Spring Cleaning Creativity: Transforming Old Junk into Something New & Functional

Spring cleaning is an annual tradition in many homes, and it’s also a great time to finally get rid of all the assorted and outdated odds and ends crowding the house. But before you start throwing everything in sight away, think about how some of it can be reused. Transforming "trash" and used up materials filling up your kitchen, living room, and bathrooms is a great way to save money, reduce the amount of garbage you produce, and add a bit of flair and creativity to your home.

Household Trash? Or Hidden Treasure?

If your home is like the average American household, then you produce a lot of trash. People tend to throw away the things lying around their house once they've served their intended purpose, not really giving much thought to whether or not they can be reused. But many common household items that seem like they're just taking up space can be repurposed, reducing waste while saving their owners money at the same time.

·         Old candle jars can make for handy containers. After washing them out, use them to store pencils and pens, cosmetics, change, or other assorted small items.

·         Crates, boxes, and other containers can often be used to make shelving or storage tools, and can even be used as flower boxes. Applying a little paint to match your home décor is all it takes.

·         Replacing your old lamps with newer models? Don't throw them away just yet – many lamp bases can be turned into vases with very little alteration. Just remove the top, and put some flowers into the body to add a little natural color to any room.

·         Old food jars don't have to be thrown away once their original contents are finished. Use them to store other food items, or punch some holes in the top to turn them into salt and pepper shakers.

Don't Just Recycle – Upcycle

For many people, spring is also the time to start their home remodeling projects. When a home is remodeled, most or all of the old, discarded house parts are thrown away without a care in the world or a thought as to how they could be reused.  But with a little clever thinking (and sometimes a little painting), many of them can be used to decorate a home or otherwise repurposed.

·         If you have leftover wood or particle board from a construction project, don't just throw it away. Use it to make bookshelves, bulletin boards, picture frames, coffee tables, wall shelving, or other useful storage spaces around the house.

·         Paint cans might seem like a lost cause as storage devices, but they can be cleaned out with isopropyl alcohol and reused. Just be sure to clean them thoroughly!

Next time you're spring cleaning, preparing for moving, or just looking to redecorate your house, keep these upcycling tips in mind. You might find that many of the things you're getting ready to throw out are more useful than you think.


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