Monthly review of saved and restored items

For the last several months I followed Christine at Slow Living Essentials to keep track of the months activities with her Slow Living Month by Month, you can view her January post here. I had a great time and learned a lot when writing those posts.  It amazed me how much we accomplish in a 30 day period.  But with a new year can come changes.  I’ve decided not to follow Christine this year, but to take what I learned from her and make my own end of the month review.
While I want to grow more of my own food, and strive to reduce my trash and green my life, I found many of the categories I would have nothing to write except something that said more of the same.  If you want to know how I clean or what beauty regime I follow you can view my Live Green Page for that information.  I will update that page as I find something new.
So what will my monthly review cover?  Since a huge focus of my life is in leaving a better planet for future generations I will document here the things I’ve saved from landfills, tricks I’ve learned from nature that month, items I have re-purposed, or other things which are new to me that month. I hope you will continue to check my Saved From Landfill page to see how I try one item at a time to reduce the amount of trash collected locally.
Being January, and very cold, I tend to stay home quite a bit.  This month there wasn’t a lot going on to report, but I have a few things I can review for you.  As the weather warms I hope I have more to share.

Now on to a review of January

January began with a new life for two jewelry boxes.  One had a music box in it,  and I found another music box mechanism to add to the second jewelry box.  I continued to use free paint given to me last summer.  I am quickly running out of the white paint so I had to water it down to get a few more items completed with it. Yes, I use every drop, did you expect less of me?

IMG1193This was in shabby condition when it came to me, but with a fresh coat of paint and some magazine clippings I now have this.


You can read more about this little box here.

Next up adding music to a box.

This jewelry box wasn’t much better, the handles were all broken and weren’t the original, it was so dark it was hard to photograph but this is what I started with.


Again a little watered down white paint and some new knobs I have found a gem.

IMG1275You can learn more about this jewelry box here.


Trash seems to find me

In one day I found these items sitting inside the dumpster outside my home.

Three brand new pairs of mens shorts
Three brand new pairs of mens shorts

These pants were never worn and just happened to be the exact favorite style worn by my eldest son and his size.

Target shirt in size large, given to thrift shop after removing the Target emblem

Two plastic pitchers, ping pong balls, and a set of shot glasses. All but the shot glasses went to the thrift shop, I am working on something for the shot glasses.
Eight shelf closet organizer. My grand daughter has this in her closet for clothes, the stain on the very top shelf is nail polish which we removed with remover.

On another day I spotted these sitting outside waiting for garbage pickup.

dirty, worn and needing a few repairs
dirty, worn and needing a few repairs

I have the both in the final stages.  Here are a couple sneak peaks. Sorry about the quality of the pictures it’s late and lighting is poor.



I have a just a couple touches to complete on the one, and am currently waiting for a coat of paint to dry on the other.  I will be sharing these with you shortly.  But for now, know I removed the fabric and after a good soak and wash they came out in decent condition. I have put the fabric away for a future use.

Paint and supplies I had on hand.  The upholstery you see was also left over from other projects.  The only things I had to buy were one screw which was missing from one chair and a piece of fabric for one seat. Total cost less than $12, which was spent on the chair I am keeping for myself.  I’d say that’s a good deal for a new wooden chair.

While I didn’t think, or have time to photograph, one item I also saved a plastic coffee can which is now storing small toys in a child’s bedroom.

Cardboard  I now have a box where I save cardboard which I collect from several homes.  Everything from shipping boxes to boxes which held packaged foods, and everything in between is being given to me.  I even save the end flaps from the food boxes.  Here are just a few things you can do with cardboard.

  • Children can craft and draw on them
  • make gift tags
  • use to protect items when shipping
  • Templates for quilting or stenciling
  • make bookmarks for yourself or for a gift

Now for my trash

It does happen in life that no matter what you do you will still create trash.  This happened to me this month, my tiny dorm-size fridge died.  I did end up having to toss the door in the trash (boy was that hard for me to do).  The shelves and tray from inside were re-purposed and are now cooling racks for baking goods at a friend’s home, the tray is being used by another family for serving foods on.

As for the rest of the fridge I finally found it a home as an outdoor planter box.

While it was unexpected I am saving on electricity at the moment, my front window, draftier than I realized is now storage for a few items that I want cold and a trunk of a car serves as my freezer.

Final Thoughts

While this month felt slow, looking at what I was able to save makes me believe if everyone took a little time to think about it we could drastically reduce the need to waste so much land just to store our garbage.

This months total was 35 items saved from ending up in a landfill on a month when I didn’t venture further than my own back door, plus the cardboard.



  1. I am constantly amazed by the things that people throw out. Good on you for saving them.
    The furniture revamps are fantastic – especially love the jewellery boxes.


    • Thank you Fairy. While most surprise me, throwing never worn clothes in the trash just boggles my mind. I like how the jewelry boxes came out too. Can’t wait to give them as gifts to a couple little girls.


    • My son would very much agree with you on that. He says he pays close to $25 per pair for those shorts when he replaces a pair. It is my hope by doing a monthly review I will inspire others to see that every item saved can add up to a huge difference in the amount of trash we produce.


  2. Great post. I live the same way and still have a navy blue jumper found hn 1997 hn the alley by the rooming house I lived in then. Its a maternity style and really comfortable.


    • I’m so glad you are able to find items for yourself as well. I once had a maternity top I found and loved as well. It was a summer top and on those really humid days it was nice not to have something clinging to my body. Unfortunately the material wasn’t good and it fell apart over time.


    • This was a Target work shirt, the emblem was most likely a machine embroider. I simply picked and snipped the threads being careful not to cut or pull on the fabric to leave tell tale signs that something had been removed.


  3. It doesn’t sound like much of a slow month at all – you accomplished a lot of refurbishing. I didn’t really refurbish anything, but I did perk up most of our furniture by filling wood scratches and rubbing them all with some lemon oil. Everything looks shiny and new again.


    • Well, I’m off to a good start, yesterday I was delivered two guitars which are beat up and not worth anything. I was asked to do something creative to them to be used as art. Should be fun I’ve never worked on a guitar before and now I have two!


  4. I like to imagine that someday I will toss something out and I will see it refurbished on your blog! Of course, it would have a few miles to travel, but hey . . . it could happen!

    On Christmas Eve morning this year, I finally decided that I was ready to release a foosball table that we had had since my sons were young. I had the guys haul it up and make a cardboard (more uses for cardboard!) sign that read, “Merry Christmas — FREE!” and set it at the curb. I looked out maybe 2 minutes later and it was GONE! It need a small amount of TLC, but even as it was it was usable. I like to think someone had it under their tree the next morning like my boys did so many years ago.


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