Upcycling, Recycling and Reusing isn’t about seeing something online or in person and then going out and buying the materials that you need if it wasn’t already something you would buy. It is all about using what is around you, adapting what you have on hand to create what you want. This often means that you become a bit of a hoarder and everything has to be evaluated for potential use before it is put in the bin, recycled or given to someone else. Everything has the potential to be remade into something else but you have to think about if it is something that you could use.
When keeping items you also have to think about how common they are: if you get two big bottle of soft drink every week then there is little point in keeping every single one of them if there is no project in mind but if you only get one large bottle every four months (like I do) then you keep them so they are ready to become a project. A lot of the bigger items that you have may only be available once, especially furniture, and you have to decide if it is worth keeping or not, this decision isn’t just about how the item may be used but has to be measured up against the space you have and other personal factors.
Upcyling isn’t always about taking an item that you have finished with and re-using it, it is also about using the waste you have created, the off-cuts and leftovers are just as important to be used.
The Below unit was constructed based on the shapes of the two offcuts that form the sides, I went through my offcuts to find wood that was the correct width and cut to size to fit the space required. The best thing about this unit is that I would have never found something that not only fit the space perfectly but also had shelves at the perfect heights for the jars I needed to store.
To be blunt: you can’t keep everything so will often have to be brutal to ensure that you keep the important things. You also have to be organised and keep track of what you do and don’t have. Below are images of some of my stock piles of different materials, all ready and waiting to be used.