Repurpose or Toss – How to Clean Out Your Home

Are you one of those people who never throw away anything and keep piles of old magazines, shampoo plastic containers, beer and wine bottles, broken dishes or old furniture? Spring is the perfect time not only for deep spring cleaning, but also for refreshing your home décor – and for getting rid of all the stuff you haven’t used in years. However, what is the better strategy for cleaning your home – to toss, or to probably repurpose some items?

Environmentalists will tell you that everything can be recycled or repurposed and this is probably true, at least in most cases. But sometimes the best thing to do is just throw away and forget about it.

So toss or reuse?

It depends on how environmentally-conscious you are and how much energy you are willing to invest into repurposing. Sometimes all you need to do is to be a little creative and sometimes you’ll need a wide set of skills to transform a piece of garbage into a true piece of art. Whether you love crafts or not, however, there are relatively easy ways to upcycle seemingly useless materials and create new, practical and fun items to use at home.

Be imaginative and try to repurpose as many items as you can. And don’t hesitate to toss everything else.

Suggestion by professionals Highbury quality cleaning – before you start cleaning your home, declutter as much as possible and sort out everything. Check the attic and the basement and take a look at every closet, cupboard and writing desk for anything that doesn’t belong – old clothes, notebooks, scrap paper, pieces of cloth, plastic bottles, cosmetic and cleaner products containers, old pillows, broken toys, photo frames, and so on. Do you feel some emotional attachment to them? A lot of people keep their stuffed animals and favourite toys from childhood to help them remember the old days full of fun and joy. If you do have such an item, wash and polish it, so you can showcase it on a bookshelf next to your favourite titles. Consider donating it – there are many children’s hospitals, children care centres and libraries that will love to have your old toys, games and books. Old clothes can be donated, too, provided they are not falling apart, of course.

Once your home is sparkling clean, consider how to repurpose all the stuff that’s left to refresh the décor.

Take all the stuff out in the backyard, divide it into piles and take a look at the garbage pile. Are you sure there isn’t anything that can be reused or repurposed? Plastic bags can be used for shopping groceries; food wraps and packaging can be cut into pieces, washed and used for wrapping sandwiches; old electronics that still work can be repurposed as alarm clocks, while you can take the rest at electronics companies – they usually buy them back.

The foam from old pillows is perfect for packing material when moving fragile items when cut into small pieces; old bed and table linens can be cut into cleaning rags; washed pill bottles and small jars can store buttons, pins, nails and tacks.

Old rugs can turn into garden paths; glass jars can be used for canning food, while in glass bottles you can preserve home-made vegetable and fruit juices – just look for interesting recipes in your cookbook.

The next step is giving your home a nice clean-up – start from top to bottom, washing curtains, carpets and upholstery, cleaning windows, vacuuming and mopping floors. Clean the closets and the bookshelves, and don’t forget that dust covers all surfaces, including tables, chairs, desks, fireplaces and décor items.

Once your home is sparkling clean, consider how to repurpose all the stuff that’s left to refresh the décor. Paint and decorate with beads and glitter old drinking glasses and you’ll have brand new vases.

You can create cute hanging flower pots with a little rope, nails and scissors, as well as painted tin cans, small jars or bottle halves. There are literally thousands of craft projects you can try, depending how good you are in sewing, knitting, embroidery, paper and wood craft, and so on. Be imaginative and try to repurpose as many items as you can. And don’t hesitate to toss everything else.

Joanna Wilkins

Joanna is a journalist and manager of a professional cleaning business. She has two small children, loves to play with them and write in her spare time.

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