24 Genius Upcycling Hacks to Boost Your Emergency Preparedness

In an era where resourcefulness is key to preparedness, it’s essential to think creatively about items we often consider disposable. For preppers and those looking to maximize the utility of what they already have, this list of 24 upcycling ideas will not only reduce waste but also enhance your readiness and self-sufficiency.

We’ll explore clever ways to turn everyday items into valuable assets. From turning old jars into storage containers to transforming worn-out clothes into useful rags, these tips will help you make the most out of what you have. Let’s dive into these practical and innovative upcycling ideas that can boost your preparedness and ensure you’re ready for any situation.

1. From Worn T-shirts to Essential Cleaning Tools

a pile of coloured t-shirt
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Don’t let those old t-shirts gather dust. Transform them into indispensable cleaning rags. Soft, absorbent, and robust, these DIY rags are perfect for maintaining cleanliness and order in your safe haven.

2. Glass Jars: Multipurpose Storage Solutions

glass jars full of beans and grains
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After finishing that jar of pasta sauce, give it a new purpose. These sturdy jars can store anything from food leftovers to small essentials like buttons or screws, helping you stay organized and prepared.

3. Garden Planters from Old Footwear

old walking boots as planters
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Old boots or shoes can be quirky, resourceful planters for your survival garden. Filled with soil, they’re ideal for growing herbs and flowers, adding a personal touch to your self-sustaining garden.

4. Egg Cartons as Seed Starting Aids

Plants in a used egg box
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Start your survival garden efficiently using cardboard egg cartons as seed starters. Once the seedlings sprout, plant them directly into your garden bed, ensuring a constant supply of home-grown produce.

5. Repurpose Old Towels into Bath Mats

Rolled up towels on a bathroom floor
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Transform well-used towels into comfortable bath mats. This simple upcycling can provide a touch of comfort and functionality to your living space.

6. Wine Cork Bulletin Boards for Organizing Information

Image of wine corks
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Create a bulletin board from wine corks, a frame, and a hot glue gun. It’s perfect for keeping important notes and reminders in a highly visible and organized manner.

7. Old Books as Creative Shelves

row of books
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Turn old books into floating shelves, a stylish and innovative way to store and display items in your command center or study area.

8. Ladders as Versatile Shelving Units

woman standing next to a white ladder with books
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Repurpose an old ladder as a bookshelf or storage space for blankets and other essentials. This not only saves money but also adds a rustic charm to your space.

9. Mason Jars into Chic Soap Dispensers

mason soap dispensers
Image Credit: Canva

Convert mason jars into stylish soap dispensers. It’s a practical and attractive way to repurpose jars, reducing waste and enhancing functionality in your home. All you need is a mason jar soap dispenser lid.

10. CD Racks for Efficient Bag Storage

standing black metal CD rack
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Old CD racks can be upcycled into neat storage for bags, clutches, and small backpacks. This organization hack can be a real space-saver in your preparedness storage, keeping items easily accessible and in good condition.

11. Suitcases Reimagined as Pet Beds

two small dogs sitting inside a suitcase
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An old suitcase can be a comfortable and unique bed for your pets. Just add a soft pillow, and you’ve got a cozy spot for your furry companion, ensuring they’re as prepared as you are.

12. Picture Frames as Elegant Serving Trays

wooden serving tray
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Convert old picture frames into serving trays. This upcycling idea adds a touch of elegance to your gatherings, whether it’s for a strategic meeting or a comforting meal.

13. Curtains from Old Sheets

women opening curtains with a pile of folded sheets in the foreground Image Credit: RyanKing999 via Canva. Transform old sheets into light, airy curtains. This DIY project allows you to customize your living space while being resourceful and prepared for any situation.

14. Shower Curtain Rings for Scarf and Tool Storage

pine wooden showeer rings
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Shower curtain rings are excellent for organizing scarves or small tools. Attach them to a hanger for an organized, easy-to-access storage solution.

15. Wine Bottles as Candle Holders

candle wax around the tip of two wine bottles
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Empty wine bottles can become sophisticated candle holders, perfect for creating a calm ambiance during power outages or quiet evenings.

