Feel Free to Pin & Share: Melanie Fisher + The Deco & Bloom Team

 In our recent article, Let’s Clean House: 20 Things in Your Home to Sell Today, we took a look at the things that you have in your home that can sold to make a buck while cleaning up your home. Today we wanted to wrap up our series on cleaning up your space with a look at objects around the house that can be recycled, or re-purposed right at home. Lets reduce and reuse, Deco & Bloom style with things in your home to recycle and re-purpose today.

Old newspapers: Bundle up your old papers, and take them on down to the recycling plant to clear up some shelf space.

Old magazines: Much like old news papers, old magazines can be recycled (unless you run a doctors office, in which case they should be left out for the enjoyment of generations of patients yet to come.)

Greeting Cards with no Sentimental Value: Likelihood is that you have a stack of old Christmas cards in a drawer somewhere that hold no special value to you.  Yep, bundle that right up and send it along to be recycled as well.

Unnecessary Bills and Paperwork: Different forms need to be kept for different amounts of time. To reduce clutter, Scan in old bills and paperwork and shred or recycle the originals. 

Large Broken Appliances (washer, dryer, stove can be scraped for metal): Many appliances can actually be broken down for scrap metal, or parts for repairs on other appliances.  Find some local scrap yards; some places will haul old appliances away for free, and some will even pay you for them.

Old Coloring Books that are Finished: Tear out the stuff you want to keep, and bundle the rest up with your magazines to be re-purposed into brand new art supplies for you little Picasso.

Old Calendars: There will almost certainly never come a time when you find yourself needing a calendar from the year 2005.  Please feel free to discard it.

Socks: Single socks that do not have a match and old socks that have holes in them make great rags for cleaning and dusting.

Old Worn Toothbrush for Cleaning: Given that these devices are made for cleaning those hard to reach places in your mouth, they make are quite handy for cleaning those hard to reach places in your home.

That earring That Doesn’t Have a Twin: Make great Christmas tree decorations for a small bedroom tree.

Old Worn and Discolored Towels: These towels work great for mopping up spills and messes in the kitchen and bathroom, and if you have a household pet, they give you a great way to dry them off without relegating one of your fluffy new towels to the position of “Permanent Dog Towel”.

Old Candle Jars: Once a candle has burnt out you are left with an empty glass jar with some candle residue and a bit of burnt wick. Rather than letting it just sit around gathering dust, or pitching it, with a little work you can clean out the jar, leaving you with a pristine jar in which to make a new candle, or any other project you can think of (there are a ton of ideas online).

Milk Jugs: Empty milk jugs can actually be surprisingly useful once washed out.  Cutting the bottom off will allow you to use them as wide nozzled funnels, or scoops for dirt or pet food. They also make excellent storage for a number of things around the kitchen from food to bags.

Old Piping: If you have recently replaced some of the water or gas piping in your home then there are a number of excellent projects you can undertake with the old piping, from building refreshingly modern furniture, to installing it in your home for some extra hanging storage.

Mason Jars: Many foods come in mason jars that can be re-purposed once they are emptied. These old jars make fantastic candle holders, food storage, or a great set of containers for canning home grown fruits and vegetables.

Milk Crates: If you need some extra organization in your closets, or on your shelves, old milk crates can be a perfect solution. They make excellent shoe holders as well if placed at the bottom of a closet.

Baskets: If you have received a fruit basket, or gift basket, stop before you throw the empty basket away. If the basket is good looking then it can be used as organization, or as a great centerpiece for your table. If the basket itself is less than aesthetically pleasing you can look into the surprisingly easy methods of sprucing it up like spray painting it.

Cardboard Boxes: Likelihood is that we all have some old cardboard boxes lying around the house from past purchases. These work excellently when taped up for long term storage for everything from books to clothing, and when it comes time to move you will need as many boxes as possible, so break down and fold flat any that you don’t need right away for later use.

Old Clothing: Old clothing that is too damaged to do anything else with can be cut up into rags for cleaning, or handkerchiefs for wearing.  A little time and creativity will allow you to remake the scraps into gloves, socks, or even patches for other clothing.

Plastic Buckets:  If you do any type of construction work around the house there are most likely several common items that you will purchase that come in large, 5 gallon buckets.  When you are done building, you can re-purpose those old buckets to carry new materials with you, or paint them up and use them as planters for small gardens.