5 New Uses for Everyday Items

It’s no secret: I have a passion for re-purposing. There’s nothing so satisfying to me as giving something a new lease on life. Especially if it’s junk. (Junque?)

Almost as much as junk, I have a passion for re-purposing everyday things. The more uses you can give an item, the less it costs you, eh?

Or something like that.

Here are some new uses for everyday items that I use all the time.

While not everything in this post may work for you or your style, let this post get your creative juices flowing. What do you have simply lying around your house that you can find a new use for?

Here’s my favorites:

1. Saddle Blankets

2014-07-06 10.11.15This is a rug in my bedroom. It began it’s life as a saddle blanket (yes, for horses) at Tractor Supply. (Farm & Home has them, as I assume most farm supply stores who have supplies for horses would.)

If you have animals, you know that animals involve messes. Even the best house-broken pet is going to have an accident from one end or the other at some point. And I know from experience: even if you don’t have carpet, they choose the most expensive rug in the house. (Or is it just my dogs that have a taste for the finer things?) πŸ˜‰

These are a great size for rugs. And guess what? They are only about $10!! And they wear like iron!

After sacrificing a few for the art of learning, I figured out the best way to launder them. DO NOT PUT THEM IN THE DRYER!

I wash them in cold or warm water on the gentle setting, adding about a 1/2 cup of kosher salt in addition to detergent, which will help keep the colors from bleeding. Then hang them to dry. Voila!

They are big enough to cover almost my whole bathroom floor.

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At my back door and at the top of the basement stairs.

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And I even use them as decorative items. (Although these actually came from Mexico.)

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I’ve used them in the past as floor mats, and they are currently used as cargo mats in the back of my car. I picked up gray, white and black ones for the car, and they look great! I even use them in our RV. You could use them as tablecloths for a picnic table, for wall hangings in your family room/man cave, or tons of other things.

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They are also great furniture covers if you have pets, or simply want to add some color and hide a stain on your sofa. πŸ˜‰ Β Check ’em out!

2. Glass Jars

How many times do you a product – such as marinara sauce – that comes in a quart jar? Do you end up tossing the quart jar without thinking, or do you re-purpose it?

We often end up with these jars, which come with their own nice screw-off lids.
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By the way, I don’t recommend serving this apple pie at your next large family gathering. Or maybe you should… hmmmm….that could make things interesting!

Sorry. Squirrel.

I.love.these.jars.

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Currently, one is host to some basil that I should really make the decision to toss. But I can’t. So I’ll wait until it makes the decision for me. How cute would it be with flowers?

2014-07-06 10.18.06One is holding a homemade BBQ sauce from the @Lord_of_Q himself, Myron Mixon. It keeps for a year, which makes a jar the perfect vessel to hold it. You can purchase clear round Avery labels and print pretty little labels for whatever your container holds. I was lazy and just hand wrote mine.

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One is holding kosher salt for the laundry.

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The smaller ones make great containers for salad dressing, either home made, or store-bought and decanted.

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The jar in the above picture now actually holds a Myron Mixon rub that I made yesterday which also keeps for a year.

The decorative ones make wonderful juice glasses. That’s apple juice, by the way. Not a specimen. (Just in case you were wondering.)

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They are also great to hold beauty supplies in the bathroom. This is baking soda; I use it to whiten my teeth and as a facial scrub. πŸ™‚

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This one is my current favorite cocktail beverage glass. I carry it everywhere.Β Seriously. I think maybe pizza sauce came in it. I can’t even remember. But it was free!

 

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You name it, they work great for it. They are great canisters for just about anything! Β And best of all..some of them are free!

3. Bandannas

Okay, I can’t totally take credit for this one, although I’d love to.

I’m an avid fan of the Pioneer Woman, which is from whom I got this idea.

We are very casual entertainers. Thus, paper napkins seem too…casual if you’re having several people over. Cloth napkins seem too dressy. Β Bandannas are perfect!

You can throw them right in the laundry, and don’t have to worry about starching them!

