Repurpose or Toss

Is it just me or do you sometimes look at a product and wonder if you could repurpose the container somehow?  I will buy a brand of pasta sauce for the container – sauce ‘x’ jar has a better shape than sauce ‘y’ jar or I’ve been known to buy a container of Trader Joe’s coffee just for the container, knowing that the coffee wasn’t my favorite.  Repurposed containers are great, but they can lead to hoarding (exaggerating…sort of).
These puff containers are a great example of an ideal container to repurpose - an easy to remove label, they wash up easily, different colored lids (fun for color coding or adding interest), and they could be used for so many things – kid small toy storage, pens, markers, homemade wipes and baby wipes, car activities…..

 

Here are a couple things to look for when you repurpose a container:
easy to remove label – if the label doesn’t come off or doesn’t come off easily, it’s probably not going to be a great repurposed container (unless the label is a pretty one – see the Twinings tea cans below)durability – make sure it has more than one use left in it – for instance, you don’t want to repurpose a water bottle as a water bottle when it clearly says for one use only.

stockpile – if you find yourself stockpiling an item and not using it, it’s probably not a great repurposed item (my pasta sauce containers are a great example – I thought I’d reuse them for bringing flowers to friends, storage for dried goods…but truth be told, they’ve been sitting in my cupboard for over a year.)
clever use – if the repurposed item has a clever repurpose, chances are you’ll use it and love it because you’ve reinvented something
Some great ideas for repurposing everyday items – you can find most of these in my organization hacks Pinterest board, along with many more:

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(after seeing this, I regretted putting the pasta jars in the recycling bin!)
What’s the moral of this post?  If you have eleven glass pasta jars in your cupboard taking up the whole shelf for over a year, put them in your recycling bin.  If you see a container that could serve a new, clever purpose, repurpose it!
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Comments

  1. I tend to hoard glass jars and those plastic containers that Crystal Light and other portioned drink mixes come in. Those are the only two things I feel I need to keep and yet I’ve never reused a single one. :/

  2. I am right there with you on those pasta jars. The problem is that my area doesn’t recycle glass. So I feel horrible just throwing them in the garbage. I do try to use them, but I have WAYYY too many in the cupboard.

    • Why not donate glass jars to your local school? Primary schools and kindys are often looking for jars to fill with small objects or paint for craft. Try community gardens or seed saving groups who need containers for small quantities of seeds, fertilisers, plant tags etc or perhaps a local country women’s group or charity that makes relishes, jams etc and need clean jars for their batches of food. You’re sure to make someone’s day happy! Another idea is to use them to make low cost but thoughtful gifts – like filling with your favourite recipes (print out & roll up then pop inside the jar), then add a fabric checked red/white ribbon tie around the middle & mini wooden spoon and wrap in cellophane. We fill our spare glass jars with some sand or gravel at the bottom, add a tea light candle and tie the top with some decorative string and sit outdoors on the table or up the pathway when guests come. They look magical and cost nothing!

  3. My mum has a pantry shelf full of tin cans that I knock over every time I try to reach behind them. She says that she has an awesome idea for them, I may start encouraging her to finally use them or chuck them out.

  4. I love the holder for the charging cell phone! :D

  5. Not a waste of penny, these stuffs are worth buying.

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