My mom was raised during the Great Depression, which had a big impact on the way she makes, uses, and disposes of things. Firstly, it made her very resourceful. She always prefers to make something from scratch instead of buying it at a store, which I’ve always admired about her. Secondly, she has always been a proponent of “using things up.” She always aims to use something until it is completely gone, or completely beyond repair. And finally, she hates throwing things out. She’d much rather give something away or donate it if she can!
My mom’s aversion to waste is a trait that I appear to have inherited from her. I’ve always admired her resourcefulness and self-reliance, and she helped me develop those same traits in myself. Which helps explain why I’ve written so many blog posts about alternative ways to use household items! Repurposing things is obviously good for the environment, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg in my opinion! For me, repurposing things is also good for my family’s budget, and I really enjoy the creative challenge it poses!
It’s more important than ever for each one of us to be more conscious of the resources we consume. And to aid you in that effort, I’ve got some great ideas to share with you! This list is packed with dozens of bright ideas that will help you repurpose 11 common household items. This is a great resource for anyone who’s looking to cut back on waste, and I hope you find it as helpful as I do! :-)
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Genius Repurposing Ideas For 11 Disposable Household Items
1. Cereal Liner Bags
- Make a piping bag for frosting. Rinse and dry the bag, then scoop frosting into one of the bottom corners. Snip the corner off with a pair of scissors, then pipe!
- Cut the bag into small squares, and use the squares to keep burger patties separated in a stack. Stacking up the patties like this is an easy way to save space in your fridge or freezer!
- Use the bags to wrap up homemade bread, rolls, and buns before storing them in your freezer.
- Use the bag to store leftovers or to portion out other foods. Seal it with a Foodsaver or other vacuum sealer to keep it fresh.
- Use a cereal liner bag to crush up crackers, cereal, nuts and more without making a mess. Cereal liner bags are thicker than regular ziplock bags, which makes it less likely that any sharp bits will tear through it.
2. Mesh Vegetable Bags
- Use a mesh vegetable bag as a yarn holder. Place your yarn inside the bag, thread the end through one of the holes, then pull it through.
- Use it as a scrubber for cleaning jobs around the house. Just wad it up and use it to scrub dishes, countertops, and more!
- Stretch the mesh bag over an old picture frame, staple it in place, and use it as an organizer for your earring collection.
3. Butter Wrappers
- Once you remove the wrapper from a stick of butter, place the wrapper in a ziplock bag and keep it in the fridge. You can use the wrappers later on to grease baking pans!
- Use individual butter wrappers to separate burger patties in your fridge or freezer. They won’t stick to the patties, and you’ll save space in your fridge!
- When a bread or roll recipe calls for a final brush of butter on top, use a butter wrapper! Just lay it butter-side down on top and let the butter residue on the wrapper melt into the surface.
4. Glass Jars
- Keep any empty glass jars you use, wash them out, and remove the labels. They make great flower vases that you can use around the house!
- Use an empty glass jar to collect cooking grease. It’s not good to put it down your sink! Just collect it a little at a time, and then when the jar is full, you can just toss it in the trash.
- Use an empty jar to make a beautiful water candle. These will look great around the house, or as decor for your dinner table!
5. Disposable Razors
- When your disposable razor gets too dull for shaving, you can still use it to remove pills from sweaters! You can also use it to remove pills from hats, scarves, t-shirts, and more.
6. Egg Cartons
- Keep any of those clear plastic egg cartons. They make the perfect packaging for mini cupcakes and muffins!
- If any of your friends or family have chickens, ask if they’d like your old egg cartons. They could usually use the extras! (And who knows, you might get a few fresh eggs for your efforts!) ;-)
- Paper egg cartons can be split up and used as seed sprouting containers. Once the seedlings get big enough to plant, just wet down the whole egg carton cup and plant it right in the ground. The soggy paper will break down over time in the dirt.
- Use an old egg carton to organize and protect small Christmas ornaments.
- You can also use an egg carton to organize other small stuff. Use one for jewelry, beads, office supplies, buttons, nuts and bolts, and more!
7. Tissue Boxes
- Use an empty tissue box to store your plastic grocery bags. And there’s even a way to make them pop up just like tissues! Slide the bottom of each bag into the handles of the next bag, then insert them all into the box.
- Use an empty tissue box as a tiny trash receptacle on your desk. You can also place one in the living room as a handy place for discarded treat wrappers.
- Cut the tops off a few old tissue boxes and use them as drawer dividers. They can help keep smaller stuff more organized instead of rolling around in your drawer.
- Use an old tissue box as a small trash receptacle for your bathroom counters. It’s the perfect place to toss out cotton swabs, cotton pads, and other single-use cosmetic items.
- Use a tissue box as a trash receptacle in your car! You can either toss it out when it’s full, or empty it and reuse it again.
- If you park outside in the winter, you can use old newspaper to prevent icing on your windows. Just lay a few pieces of newspaper over your windshield at night.
- Newspaper is surprisingly good at absorbing odors! Stuff a balled-up piece of newspaper in shoes, a diaper bag, or even your fridge to help eliminate yucky smells.
- Use old newspaper as packing material when moving, or to protect a package you’re shipping.
- Use newspaper as a paper towel when cleaning glass and mirrors! Newspaper won’t leave behind any fibers or residue, just a streak-free shine!
9. Tin Foil
You can use tin foil to soften rock-hard brown sugar, shine silver, and more! Check out 15 amazing uses for tin foil at the link below.
10. Cardboard Tubes
Don’t toss out the tubes from toilet paper and paper towel rolls! Use them to keep pants crease-free, make fire-starters, and organize extra cables. Check out 10 smart ways to use cardboard tubes at the link below!
11. Paper Bags
And finally, don’t toss out paper bags either. Use them to ripen fruit faster, make homemade popcorn, serve snacks, and more! Check out 9 useful things you can do with paper bags at the link below.