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They come in a variety of colors, and they cost $1.00 each at Wal-Mart. (Which happens to be the only store that carries them here in our town. Where you are may be different.)

You can match your dishes, or just mix and match colors.

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Over the last couple of years, I’ve collected a few colors to mix it up.

You can dress up your dog for company. πŸ™‚

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“Mother, would you please put away that stupid camera? You’re embarrassing me.”

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, I did wash this bandanna after she wore it. Just in case you happen to ever eat dinner at my house. πŸ˜‰

Wrap them around jars and use them to hold utensils at a picnic, or use them to hold pens and pencils on your desk. My mother kept her collection of buttons in a jar.

You can use them in your hair, or as a fashion accessory.

I didn’t take any pictures of that because I shot these pictures Sunday morning, and I was lazy and didn’t put on any makeup. So nothing to see here folks; let’s move along. πŸ˜‰

I could go on and on about the versatility of these things!

4. Galvanized Buckets and Pails

I literally have these everywhere.

I have one in my kitchen to hold dog food. It’s mouse-proof, and matches everything!

If you don’t like the color, paint it! Stencil it! Decal it!

It holds an entire 30-pound bag of dog food, so I always know how much food I have left. It has a large handle which will hold the lid on if we’re traveling and makes it easy to carry.

This one cost me $18 at Tractor Supply.

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If I tire of using it for dog food, I can use it for fish food, bird seed, or anything else that needs contained.

NOTE: IT IS NOT WATERPROOF!

There are two small holes on either side of the lid handle which willΒ  allow some water to enter if it rains. So I don’t recommend keeping food in it outside.

But it’s perfect for containing grill accessories!

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I use a tub to hold blankets in the basement. If we’re having a party, I’ve been known to move this outside and fill it with ice and beer/water/soda.

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You could even bob for apples in it at Halloween! Or go pick them when the time comes.

The picture below is the wastebasket in Jimmy’s bathroom. I have a larger one in the bathroom at the shop.

Inside each of them is another of my favorite multi-purpose items: a Wal-Mart bag. Seriously, there’s a million things you can do with these! Besides small trash can liners, we use them for poopie bags when we travel.

Sorry. Squirrel.

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I’ve used galvanized pails as planters, decorative items, pendant lights, and magazine holders. Some of you may remember my Christmas tree from a prior post.

Galvanized pails and pine cones

 

This pendant in our basement began its life as a $4.00 paint bucket at Home Depot.

Seriously.

 

Pendant

You can organize toys with them, items in the laundry room…the ideas for these just keep on coming! πŸ™‚

5. Plastic Bags and Egg Cartons

I’ve mentioned before about how much I love egg cartons.

They make wonderful holders for jewelry such as earrings and rings.

They don’t get tangled up, and each one has it’s own separate little space.

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I also use them to hold nail polish. They would be great holding small items in your desk such as thumb tacks, rubber bands, etc. Anything small that needs to be contained. Sewing supplies, maybe? Small, hard-to-find items that you end up digging and digging for wastes a ton of time. And I’m not into that.

I want to free up as much of my time as possible for fun, meaningful things in life that bring me joy.

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Which is why I put all my necklaces in plastic bags.

How many times have you opened your jewelry box to get a necklace only to find it tangled? Or tangled with something else? So, you try for a few minutes until you realize that you are getting frustrated and short on time and now, thanks to this, crabby? Not a fun way to start the day.

I rest my case. πŸ˜‰

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I prefer the clear plastic pint bags for jewelry, that way you can see it better.

If you have a matched set of earrings and a necklace that you always wear together, you might consider placing the earrings in a snack bag inside the bag with the necklace.

It’s also MUCH easier to travel. I just grab the bags and put them in my suitcase.

Speaking of travel…I have a neat bag with my initial on it for jewelry. It’s a really cute bag and I love it; it’s just not compartmentalized. So, I put all my earrings separately into snack bags, and place them inside the jewelry bag. Easy-peasy!

Happy re-purposing, my friends! πŸ™‚

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