There are many uses for household objects that you would otherwise throw away. Before you throw away any empty containers, ask yourself how you can turn your trash into something useful. This is known as upcycling, and it is a popular method of improving old items for future use. You might be surprised at what you can create with a few household items and a little ingenuity.

Keep an Empty Detergent Bottle in Your Bathroom

Instead of throwing away your detergent bottles, turn them into spare trash cans. Put one of your bottles to use by keeping it next to your bathtub. Use it to dispose of old razors, sewing needles, and other sharp objects. This will minimize the risk of injuring yourself when you take out the trash. Label the bottle with a warning that it contains sharp items so that your guests won’t mistake it for a bottle of detergent.

Never Waste Desk Space

If you buy your tea in a tin, you can keep using the container long after the tea is gone! The tin cups many teas come in are perfect for keeping pens, pencils, and markers out of your way on the desk. According to  a Texas self storage facility’s blog, you can also use cracker and fruit snack boxes to hold cards and envelopes, or put toilet paper roll tubes inside larger cups to keep pens ultra-organized and sorted.

Save Glass Bottles for Paintbrushes

If you like to paint, then you have probably used everything from a plastic cup to fancy china to clean and hold your paintbrushes. Instead of dirtying clean dishes or wasting flimsy paper products, use your empty Snapple or glass soda bottles. Fill the bottle halfway with water before using, and you’ve got a quick and easy way of securing your dirty paintbrushes while you’re working. Any tall, glass bottle you have will also suffice. These are sturdier than small cups or plastic cups, so you’ll also reduce your risk of spills by using them.

Use a Lotion Bottle as a Coin Bank

You can use a lotion bottle to store your loose change. This only works for lotion bottles with a lid that snaps shut; bottles with only a pump dispenser won’t work. Cut a hole in the lid so that it corresponds with the opening of the bottle. If necessary, widen the hole around the opening of the bottle so that your coins will fit through. Make sure you rinse out the bottle before you use it so that your coins won’t get greasy.

Use a Mesh Bag for Car Storage

You can purchase storage bags for your car at most convenience stores, but you might as well be throwing your money away. A mesh laundry bag can achieve the same result as a store-bought bag. Cut the drawstring at the top of the bag in half, and then tie it to one seat. Next, cut a small hole through the material. Weave a lanyard or a piece of rope through the opening, and then tie it to the other seat. Suspend the bag between the passenger seat and the driver seat for a convenient place to hold your items while travelling. It’s not a good idea to use it as a cup-holder, but it will securely hold your purse, jacket, albums, and any other small items you have in your car.

plastic bottle flower art upcycle

Just because an item has outlived its original usefulness doesn’t mean it’s worthless. Keep that in mind the next time you go to throw something away. When it comes to upcycling, there is no limit to what you can create using whatever items you have on hand.