One man’s trash: How to reuse old items

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If you’re anything like me you’ve been documenting your life for a while now. I’ve spent countless hours on my bedroom floor with momentos littered all around me, some of these items stashed away in a box beneath my childhood bed. Now as a first year in college, I have a box for new memories. Although it’s a tad bit empty, there are a few items. These include flyers from Sproul Plaza, fun postcards and other mementos found in thrift stores. 

Keeping miscellaneous items from distinct places is a unique way to spice up your walls and it’s great when you’re in need of a gift. Not only can such items serve as gifts but they can also provide a second life. Recycling and reusing items are optimal ways to make the most of items you don’t need anymore. It’s the reason why places like thrift stores and pop-up flea markets have been so pertinent over the years. Below is a list of ways to get you started on your reusing journey. 

Flyers from Sproul Plaza 

So you’ve been bombarded with flyers making your way to class for the third time this week. You have no intention of attending that club meeting that’s been advertised, so what now? Well, you can always toss it in the trash and forget about it — or you can find ways to reuse it somehow. For example, the depictions can serve as a print for your dorm walls or elsewhere. It’s hard to imagine the countless papers wasted everyday. So, finding distinct ways to personalize them might just do the trick. 

Bottles for vases

This next one may seem obvious for some, but it’s definitely worth the reiteration. Throughout past summers, I’ve had my fair share of collections of glass bottles. However, the time of year does not matter when it comes to recycling. So, the next time a bottle comes with your meal, make an afternoon out of it by gathering paint supplies. Painting bottles is a fun way to destress and a personable way to store your dried flowers. I myself have painted bottles sitting on my dresser back home. These bottles can be kept for yourself or gifted to others. Let someone know you’re thinking of them with a homemade vase. 

Thrift store letters

The next time you’re at a thrift store or library, keep an eye out for letters of all kinds. My friends and I consider ourselves lucky whenever we stumble upon a letter written on the back of a postcard or similar paper. The very possibility of discovering a bit about a stranger is oddly exhilarating — at least for me. At times these letters are romantic, but they’re mostly comical. These can function as wall decor but can also be set as a reminder of the little things in life. If looking at a stranger’s letter makes you feel less alone, more power to you. 


If you’re currently situated in the dorms, this next one may be difficult to achieve. Nonetheless, providing new homes for pieces that others no longer desire is tip number one for helping the environment. For example, I have what is supposed to be a small food dish, but it is now holding my jewelry. Reinventing ways to use items can make your side of the room personal to you. Additionally, it might even save you a buck or two. 

Newspaper cutouts

Alas, if there’s anything The Daily Californian can do (if not provide you with great content), it can be the center of all your artistic endeavors. Whether you’re in need of yet another print for your wall or journal, there are many visuals that are suitable for you. Additionally, you can also feed into your poetic side and use articles for blackout poetry. Or perhaps you have a project coming up and need the words in the titles for your own art. Regardless, The Daily Californian has got your back in more ways than one.

So there you have it! A few ways for you to begin your journey of spicing up your everyday life while keeping an ethical mind. Your friends at the Clog wish you the best of luck on your journey to revamping and recycling. 

Contact Anyssa Torres at [email protected].