We’re big fans of Real Simple here at Charles & Hudson, so when we heard they were releasing a book based on the popular “New Uses for Old Things” column, we had no doubt it would be a handy, useful addition to any book collection.
If you’re not familiar with the column, it’s a monthly round-up of common household items that can be easily adapted to fulfill a new purpose. You’ll save money by not having to buy new items to complete a task, and as Real Simple managing editor Kristin van Ogtrop writes, the application of inventive reuse also has environmentally friendly implications.
“In this age of reduce/reuse/recycle, ‘New Uses for Old Things’ is the original green idea…and has served as a sort of beacon for staff members and readers alike,” writes van Ogtrop in a press release. “It has ‘smart,’ ‘surprising,’ and ‘good for the earth’ all wrapped up into one. What more could you want?”
Our favorite new uses for DIYers?
*Use an ice scraper to smooth wall filler into nail holes and small cracks left by picture-hanging mistakes.
*Cover doorknobs and other hardware with aluminum foil when you paint. The foil easily molds around the hardware to provide protection.
*Combat pesky weeds that sprout within sidewalk cracks and between paving stones with several sprays of vinegar.
*If you have extra paint-sample strips left over from a painting project, use them to make placecards. Pick a color that best represents each guest’s personality, then fold the strip in half, write the guest’s name on it and display it near the plate.
For these and 865 other tips, pick up “Real Simple: 869 New Uses For Old Things.” And in the meantime, feel free to share your favorite ways to use common household items in unexpected ways. We’re listening!
Photo courtesy of Real Simple