Clever Ways to Repurpose Old Stuff Around the House

Reduce, reuse, recycle: It’s the name of the game in today’s minimalist society. Gone are the days of excessive spending and huge carbon footprints — at least for those who believe in global warming, that is. Now, it’s all about stretching your dollar and generating as little waste as possible. If you subscribe to this school of thought, then you’re in luck because there are tons of tricks to guarantee just that.

Are you ready to make the move into a more environmentally friendly way of life? Wonderful. We’re bringing you 15 organizational hacks that will seriously inspire your inner neat freak, without costing an arm and a leg.

1. Turn broken chair backs into hangers

Yellow Wooden Chair

Broken chairs become stylish hangers. | Trismile/iStock/Getty Images

Kitchen chairs, in particular, can be pretty funky, so it can be a real bummer when they break. But it doesn’t have to be. Rather than pitching your chairs that no longer work for seating, give them a new life in your closet. All you need to do is fix a metal hook into the chair back, and voila. Adorable hangers galore.

Next: Trouble staying organized? This will help.

2. Put an old shutter in the entryway to keep things organized

White window shutter

They’re surprisingly versatile. | Phat-T/iStock/Getty Images

Often, a table in the entryway is nothing more than just another surface to collect junk. You walk in and toss mail, keys, and report cards onto it, and there they stay — until now.

Take this tip from HGTV.com, for instance. Try hanging a window shutter next to the door, and adding S hooks and clothespins to it. It will encourage everyone in the family to sort through their stuff (read: junk).

Next: This ladder-turned-drying rack will change your laundry room situation. 

3. Hang a ladder as a drying rack

Wooden ladder against wall

You can also use it as a towel rack. | Seanicer/iStock/Getty Images

Vintage ladders can solve some problems. For one, you can transform one into a drying rack if you know how to do it. By hanging a ladder in the laundry room perpendicular to the ceiling, you’ll add some serious space for all your drying needs. No more rationing hangers or room on the drying rack now that you know this trick.

Next: Displaying your kids’ artwork has never been easier. 

4. Use a yardstick to display your kids’ artwork

Yardstick

Easily turn it into a display board. | Zedcor Wholly Owned/ PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

If you have kiddos at home, this one’s definitely for you. The beauty in transforming a yardstick into a display center is how simple it is. First, grab a yardstick and some clothespins. Attach the pins using a hot glue gun, spacing them out evenly. From there, you’ll hang the stick horizontally, and boom — the kids can access the pins and hang their most impressive works of art with ease.

Next: This trick is seriously smart. 

5. Use shower curtain hooks to hang purses and bags

Shower curtain hooks

Shower curtain hooks are perfect to add extra storage. | Amazon

Even if you don’t have shower curtain hooks that you’re ready to retire, a pack of them is easy — and cheap — enough to get. And the best part? They can hang much more than a shower curtain alone. Just toss them on a rod, either one that’s freestanding or one in your closet, and have at it. Hang your purses, ties, or anything else that’s better off hung up than sitting on the floor.

Next: Old wine crates? Think twice before you toss them.

6. Display jewelry in old wine crates

Wine crate

Freshen up the paint, add some hooks, and you’re good to go. | zmurciuk_k/iStock/Getty Images

Once your wine arrives, tossing the crates seems like the obvious next move. But not so fast. If you’re feeling artsy, put that crafting creativity to the test by transforming a wine crate into a jewelry display box. You’ll just have to attach some hooks and knobs and add some string and a fresh coat of paint.

Next: If you have one of these sitting around, here’s how you can put it to use. 

7. Use a dish drainer to keep files organized

Empty dish rack

Get as fancy or as cheap as you want with the dish rack. | Yildizbasoglu/iStock/Getty Images

If you really struggle to keep a messy desk organized, and you don’t see the point in spending money on organizational products, you need to listen up. This one is super easy.

