The end of the holiday season leaves a heap of trash in its wake. At least, to the average eye it looks like nothing more than garbage. There are also decorations that people pull out just for Christmas and neglect the rest of the year because the potential of those items is not apparent. Americans can be wasteful, but a savvy and budget-conscious person can take those items and make them useful again.
Here are 6 great ways to repurpose those wasted items and save yourself money.
1. Wine, Sparkling Juice, and Champagne Bottles
Approximately 90% of American households have either wine, sparkling juice, or champagne bottles in the recycling after the holiday. Instead of throwing those bottles into the trash, repurpose them. There are a number of great ways to reuse wine bottles on Pinterest, such as making tiki torches for less than $4 or wine bottle hanging lanterns.
2. Empty Boxes
Almost everything comes in boxes anymore. Instead of throwing those mid-sized boxes in the trash, turn them into storage totes. Kids especially love this. Boxes that can fit on shelves or closet floors or tuck under beds become crafty projects with a razor knife (used by the parent, of course) and decorative Duck Tape. The boxes can be patterned to match and the kids can draw on the tape with permanent markers to personalize them as well. Carve a handle into the side of the box and it makes it easier to move around.
So many people spend a small fortune on Christmas lights, only to turn them on for a month or two at the most. Lights can be decorative all year round! I went to www.partylights.com and invested in lights that would be festive for the season but could also be used all year as well.
Instead of just pulling my lights out for Christmas, I intend to use them to help decorate for New Years Eve, the 4th of July, and Halloween. In fact, they may even be useful for any other outdoor events we have during the year.
4. Glass Jars
If you have any glass jars in the recycling from pasta sauce, olives, or jelly–keep them! Send the jars through the wash, soak them for a half an hour in hot water, then scrape the labels right off the outside. The jars are great for making decorative candles for your home or for future gifts. It only costs $5 to get the wax and wicks from the local hobby stores. Add sparkles (or if you have it, remaining foil wrapping paper in pieces) to give the candle a fun look. While the wax is hot, you can add anything to it to make the candle fun for decoration.
5. Wrapping Paper
Scraps of wrapping paper that remain behind from wrapping Christmas gifts are not necessarily trash. If the pieces are big enough they can be used to wrap common household items for decoration next year. Don’t throw those scraps away yet.
6. Plate and Platters
Repurposing Christmas decorations isn’t exclusive to lights. A savvy shopper buys red neutral plates, platters, and bowls. Why? These items can be used for Memorial Day,4th of July, and Labor Day parties if they don’t have Christmas patterns on them. Make your holiday plate collection useful for more than one holiday by keeping to simple red colors.
Instead of seeing trash or holiday decoration, look at what you are throwing aside with a more creative eye. It will save money, help decorate your house year round, and create fun gifts for the next season.