The Art of Re-Purposing

Did you ever do the activity in school where you had to pretend you were stranded on a desert island or lost in the woods? You had only a limited number of  items with you and the point of the activity was to see how many creative uses you could find for each item.  For example a hooked earring could be used as a fish hook or a rain poncho might be used to collect rainwater. Having taught this lesson multiple times, it is ingrained in me to find different ways to use items with the goal of saving money by not buying anything new.

I’m often asked by clients “What do I need to buy?” Answer: “Nothing, most likely, but possibly if we can’t find another item you already own.” Buying something before starting an organizing  project IS NOT THE FIRST STEP plus a HUGE mistake.

The first step is to access what you have, then downsize / de-clutter, then containerize. (If ‘containerize isn’t a word, then it is now meaning “put items in containers”). I encourage my clients NOT TO BUY something until we’ve done work.  Often we will find something else in the home and re-purpose it. Voila-a solution and no money spent.  Sometimes a solution is as simple as switching the contents of a container.  Previously a basket may have contained toys but now it is more practical to use it for dish towels.  A container may be re-purposed an infinite number of times.  There is no rule that states once you have designated a purpose of a storage container that it must be used the same way forever.

When checking for storage solutions I look for sizing discrepancies.   I’ve had situations where I observed bulky items shoved into small drawers and wasting space on deep shelves with small items.  I switch them around and have re-purposed the space.

I view a client’s storage with fresh perspective and am able to make suggestions based on my experience.  I make creative (or practical) suggestions by using items already have on-hand.  Have a look around your home.  See what you’ve got and give it a try.

Thanks for reading and happy 2019.  May 2019 be the year for organizational miracles!

Karen, T.K.K.

January 4, 2019

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