As we have adjusted to the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic and developed new consumption habits, the “don’t waste, don’t want” mentality has come back into play.
In fact, “don’t waste, don’t want” – now known as “upcycling” or “repurposing” – is just common sense, such as using plastic bags to line bathroom trash.
However, this is just the beginning of what to do with your junk. We’ve rounded up some other reusable ideas that can save you on trips to the store, money, and even (part of) your sanity.
To keep your kids (or your kids at heart) entertained
1. Toilet paper tubes
Toilet rolls have tubes that, once decorated with crayons and stickers, can turn into kazoos or a village of towers.
Cut decorated tubes into smaller sections to create beads that can be strung on a piece of yard or string for a necklace. The internet offers many more suggestions for smart children of all ages.
2. Produce boxes
Strawberries, blueberries and other products come in plastic containers with open slots on the sides. These can be great bath toys as water flows out of them like a sieve, creating the perfect waterfall or rainforest.
3. Christmas cards
If you’ve put away old Christmas cards, punch a hole in each corner and wrap them together with string or a metal ring. Now you’ve made a book for the little ones who love to look at photos, especially those of other children.
4. Cardboard boxes
Your Amazon delivery boxes can be stacked to create houses for barbie or stuffed animals.
Here’s another option: cut the bottom out of boxes big enough to fit around your child. Help them decorate the boxes to look like a car, then use string or ribbon to create suspenders. Now you can have speed walking or car races in the garden or in the living room.
Use around the home
5. Netted Produce Bags
The mesh bag that the products are in can be shredded to clean a really messy saucepan or two before throwing it away.
6. Broccoli rubber bands
These thick rubber bands that come around broccoli grapes are great “chip clips” to close bags of groceries or a hair tie in an emergency.
7. Plastic food containers
The plastic tubs used for foods like yogurt and hummus make great storage containers. There’s really no need to ever pay for new plastic containers. If the dishwasher lids have warped a bit, you can recycle them and use the next round of empty food containers.
8. Old towels and t-shirts
Old towels and t-shirts with stains cannot be donated. Use them as tea towels or rags.
You can also cut and braid them into strips to make a chew toy for your pooch.
9. Empty shoe boxes
When you have the time and energy to reorganize, use empty shoe boxes or smaller shipping boxes to create drawer organizers. The height of the boxes can be cut to fit drawers if necessary.
10. Muffin pans
One of the extra muffin tins that will clutter your kitchen cabinet is perfect for organizing jewelry.
To take care of your yard
11. Wine bottles
Fill a wine bottle with water, wildflowers, and greenery to make a deck, patio, or front steps more welcoming.
12. Two liter bottle
An empty two-quart soda bottle can be converted into a simple, lightweight watering can for the extra landscaping you did on your first weekend of social distancing.
13. Old leaves
When raking up stacks of leaves, pile them on top of an old leaf, pull the four corners together, and take them to the pile of trash or mulch. The sheet can be used over and over, so you don’t have to buy lawn and leaf bags, garbage bags, or even a wheelbarrow.
Take care of yourself
14. Water bottles
Fill empty water bottles with sand or stones for hand weights. There are also other ideas for creating here homemade weights and other DIY fitness equipment.
15. Old bras
A cup from an old bra makes a great mask. And here are Three more ways to make a DIY mask with materials you already have.
Cucumber slices soothe eyes that are strained by the observation of “Bridgerton”. Don’t stop here: we have even cheaper suggestions for one DIY spa day.
Katherine Snow Smith is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com