1. Dry Cleaner Bags - These things are much stronger than one might assume. I tie a knot in the end the coat hanger sticks through, pull bag inside out with the knot on the inside, and use them for all sorts of things such as:
-- kitchen trash bags
-- sort dirty clothes - each bag holds exactly one load of laundy as long as I don't stuff them so full I can't easily grab a handful of wadded up bag with which to drag it to the laundry room (OK, so now you know that I wait until nobody in the house has anything left to wear before I do laundry. Sheesh! I always tell on myself!)
-- bag recyclables so the nice men can tell easily which bin to toss stuff into
-- wet clothes bags for the kids that come swim in the summer (I let some of the neighborhood kids use the pool sometimes. It is fun having some laughter in the yard again, plus they are less likely to mess with my Halloween and Christmas decorations if they like me!)
-- rebag potting soil
-- bag grass clippings and other green yard stuff so the nice men can tell which bag to grab when they roll by in the Green pickup truck
-- emergency rain jackets - Just widen the coat hanger hole and pulling it over your head. They squish down so small that you can keep 2 or 3 in a gallon zipper bag under the seat!
-- throw pillow stuffing - If you have enough of them in the casing they don't flatten out and they regain their shape almost immediately so no plumping! Plus, little kids love the soft crinkly sound they make. (Plastic shopping bags work, too, especially if you mix some in with the dry cleaning bags. Cut off the seams, though, or they make sticky lumps.)
2. Frozen Dinner trays, and plastic or Styrofoam take-out containers
-- drawer dividers - These come in so many sizes and shapes that I had fun puzzling them together to make drawer dividers throughout the house. Now I can open almost any drawer and find exactly what I'm looking for. (Just DO NOT open any closet in my house without shielding your head in case of an avalanche!)
-- plant trays - put your plant in one and it not only keeps all the water from running all over your tables, but it also helps keep the plant hydrated because it can soak back up excess water runoff caused by letting the soil dry out too much between waterings. (WHO? ME?? Noooo not meee. I would NEVER be so cruel to poor defenseless plants! Umm, excuse me while I go find a saw to cut off this horrible nose growth thing that just sprouted from my face!)
-- stretch wonderfully between the bolts holding the toilet seat in place (Those of you with little boys know what a nasty job that can turn out to be!)
-- fill with potpourri and/or leftover melted candle wax (you know how good that stuff still smells sometimes!) and stick in the back of a drawer or closet, or under the seat of your car (In the summer either put it in one of the Styrofoam containers or just forget the wax for the car fresheners. Believe me, it makes a mess if you don't!)
-- straight pins
-- push pins
-- paper clips
-- extra Rolaids in each purse and every car (danged reflux!)
-- baby powder (Empty spice bottles also work great for this because they have the little plastic holy thing in the top. See how deftly I slid another thing in here. heh heh heh!)
-- mints & gum
-- eye drops (you know, the single use kind in plastic tubes with tops that come off if you sneeze in their direction, so they end up empty when you actually need one to put a contact back in!)
-- other stuff that I'm too brain dead right now to remember
-- easily display my jewelry - I glued ribbon around the edges and then used the extra to make a hanger. Now I can see all my earrings and necklaces at a glance.
-- make cheap and easy treatments for small windows. Fabric, straight pins, and a couple of nails sticking out of the wall are all you need to dress up a small window without having to spend a fortune. This is the valance in my laundry room. I wanted to dress it up, but had no desire to spend money to do it. I had this left over from another house but no rod, so I used a sheet of Styrofoam instead.
-- decorate and use in my curio cabinet to raise the items in the back for easier viewing. (You can cover them or brush on paint, but I wouldn't use spray paint because it tends to melt them! And that stinks. Horribly!)
OK. That's it for now. I love to hear what creative things you do to recycle stuff around the house.
Peace, blessings and HAPPY RECYCLING!