Jun 2, 2011

If you can't use it, re-use it.

I love when I can re-use and re-purpose things I already have. It tickles my frugal bone (which I'm pretty sure is located next to the funny bone.)  Here are a few of the items I'm reusing so far - most of them are in my dining room. (Just wait until you see what ELSE I'm doing in the rest of the house!) .

1.  The Rug. I had the perfect rug right under my nose, literally. The rug in this room was picked up on an Old Time Pottery sale, but rejected for the dining room in our last house (the colors were wrong - several people told me so.)

But I got it so cheap and I really liked it, so I hung onto it and put it in the bonus room/office even though it didn't really fit in there either (but what DOES go with orange walls anyway?) When I started pulling together the blues and browns for the dining room, it was right there, beaming at me. And it fits in that color scheme like that glass slipper fit Cinderella. AND it's a trellis pattern, which will echo the chair cushions...once I get the fabric ordered. (One of those loose ends, ya know?)

2.  You say credenza, I say buffet. We bought this lovely piece of furniture a few years ago for the den. The new den has built-in bookcases and entertainment center, so it was redundant in there. But now it has new life as a buffet and holds my china, crystal, silver and linens.

Best of all, I can now GET to my "good" dishes without hauling out a stepladder and delicately balancing plates, cups and saucers from a deep cabinet over the refrigerator and then back again after each use. (That would explain part of why we didn't use them often. The other half of the explanation is that they are blue, and I didn't have anything blue in my dining room. Now that problem is resolved, too. The china should definitely be getting a better workout from here on out.)

3.  Curtain stuff The curtains flanking the French doors were in constant and imminent danger of getting caught in the door, but I had two brushed nickel tiebacks I had leftover from an old decorating scheme in Swimmer Girl's room.  When I found them, I felt positively lucky!  They work perfectly!

I went a-searching for center brackets for the curtain rods (note:  if in doubt, always buy a size bigger curtain rod - you won't be sorry.)  And then right under my nose I found exactly what I was looking for - some brackets from an unused rod are right here.  As soon as I can spare a minute, I'll screw in those brackets will make the curtain rods nice and straight, instead of saggy in the middle (yes, another loose end.)

Some other re-uses I found during this move are less visible, but still incredibly useful.

In our old house, I used a bamboo display rack to hold my Fiesta lunch-size plates. In the new house, those plates now sit proudly on a cabinet shelf. But the holder is perfect for holding my pan lids, which were always falling and jangling around in the cabinet.  Now they're always within reach and there's no clattering of lids every time I need a pan or a lid.

A wall cabinet we removed from our former master bathroom a few years ago is now holding cleaning supplies in our laundry room, thanks to middle son's help. He and I hung the cabinet and he used a trusty hacksaw to cut the wire shelving to fit .  (Note to self:  get a new hacksaw blade.  A dull blade can really make you hacked off.)

The powder room came without a mirror.  Call it karma: I removed the mirror from the powder room move-before-last one.  Fortunately, I still had that mirror and it has been used here and there and everywhere for a while, until it found its new home where it fits perfectly.  The picture reflected in it was one I had hung in my office years ago, and found while I was cleaning out the linen closet a few weeks ago.  

Last but not least, I found a use for some of our old VHS cartridges. My Fiestaware bowls above the cabinets needed a little boost (kind of like the way a short girl needs serious heels) to be seen above the crown molding. I thought about using my old hardback and paperback books until I came across a box of old VHS tapes.  Mr. Official is having some serious separation anxiety about his VHS tapes of old UT football games, even though we do not have a working VCR - and haven't had one for several years. Nor has he watched any VHS tapes for years before that.  Problem solved. The books were better served by being donated to Friends of the Library, to be read by another avid reader.

And I can reassure him I didn't just toss his tapes.  They are getting a second life "elevating" my bowls and he can console himself with the knowledge they are at-the-ready if he wants to round up a VCR and watch one. (Mmm hmmm.  Like that's gonna happen.)

I'll share some other re-purposed items soon.  We live in an age of planned obsolescence and disposable items but there's a satisfaction and contentment that comes from knowing at least some of our possessions can be used and reused, instead of just used up and thrown away. 

Happy re-using,