JFF - What Is Your Best Re-use, Repurpose Idea?

Updated on March 13, 2012
S.E. asks from Landenberg, PA
14 answers

OK I just wanted to share this because it was funny and just so improbable.... We really started to focus on reduce reuse recycle about a year ago. We are down to one bag of trash a week! So, the thinking has become habitual. So the other day....

I walk in and hubby is in the kitchen, all of his work gear os on the counter and he is holding this plastic tray that, to me, looks like a soap dish. I am puzzled as we had agreed to not buy plastic junk if we could avoid it and we certainly did not need a soap dish!

Hubby holds out this plastic object and says, "What do you think we could possibly do with this (ready?) bullet tray?" LOL!! I start laughing and tell him I thought it was a soap dish when I saw it so.... soap dish it has become! And a very fine one at that! So the little plastic tray that holds .44 calibre bullets in their box is now a soap tray! LOL!!

So what is yours??

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answers from Richmond on

Plastic utensils do just fine in the dishwasher, but I don't mind if the accidentally get thrown away in the school cafeteria either ;) One box of plastic spoons probably lasts us about a year, if not more!

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Williamsport on

I can use the same sandwich baggie about 47 times.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

Nit sure if I can explain this one, I wish I could post picks.
I had 5 wooden shoe racks. The new house has build in closets with shoe spaces, so I took the shoe racks, I tie them together. I also had a green picnic towel that I put on top of the shoe racks, it made a great toy table with storage underneath for my daughter's play mobile zoo stuff, and the green it looks like grass.
I also use the paper towel rolls to put my daughter's pony tails rubbers

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

We bottle our beer in the same bottles over and over....the bottles were recycled from beer we originally bought.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Dry cleaner bags get a knot tied in them at the top end, are flipped bottom to top and then used to line home office and laundry room bins. Just the right size.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

we reuse, recycle, repurpose.....love finding new ways to live!

the backseat out of my son's exploded 84 Mustang will be seating in my younger son's room. Just need to update the upholstery & get the smoke smell out of it.

I have an antique tool & diemaker's chest in my bedroom. We use it for a side table. I also have all of my antiq books & family photos on a timeclock from a brewery in St Louis -makes a great display table. The top 1/2 of a china cabinet was being used as an above-the-toilet cabinet in my guest bathroom...until the backing became moldy from the moisture in the bathroom. It was beyond saving when we finally figured out where the moldy smell was coming from...grrrr.

I tear diaper wipes in 1/2. I tear paper towels in 1/4s. All tshirts/clothing beyond donating are torn into rags. All books not being saved forever are turned into our 2ndhand resale shop. The final dregs of all products are combined, water added to, or recreated...love mixing my nail polish!

My mom made a tshirt quilt for my older son....using his H.S. favs. We're working on one from my younger son's sports/Scout years right now.

I have antiq & vintage bikes/trikes all thru my landscaping. I use them as vine trellises & as planters. I have an antiq railroad cart by my front door. I keep seasonal flowers in it, holly thru the winter, & right now I have a collection of vintage bottles (from my bottle tree that still hasn't been made) in it.

My coffee table was an antiq dining table. Love it! I have antiq steamer trunks throughout my home....all seasonal supplies are stored in them.

My writing supplies are stored in a utensil cubby by the phone, & in a planter by my computer. My daycare school supplies are kept in leftovers from my sons' school years, in magazine holders, & in diaper wipe boxes.

My computer cabinet is an antiq wardrobe/armoire. It had been used to hold auto supplies & had grease stains in it. It had a total of 4 or 5 different colors on it when I brought it home for $40. My DH hated how ugly it was, how heavy it was (took 2 men & a dolly to get it into the house!), & now applauds how functional it is. It holds my computer, all financial records, all estate-planning records, all of our games, some vintage decor pieces, & every cd/dvd we own! & there's room for more!

Oh, & the Andersen windows we added to our great room are salvaged! The 9' Atrium door came out of a house being demo'd for airport expansion/noise abatement....& the other windows came from a dumpster. Who the Heck would throw away Andersen thermal pane windows? :) Oh, & the wooden shutters on these windows also came from a dumpster!

Bring me your trash, people, I will find a re-use for it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My favorite is using old Walmart/ target baggies to line little wastebaskets in the bathroom.

Old DVDs or scratched CDs can be hung up in your garden to deter birds from visiting.

Speaking of gardens.... Dumping out your vacuum in the garden is great fertilizer.

Old light bulbs make cute planters

Glass jars are great to keep paint in...all my old paint is in pickle / baby food jars. Don't keep the can the paint came in because it doesn't reseal tightly.

Used dryer sheets--- dusters.... And while your at it cut em in half for smaller loads.

I take old ratty nightgowns that are pretty and comfy and cut the top off and sew it shut. Makes really nice pillowcases.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

all of the old plastic chinese food containers I use to seperate and store art supplies in for my daughter

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I can't throw away shoeboxes. They're just too perfect for storing/sorting my son's toys.

I wash and reuse all of my feta cheese containers, cream cheese containers, sour cream containers, etc. The lids almost all fit eachother on those three mentioned containers. I will use them on picnics (put a couple pickles in the sour cream container, put some diced fruit in the cream cheese container) and for leftovers in the fridge.

My MIL bought some sort of food at Costco. Packaging was clear hard plastic. I was so sick and tired of the pens rolling around in the desk, and wouldn't you know it the plastic food container fit pens and pencils PERFECTLY.

Books that I put on reserve at the library have a whole sheet of paper with my name and phone number on them. So I take them home with me, tear them in half, and they become two grocery lists.

I don't buy Pringles, but I saw an idea in a magazine: you can wash their container, dry them, and they store yarn in them very easily.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Any T-shirts or jammies rendered unwearable end up as rags. Empty and washed yogurt containers or plastic bottles make great bath toys for DD. Any furniture we are looking to tosee like a coffee table or night stand I donate to various non-profit pick-up services.

Gift boxes and shoeboxes get reused. Do I call that "reboxed" instead of regifted? LOL

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

I save stuff like tp tubes, kleenex boxes, plastic containers, and milk jugs for a woman who does art classes at a senior home. One of these days I'd love to see what she's creating with all my trash!



answers from Seattle on

<grin> The .22 boxes (sliding top) are GREAT for sorting Legos!!!

They also make good pencil / pen cases, truffle boxes, food coloring boxes, etc.

(My 9mm come in cardboard :P It's seriously irking.)



answers from Pittsburgh on

It's amazing how my "garbage" has decreased since I am actively recycling paper. The school takes only paper (and they get mine) but the curb recycling picks up boxes, corrugated, etc.

Did you know you can toss clean, crumpled aluminum foil balls in with your aluminum recyclables? Plastic baggies as well.



answers from Boston on

My husband's extra tie rack now holds my chunky necklaces. Very pretty!

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