What’s in your junk drawer? An educated guess would include old smartphones, glasses frames and cases, and outdated or broken watches. It’s tempting to throw stuff like this out. It certainly doesn’t make sense to keep it around gathering dust or taking up space. But consider this: You can reuse these common items, some for entirely new purposes.
Reconsider these reuse opportunities
New tricks for old smartphones and tablets
Gallup surveyed almost 16,000 smartphone owners in mid-2015 and found that 44 percent replace their phones every two years. Almost all the remaining respondents (54 percent) wait until the phone is obsolete or stops working altogether.
That still leaves a lot of working, albeit old, smartphones lying around. These phones may be too slow to surf the Web and download video, but they still connect to emergency and first responder services even when they aren’t part of a service. Use them as spares for this purpose, particularly if you live in an area prone to sudden violent storms like tornadoes or earthquakes.
- Keep a couple of fully charged phones in your home in the event of an emergency. Basements are one good place to keep them.
- Keep a phone and charging device in each vehicle you own.
Old smartphones also have apps that work independent of the phone function. Use apps to use your smartphone in the following ways:
- Use it as an MP3 player to take on your run or hike, or strap to your bike or other exercise machine.
- Turn it into a remote control device for your entertainment center or to stream services like Google Chromecast.
- Even the oldest cellphones have a timer or alarm function to set at night or use as a kitchen timer.
Both smartphones and old tablets also make excellent dedicated electronic photo albums.
Keep your glasses but replace the lenses
Before you you drop a lot of money on Tom Ford or Dolce & Gabbana frames, see if you can buy insurance for replacing broken frames or lenses. Chances are you won’t want to replace that look for at least a few years, particularly if they’re one of those timeless styles that always looks cool.
Did you drop your sunglasses again? Instead of heading to the mall for a new pair, just replace the lenses. Revant Optics sells replacement lenses for more than a dozen brands including Oakley, Ray-Bans, Costa and Maui Jim. Depending on the brand, you can also select from a variety of lens tints and colors that are matched to activities like fishing or skiing.
Store other stuff in all those eyeglass cases
Every time you buy a pair of glasses, a new case comes along. How many do you really need for glasses?
- Use these cases to organize and store pencils, crayons and markers for the kids’ projects.
- Stuff bandages and ointment in a couple to make a basic first aid kit for your vehicle.
- They also make great manicure kits.
Bonus: Stash extra keys and cash that the kids will never find.
Give an old watch a new look
Take a look at the old watches in your jewelry box or junk drawer. Chances are, a new band can make it appealing once again. There’s no end of band and strap styles out there, from leather or cloth to metallic or rubber chains. And don’t hate a watch because it’s hard to strap on. Try an expandable strap or butterfly clasp.
Is the watch really broken? Give the face a new look to create an interesting bracelet, necklace, or pin. Paint over it and etch an interesting design or tiny decal.
No matter whether you consider these reuse tips or repurposing tips, one thing is for sure – keeping these materials out of the landfill helps reduce waste and keeps money in your pocket.
Now go dive into that junk drawer. It’s been lonely lately.
Content provided by SocialMonsters. Feature image Pixsooz/Shutterstock