The Calendar Says Spring

I finally completed the inventory of my home. I didn’t do this to see how many items I own, but to assess my footprint and where I can do better.  In the process I found several items I no longer need, more on that another day.  But if you are curious you can see the completed list here.

My granddaughter who enjoys photographing birds.

My granddaughter who enjoys photographing birds.

Today, I want to celebrate spring, even though we’ve had snow for the last three days, by showing you several ideas which can save you money and give old items a new lease on life in the garden.  And the great part is that you can collect these items while spring cleaning your home helping to create more space indoors.

With a small home I watch carefully what comes into my space but one aspect of spring cleaning, the decluttering, is an ongoing task.  What do you do with the stuff you have in the pile to donate, or worse to toss out?  I’d like to share some of my favorite inspirations to repurpose those unwanted items into some thing useful.


Hopefully the warmer weather has arrived where you are. Now is the time to go through all those sweaters and make a decision on whether or not to save them for next year.  Do they fit properly?  Did you wear them this winter?  If you end up with a pile of sweaters you no longer want consider turning them into a gift for a baby.

baby blanket

Pamper your four legged best friend.

dog bed

Or maybe you would like a new throw pillow for your reading chair.

moving to the garden

You may be surprised how many items you have indoors that can be useful to you in the gardens.  If you have gone through your DVDs and CDs and are left with an empty binder, why not use it to keep your seeds organized?


If you are planting a garden a trellis may be on your wish list this summer.  Take a look around and see if you have what you need already.  Here’s a bit of inspiration to get you thinking outside the box.

bike trellis



Have you gotten rid of enough shoes you no longer need that shoe organizer?


Or maybe you would like a special place to sit under your favorite tree?  Pull that broken chair out of the trash.


Maybe you have wanted a large planter for your deck or patio.  Look no further than that old filing cabinet you no longer need now that every thing is saved on USB drives.  This is one I want to use. I have a plan to grow lemon grass outside my front window. It would help add privacy and keep the hot sun from heating up the apartment.  I picture this with casters I’ve held on to from other pieces of furniture so it could be moved indoors when the weather turns cold.

Those drawers you removed from the filing cabinet would also make wonderful planter boxes so don’t toss them out.

Do you have an old ladder that isn’t all that safe any more to climb?   It would make a lovely raised bed.

And while you are cleaning, don’t throw out all those paper notes and mail, shred it and add it to your compost or use in a bottom of a planter.

Don’t forget the birds

When I first thought of birds I thought of all the kitchen items that could be repurposed, and I will show you a few, but you can create homes for the birds from other things you have around the house.

Do you have old shutters?  They can be used to create lovely birdhouses.


Did you clean out the attic and find an old rotary phone. Broken, don’t use a landline? No worries, it still has a use.

rotary phone

This one uses a few items from your home.  A bowl, an extra knob and a 45 rpm record.  Do you think you can find these around the house?

Did a well-meaning relative gift you with a gumball machine?  Put it outside for the birds.

gumball machine

Yes, even your son’s outgrown hiking boot can have new life as a home for our feathered friends.

discarded boot

Don’t toss out that light fixture you replaced it would make a welcome bird bath.

Of course items from the kitchen are versatile enough to make feeders and homes out of.  Here are just a few ideas which need no explanation.


tea pot

As you can see the ideas for what to do with your clutter are endless.  We can’t afford to keep throwing things away, and buying new isn’t always an option in this economy.  For more ideas check out my Pinterest boards where I have these and many more ideas and stay tuned for ideas for repurposing those toys that are broken or no longer played with.


 Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore if you see it as a way to make do.


Are you busy getting your garden ready?



You might also enjoy:








20 thoughts on “The Calendar Says Spring

  1. Wow! So many many good ideas here Lois I shall take away with me.. Loved the Boot that got turned into a nest.. and the shoe holder idea for plants.. But my favourite I think is the CD pocket ideal for a seed holder.. :-) Thank you for all the effort this post took in putting together… Love to you Sue xox


    • Sue, it’s fun to see which ideas are favorites of each person seeing these examples. When I saw the shoe holder I had to laugh because I gave mine (which I stored clothes in) to my daughter-in-law having never thought to use it as a planter. I plan to make a similar birdhouse from an old pair of boots.;-)


    • Wendy, I have a pair of winter hiking boots that I hate wearing and have considered buying cleats to add to the bottom of my shoes for winter instead which would allow me to get rid of the boots. I’ve already been looking at where I could put my boots for the birds. I have some wood here I am working on how to add to make a roof over them. I’ll share when I get it finished. :-)


  2. Hmmmm… OK you’ve got me thinking. I’ve got these old wooden ladders taking up space in the garage, and they’re really too rickety for me to even give them away without fearing that I’d be contributing to a serious accident. They’re covered with lots of old paint splatters, and who knows what else, so I’m not really sure I’d want them near food crops… but maybe I could incorporate them into the front yard xeriscape. Can anybody envision a way they could be used to help terrace a small hill?


    • I think ladders would be perfect on a hill. You could use them to create a walkway, maybe add steps between them to lead to a seating area, or use them vertically to create their own”landing” areas along the hill to use the terrain to your advantage. I think your ladders would be lovely in your xeriscape.


  3. Wow, Lois–some of these ideas are simply brilliant! Thank you so much for a thought-provoking collection of upcycled things. I think my favorites were the sweater-into-baby-quilt and the shoe- organizer-into-planter. People are so creative…

    And I love the photograph of your granddaughter taking pictures of the birds…so very sweet!


    • Joy, I am so happy you liked these ideas. With so many spring cleaning and trying to purge unnecessary items from their homes I am concerned about how much will end up in the landfills. You know me. :-)

      Isn’t that picture sweet? My son took it. They were given a membership to that place as a birthday gift for the little one, she’s really enjoying it.


  4. love the ideas. we too have shaken our heads at the day spring “arrived”…We got a good bit of COLD weather and snow…

    however, given a few new ideas to mull over here, might get my mind back on the “spring” track.


I enjoy hearing from you, please share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s