Upcycling is the process of giving old items a new life. If you find yourself discarding and donating frequently, there's a good chance that something in your stash could be upcycled.
When it comes to storage and getting organized, it's really easy to get suckered into buying tons of organizational bins, totes, and baskets, but there's a good chance that you've got a lot of what you need to get organized in your own home.
In the Kitchen
In the kitchen, we want to be clear, literally. It's important that you can see the food and kitchen items that you are storing because out of sight means out of mind...and out of mind means lots of food going to waste.
Any storage solution, upcycled or purchased, needs to work for what's being stored on a practical level before it works on an aesthetic level, so we do recommend using clear containers in the kitchen.
A lot of times your food comes in glass jars and sturdy containers that can be reused in the kitchen, or in other areas of the home for increased storage. For example, we have used a very large pickle jar to store popcorn kernels in and we've also used that same brand of pickle jar (with a little bit of a paint facelift) to store utensils in on the countertop.
A critical look around the kitchen and other rooms in your home will likely show you a handful of quality, clear containers that can be reused for kitchen storage in one capacity or another.
If you are going to be storing food in your container, take extra care to clean it properly first and make sure you are not using low-grade plastic that could be contaminating your food.
In the Laundry Room
The laundry room gets overlooked a lot, but good storage in the laundry room is a game-changer. When you're looking for items to upcycle in your laundry room, think about the purpose you need them to serve. Do you need bins and baskets to hold laundry supplies, do you need a place to keep your soap, do you have enough laundry baskets?
Once you identify the needs you have, start looking for easy upcycles. We've used old baskets in place of traditional laundry baskets a number of times. It's an effortless upcycle that only requires that you change the intended purpose of a basket.
Old jars are great in the laundry room, too, because they can hold all of the soaps, softeners, and detergents. Especially if you are making your own laundry soap, it's helpful to have a place to keep your creation.
In the Rooms
If your room is in need of added storage, we've got an easy upcycle for you. Take an old, very sturdy cardboard box and wrap it in rope—bonus points if you've got leftover rope you need to use up.
Using hot glue and a coiling method, wrap the entire box in rope. We use these rope boxes to store items like workout clothes and blankets in our closets.
Another upcycle we use in our rooms for decor purposes is turning old containers into planters. We love our plants and planters can be pricey, so we make our own.
Sometimes we paint the old containers, sometimes we don't. Old tea tins make really cute planters, and we've even used those same tea tins as decorative storage on open shelves.
In the Bathroom
The bathroom is another area of the home that usually needs a lot of storage because chances are you've got a lot of products. An organized bathroom stays clean longer which is a major bonus. In our bathroom, the simplest upcycle we use is so easy it barely counts.
We use the mop bucket that we use in our bathroom to store all of the other bathroom cleaners in, under the sink. It's simple but effective.
We also use old kitchen jars in the bathroom closet to organize small items like DIY cotton rounds, cotton swabs, hair ties, and bobby pins. We like these jars to have lids because there's nothing worse than knocking over a jar of bobby pins and having to pick a hundred of them up off the floor.