I have become quite a hoarder in the last few years. There is a purpose to this organized chaos; really. I swear I am not just a reality show waiting to happen.
The war propaganda touting Use it up Wear it out Make it do echos in my brain of a bygone era and it’s simplistic yet noble ideals to respect resources for a greater good. The more modern Reduce Reuse Recycle reminds me of not only a finite availability of goods but the limited space in which to hide our unwanted excess and our waste.
In a quest for self-sufficiency I have always hung onto things with an understanding that it could be used again, be it repurposed or upcycled.
Worn out clothes can have the buttons cut off and reused and tattered fabric will become weft for rugs or if in truly bad shape they end up in the rag bin.
Lint from the dryer ends up being made into fire starters when put in old cardboard egg cartons and covered with wax drippings from used up candle nubs.
Newspapers and junk mail is shredded into bedding to line animal cages instead of expensive wood shavings.
Glass food jars get reused for fermenting projects.
Metal including aluminum from pie tins, take away food or that comes off candies and the like are sorted into bins to be recycled at the depot.
Food scraps go in the counter compost bucket and then are transferred to the vermicompost or compost roller.
Wood is put into two piles: fire wood or reusable (such as salvaged lumber that can be built with again).
Aluminum cans are either returned or at the moment saved up to make roofing shingles for the old shed in the back yard.
Wine bottles are save up to make raised beds or other upcycled projects.
Ice-cream buckets, yogurt containers and other food packaging are recycled or reused as “Tupperware”.
Brown paper sacks are being saved up to do a paper bag floor. (Look up images of paper bag flooring, it is epic!)
Grey water is caught in buckets to flush the toilet.
Toilet paper rolls are saved to start seedlings in.
Wool scraps are saved to be felted.
Seeds are saved to be planted the next year.
Apple scraps are used to make vinegar albeit unsuccessfully so far.
Broken electronics are stripped of useful parts and then recycled at the depot along with batteries and light bulbs.
Household items in good repair but no longer wanted are given to the MCC thrift store to find new homes.
Everything is sorted into piles: first into reusable, and then recycling and if not recyclable then into the trash as a last resort. This ends up making for many piles of things needing to be dealt with. Things that have not been fully used up or worn out. Things needing to be recycled or upcycled.
This makes me realize all the items that need to be avoided as they serve no purpose other than to fill up the gash bin.