My wife and I have been renovating the interior of our house since last fall and, despite having a few-week-long sabbaticals, we are starting to make some real progress. Our kitchen is almost finished and our living room is about half done.
One of the challenges we faced when we started was figuring out what to do with the scraps we pulled out of our house. Our city only allows us to put items like that on the curb twice a year and, since we don’t want to pay someone to haul the stuff away for us, we needed to find ways to reduce the amount of waste we had to put aside until the next pickup. We were able to do this by reusing those scraps in three different ways.
First, most of our scrap boards are being converted to shelves. One of our biggest complaints about our house was the lack of shelves, something that was the direct result of plastic, brick-shaped paneling that was on the walls and prevented us from hanging anything on them (even family photos). Now that the plastic brick is gone, we are building those shelves using boards pulled out of a divider that was also ripped out of our house last October.
Second, our indoor trellis became an outdoor one. The divider we tore out had a beautiful trellis that I really hated getting rid of. So, since we really didn’t have a use for it inside, I took it outside instead. Once it finally warms up enough for me to start planting things, I’m going to use it either for my pole beans or some sort of climbing vine or flower.
Last, our old carpeting is being used to keep the weeds down. This is actually only a temporary thing and, next fall; it will be on the curb with the other unused renovation scraps. However, since I have it sitting in my yard anyway, I cut it into strips and used it around my box gardens as a way of keeping the weeds from popping up around them. So far, it has worked just fine and, since it is heavier than the landscape fabric I would normally use, I don’t have to worry about weighing it down.
So far, renovating our house, while a lot of work, has been worth it. And, by taking these steps, there is considerably less waste for us to dispose of.