Re-purposing Items Around the House


Today, I wanted to talk about re-purposing items around the house, or, even utilizing an item for something other than it’s intended purpose.

I always see these posts online or on Pinterest about using items in unique ways, and when I started to pay attention to re-purposed items around my own house, I found that I had a few good examples worth sharing with you, that have made my life easier or saved me some money. Let’s jump right in.


Wicker wastebasket as magazine holder

I actually picked this up many years ago at Target, probably on clearance, as a container to corral our magazines. It’s intended use is as a wastebasket but, as this post entails, we don’t necessarily need to use it for what the sticker on the shelf says it is! I liked the depth of this basket, knowing it would allow for magazines to be mostly concealed within the wicker and not be exposed or look too messy. It holds quite a lot of magazines inside and looks nice with our home décor as well. I don’t remember what I paid for this basket, but I’ve seen quite a few magazine holders out there and some of them can get pricey. All this time later, I’m still pleasantly surprised at how well this item serves us.


Home Depot bucket as a dog food container


Designated dog food containers are often made of fairly thin plastic that’s clear and expensive. If you walk down the aisles of Petsmart to see dog food containers or even cat food containers, you’ll find various sizes of containers that can run you $20 or upwards. Enter a standard Home Depot paint bucket to the rescue. This bucket is made of thick plastic with a lid that secures nicely, holds a ton of dog food, and the bright color stands out even in a dimly lit garage (when we don’t want to turn on all of the bright overhead lights). Because of its generous size, it allows our 4 year old to have a wide berth of using a scoop to scoop food into the dog bowl. The tight-fitting lid ensures we don’t have any critters coming after the food, and the best part is the price, around $4 for this bucket with a lid.



Glass jar and planter as k-cup holder


This isn’t some genius invention but, it did save me some $$ on a contraption to hold my coffee pods. I try to buy k-cups in bulk when a flavor I like is on special at Costco, and so I needed a place to store some of the surplus while keeping it handy. This glass jar was something I used to store rice in until I upgraded my pantry containers for dry foods, but it’s perfectly functional so I didn’t want to scrap it. I now use the jar to keep some of my k-cup surplus contained and keep it pretty looking, too. For easy accessibility on early mornings, I also have this little planter that I picked up at the dollar store, that holds about 10 or so k-cups to quickly pop into the coffee maker. These two items help me keep my coffee counter attractive and functional.


Cookbook stand for iPad 


This cookbook stand is invaluable for helping me keep a cookbook recipe front and center for cooking. But, as so many of the recipes that I make now are from the internet, having this cookbook stand for my IPad helps too.


Filebox for artwork storage

In pre-kindergarten now, my son has brought home oodles of artwork these past few years from his Montessori preschool. Not wanting to part with some of them or have them pile up around the house, I purchased a simple plastic filing box at an office supply store. When he brings home artwork, I file in the keepsake worthy pieces to the back and then at the end of each ‘school’ year, when he brings home the rest of his supplies and portfolio, we go through the artwork items and weed out the ones that we don’t need to save. Things like coloring pages typically get recycled. Holiday-themed decorations, elaborate construction paper projects, and learning booklets are what we tend to keep.


Tissue box for plastic bags 

I got tired of dealing with the leftover plastic bags from shopping trips. I tend to save some for things like emptying bathroom garbages, or containing wet clothing after swimming lessons. Bags with tears or the surplus beyond what I want to keep get collected and returned to the grocery store. My stash of bags have moved homes a few times in my adult life…first I kept them in a poofy cloth bag dispenser with cats on it, then moved them to the pantry, then under the sink, and, in our current home, back to the pantry. The poofy cat thing was no longer my style, and I got tired of it always falling on the floor from the shelving. One day upon using the last tissue in a box, I decided to re-purpose that box to hold all of the loose bags. Crumpled up small and stuffed inside, one can easily be pulled out at a time, the box isn’t floppy like the pouchy cat thing, and the tissue box takes up way less space, also.

  • Sara C

    I’m such a hoarder of junk and now you’ve given me justification and a purpose for my junk! Thank you but my fiancé shall not be pleased 🙂

  • These are some really great ideas. Thanks for sharing! I love finding ideas to reuse stuff because I hate to get rid of things that are still use-able.