Day 19

Today we’re going to tackle the magical ‘miscellaneous’ category. You know all those odds and ends that don’t ever seem to have a home? You’re going to have to make one for them, or rehouse them.

If you have a collection of assorted buttons but don’t sew and have never needed to use them to repair an item of clothing, then to the op shop they go. Piles of wool from a knitting phase that you’ve never been motivated to take up again? As above.

Of course, if you know of a person or a group that would gladly make use of your items, then it’s so much more rewarding to give them directly to a grateful recipient than do an anonymous drop off, but the main thing is to get them out of your home and make space for the things you do use. I can’t tell you how good it is to finally be rid of all those small niggly items that I never seemed to use but accompanied me on every move I’ve ever made and took up both physical and mental space. Every time I looked at them they reminded me of an unfinished project and demanded a use I didn’t know how to give them. Letting them go has been such a freeing feeling!

What about all the items I’ve been meaning to recycle but probably can’t?
Seriously – go online. You’ll be surprised by the inventive ways you can re-use and upcycle existing items to keep them out of landfill.

Got an unseemly amount of batteries? Do the drop test: if you drop the butt of a battery onto a hard surface and it bounces, it’s low on charge. Got a swag of dead batts? Take them to ALDI where they can be recycled.

How about all those burnt out candles? Here’s my top upcycle trick to date: take an empty egg carton, line it with shredded paper (you’ll have a ready stash from all the paper you discarded in Day 18), melt down your candle wax and pour it over the top of the shredded paper. What have you got? An instant firelighter! Don’t have a fireplace? Not a worry – you’ll know of someone who does. I gave mine to a workmate and he reckons that he gets about five minutes of flame out of each one. If you fancy a spot of winter camping, It’s an infinitely less toxic way to get your fire started and is quick and easy to make for kids and big kids alike.

How about you? Have you got an upcycle trick up your sleeve? Or maybe you need some advice about what to do with that puzzle with the missing pieces? Feel free to post here!

The two main things you will need today are creativity and resourcefulness, so have fun with it!

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