18 Household Items You Can Repurpose Instead of Throwing Away

Whether it’s to save yourself some money or save the environment from unnecessary pollution, repurposing household items comes with many benefits. If you’re looking for something that can still be used at home, start off with the 18 on our list.

Paper Bags

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Prevent weed from growing in your garden by laying paper bags on the ground before spreading mulch, and keep your kids’ textbooks fresh by using them as coverings. Take paper bags as fire starters while camping, or you can use them to ripen tomatoes faster by placing the tomatoes in them with an apple, as The Spruce shares.


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Old, unwanted clothes don’t always have to end up as rags or discarded completely. For those handy with needles and threads, get nifty by converting them into tote bags, pillow cases, pillow stuffing, head bands, or elastic ties. You can even use them as material for cup sleeves and picnic blankets.

Vegetable Bags

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Don’t throw away the mesh bags as soon as you come back from vegetable shopping. Instead, use them as textured sponges to scrub pots, unique gift bags, or as bags to carry toys. As the New York Times also shares, they can be used to keep dirty clothes, protect delicates in the washing machine, and organize luggage while traveling.

CD Cases

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Unlike disks that don’t have a lot of good uses when broken, their cases can be used as containers to store stamps, pencils, paper, and rolled-up cables. You can even fit your gift cards, pictures, and important relics in them since they’re originally designed to store fragile items anyway.

Plastic Bags

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Use the plastic bags you carried in from the grocery store to line waste bins, line pet litter boxes, as trash bags in your car, or to wrap your shoes in suitcases. Plastic bags pollute the environment with non-biodegradable microplastics, so repurposing them goes deeper than just saving money or waste. CNN, reporting on a UN study, shares that plastic bags can be reused between five and 20 times, depending on thickness.

Plastic Containers

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With plastic containers, you have somewhere to store plastic bags, keep stationary, or grow plants. They’re also great for keeping or measuring food items like soup, milk, yogurt, and even snacks. Repurpose the larger plastic containers as makeshift waste bins too.

Plastic Utensils

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Plastic utensils may seem useless after being brought in from the restaurant, but did you know they’re great gardening tools? Use forks as stakes to support weak plants, and spoons as mini shovels. You can also use forks to mix paint, spoons to measure laundry detergent scoops, and knives to scrape gunk off surfaces in your home.

Egg Cartons

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Once there aren’t any eggs in the crates anymore, you don’t need to throw them away. Instead, use them to organize tiny items like pins, nails, and jewelry, as fire starters for camping, or as bed feeders. If you have a garden, you can also use them as starter containers to grow tiny seedlings.


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Gardening enthusiasts have the most to gain from eggshells. They’re safe, biodegradable materials you can use as soil fertilizers or as calcium-rich supplements in bird food. They can serve as pest deterrents against snails and slugs, and they can even be used as supplements in your everyday coffee.

Mason Jars

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As Southern Living shares, use your mason jars as vases to store flowers, as candle holders, as decorative terrariums, or to organize bathrooms. Mason jars can also be repurposed as smoothie jars, to store sewing kits and items, or as airtight containers to store food.

Coffee Grounds

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Just like eggshells, coffee grounds are anything but waste products. They can be used to fertilize your garden soil with nitrogen, calcium, iron, and other nutrients. They help repel pests from plants and even remove fleas from pets. Coffee grounds can be used as deodorants, surface-cleaning scrubs, and exfoliating particles for your skin.

Tissue Boxes

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Only dirty tissues deserve to be thrown away. For the boxes, repurpose them as storage for pencils and pens, or use the stronger boxes to hold rolled-up towels. You can even use them as waste boxes for used tissues or as containers to hold spices in the kitchen.


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Newspapers are great to use as gift wraps, kindles for campfires, or as liners for waste bins and pet litter boxes. Use them to stuff shoes so they’ll maintain their shape or as wipes for delicate surfaces like mirrors and windows. Like paper bags, newspapers can also be used to curb weed growth in gardens and hasten the ripening of tomatoes.

Dish Soap Bottles

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After using up your dish soap, use its bottle as either a vase to keep indoor plants or as storage for other types of liquid. For instance, you can use it as a dispenser for DIY detergent soap to clean other surfaces in your home. It’s important you wash the bottle before any of this to keep it safe for plants and rid of bacteria.

Wine Bottles

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Convert empty wine bottles into decorative table pieces, self-operating bed feeders, or even unique light fixtures. Some people have used them to create nifty trees, store growing plants, hold candle sticks, and even line garden edges, flower beds, and pathways.

Wine Corks

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Perhaps the last thing you thought you’d have a use for are those annoying corks that keep you from your sweet alcohol. Well, you can grind them into a mulch texture and use them as allergen-free fillings for pillow cases. Use them to close up other bottles, or throw them into holes in your wall to add more insulation to your home.

Shoe Boxes

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Apart from still using them to store your footwear, shoe boxes are great as containers to store cords, as full-fledged sewing boxes, or as safe storage for bills and receipts. You can also use them to deliver items or gifts or to store memorabilia.

Shower curtains

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If you intend to change your shower curtains and don’t know what to do with the old ones, you can use them to protect outdoor pillows, patio tables, and car windshields from rain or harsh weather. They’re also awesome as picnic blankets, material for aprons for dirty chores, and even a spread for slip-and-slide playtime.

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