I recently shared with you that I had hired 1800GotJunk to haul away a bunch of stuff from my home. While I do so for good reason, it’s never my first choice. I try to take “reduce, reuse, recycle” seriously. So, I would much rather extend household items life as long as possible rather than throw it away. Doing so allows me to reduce the need to replace the item because I reuse it in a smart way, allowing me to postpone having to recycle it – or worse, send it to the landfill.
Basic Care to Extend Household Items Life
There are a bunch of DIY hacks that you can use to extend the life of your household items. We’ll get to those in a moment. But before you do any of that, start with basic care. Give care and attention to each item in your home. Wash it, store it, use it, and mend it properly. If you do that, then your things will last as long as possible.
Moreover, it won’t cost you anything extra. But most importantly, it will give you a sense of reverence for your everyday items. Think of it as a sort of mindfulness practice. Or respect for the items and the energy that went into making them. This not only extends the life of your items but also improves the quality of your own life.
So – read the labels and the manuals. Find out the right way to provide the best care for every single item that you own. If you notice that something needs a bit of repair, take the time to do it immediately and to do it correctly.
DIY Hacks to Extend Life of Various Items
That basic attention to care for your items will help a lot. But there are also a variety of little ways to extend household items life:
Cut Some Things in Half
You can get twice as much use out of many household items simply by cutting them in half. For example, do you really need a full-sized sponge for washing dishes? Probably not, so cut them in half. Likewise, cut dryer sheets in half.
This may even apply to food. When you order a meal, immediately put half of it in a “to go” box. Eat it for your next meal or freeze it and eat it later. What other things can you cut in half to double the time you get to use them?
Use Your Freezer to Extend Life of Household Items
Speaking of your freezer, you can use it to extend the life of more than just the food in your house. (Of course, it’s great for that, and you should use it!) But you can also use your freezer to:
- Freeze candles to harden the wax so they burn more slowly when you use them
- Store NiMH and NiCd batteries in the freezer to extend their life by 90%
- Put all-natural lipstick and other beauty products in the freezer so they lat longer
- Keep sweaters away from moths and preserve the color of your jeans by storing them in the freezer
- Put your computer’s hard drive in the freezer to restore enough life to get data off of it after a crash
Scoop It Out and Use It Up
Make sure that you use all of your household items up to the very last drop. This doesn’t just mean that you squeeze the toothpaste tube until nothing comes out. Instead, it means that you cut open the toothpaste tube and scoop out the last little bit of paste to use. Do this with as many household items as you can from hair gel to dish soap.
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