Sometimes clients cling to items they’re certain they will need or find a use for someday, even though that the particular item either has no practical application in their current life situation, or exists in a quantity that far exceeds probable need. However, I’m confessing here and now that I’ve fallen under the spell of something. In my defense, this something doesn’t occupy space I do not have, nor am I emotionally attached. It’s just…they’re so… I mean… I’m talkin’ GIANT RED RUBBER BANDS, people!

Giant red rubber bands

I’ve added other items to this photo so you can accurately gauge the size. They arrive via the morning paper delivery which means we get, on average, five giant red rubber bands per week. On wet days we get an orange plastic bag. We have no pets, so I readily recycle those or save for a friend’s dog’s poop. (How many blog posts will you read this week that mention dog poop? My money’s on one.)

I put some giant red rubber bands in the kitchen “junk drawer,” a few in my desk drawer, a handful in my Home Solutions work bag, and a couple on the tool bench in the basement.

Just recently, I was able to secure my rolled-up yoga mat with two, one on each end. Yay! I found a use for two of the twenty giant red rubber bands we have on hand.

Because they’re not recyclable, unwanted ones would normally go in the trash, but that feels wrong. Maybe I’ll save them to give back to the paper delivery dude, wrapped in a pretty package with his holiday tip!

Or, according to a recent facebook post, I can fund my retirement selling random, everyday household items on ebay, things like empty egg cartons and nubby crayons. Is it possible there’s a market for giant red rubber bands?

*turns attention from 401K statement to “selling red rubber bands” research*

What’s your thing – the thing you have too many of, the thing you’ve been saving for decades and still haven’t found a use for, the thing that’s just taking up space, both physically AND emotionally, in your life?

I’m not a particularly crafty person – not because I don’t think creatively, but because sometimes it seems like it takes WAY more time and effort to complete some of the projects I see floating around out there than I’d be willing to spend. Plus, it’s often not worth it in the endHerbGarden if you put an actual dollar value on your time – but that’s a post for another day.

Anyhow. Craftiness aside, I DO like the whole concept of repurposing and recycling things; of using things for something other than what they were originally intended rather than tossing in the trash.

Here’s a link to an herb garden made out of a vertical hanging shoe rack. Totally cool, huh? I wouldn’t personally go out and buy a hanging shoe rack in order to make this, but if I didn’t have a big yard to garden in and I loved cooking with fresh herbs, this could be a fun, inexpensive and viable project. It could add some visual appeal to an otherwise boring fence, or even act as a screen on a porch if you hung it from above and somehow tethered it below.

I did notice a few things I’d tweak, though. It mentions you should test the drainage and if it’s not sufficient, poke a few holes in the bottom of each pouch. Plants need drainage; as a gardener, I know that.  I would put supplies in the top row of pouches instead of at the bottom so they don’t get wet when you water the plants. Even if water drains down the back, the bottom row would probably still get wet. So I’d move my supplies up high and eliminate that worry.

The other thing I noticed is that the items and steps suggested for making plant tags is WAY more effort than I’d ever put forth. This was obviously written by a legitimately crafty person, which I’ve already confessed I am not:

Round up some fabric scraps, ultra-firm stabilizer and iron-on adhesive. Adhere the stabilizer to the middle of the fabric (leave enough fabric around the edges to fold over) using an iron and the adhesive. Cut triangles out of the corners so you can make a nice fold. Attach the flaps with iron-on adhesive. Attach a piece of canvas or other heavy cloth to the front of the tag so you can label it. Use a permanent marker to write the plant name. 

Yeah, not gonna happen. I’d probably use some of the little plastic lawn stakes from our lawn care dude, (since we pull those out and recycle them anyhow) print the herb names on mailing labels, stick ’em to index cards, trim, “laminate” with clear packing tape and I’m done in less than ten minutes and I’m STILL utilizing things I already have around the house. My point here is, don’t be put off by a project with components that seem beyond your skill set if you can tweak it and make it more doable for you.

Have you got a favorite  reuse/repurposing project you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!