Don’t Throw That Away!: Uses for Stuff You Thought was Garbage

I hate throwing things away that I can use. Maybe that’s why I tend to be a bit of a pack-rat (I’m working on it!), but nothing irks me more than getting rid of stuff that you can use again, especially if you’re going to buy something else to do the task. Well, maybe couples who wear matching clothes irritate me more. And couples without kids who call each other Mommy and Daddy. And hipster kids. And Jehovah’s Witnesses. And-OK, so maybe there are things that annoy me more than wasteful behaviour, but it’s at least in the top 10! Or 20…. I’m a fairly cranky person at times. I look forward to the day when I can be a cranky old woman. I plan on yelling at everyone to get off my lawn. Especially if I live in an apartment building. I’ll yell at people to get off the sidewalk in front of my building. It will be great!

Anyway, back to the topic of this post. I found some neat uses for things you would normally throw out. And, after much buildup, here they are!

Used Dryer Sheets

  • Use to dust computer screens and tv’s.
  • Place in garbage cans and hampers to help keep them smelling fresh.
  • Rub over hair and clothes to remove static.
  • Rub over clothes to remove pet hair.
  • Place in a pot/pan that has a lot of burnt-on “gunge” (this is a technical term). Cover with hot water and let sit for at least 1 hour. The gunge should loosen and be easier to clean. If it’s really burnt, you’ll have to leave it overnight. If it doesn’t loosen then, throw out the pan and never cook again.
  • Use to clean an outdoor grill. Make sure you wash it afterwards as no-one wants their burgers to smell like a spring breeze. If your guests do want their burgers to smell like a spring breeze, you should really reconsider inviting them over again.
  • If you have soap scum on your shower doors, use the sheet to scrub it off. You can also polish the chrome in the bathroom with a sheet.

Plastic Bags

I know, I know, I’m supposed to use reusable bags at the grocery store. But sometimes I forget and I end up with a million of them hanging around the house. I usually use them to take my lunch to work, but there are some cool things you can do with them.

  • Trash can liners. I know this is obvious, but who in their right mind would buy them?
  • If you’re going outside and it’s snowing/raining and your shoes aren’t waterproof (or the waterproof shoes aren’t as cute as your sneakers), put a bag over each foot and tie around your ankle. Then put your shoes on (don’t do this while wearing a skirt or the neighbours will talk) and your feel will stay dry!
  • Tie around your knees while gardening so you don’t get mud on your pants.
  • Keep the plastic bags in an old tissue container. That way you won’t have them falling out of the cupboard everytime you open it (ahem).

Empty Pill Bottles

Peel off the label or write over it with black marker so people can’t see that you’re taking anti-psychotics or erectile dysfunction pills. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  • Use to organize buttons, beads, screws, nails, nuts and bolts.
  • Fill with quarters and keep in the car for parking or the laundromat.
  • Use to store push pins and thumb tacks so you don’t spear your finger looking for one in a drawer.
  • Put some needles, thread and buttons in a bottle for a purse-sized sewing kit.
  • Use washed bottles for single size servings of ketchup or mustard for lunches.

These are just a few things I re-use in my house. Do you have anything you re-use? I’m always looking for new stuff to hoard-er I mean save.

And just because I feel like it, here’s an awesome picture of Shirley Manson from Garbage.

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4 Responses to Don’t Throw That Away!: Uses for Stuff You Thought was Garbage

  1. Claudia says:

    All good advice – I am re-use, recycle and trade. I play with how low my weekly garbage pick-up can be.

  2. Plum Kitchen says:

    This made me laugh out loud Laura, so pleased I wont be the only grumpy old trout in my later years……….!

  3. Jillian says:

    Love your advice… and humour!

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