Last weekend, Money Crashers published my latest post, which is all about the idea of reuse. However, I didn't immediately post a link to it here, because I wanted to focus on getting out my other post about tidying up my life for the new year, which included upgrading my computer and cleaning out my closet. It wasn't until I finished that post that I realized the two topics were actually thematically linked.
See, one way to reuse is to get more use out of the things you have by maintaining and repairing them. That's what I did recently with our window shades, and it's what I did with my computer by upgrading it. Some folks in my position would probably have decided that, after five years, it was time for a whole new computer. But I preferred to stick with the one I had if at all possible—partly because I assumed it would be less hassle to upgrade than to shop for a new machine and then transfer all my files to it, partly because it would be cheaper, and most of all, because I didn't want to discard a computer that still worked. So instead of heading for the mall (real or virtual), I just downloaded some software and spent a total of $150 instead of $500 or more.
Another way to reuse is to pass along items you don't need to someone else who can use them. And that's what I did when I cleaned out my closets: all the usable clothing got donated (except a few items I set aside to offer to friends and family), and all the non-usable clothing went into the textile recycling bin. Of course, I can't be sure Repurpose New Jersey will actually be able to use all of it, but at least I did everything I could to keep it from going to waste.
In the Money Crashers article, I explore these forms of reuse in detail, along with several others: replacing disposable items with reusable ones (as we've done with our rechargeable batteries), shopping secondhand (as I did this year during Thrift Week), using the sharing economy to spread out the use of one item among many people, and my favorite kind of all, creative reuse—turning trash into useful stuff, as Brian did with my magnet board and his hardback-book tablet case.
Read more about how you can choose to reuse, and the benefits of doing so, here: 5 Ways to Reuse Items to Save Money and Reduce Waste