This is the first post in a series of posts about various ways to repurpose items in your home. This post centers on repurposing ideas in the kitchen. We discuss finding new uses for everything from bread tags and mesh produce bags to ice cube trays and paper clips. Each of these ideas will help you see old things in a new way. And trust me, it is a lot of fun to see something you’re familiar with being used in a novel way.
29 repurposing ideas in the kitchen- Repurposing 101 series
- Never throw away stale bread. Use it to make croutons or French toast.
- Take old soap slivers and melt them in a coffee mug in the microwave. Let it cool, pop it out, and enjoy a brand new bar of soap.
- Keep the mesh produce bags that oranges come in to scrub pots and pans.
- Use old spices (which are expired, stale or otherwise inedible) to fragrance your homemade cleaners. There’s something great about a lavender or basil scent after cleaning your countertops.
- Use ice cube trays to freeze extra or leftover broths. Then pop out only as many cubes as you need in the future and leave the rest frozen.
- Use a multiple-rod towel holder in the pantry or kitchen to store paper towels, aluminum foil, and clear plastic wrap rolls.
- Use a paper clip as a cherry pitter- simply use one end of the clip, stick it through the top of the cherry and wedge it around to dislodge the pit.
- You don’t have to ever buy garbage disposal cleaners. When you’re done with a lemon, send a few slices of lemon (or lime or orange) down the garbage disposal to freshen the smell.
- There’s no need to buy glass canisters. Take an old spaghetti sauce jar, clean it, de-label it, and use it to store bulk foods, such as flour, grains, rice and sugar.
- Use an old glass jar as a drink shaker – add ice, lemon juice, cucumber slices and some mint to a jar full of water, shake and enjoy the refreshing drink. Use this jar to mix basic drinks at a party.
- Use an old glass jar to make your own herb-infused olive oil- simply add olive oil, garlic and an herb like rosemary and let it sit for several days. Then enjoy your infused oil.
- Use baby food jars to store spices in the kitchen. Use adhesive magnets on the bottom of the jars to create an easy-to-access spice rack.
- Use a baby food jar to store condiments (like ketchup or mustard) or salad dressing for a lunch on the go.
- Use empty, cleaned cans to store kitchen utensils. For a more uniform look, go with a group of vintage, or otherwise pretty, cans.
- Use an old plant pot, which has been thoroughly cleaned, on the kitchen countertop to corral your kitchen cooking utensils, like spatulas and tongs.
- If you have an old filing cabinet that you no longer use, re-make it into a practical kitchen island. Place a butcher block slab on top, and use the drawers to store all your kitchen gear like utensils, linens, napkins, and other small odd-shaped tools/equipment.
- Use laboratory test tubes to store spices – order test tubes online.
- Use glass soda bottles to store oil and vinegar. Simply pop an easy-pour dispenser into the top of the bottle. Use vintage, or otherwise attractive, soda bottles for a great look. Buy your oil and vinegar in large batches, which saves money, and refill these bottles.
- Don’t throw out that old ice bucket with lid. Use it as a countertop compost bin.
- Take that old dresser from your bedroom that you no longer use and repurpose it into a kitchen island. Remove all of the hardware, add some new drawer pulls, and a couple of hooks and towel racks. Paint the whole thing a clean new color and add a stone or laminate countertop. Hang kitchen towels and a roll of paper towels on the racks, and hang some kitchen utensils on the hooks.
- Use a muffin tin or a small cupcake tin to make batches of extra-large ice cubes for use in a pitcher. They will take longer to melt, and so your drink will stay colder longer.
- If you want to make brewed tea in large batches, wrap the tea bags around a chopstick propped across the top of a pitcher, and let the tea bags steep. When done, simply pick up the chopsticks carefully and all the tea bags automatically come out as well.
- Use a contact lens case as a mini holder for spices – now you can season foods on the go for a picnic lunch, lunch at work, or for food prep on vacation.
- Use a standard soda bottle to measure the right amount of pasta for one. The amount of dry pasta that fits inside the neck of the bottle should serve one person.
- Hang a ladder from your ceiling, add some S-shaped hooks from the rungs, and use it as a pot rack.
- Use a standard old-fashioned sugar dispenser bottle to store and dispense twine.
- Use a multi-pack CD case (one that holds like 30 CDs) and use it to transport a bagel for lunch at the office.
- Don’t throw away that old squeezable ketchup bottle – use it to squeeze out pancake batter directly into a pan for perfectly round pancakes every time.
- Use an office binder clip as a chip clip.
For more posts in the Repurposing 101 series, please click here.
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