.  If you look in my cabinets, you’ll see some Kleenex boxes with the tops cut off, which are perfect to keep taco seasoning, soup mix packets, etc all lined up in.  I love that tissue boxes take up virtually NO extra space.  Afterall, sometimes it’s the storage container itself that causes more harm than good.  Storage that has slanted sides, thick containers, etc cause you to waste otherwise usable space. Lastly, for my son’s first birthday I made a train cake…the engine was made from cake, and the 4 train cars were (you guessed it) Kleenex boxes wrapped in scrapbook paper.  I placed loaf tins in these and served fruit salad, cheese/crackers, etc .
Plastic Baby Wipes Cases:
These are great to store small things like crayons, small toys, etc.  My favorite use for these has been for when my kiddo is painting.  Just fill the box halfway with water, close one lid and leave the other lid open (the first lid usually has a small hole which is perfect for a paintbrush to go into).  You don’t have to worry about it tipping over and the boxes are sturdy and so as easy to clean.  (FYI: Using the plastic containers from Lunchables is perfect for the paint!)
Plastic trays from packages of oreos, etc… 
Okay, don’t laugh…I know what you may be thinking “using plastic trays from oreos!?!?” Let me explain.  In my bathroom I have one of those stacking white plastic drawer thing-a-ma-jigs  that you get at walmart…you know, the kind that contains 5 or 6 clear pull out drawers.  It stays under my bathroom sink for things like makeup I don’t use everyday, razor blades, nail polish, barrettes, etc.   The problem was that the top drawers weren’t deep enough for regular drawer dividers.  Therefore, all my things were
tossed around everywhere every time the drawer was opened.  It was one huge mess.  Using an Oreos (or other cookies) tray was the perfect solution.  One tray had 3 rows
where I could place all my belongings and they STAY neat and tidy.
Scoopable cat litter plastic containers: 
I realize this won’t apply to everyone, but in our home, we have 2 cats.  We always get the Tidy Cats Scoop litter, which I must say, comes in these wonderful, durable  containers. We have used the “bucket” part of the container as a pail to haul outside gardening tools, kids toys, etc.  Another great thing about them is that they stack (with the lid on) quite nicely and have a handle for ease of carrying.  For road trips, I use the lid as a lap tray for my 3 year old while we’re in the car (washed in the dishwasher first, of course!).  The lid has a nice raised edge on it, so crayons and toys don’t roll off as often.  They are also perfect to use for snacktime in the car.
I hope these tips will encourage you to look around your home and find ways to use everyday things to make your home more organized and functional!Danielle is a west Texas stay at home mom of 2 kids.  She loves scrapbooking, making crafts, couponing, and spending what God has blessed her family with wisely.  With an interior design background, she is also passionate about organizing, decorating on a budget, and making the most of the space in your home, no matter what size it may be.

This post was originally published on August 9, 2011.

I’m always looking for guest posts on any frugal or family related topic.  I’m especially looking for posts on Dave Ramsey, SAHM/WAHM stories, and adventures in the kitchen. If you’re interested you can leave a comment her or send me an e-mail.


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