Little Known Reusable Items Around The Home

Updated On
shallow photography of brushes on jar

We may collect a share of sales from items linked to on this page. Learn more.

The quest for environmental responsibility often begins at home. Along with participation in municipal recycling collection programs, you can recycle everyday items by giving them new life around the house. Reusing food containers, newspapers, and other items at home saves even more resources than putting them out to be recycled.

By recycling at home, you help to cut down on the gas and electrical energy used by recycling trucks and centers. When any of your recycled things wear out completely, you can eventually send them off to the recycling center. Some containers and other such items, however, can be reused for years.

In this article, we delve into the myriad of reusable items around the home that are often overlooked. These hidden gems not only contribute to a sustainable lifestyle but also add an element of creativity and personalization to your living space. From the kitchen to the garden, we will explore how items like glass jars, old t-shirts, and even broken ceramics can be transformed into useful and decorative pieces.

Discover how to repurpose everyday objects into practical tools, thus extending their lifecycle and reducing your household’s environmental footprint. We will guide you through innovative ways to give a second life to those items that are commonly discarded. Learn how to turn old bed sheets into reusable shopping bags, or how to use eggshells as natural fertilizers for your plants.

Moreover, this article will provide tips on maintaining and caring for these reusable items to ensure their longevity. Understanding the true potential of reusables not only aids in waste reduction but also fosters a deeper appreciation for the resources we consume. By the end of this read, ‘reusable items around the home’ will not just be a keyword, but a fundamental principle in your journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle.


Plastic margarine tubs, takeout food containers, baby wipe boxes, and other similar plastic containers with lids have long been a staple for frugal homemakers. However, it’s important to be cautious about reusing them for food storage. Over time, as plastic breaks down, especially when exposed to high heat in microwaves or dishwashers, chemicals can leach into food. To avoid these risks while still making the most of these items, consider alternative uses beyond the kitchen.

In the nursery, these containers can be invaluable for organizing. Small plastic tubs are perfect for storing baby essentials like washcloths, teething toys, or miniature bottles of shampoo and lotion. You can also use them to keep pacifiers clean and handy or to organize diapering supplies.

In the workshop or garage, these containers take on a new life. Their sturdy nature makes them ideal for housing a variety of small hardware items. Use them to sort and store nails, screws, nuts, bolts, and fasteners. Clear containers are especially useful here, as they allow you to see the contents at a glance. Label each container with stickers or a permanent marker for easy identification. Oblong containers, for example, are great for holding glue sticks, markers, or paintbrushes.

For craft enthusiasts, these plastic containers can be a game-changer in maintaining an organized space. They are perfect for sorting and storing beads, buttons, ribbons, and scrapbooking supplies. Larger containers can hold yarns, fabrics, or even completed projects.

In the realm of home improvement and painting, tall plastic cleaning-wipe dispensers can be repurposed effectively. They work well for soaking paintbrushes in water or cleaning solutions, particularly when working with latex or water-based paints. This not only makes clean-up easier but also helps in maintaining the quality of your brushes.

Furthermore, these containers can serve in gardening tasks. Use them to store seeds, create miniature greenhouses for starting seedlings, or even as small watering cans for delicate plants.

By reimagining the use of these plastic containers, you not only reduce waste but also add an element of efficiency and organization to various areas of your home. Remember, though, to periodically check these containers for signs of wear and tear, and recycle them properly once they’ve served their purpose.

Paper and Packing Material

Newspaper, often readily available and recyclable, can be a versatile tool for packing and storage. When preparing fragile items for storage or moving, wrapping them in layers of old newspaper can provide adequate protection, serving as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to bubble wrap or styrofoam. Additionally, for items with irregular shapes or extra fragile components, crumpled newspaper can fill empty spaces in boxes, providing cushioning and stability during transportation.

However, if you receive packages with bubble wrap, styrofoam peanuts, or foam sheets, don’t discard them. These materials can be reused to enhance the protective qualities of newspaper when packing. For instance, wrap delicate items like glassware or electronics first in newspaper, and then add a layer of bubble wrap for extra security. Styrofoam peanuts are excellent for filling gaps in boxes, preventing items from shifting.

