Reduce and reuse are before recycle, and whenever possible, I like to use what we have.
When you have a small house, taking advantage of wall space is a must when trying to organize. The blank wall to the right of our wood stove has stood there, glaring at me balefully for the last few years, waiting for me to do something useful.
At last, with Earth Day staring me down, I did something to reuse one of the pieces of wood left over from our old front steps and create something useful, besides.
The first thing that needed to be done was to measure the wall. I eyeballed how long I thought the board I was going to use needed to be and decided on 25 inches, both because of how it looked as I held the tape above my head as well as because 25 is just so darn easy to divide.
Then I busted out the circular saw and trimmed off the excess. The salvaged wood has been chilling outside since we replaced the steps, so it was rather dirty. I liked the way the peeling, red paint looked, so I did a minimum of work to the board. I simply washed it with Murphy's Oil Soap and sanded down the edges, as well as the sections where the paint was peeling, just to make sure there would be no future splinters or paint pieces. (The age of the house plus being in California meant that I didn't need to worry about the board being covered in lead paint. Make sure to test with a kit if you have any questions before starting a similar task.)
While I waited for the newly clean board to dry, I found the studs in the wall. Though what I was hanging was pretty light, I didn't want anything damaging the wall down the line. Plus, I hate doing work over again.
One of the great things about spring cleaning this year was that I found an unopened package of large cup hooks shoved into the corner of a high shelf. They were exactly what I needed for this craft. I screwed in four hooks, five inches apart, and then was ready to hang the board on the wall.
Once attached, all that was left to be done was to hang the wood stove tools on the hooks and BOOM -- I had me a new piece of organization wonder from an old piece of wood. Cost to us, zero dollars, as we had everything on hand.
Now there's one less thing for me to trip over (Believe me -- I did that a lot.) and one more piece of practicality, and I kept a little something out of the landfill, too.
There's one more thing I'm planning for that small section of wall, so keep your eyes peeled. It's coming soon. I'm actually really excited about it.
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