10 Repurposing or Reuse Ideas for Ordinary Household Items

10 repurpose or reuse ideas for ordinary household items

If you are like me, you can’t seem to throw anything away.  You ponder and look online how to repurpose items that would ordinary go in the trash.  So, I asked some of my green sisters what ordinary household items do they re-use or repurpose.  Boy, did they deliver.  Here are their ideas.  Be sure to add your’s in the comments below.  (Post links are welcomed!)

P. S.  I bet you won’t look at trash in the same way…

10 Repurpose or Reuse Ideas for Ordinary Household Items

1.  Reuse Your Cereal Bags.  If you don’t buy your cereal in bulk, re-use your cereal bags in lieu of using wax paper.  See how Kristina of the Greening of Westford re-uses her bags.

In fact, you could buy your cereal in bulk and put them in your own cereal bags to keep fresh, using a Eurosealer.  (Note, repeated uses of the tool will slice the bag so you will have to seal a new place.)

2.  Keep your rubber bands.  I have a little old cream cheese cup in my cabinet where I store my rubbers bands. I use them in a multitude of ways:

  • drying  herbs –simply put a rubber band around the herb stems, use a paper clip and hang them upside down on a cabinet door knob.
  •  Fermenting foods–use the rubber band to secure the cheese clothe or coffee filter around your fermenting crock.
  • Jump rope–Use them to make a jump rope ( thanks to a suggestion on Kristina’s site.)

3.  Re-use your K-cups as planters.  Heather of Hippy Homesteader provides a short how to tutorial here on to use the K-cups as planters.  Yogurt cups work well too.

wine cork coat hook craft

4.  Don’t pitch those wine corks:  Use wine corks to make a coat rack!  See Lisa of Condo Blue’s tutorial here.

5.  Repurpose old ribbon or yarn:   Do you have a stash of old ribbon hanging around? Make a pom pom using old yarn or ribbons. See Becky of Glue and Glitter’s tutorial here.

6.  Repurposing old diaper boxes.  Instead of pitching those diaper boxes, consider making them into a storage box for your pantry or linen closet.  See Sarah of Mindfully Frugal Mom’s tutorial here.  Don’t forget to use scraps of fabric or old pillow cases that are laying around.

DIY Sweater pillow

6.   Got old sweaters?  Consider making them into pillows!  See Emily of Liverenewed’s tutorial here.

7.  Re-purpose old tights:  Use old tights to make a no-sew draft snake to reduce air infiltration coming in from your windows and doors.  See Tiffany of Nature Moms’ no sew tutorial.  Use old long socks too.

8.  Don’t pitch those tissue boxes:  Have you ever considered using your tissue boxes to make toys?  Betsy of Econovice turned her tissue box into a train station!  See the tutorial here.

Nylon Hose Stop critters from eating your garden

Nylon Hose Stop critters from eating your garden

9.  Giving panty hose a new life.  I love old panty hose since they are life savers in the garden!  Small critters love my squashes.  I put the squash in the  legs of the panty hose and secure it with a tie or a knot.  Those hose have saved me more squashes then you can count on two hands.  (Be sure to read all my panty hose repurpose suggestions here.)

Sock dryer balls

10.  Those darn missing socks.  I have a huge pile in my laundry room of socks missing pairs.  Does my washing machine eat them?  Karen of ecokaren has an ingenuous idea what to do with those socks.  Make drier balls!  Read her tutorial here.

Join the Conversation:

What ordinary household items do you repurpose or reuse?

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  1. 7

    Anne says

    The dryer balls are great and if you sew 1/2″ velcro snugly to both sides of one end you can refill and use over and over. :-)

  2. 8

    Anne says

    Adding velcro snugly to both side of one end on your sock balls makes then refillable and they last for ages!
    Old sweaters also make great reusable bags and gift bags use a zigzag stitch on edges, add button holes for a ribbon drawstring, cut out flowers & designs to tack here and there, possibilities are en dless. and arms from sweaters make great bottle warmer/gift bags. Have fun =)

  3. 10


    Here in Portland, OR, frozen food plastic bags and wax paper bags that enclose boxed cereal are not recyclable and go in the trash.
    I reuse them by using them for something that also is not compostable and has to go to the landfill: dog solid waste.
    Hope that doesn’t gross you out, but it’s the best way I can think of to reuse what has to go to the landfill anyway, without buying bags for the same purpose.
    Our Metro city recycling department discourages using compostable bags in the landfill trash. Not only are they expensive, but they don’t break down well in the landfill, and a lot of fuel is used to make them.

    • 11


      Francine, compostable bags also create methane which contributes to Climate Change. You didn’t gross me out. I like that you came up with a way to re-use them. Anna

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