Beyond packing, newspapers have several other practical uses in and around the home:

  1. Pet Care: Newspapers are invaluable for pet owners. They can line the bottom of cages for small pets like hamsters, gerbils, or birds, making clean-up easier. For new puppies or kittens, newspapers serve as an absorbent and disposable training pad.
  2. Gardening: In gardening, layers of newspaper can be used as a biodegradable weed barrier under mulch. They retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing, eventually decomposing and enriching the soil.
  3. Window Cleaning: For a streak-free shine, use newspaper instead of cloth to clean windows and mirrors. The ink acts as a mild abrasive, leaving surfaces sparkling clean.
  4. Craft and Art Projects: Newspaper can be a medium for papier-mâché projects, DIY décor, or as a drop cloth for messy art activities, protecting surfaces from paint or glue.
  5. Composting: Shredded newspaper is a great addition to compost piles, serving as a carbon-rich material that balances the nitrogen from kitchen scraps and yard waste.
  6. Storage of Seasonal Items: Use newspaper to wrap and protect seasonal items like Christmas ornaments or delicate Halloween decorations during off-season storage.
  7. Drawer Freshener and Deodorizer: Placing sheets of newspaper in drawers or cabinets can absorb moisture and odors, keeping the space fresh.

By recognizing the potential of these common household items for multiple uses, we not only contribute to reducing waste but also discover cost-effective, creative solutions for everyday problems.


Wooden fruit crates, often discarded or overlooked, are in fact a treasure trove of potential for creative and practical uses around the house. Their sturdy structure and rustic charm make them ideal for various repurposing projects.

  1. Storage Solutions: As mentioned, these crates are perfect for organizing media like video games, DVDs, and CDs. They can also be transformed into stylish bookshelves, either by stacking them or mounting them on walls. In the kitchen, they can serve as unique spice racks or holders for kitchen towels and utensils. For bathrooms, these crates can be converted into charming toiletry holders, adding a rustic touch while keeping essentials organized.
  2. Gardening Uses: Larger crates are excellent for holding gardening tools, as the spaces between the slats allow dirt and debris to fall through, keeping the area clean. These crates can also be used as planters for herbs or flowers, either placed on patios or hung on walls. When lined with landscape fabric, they can effectively hold soil and plants, creating a mini garden space.
  3. Craft Projects: Smaller crates can be reconfigured into a variety of decorative items. With some cutting, paint, and glue, they can be turned into picture frames, showcasing a rustic aesthetic. They can also be used to make shadow boxes, displaying mementos or collectibles in a unique way. Additionally, these crates can be transformed into decorative shelves, perfect for holding small plants, photographs, or trinkets.
  4. Furniture Making: For the more ambitious, wooden crates can be combined and modified to create furniture. Stacking and securing them together can create a coffee table, a nightstand, or even a TV stand. By adding cushions, they can be turned into a quirky seating solution.
  5. Children’s Play Area: Wooden crates can be repurposed into toy storage, keeping children’s play areas organized. They can also be transformed into dollhouses or used in building play structures, stimulating creativity and imagination in children.
  6. Home Decor: Painted or varnished, these crates can be turned into artful pieces of home décor. They can be used to create a rustic wall art installation or as bases for lamps and other lighting fixtures.
  7. Event Decor: For special occasions, wooden crates can be used as part of event décor. They can serve as bases for flower arrangements, holders for gift bags, or as part of a rustic-themed display.

By reusing and repurposing wooden fruit crates, not only are you contributing to reducing waste, but you’re also adding a touch of personalized, eco-friendly charm to your home. These versatile crates can be adapted to fit various needs and aesthetics, all it takes is a bit of creativity and some DIY spirit.

Final Thoughts

A glance around your house can indeed be the first step towards a journey of innovative recycling and upcycling. Each room holds potential treasures that, with a bit of creativity and environmental consciousness, can be given new life. This practice not only helps in saving money but also plays a crucial role in protecting the environment.

So, the next time you consider discarding an item, take a moment to ponder its hidden possibilities. You might just uncover a new hobby, save some money, and most importantly, contribute to a healthier planet. Your home is not just a living space; it’s a reservoir of resources waiting to be rediscovered and repurposed in your quest for a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle.

  • Greener Ideal Staff

    Greener Ideal helps you live your life in more sustainable ways with green living tips and commentary on the latest environment news. We want to protect the planet and reduce our collective carbon footprint.

What do you think? Leave a comment!