It’s always a hardline to draw between keeping something and throwing it away. Sometimes you tell yourself, “Well, maybe I could use this or upcycle it somehow?” and other times it seems like it won’t ever see the light of day or a craft project ever. So, if often find yourself with that struggle, hopefully this list can help you. Here are 17 things that you should definitely never throw away.
1. Always keep spare buttons (unless they’re broken or damaged). Most buttons are so small that you can get a little box and store them away in a closet without any problems. Buttons are great for emergency clothing repairs, craft projects, or anything in between.
2. Never throw away fancy glass bottles, especially if they still have their lid. You can find tons of uses for glass bottles—artfully storing cleaning supplies, canning jams and jellies, etc. Make sure they’re stored away properly so they don’t accidently break and get glass everywhere.
3. Speaking of glass bottles, another container that’s great to keep around is baby food jars. You can use them to store spices, make impromptu salt and pepper shakers, or even keep them in the garage to organize nails and screws.
4. Don’t throw away pens and pencils unless they’re broken or useless. If you do throw them out to minimize the load, you’ll find yourself at the store within a few weeks buying more. Pens and pencils seem to disappear in every house, so having a stash is a great idea.
5. Keep all your picture frames stored away neatly, unless they’re broken of course. Throughout your life, as you redecorate, move, get move pictures, etc. you’ll find yourself in the need of a picture frame or two. If it’s ugly, don’t worry—you can always paint and decorate to make a brand new looking frame!
6. While getting junk mail and unwanted flyers may be obnoxious, don’t throw them all away just yet. Keep quite a bit of the extra newspaper around so that, when you need to store fragile items, you have newspaper to act as a cushion. You can also use newspaper to wrap presents on the fly or use as kindling for your fireplace.
7. Keep any and all wine corks that you may have collected over the years. Wine corks in vases and glass jars is actually a pretty popular decoration these days, so you can make your own at the fraction of the price.
8. I know this may seem a bit hoarder-ish, but broken bits of crayons are one thing that you should keep around. One, you could melt them together if you really wanted to get as much use out of the crayon as possible. Or, more fun, you can make fun melted crayon art for the whole family to enjoy!
9. Let’s be honest, does anyone actually use pipe cleaners to clean out pipes? I know I don’t. But that doesn’t mean you need to throw them out. They take up so little space, but they’re great for kids’ craft projects and sprucing up a card or last minute decoration.
10. Toilet paper and paper towels rolls can actually often come in handy around the house. You can use them to store cords, hold wrapping paper, or even make fun holiday decorations. Keep the rolls around and search the Internet for some great uses your home could use.
11. You don’t need to keep fruit and vegetable scraps around your house, but you also shouldn’t throw them away. If you have a garden or herb patch, then use the scraps as compost to make the plants grow even better!
12. There’s no need to throw away any clothes if they’ve got holes or rips in them. Instead, repurpose them to become rags for around the house. This way, you’ll save money and be helping out the environment.
13. If you’ve ever looked at a garden DIY blog, then you know never to throw away wood pallets. There are TONS of craft projects to be done with pallets, and you can save money if you don’t throw yours away.
14.Old tires are another object that is great for DIY projects. Whether it’s in the garden, on the back porch, or a swing in the front yard, old tires are a great item to upcycle.
15.If you’re going through your library and stacking up tons of books to throw out or donate, reconsider! There are so many ways to upcycle books that you should never need to get rid of them. You can use the pages as jewelry or the covers as hide-aways around your home. Find some great craft ideas online and go for it!
16. Keep your old toothbrushes around, even if you aren’t going to use them to brush your teeth. Toothbrushes are great to clean and scrub parts of your kitchen and bathroom. Keep them until they go bad or lose their bristles.
17. Coffee filters—either used or unused—are another thing that you shouldn’t throw away. Used filters are great for gardening projects and unused ones make great craft material!