Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Repurposing: Is it Really Letting Go? via
42 Craft Projects That are Easy to Make & Sell
It wasn't until I started last week's blog that I realized my third R isn't a Let it Go! strategy at all, but rather an escape route -- and one to be used with caution. While both Recycling and Reselling result in getting things out of our house, Repurposing actually makes it less likely that we'll get rid of the item in question.

That's not always bad. If repurposing a beloved (or simply useful) item gives it new life or helps it earn its keep, then hanging on to it is actually a good long as we follow a few simple guidelines.

  • Repurposing implies purpose. It's right there in the name. Is the item in question being used, or is it merely taking up space? One or two decorative items that add personality to a space, or a collection that's housed in an aesthetically pleasing way is one thing. A pile-up of "I know I'll use this someday" is quite other.
  • For items in limbo, designate a purpose. In our DIY, Pinterest-fueled society, it doesn't take much searching to come up with new uses for everything from empty soda bottles to old furniture. Here's where you have to be honest with yourself. Are you really going to do that project? If so, when? And where will the supplies "live" in the meantime?
  • Be selective: You can't save it all, yet the reasons we have for keeping things vary according to both styles and personality. Sentimental people keep things because they make us smile when we look at them or bring back a special memory. The more practical among us save things that solve a storage problem or serve more than one purpose. Those who are frugal often keep a backlog of things they don't want to have to pay to replace. Whatever your reasons, you need to set a limit to how many of those things you can realistically hang on to.
Next week, we'll talk about some ways to make decisions about the things we can't quite get rid of. In the meantime, box up those things you need to hang onto by category (e.g., sentimental value, future projects, I think I'll use this someday, etc.). That will make things easier as we move forward (and no, I haven't changed my mind about "making" you dispose of beloved items).

Next week will also mark my last week posting on this topic at the Porch Swing ChroniclesAs we move into the last letter of STYLE in June, and begin talking about Easy Upkeep, I'll be taking all of the discussion here, as a means of both archiving all these posts in one place and continuing the discussion. You can still find me at the Porch Swing Chronicles on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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