Green Storage: Minimalize to the Max
Have you ever looked through your closet or car and realized that you own too much ‘stuff’? Do you get overwhelmed by all of your worldly possessions? If the answer is yes, you should look to green storage as the answer to your problems. Sure, you can always toss everything that you have and go live on a houseboat, but before you do, think about the alternatives first.
Green storage is organizing things by reusing, repurposing, or upcycling things that you already have. Not only does this save you money, but you end up saving the environment in the process (one less bottle in the landfill).
You don’t need to go out and buy an expensive organizational system in order to have a great closet. Having too many clothes and not enough closet space is a problem that many people find themselves with. You can use the tabs from pop cans to offset your closet hangers. Wine boxes become your new best friend, as they can be used to store old shoes under your bed or in small spaces. You can also use that old bookcase as a beautiful, professional way of displaying your shoe collection. This can be done by simply lining the closet (or an alcove in a room) with bookcases and display away!
Do you have folding chairs but no place to keep them? Hang your folding chairs on the wall using brackets. When open, they substitute as shelving and a makeshift closet system.
You can also use your folding chair as the basis of an information station. Hang it on a wall (but closed). Paint the seat with chalkboard paint. Now you have a place to hang things as well as leave messages for those living in your home.
Green storage isn’t limited to your bedroom or your kitchen. It also means that you reuse things around your house that you may otherwise throw away. Even rubbish bins can be turned into something useful and beautiful. Turn it over and paint it, and you’ve got a brand new side table.
Old office furniture and furnishings can become a functional item in another area of your house. Old magazine racks can transform into cutlery storage in your kitchen with the help of a few nails and a drill. Simply fix them to the wall (two nails per rack) and fill them with your oversized kitchen utensils.
If you find yourself with a lot of empty bottles and jars, you can use a mixture of baking soda and olive oil to get the labels off. Just soak the jars for about fifteen minutes and the label should come off fairly easily. Now you can fill your jars with anything that you like and have a decorative and organized way to store your little odds and ends.
There are many ways that you can repurpose an old dresser. Take the drawers out and add decorative baskets and you have a great storage area for kids’ toys. You can also use your dresser as a tv cabinet, with little to no modifications. If you place hinges on it and replace the top with a durable surface, your dresser can be turned into a kitchen island storage area or the perfect place to store your tools.
If you are an avid reader and have a book collection that rivals any library, you may want to upcycle your books an amazing piece of furniture. You can turn your books into your new favorite wallpaper or furniture covering with a few supplies from your local hardware store and a few hours on a weekend.
If you consider yourself a crafty person, you can also use pages from an old magazine or book to make bowls. Perfect those paper mache skills that you learned in primary school and end up with beautiful and functional pieces that guests will be envious of. If your crafting skills aren’t exactly up to par, you can always gut out the pages of the book and use the rest to hide your router on a bookshelf.
Take advantage of your last party and collect all of the plastic spoons and two liter soda jars that you have used over the night (or day). After a good wash (or two) cut the plastic spoons. What you will need is the head of them. Leave a little room at the bottom, as you will be hot gluing the spoons to the bottle. Make sure to glue the spoon heads facing inward. After you are done, add lamp hardware on the inside. This can be found in shops for under $10 or repurposed from an old lamp. These lamps make an attractive addition to any household or can be a great gift.
If your music collection is taking up tons of space in your home, you may want to free up space on your computer and on your shelf by migrating everything to a cloud. Once you digitize your music collection, you could always donate them or sell them to a used record store.
Reusing the old things that you currently have in your house will help to give you a new perspective of space and storage. Use your creativity. Almost everything can be reused and repurposed. If by some chance you find an item that you just have to get rid of, try to see if a friend can use it in their home instead. If not, you can always donate your gently used items to a shelter, office, school, or church.
Green storage helps to reduce your carbon footprint, clutter in your house, and stress due to lack of organization. In some ways, it’s not so much about finding storage or making storage, but finding ways to reuse the things that you already have. Moving an item to another room and giving it another role helps to utilize it better and be more efficient. So, if you find yourself with things that are about to head to the rubbish bin, think about how you can be creative and turn that shoe into a chandelier!