Repurpose With A Purpose: How to Use Old Things in New Ways


There are many reasons why you might want to repurpose old items. Maybe you want to give your place a decorative facelift, or perhaps you’ve met some new friends in your new city, Spokane, who have taught you the ins and outs of the Pacific Northwest’s way of recycling and reusing items. In this part of the world, you will find that living green is not just ethical and functional, it is also a local stylistic trend. Here are five tips for making repurposing a multi-aimed project and you will find that not only can you be a good environmental citizen, your new friends will gasp in awe about how creatively (and cheaply) you are able to do it when they see what how you’ve arranged your new place.

#1. Generally, Upcycle.

This means using reusable and recyclable materials that have a function for aesthetic or decorative purposes instead. Here’s one idea: find and strip down some old metal colanders, buckets, or canisters, revamp them, and use them as wall or ceiling light shades. There are many other lasting materials and items that you can do this with, such as wood, glass or ceramic. Don’t forget that you can use pieces of entire furniture items, such as single shelves or drawers, and make them into something new in and of themselves.

#2. Give Your Old Things a New Coat of Paint.

Thomas’s Liquid Stainless Steel and Martha Stewart’s metallic shades are great products for this purpose. You can use these paints to make your kitchen pop. Take an old dresser drawer, put a few coats of paint on it, and install it on one of your kitchen walls as a storage unit for canisters, jars, or wine. If it is shallow, you might want to add a wooden board toward the bottom third to keep the items in place.

#3. Use One of Your Old TVs.

Grab One from the Local Goodwill or the Sidewalk Curb. Many times, people donate or leave out items that they consider to be broken in terms of their functional use, such as old model TVs when they upgrade. You can gut and refurbish it to many different ends by making it into a bed for your pet, for example, or into a dry beverage station for the living room.

#4. Bike Wheels Work Great for Storage and Display.

Attach pot hangers from your kitchen ceiling and use it for pots, pans, or large cooking utensils. This will save you counter space, especially if you don’t have much of it. Alternatively, hang one on the wall in your bedroom and use it as a screen for your jewelry collection.

#5. Give Your Dead Space a New Purpose.

Take a minute to look around your place to see where there is dead space, such as underneath the staircase or in the indented wall space that doesn’t quite fit a bookcase. Add some shelves or cabinets to make these areas a storage space. Even better, put some comfy pillows into a small corner and make it your reading nook.

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Jennifer is in her first year with MyNewPlace.  She is excited to be a writer for the company while she finishes her Ph.D. in Anthropology, which she expects to receive from American University this May. ...