Day 4 of my 31 Days of Organizing Ideas is all about "Re"
Recycle, Re-purpose, Reuse and Re-evaluateUse items more than once whenever possible.
I am not advocating that we save everything because we can make something from it, instead just consider what could be done with it before tossing it out. In the working world, it was a big thing to talk about thinking outside the box. No matter what you call it, think beyond the intended use and consider it for something else.
Some of the things I recycle are egg cartons, bottle lids and butter/margarine dish lids. I use the butter dish lids for paint palettes. I like that they are flexible making it easy to peel off the dried paint. They are a good size and easy to replace should I decide to toss them. The bottle lids make a great pot for putting glue in and can also be used to ship in. The egg cartons - foam ones for making faux bricks or stones and the paper mache ones can be torn up for simulating bark or cut to make faux stones as well.
When it comes to storage, I have recycled shoe boxes to store projects in and to organize other supplies. I have also covered cut down laundry detergent boxes with contact paper to make magazine boxes and paint bottle boxes. Cardboard, or chip board as I think is more correctly called, can be cut up to make miniatures with (like faux stones) but also cut and taped together to make trays. I use trays in a larger box to layer my beads and findings. I add handles of tape to each end so I can lift them out. The trays each hold small plastic boxes, but another solution is to use the interiors that held candy in - the paper liners or even plastic liners. This may not be the best idea for beads as they could fly everywhere if spilled, but for small swaps or other small items that one might want to seperate, it would work.
As I reorganize (yes, I do organize and then later decide to reorganize) I prefer to re-purpose an existing container for another purpose. Take my ribbon and trim for example, when I decided my plastic shoe box type box was too small, I looked at what I had on hand and re-purposed a large cookie tin. The cookie tin was quite tall and I was using it hold a project. The project didn't need storing in the tin and the tin kept me from going out and buying a larger box. Once a solution is decided on, doesn't mean it can't be considered again later for other things.
I am presently in the middle of collecting enough used small priority mail boxes to hold my paint. This will allow me to sort my paint into smaller groups. Since I store my paint on a shelf that is just the right height for paint bottles, these will act like drawers just like the cut down laundry boxes I currently use.
A simple re-evaluate example is the divided boxes manufactured for fishing tackle. Finally the industry has figured out these boxes are great for crafters and hobbyists as well. They are not just on the fishing aisle anymore but in the hobby section, too. I am suggesting that we think about all things this way. Is there another purpose that I can use this whatever? Whether it is an item to make miniatures with or an item to store them.
Another example of re-purposing is to take a hanging travel organizer for cosmetics and use it for storing and traveling with tools. Don't wait for the industries to re-market to us as hobbyists.
Yet another idea along this line is T2T - Trash2Treasure - this is when someone provides a list of household items that we can make something from. This has been held as challenge on one of the lists I am on. This type of challenge is very helpful to see items in a different way. Even if I don't participate, it is fun to read what others have used and how they used them. The T2T challenge is more about using items to make miniatures in a different way, but I think it helps to get the brain used to thinking about other things in a different way as well.
Come back tomorrow for another organizing idea during my 31 days of organizing.
Happy Miniature Organizing!