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Upcycling through Goodwill reduces strain on the environment — and your wallet

Upcycling through Goodwill reduces strain on the environment — and your wallet

Goodwill has long been the place to practice the magic of upcycling. For those unaware of the word, upcycling involves reusing unwanted items in such a way as to create something of higher quality or value than the original.

Upcycling is a brilliant idea that reduces the strain on the environment — and your wallet.

School is right around the corner, and whether our students learn from a classroom or at home, it’s time to get organized. It’s also the time to take our lives outdoors, and get that backyard in shape.

Consider these easy and fun ideas on how to repurpose items. Nothing is as much fun as finding that one piece of decor that someone else thought was junk and turning it into your own personal treasure.

It just takes a bit of imagination. And remember, Goodwill has you covered.

Back to school

  • Try turning a coffee mug “tree” into a convenient holder for your student’s pens, pencils and highlighters.
  • Upcycle thrift store desk organizers by giving them a coat of cheery paint — an invitation for your student to stay focused.
  • Strip down an old ironing board, paint it, stencil something motivational, and mount it on the wall in your child’s room. They will be eager to use the holes in the metal base to hang keys and jewelry or to stick that all-important post-it note.
  • Create your own craft stools by turning sturdy plastic crates into a convenient, padded seat. Just lift the cushion to expose some handy storage space.
  • Mason jars are inexpensive and easy-to-find organizational tools that make handy art supply holders. To take it one step further, label each jar with what you want it to hold.
  • Dish racks can be repurposed for organizing notebooks, papers, stickers, folders and more.

Back to the backyard

  • Turn an old wooden jewelry box into a backyard bird feeder by drilling an appropriately-sized hole in the front.
  • A Goodwill filing cabinet can make an excellent raised garden bed. Just remove the drawers, turn it upright and give it a paint job.
  • Take the legs off an old wooden chair and attach it to an outdoor wall to create a handy shelf for small potted plants.
  • Remove the woven seat from an antique chair and replace it with a metal tub. Turn this creation into a planter or, better yet, a handy ice tub for that backyard party.
  • A bundt cake pan at Goodwill can double as an outdoor planter by threading your patio table umbrella through the pan’s hole.
  • Transform an old glass decanter into a lamp base. Don’t fret: Electrical lamp kits are available online.
  • A Goodwill utensil caddy can easily double as an herb garden.

Best of all, as you’re shopping at Goodwill for your upcycled treasures, you’ll be helping others within your community who have had barriers to finding employment become empowered through work. This is possible because of the kind people like you who donate to and shop at Goodwill retail stores.