Don’t Throw Out These 18 Household Items – Repurpose Them Instead

Written By Jill Taylor

There’s a lot of hidden potential in everyday items you might throw away without a second thought. Instead, you could give common items a new life to reduce waste. Here are 18 household objects that you can creatively reuse or repurpose.

Glass Jars

Photo Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock

Glass jars are useful and often quite pretty, so it would be a waste to throw them out! You could simply use empty jars to store your herbs and spices or try creating DIY candle holders. The Spruce suggests using old glass jars as vases for flowers or even as succulent planters.

Old Towels

Photo Credit: N K/Shutterstock

Old towels could be repurposed by sewing them into a cat or dog bed. Just make sure you clean them and remove any stains first! However, if you can’t get the stains out, you could cut them into cleaning rags for your car or use them as packing materials when moving.

Egg Cartons

Photo Credit: jarabee123/Shutterstock

The unique shape of egg cartons makes them ideal to repurpose into organizers for small items like jewelry or sewing supplies. You could also work on your green thumb and reuse your egg cartons to grow seedlings for your garden.

Plastic Bottles

Photo Credit: ALEXANDER KOLIKOV/Shutterstock

Get crafty with empty plastic bottles and make bird feeders or watering cans for plants. Also, if you’re trying to get fit (aren’t we all), but don’t want to spend lots of money on equipment, you could fill your empty bottles with sand to make DIY dumbbells.

Used Tea Bags

Photo Credit: larisa Stefanjuk/Shutterstock

Tea bags are good for a lot more than just making a nice drink! They are ideal to get rid of unwanted household odors in your refrigerator or trash can. You can also enrich the soil in your garden by burying your used tea bags.

Wine Corks

Photo Credit: Marko Poplasen/Shutterstock

Although wine corks are recyclable, Forbes says that “only 2-3% of all cork stoppers are recycled.” However, instead of recycling corks (or forgetting to), you could repurpose them. One idea is to make a bulletin board by gluing the corks to a frame.

Old Magazines

Photo Credit: benjamas11/Shutterstock

Magazines are a great arts and crafts resource to have. You could use them for vision boards, collages, or creating a new look on furniture or decorations. Getting creative with magazines could be done by yourself for some mindfulness or as a fun activity with your children!

Old Bed Sheets

Photo Credit: TShaKopy/Shutterstock

There are so many things you could do to repurpose old bed sheets, especially if you’re good at DIY. You could sew them into reusable shopping bags or use them as drop cloths for painting or crafting. When fall comes around, bed sheets are also great for making Halloween costumes.

Coffee Grounds

Photo Credit: Monthira/Shutterstock

Coffee grounds can be used in similar ways to tea bags. For example, coffee grounds can be used to get rid of bad smells in fridges and freezers and in gardening to fertilize plants. According to Verywell Health, “grounds can be incorporated into handmade scrubs to help exfoliate, smooth, and soften the skin.”

Light Bulbs

Photo Credit: BlurryMe/Shutterstock

If you enjoy arts and crafts, old light bulbs can be a great base for your artistic creations! They can be repurposed as molds for small candles or resin art, or with a bit of painting, they could easily be turned into hanging decorations for the festive season.

Cardboard Boxes

Photo Credit: Oksana Kuzmina/Shutterstock

You can repurpose cardboard boxes into a variety of different things with a bit of imagination and creativity. You could do anything from making storage organizers to building forts or playhouses for your children. Cats absolutely love cardboard boxes too!

Broken Pottery

Photo Credit: Yuchang/Shutterstock

A great practical way to reuse broken pottery is to use the shards as drainage layers in plant pots. You could also get creative with your broken pottery and create a mosaic. More ways to keep the kids occupied, yay!


Photo Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

When you replace your toothbrush, your old one can make a great cleaning tool! It’s ideal for cleaning grout and tight spaces around the home. It could also be used for intricate cleaning of jewelry or small parts of machines.


Photo Credit: Katerina Maksymenko/Shutterstock

Instead of throwing out your old t-shirts, you could convert them into yarn for knitting. Also, if you’ve got a sentimental bond with your old favorite t-shirts, you could sew them together to create a memory blanket, like Bella’s mom in Twilight.

Aluminum Foil

Photo Credit: HannaTor/Shutterstock

The household essential, aluminum foil, actually has some interesting secondary uses. If you don’t have a knife sharpener, you can sharpen knives and scissors with aluminum foil. The Guardian also points out that you can “polish silver in a few minutes” with foil and a few other ingredients.

CD Cases

Photo Credit: sattahipbeach/Shutterstock

Nobody uses CDs anymore, right? So why not use your old CD cases to make something new? You could make them into photo frames or use them to display art. These see-through cases can also be turned into mini greenhouses to grow seeds.

Old Shoes

Photo Credit: alfredhofer/Shutterstock

Remember those battered, old shoes you threw out a while ago? They could’ve come in handy! Succulent gardens can be planted in old shoes, and you can also donate them to art schools for sculpture projects. Just make sure you Febreze them first!

Cereal Boxes

Photo Credit: KOTOIMAGES/Shutterstock

Much like other cardboard boxes, empty cereal boxes can be used as organizers for your desk or dresser. It’s much cheaper than buying plastic storage organizers! Cereal boxes could also be reused more creatively as canvases for painting or drawing projects.

Up Next: 17 Places in the U.S. Where Even Truck Drivers Won’t Stop

Photo Credit: Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock

Truck drivers tend to be hardy souls—well-seasoned travelers who aren’t often afraid to rest up or refuel in risky locations. However, there are certain U.S. locations that even the most road-weary trucker refuses to stop at for fear of criminal activity or natural dangers. Here are 17 such locations that even experienced truck drivers approach with trepidation (or not at all).


17 Things Guests Actually Notice Right Away About Your House

Photo Credit: BearFotos/Shutterstock

Inviting people into your home is a big deal. You may be very house-proud or house-conscious, and if you are either, you’ll likely get anxious about hosting. If this sounds like you, stop worrying and focus on the following 17 things that guests actually notice right away about your house.


The 17 Unhappiest States in America

Image Credit: Ems Images/Shutterstock

The US has hit an all-time low position in the World Happiness Index, tumbling to 23rd in 2024. However, it’s important to remember that location is an important factor; many US states are very happy, unlike the following 17 US states that appear to be the most unhappy.