If you’re not familiar with the concept of upcycling, it’s an incredibly useful practice: repurposing things you would usually throw out, giving them new life with a little creative thinking.
Upcycling at home can make your life more efficient, and it’s as good for your wallet as it is for the environment. Creative reuse can even be cute, chic, and color-coordinated — there’s really no downside. That’s why I’ve put together this list of handy upcycling hacks you can put to use today.
Whether you’re new to the concept, or you’re an upcycling veteran, I have a strong feeling you’ll be tempted to try a few of these:
- DIY Drawer Dividers
- Clutter Containers
- Memos & Mementos
- Flower Power
- Kitchen Keepers
We’ve all got some cardboard boxes stacking up somewhere, especially with all the Amazon packages rolling in these days. With a little craftiness, these make excellent drawer dividers! Dividers make your drawers much easier to sort through and help you avoid the messy, cluttered feeling that drawers tend to adopt otherwise. Start by measuring the dimensions of the drawer, and cut a section of your cardboard box to the right length and height. Wrap them in decorative paper or fabric with spray adhesive for a nicer look.
Create visual space and get organized by corralling your clutter. You can reuse the little plastic cylinders that chewing gum comes in to store change in your car, baby wipes containers for whatever little odds and ends you have around the house, and toilet paper tubes stacked vertically in a shoebox to label your loose cables and cords.
Paint an old stainless steel cookie sheet with a fresh coat of your favorite color and it becomes a mountable magnetic memo board. Get creative with masking tape or stencils during the painting phase, and epoxy some cute little toys atop plain magnets for maximum fun! Feeling like push pins instead? Pop a square of old yoga mat into a frame and use it to keep notes or pictures close at hand.
Upcycled containers are great for making pretty little flowerpots. All they need is a makeover and maybe a drainage hole punched in the bottom (set it on a saucer to protect indoor surfaces). Wrap a large soup can in leftover fabric or wallpaper to match your decor and plant succulents, herbs, or pretty blooms. You can also get crafty and assemble a planter from CD cases, cinder blocks, or last year’s jeans!
Don’t throw out those parmesan shakers; clean them, sanitize them, and you’re ready to re-purpose. They’re great for cinnamon, chocolate chips, sugar, flour, nuts — whatever you need to spoon, pour or sprinkle. You know those little mesh bags that produce comes in? Ball them up, with or without a few strategic stitches, and use them as handy scrubbers that don’t scratch your pots. Finally, revive an old cooler or product tub with a drawstring bag cover and use it as a backyard ice bucket, so that once you’re done trying out all these cool upcycling hacks, you can kick back with some ice-cold champagne!
With these upcycling inspirations, now you can transform your home while doing your part for the planet. If you’re looking for more home advice, or if you’d like to start looking for a new home, give me a call: 301.208.2288 Or email me: judymartinsells(at)gmail(dotted)com.