All of our homes could use a good cleaning out every once in awhile—and there are certain things you should get rid of immediately, of course. But don't be too hasty with your game of "keep or toss," there are some items that might be worth hanging onto.
We've made a list of twelve everyday items you should consider carefully before tossing. Left as they are, they're easily considered trash or clutter—but with just a little imagination, each of these items can be upcycled and repurposed. Florist vases, baskets, even suitcases, these items will stop simply taking up space and become functional, beautiful additions to your home.
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All Those Lack-Luster Florist Vases
Have you had a recent birthday or anniversary? Did friends and loved ones send thoughtful bouquets, but once the flowers died you just hid the standard glass vase on a high shelf and forgot about it? Sounds familiar! Here's an idea: Spray paint several of those dime-a-dozen glass vases to mimic the look of milk glass, like these from Home Made Modern. Then use them to decorate bookshelves, coffee tables, and more. Suddenly they become artful objects perfect for filling dead spaces in your decor.
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Wicker, Rattan and Wire Baskets
Sometimes it's hard to remember where we got them, but somehow, baskets seem to find a way of accumulating around our homes—in the back of a closet, filled with magazines next to the bed... They're useful just until they start to take up too much space.
If you're hankering for an artistic update to a room or working on a gallery wall, consider hanging woven ones for a touch of texture on a gallery wall, or clustering them together as a collection on a high shelf where they can be seen.
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Mismatched Plates or Bowls
China cabinets are a bit of a relic, but displaying fun, funky, or one-of-a-kind plates is still a cool and playful approach to decor. Try hanging mismatched but coordinating plates and/or bowls on a wall as artwork. Think about colors or patterns that look nice together, like you were setting the table for Alice and the Mad Hatter.
You can also use one as a spot to drop keys on an entry table, or place a few small bowls in a drawer and use them to sort and organize jewelry.
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Turn a wire wastebasket upside down to use as an interesting accent stool or a table, like this one from Making Home Base. Just make sure it's tall enough not to make grabbing something from the surface too much of a pain.
And again, you can use one as a DIY light fixture or lampshade if you're feeling like you want to attempt a big project.
And finally, you could even repurpose larger plastic trash cans as outdoor planters for your porch or patio. (Paint them with your kids for a personal touch!)Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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Did you know you can upcycle a small vintage suitcase as a place for storing photo albums in a bookcase? Just be sure the valise has enough charm to be part of your decor.
Another idea is to outfit a small vintage case with a mirror, travel-sized toiletries and other essentials for your guest room.
To really give them a place of prominence, stack several old suitcases to use as a side table. Of course, these are just a few of the many clever ways to use a vintage suitcase.
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If there's one thing that causes us clutter anxiety but is truly tough to get rid of, it's wrapping paper. Make the most of it by framing a scrap of pretty paper for some quick and simple DIY wall art.
You can also line a desk drawer or kitchen drawer with wrapping paper, or laminate them and use them as wipe-able placemats.
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There are so many things you can do with art and photo frames that don't have anything in them. Instead of letting them gather dust leaning against a wall, you can criss-cross string in the frame to create a memo board. Or, add a fabric backing to make an earring holder. Or you can let them be the art like these layered frames from Makely Home.
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Old Clothing That's Still in Good ConditionContinue to 9 of 11 below.
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You can line up old shutters behind your bed to use as a headboard. Just be sure to affix them to the wall so they don't look lopsided or fall over when you clean or make your bed.
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Heavy tomes make great wall shelves by simply attaching brackets from the hardware store. Or, use stacks of books without their dust jackets to elevate objects on a coffee table or fireplace mantel.
You could also upcycle old books to create clever, hidden storage, book page art, and even lamps.