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What Can You Repurpose?

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Have you ever thought about what you can repurpose? The sky really is the limit as far as that is concerned once you start looking at the things you already own through that lens.

In day 18 of the Living Well & Spending Zero Challenge, Ruth challenges us to find new and different ways that we can use the things we already have. This, is repurposing.


In an effort to live frugally, repurposing things has become a lifestyle for me. To me, repurposing would mean using something in a way other than what you originally intended. This could apply to deciding to turn a bedroom into something different, like a craft room, using a piece of furniture in a different place than its original home, or transforming something to create something new, even if only slightly new.

I would bet you already repurpose things according to my loose definition and never really even realized that you did. Did your children outgrow their diaper bag and you now use it for something else? Do you use a basket, bin, or container for something other than what you originally bought it for? Have you taken apart a bouquet of flowers and reused a decorative element in a different way? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you are already repurposing!

I also love buying something generic, like a small mirror or picture frame, and decorating it to jazz it up and make it really something special. You can create the most amazing and unique pieces by adding some design elements that fit your particular style.

You can do amazing things with scrapbook paper or even fabric by putting these things in a frame. Have you seen how I created a gallery wall? Aside from my large clock, the blue and white scrapbook paper that I framed is always the thing that people ask me about. It really comes as a surprise that it is only scrapbook paper that I put in a simple frame.

Do you sew? Even the little bit that I sew means that I have scraps of fabric leftover at times. Rather than let these go to waste, I will make baby wipes or little cloths from them. Scrap fabric is also used to create the corn packs that keep us warm at night in the winter.

Furniture is something that is easy to repurpose. I have a small decorative plant stand that used to hold a large floral arrangement in my front window in my pre-kid days that is now a small and simple piece that holds a lamp and a small plant in the corner of my bedroom. When we had a changing table back in the day, it was simply a changing pad that was snapped down to the top of a dresser that is now just a plain ol’ dresser that we still use for kids’ clothes. Side tables can often be pushed together to crate a coffee table for a new look, and a magazine rack can become a great place to store little kids’ books.

The assignment that Ruth leaves us with is to find things to repurpose. My challenge to you is to take a day or two to examine whether you can repurpose an item the next time you are looking to get rid of it. So often we just discard something that we deem no longer necessary, but I can say that some of my repurposed items are among the favorite things in my home.

It can actually be really fun to get creative with the things we own, and it gets easier the more we exercise this “repurposing muscle.”

What can you repurpose today?!

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