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Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose

Posted on July 29, 2018 at 3:05 PM

Not every project needs to be expensive, complicated, or highly polished. Sometimes you just need cheap, simple, and functional. The last two projects that I posted about on my Instagram and Facebook qualify as the latter. Finding a new use for materials that are just laying around your property can be easy, fun, and cost-effective.

My wife and I are blessed to have two awesome, hilarious children. Our daughter is a freshly minted 2 year-old and our son is almost 4 months old, so it's fun! Earlier this month, we had our son baptized and my in-laws were gracious enough to host the party at their home. Sidebar: the actual ceremony was about 20 minutes long and we partied for about 10 hours straight afterwards because that's how big Irish-Italian families roll. Say what you want about the Catholics, but we know how to party. But I digress.

So my in-laws' mailbox and post was damaged because someone had clipped it (it had been set too close to the road by the previous homeowners) and needed to be replaced. We decided to use some old barn wood and fence posts that had been removed and were just lying around to create a new post and ledge to mount simple black mailbox from the hardware store.

The build itself was simple and fun - we removed the old mailbox and post, dug a hole below the frost line, about 18in back from where the original mailbox was, and filled in the old hole. We measured and cut the "new" post, ledge, and support piece. We attached the ledge to the post with 6" lag screws, and used 3" wood screws for the support piece and mailbox. We then placed the post into the hole, checked for plumb, and set the mailbox in concrete.

The result was a simple, rustic mailbox with lots of character for pennies on the dollar. Best part of all, we found a brand new use for some very old wood.

The second repurposing project I tackled this month was a pretty simple one. The homeowners wanted to take some wire shelving from one closet and install it in another closet. The only wrinkle (pun intended) was that the shelving proved to be about a foot too long for the space. I measured for the space and cut the shelving with my favorite go-to tool of all time. I then drilled holes to accept the anchors which had been carefully removed from the wall of the other closet, and installed the shelving. Many people might have simply thrown the old shelving in the trash and purchased new shelving for the new space, but before you go that route, take a look at what you already have. You might be suprised by how many possibilities there are when you consider reusing old materials. Good for your wallet, and good for the planet.


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