Look no further than a dish draining rack you’ve had lying around. As long as it’s the kind with wires along the bottom to separate plates and bowls, you can transform it into a no-frills filing system. How about that!

Next: Once you see this one, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to do it. 

8. Transform an old screen door into a pot rack

Blue screen door and yellow house

This is something you would totally see on Fixer Upper. | DonFord1/iStock/Getty Images

Seriously, we all need this in our lives. It’s such a simple solution, not to mention the fact that it’s bound to save you some serious space. By hanging a screen door from the ceiling, you’ll have far more room to store your pots and pans, without sacrificing cabinet space.

Next: This trick has Pinterest written all over it. 

9. Use a shipping pallet as a wine rack

Wooden Pallet

This one might take a little more effort, but it’s worth it. | Chantanee/iStock/Getty Images

We’re back to the wino hacks. This one will require a bit more elbow grease, but it’s totally worth it. In addition to the wooden pallet, you’ll need a few tools to make it all happen. Once you’ve installed it properly, you’ll love the finished product for its form and function alike. For the full how-to instructions, check out HGTV.com.

Next: Hanging long necklaces is easy with this simple trick. 

10. Turn an old rake head into a jewelry hanger

Garden Rake

Surprisingly chic | Herreid/iStock/Getty Images

If you have a rustic rake lying around, think twice before tossing it in the trash because you might be surprised by its multifaceted functionality. All you need to do is securely fasten it to the wall, and, voila, you’ve got yourself the perfect solution for keeping necklaces from getting tangled. Or, if sprucing up the storage options in the kitchen is more your speed, you can do the same to hang cooking utensils, too.

Next: Keeping flowers looking full is easy with this no-fuss hack.

11. Use hair ties to keep flower arrangements tidy

three Hair ties

Use hair ties to keep your bouquets looking perfect. | Aist1974/iStock/Getty Images

Love keeping fresh flowers in your home? Who doesn’t? But the reality is, they can look unkempt if you don’t know how to care for them properly.

Thankfully, there’s a hack for that. And it’s as easy as taking a hair tie to the stems in order to keep the bunch looking full and tidy.

Next: This is one of our favorite tips. 

12. Use a pool noodle to keep boots upright

Pool noodles in water

Make sure your boots don’t lose their shape. | Georgiy Pashin/iStock/Getty Images

‘Tis the season of tall boots. Unfortunately, that also means dealing with the challenge of keeping their shape. Luckily, there’s a super easy hack for the problem that every gal knows all too well. Get your hands on a pool noodle, and cut it to fit the length of your boots. Stick ’em in, and never worry about your boots losing shape again — at least not for while.

Next: This one’s easy enough; you just have to remember to do it. 

13. Turn an old basket into a recycling bin

Wicker bamboo basket on wooden table

Make recycling a little more stylish. | Skarie20/iStock/Getty Images

This one’s a no-brainer, but, still, we could all use a little reminder when it comes to how easy recycling really is. Aside from the task itself, you can turn a large basket you no longer use into a recycling bin. Swapping out your dirty old bin for a basket will add a touch of elegance to the trash area, as well.

Next: Add a little ambiance with this trick. 

14. Turn old silverware into a wind chime

Silverware

It will add interest to your backyard. | Hanohiki/iStock/Getty Images

No need to toss dingy old silverware now that you’ll have this trick up your sleeve. Forget trying to polish old forks and spoons to look like new. Instead, turn them into a wind chime everyone can enjoy. It’s super simple and will effectively add to your outdoor decor.

Next: How crafty are you feeling?

15. Use old doorknobs to make wine corks

Ceramic cabinet knobs

For saving wine for next time | Ginew/iStock/Getty Images

You fancy, huh? Well then this one is definitely for you. Rather than tossing your wine corks once you finish off the bottle, consider turning them into something you can actually use. Pairing a decorative door knob or kitchen cabinet knob with a used wine cork will ensure you never have to resort to boring corks again.

Read more: Surprising Tips to Make Your Small Home Feel Bigger

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