For almost everything
“There is a use for almost everything.” — George Washington Carver
“A great master can find a use for everything…he is good at salvage. He wastes nothing; therefore, he always has enough. He values everyone; therefore everyone values him.”
— Chris Prentiss
One year ago today I wrote about my problems with clutter, and having way too much stuff, as well as my determination to clean up and clear out. Since then I’ve had some success, though I still have a long way to go. A large part of the battle has been trying to figure out why I ended up with the stuff in the first place, and how to change the thought patterns that result in continual accumulation.
I think a lot of us have a fear of wasting resources, and an aversion to tossing out what is still useable. This is not a bad trait, especially with landfills overflowing and budgets stretched to the limit. While I keep reminding myself it’s actually just as wasteful to keep and store more than I can ever use, I admire those who are able to transform something unwanted into a new and needed object.
Repurposing is one of the most practical forms of creativity we can develop. And it’s more popular than ever, with online tips and ideas so numerous that it would be impossible to explore all of them. The next time you find yourself undecided about whether to throw something out, try doing a Google or Pinterest search with the words “repurpose” and a description of the object you are reluctant to trash. You might be amazed at some of the ingenious uses for everything from small utensils to large pieces of furniture.
If you can’t find an idea for upcycling whatever you vaguely dread wasting, you can throw it out in good conscience. Believe me, if anything could be done with it, someone would have discovered it, created it, and posted it online. Give yourself points for effort, and pitch it.
If you do find lots of ideas for it, here’s where you have to exercise wisdom and willpower. Will you actually make and use this new creation anytime soon? If so, go for it! If not, your time online still has not been wasted. You’re in the best position of all; you can donate the item knowing others can find a use for it, with the immediate reward of a cleaner, more spacious drawer, closet or room.
Have you found any clever ways to re-use something broken or unneeded? If so, we’d love to have you share them with us. Meanwhile, spend a few minutes online marveling at all the ways people can get clever with their clutter. Transforming trash to treasure is a great hobby to enjoy, whether as observer or creator, and you might pick up some inspiration for a project of your own.
One year ago today: