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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pack Rats Anonymous

My name is Sharon.
I'm a packrat.

Welcome to the first virtual meeting of PRA, Pack Rats Anonymous.

After revisiting my post about Organizing and Time to "Fess Up" and it's follow up, Confessions for last week's Alphabe-Thursday's letter "O", I decided to follow up with some support for those of us who can't stand the waste in our "throw away" society.  It seemed natural to host a blog hop as therapy.  So, today's post is just that.  I'll share some of my reduce/reuse/recycle and more importantly, upcycle ideas and you can join in and share some of yours, practical and otherwise!  It will be like a Packrat Party!

I'll start.  Let's get the worst out of the an effort to use/recycle papers/cardboard as a base for mulch and lasagne beds in the garden, I generally have a supply of empty cardboard boxes and stacks of newspapers in the garage that make my husband cringe.  But, it's all for a good cause!

Here are other reduce/reuse/recycle/upcycle posts I've shared in the past:
There's Snowmen and Angels with recycled button eyes and accessories.

Second Hand about teaching my kids how to be thrifty about clothing.

The posts from last week, like the Greenhouse, about the greenhouse we made from water pipe that was pulled from our well when the pump had to be replaced, parts of an old metal shed and a dog kennel.

Or an Upcycled Old Sock that was my daughter's favorite.  I turned it into a cute plastice grocery bag holder.

I reuse my old cloth diapers or flannel shirts as pads for applying Compresses, Poultices, Plasters and Fomentations.
Or for covering a sore throat after applying Clear Head Vapor Ointment, we keep several old stained turtlenecks on hand.

Store bought salsa, etc., jars make excellent containers for the ingredients I keep on hand to make my herbal remedies and personal care products.  See the Herbal Medicine Chest Page for more posts about all of that.
I also use some of these for dry beans, loose leaf herbal teas, etc.  The best ones are those that canning rings will fit.  New lids make pickle jars or others with lingering odors useful.


We have a stereo in the kitchen. See the speakers? They're hidden inside a couple broken baskets and an old crate. I was so happy to find a use for these baskets because it would have been such a shame to throw them away but they couldn't be used for much else.
The red cupboard is a 1900 Sears and Roebuck that we rescued from a basement.  It was headed for the dump!

Admittedly, this table and chairs could use a little work but they serve as our "picnic table" on the porch.  Add a homey tablecloth and a canning jar of flowers and it looks nice!

An old, rusty cupcake tin makes a place for potpourri and candles or a place to separate jewelry or beading supplies or lined with cupcake papers for candy or nuts.

Old tins (dented sides to the wall), a picnic basket and my kraut crock look homey and make good storage for extras.

Well, I'm feeling about you?  Come know you've done it!  You've kept something that most folks would have thrown away and found a new use for it.  Please share your story with us here.  It's time to "fess up" and admit that you might be a bit of a packrat, too!  And that's okay! 

Just click below to add a reduce/reuse/recycle/upcycle story of your own.
Links should go directly to your post and not to your home page.
Posts can be old or new but...Please be sure to place a link in your post back to this hop so folks can see all the ideas.  All entries must be PG.
If you'd like to run this hop on your blog, I'd love to have you join me.  Click on the text below the linky and grab the code.  Should be fun to see how many folks we can reach and what kind of ideas we can gather.

Sharing the mayhem of PRA with
Homestead Blog Hop,

Jenny and friends @ Jenny Matlock
and Alex and friends @ Baby Steps to A Rockin' Life!


  1. Hello.
    My name is EG.
    I'm a packrat,
    AND I admire how you recycle items rather than just throw them away.

  2. Love, love, love the picnic table. And we've started reusing glass jars for storage here in Romania because there's not much in the way of Tupperware. I love the way they look, and it just feels better for the environment.

  3. Hmmmm! I hop from blog to blog, but I'm not sure I understand the actual blog hop thing... Like recycling, it sounds like a good idea.

  4. @Esther Joy The idea was to have folks link up posts they've written about reduce/reuse/recycle/upcycle ideas to share with others. Hence causing "hopping" from one site to another to read them.

  5. I don't think I'm ready to admit to full on "rattitude" I do have a lot of "stuff"

  6. I'm a packrat and I loved some of your ideas. I use layers of newspaper before mulching too. It's great at keeping the weeds down around the bushes. I've done that for many years. Back in the 70's I used newspapers when I had a vegetable garden and put hay on top. I never had to do much weeding.

  7. Now your examples make sense. I must say I just moved from one classroom to another at work, and I've decided I might just be a hoarder.

  8. Well there are lots of great ideas & suggestions here! Great to have found you!

  9. I love the picnic table! It would probably blow off my porch, but it would certainly add some charm...

  10. You are a good example. I recycle pretty well, but you take it to a whole new level!


  11. Hiding the that is really creative! I love to recycle. Thanks for sharing!~Ames

  12. Ok, the table is fantastic but I'm in L.O.V.E with the crate & baskets holding your kitchen stereo speakers. That is just downright brilliant!

  13. Your kitchen cabinets are beautiful.

    What perfectly wonderful ideas and suggestions you share here.

    I'm a lot less pack-ratty then I used to be...

    Although my husband might argue that point!


    Thanks for linking.


  14. @Stacia You are so right! Every now and then I purge my cabinets of all the odds and ends plastic "stuff" and go all glass. Even found some nice glass refridgerator style storage at a very reasonable price. But about half are canning jars and recycled jars.

  15. I just found your blog over there at the Homestead Blog Hop...

    I tend to be a pack rat-- I know it, my family knows it, now y'all know it.

    I don't just keep things because I'm too lazy to toss them, no. I keep them because I see the resourcefulness that the piece has to beside it's intended purpose!
    I try to find ways to use things and get the most out of it. Whether old T-shirts become rags or rugs, newspaper becomes a pot for plant starters, anything with a void on the inside become storage for who knows what! Can, canisters, old suit cases, small wooden boxes, metal tool boxes...
    I love keeping these things out of the land fill and using them up!
    My family and my kids- they all think I'm nuts!

    glad to find you...Pat

  16. @Corn in my Coffee-Pot A woman after my own heart! Welcome aboard! Care to write an article with pictures to link up?


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