I love finding new uses for stuff I already have lying around. Not only do I get to feel clever, I don’t have to make a trip to Goodwill and nothing goes in the trash. And sure, it’s okay to make cleaning rags out of old towels or “tupperware” out of margarine containers, but the best inventions are the creative and unexpected ones.
For example, my bathroom is tiny and featureless, so I store bottles in a clear vinyl shoe organizer on the wall. I also like to keep ongoing crochet projects in reusable grocery totes, which I hang on an attractive but broken three-light floor lamp. And rather than paying upwards of $100 for a cat tree, I put an empty tiered bookshelf in front of one window, and a waist-high wooden cabinet with the doors removed in front of another. (Sometimes the cats even use them.)
If a repurposed object would function well in its new role, but you’re afraid it looks a little sad, don’t worry. It probably takes less effort than you think to spruce it up. Whether you’re a veteran upcycler or just looking to redecorate on the cheap, the library has plenty of inspiration –
Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures by Amanda Blake Soule
Restore, Recycle, Repurpose: Create a Beautiful Home by Randy Florke
Craft Challenge: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a Pillowcase by Suzanne J.E. Tourtillott