When I was a kid, going to a yard sale was the very definition of torture. Walk around the yard of someone I didn't know? Talk to strangers? Look through - and possibly buy - their used stuff? How mortifying! A flea market was equally painful. And forget about wearing hand-me-downs. Who would want to wear someone else's clothes?
Wow, has my perspective changed since then. As an adult I sure am grateful for other people's used stuff. Consignment stores and used book stores are my favorite places to shop. I am so grateful for every hand-me-down piece of clothing my kids (and occasionally even I) have received. And I'm equally gleeful when I pass those items along to the next family. Our patio furniture is a mix of handed-down delights, dumpster dive treasures, and flea market finds, items we never would have been able to afford if we were buying new.
But it's not just the financial savings that sparks joy. It's the idea that I'm not consuming more new stuff, that items can find new life when used by different people or in a different way. I've seen countless Facebook friends repurpose furniture, jewelry and more, combining creativity and resourcefulness to give old items new life. It's amazing to see how one man's junk really turns into another man's treasure.
Ideas and words can be repurposed too. On several occasions a proposal that's rejected by one prospective client includes the perfect verbiage, positioning or pricing for another project that comes along. Discarded blog posts often contain one or two good ideas that can be used to start another one.
To reuse and repurpose more in your life, ask these questions:
How can this be used a different way?
Who could use this or create something new from it?
What do I already have that could fit this need?
What worked before that I can use again?