Friday, April 19, 2013

One of the R's: Reusing

I love reusing something I already have for a new purpose.  It feels really good to use something I have to solve a problem I have instead of buying and consuming something new.  

Last week, I bought a closet sweater hanger at a garage sale for a dollar.  I bought it not knowing quite what it was going to be used for.  Come Monday morning my goal was to get all of our bikes in the shed.  In order to do this, I had to find homes for some of the things in the shed.  First, I moved the tools we don't use regularly to the basement.  Then, I needed to find a home for the kids' bike helmets.  The closet organizer!  Yay!  They fit perfectly and each one has a spot--inside the house.  I really wanted to figure out how to make this work.  My goal was avoiding spending $300 on another shed for the backyard to house stuff in the shed.  I was so excited to come up with a solution that worked and now we don't need to buy another small storage shed.  

Today I needed to wash our dog's bed.  I washed the cover before, but noticed that it shrunk.  The foam pad didn't fit right inside of it anymore.  I was ready to throw it away.  Tonight I realized that I could trim the edge off the foam and it would zip again!  I tried it.  It worked!  Molly, our dog, is so happy to have her bed back!  And I'm glad not to have to throw it away.  I discovered that our HE front loader is gentle enough to wash the foam and not tear it up, too.  

My other project today was to fix the border on our flower beds that I put in last year.  I like basic bricks because they're cheap.  Honestly, that's why.  I put them in last year and it looked okay, but I was never happy with it.  That's kind of how I am.  I start a project and then keep changing what's there until it looks good.  Sometimes my projects start out looking very bad!

This is what it looks like now.

Eli thinks it's his new balance beam and likes the change a lot.  I like it too.  It looks better without me spending any money, which is great!  

Each spring my goal is to know in February what I want to tackle in our yard.  Unfortunately, it never seems to work out that way so far, but maybe some day it will.  I've noticed that Home Depot and Lowe's often run great garden specials in March and April, but not in May and June when folks are willing to pay full price.  

I think the hard part about reusing is knowing when to get rid of something and when to hold on to it in case you might want to use it for another purpose later!

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