Thursday, March 6, 2014

De-cluttering - What about the old philosophies? - #4 - Reuse or Repurpose?

Old Philosophy #4: "If you can remake it, or you might be able to use it in another way some day, you should keep it for when you have time to do that."

Like the other philosophies that were passed down from the depression, this is another one that can be good or bad.

This isn't about simple repairs, which I talked about in another blog post. This is the "reuse" in "reduce, reuse, recycle", but people were doing it long before that expression became popular. When I was a child, I had an aunt who was struggling financially. One year, to make Christmas gifts for my sister and me, she cleaned out old bleach bottles. She added little pieces of felt to make them look like pigs, and she punched a hole in each bottle for us to put money in. It was the best piggy bank ever, I recognized the love that went into it, and it was one of my favorite gifts.

Whole books and blog posts demonstrate the many ways we can reuse various items in other ways. My Repurposed Life is a blog I sometimes visit, just for fun. I simply enjoy the author's projects, ideas, and the visual appeal. This woman loves to take a piece of old furniture and make something new and beautiful.

When we re-use things, sometimes we make something beautiful and other times we just need something useful. For example, over the years, I've often saved glass dispose of grease, to store beans or grains, or to save pocket change or buttons. But I've found the key to control - hey, let's not forgot these posts are about de-cluttering - is to pick a number. Maybe the number is five or maybe it's three. Depending on the type of item, and our needs or hobbies, it could be a larger number, but the idea is to have a definite number. By saving only that number, and putting the rest in the recycle bin or garbage, we can keep the clutter down, as we go along.

I've learned to try to only save things to reuse, which we know we will actually use, and to limit the number. What about you? Do you save things to re-use? What do you save and how do you re-use it?

RRead: De-cluttering - What about the old philosophies? - #3
             Or De-cluttering - What about the old philosophies? - #5.

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