16. Old Jeans into Durable Aprons

image of a woman sewing with denim material
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Convert worn-out jeans into tough aprons, ideal for gardening or cooking. Denim is durable and can withstand rigorous use, making it perfect for various preparedness activities.

17. Magazine Coasters for a Splash of Color

a pile of blank table coasters next to a pile of magazines
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Upcycle old magazines into unique coasters. This fun project is great for adding a personal touch to your living space and engaging kids in a creative, resourceful activity.

18. Colanders as Industrial-Style Lampshades

image of a colender lampshade in a kitchen
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Repurpose a metal colander into a lampshade for an industrial look. The holes create a distinctive light pattern, adding character to your space.

19. Bread Clips for Cord Organization

multi-coloured bread clips on a table
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Use bread clips to label cords, keeping your electronics and appliances neatly organized and easily identifiable, a small but crucial step in maintaining order.

20. Greeting Cards Turned into Bookmarks

Image of pretty bookmarks on a table
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Old greeting cards can be cut into bookmarks. They’re not only functional but also add a personal and nostalgic touch to your reading materials.

21. Newspapers for Streak-Free Window Cleaning

two women cleaning a window with newspapers
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Utilize newspapers for cleaning windows. This old-school trick ensures a streak-free shine, a simple yet effective way to maintain clarity and visibility in your home.

22. Lip Balm Containers for Compact Storage

two pots of lip balm with the lid off
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Transform empty lip balm containers into mini storage units for small essentials like pins or pills. This is an excellent way to keep tiny, easily misplaced items organized, especially in a bug-out bag or emergency kit.

23. Teacup Pin Cushions and Storage

tea cup with pin cushion inside on kitchen worktop
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Old teacups can be filled with stuffing to create charming pin cushions or used to store small sewing supplies. This idea adds a vintage flair to your craft area and helps keep your sewing essentials organized.

24. Calendars as Unique Wrapping Paper

a mix of calenders
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Repurpose old calendars as wrapping paper for gifts. This creative and eco-friendly approach gives your presents a unique and artistic presentation, perfect for special occasions or as part of a bartering system.

20 Crucial Supplies for Surviving a Societal Collapse

glass of water
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In the face of uncertainty, being well-prepared gives you at least some degree of control and security. The thought of a societal collapse, while extreme, prompts us to consider how we might endure without the conveniences of our current lifestyle. Here’s a list of 20 essential items that could prove indispensable in such a scenario. This guide isn’t about succumbing to fear but embracing preparedness and resilience.

14 Essential Canned Goods for Your Emergency Pantry

selection of canned goods
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I firmly believe in keeping a well-stocked emergency pantry. While fresh food is ideal, in a survival situation, we may not be that lucky. So, for my family, even though we grow a lot of our own food, canned goods play a crucial role in emergency preparedness. They offer a reliable source of nutrition when access to fresh produce may be limited. The goods you stockpile should be affordable, easy to store, and full of nutrition.

Best Regions in the U.S. to Escape to When Society Collapses

Alaska skyline
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Choosing a refuge in the event of societal collapse involves weighing the pros and cons of each location against your personal preparedness goals and abilities. Whether you’re drawn to the solitude of the desert or the protective heights of the mountains, the key is finding a place that offers safety and the opportunity for growth and renewal.

 

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Katy Willis is a writer, lifelong homesteader, and master herbalist, master gardener, and canine nutritionist. Katy is a preparedness expert and modern homesteader practicing everyday preparedness, sustainability, and a holistic lifestyle.

She knows how important it is to be prepared for whatever life throws at you, because you just never know what's coming. And preparedness helps you give your family the best chance to thrive in any situation.

Katy is passionate about living naturally, growing food, keeping livestock, foraging, and making and using herbal remedies. Katy is an experienced herbalist and a member of the CMA (Complementary Medical Association).

Her preparedness skills go beyond just being "ready", she's ready to survive the initial disaster, and thrive afterward, too. She grows 100% organic food on roughly 15 acres and raises goats, chickens, and ducks. She also lovingly tends her orchard, where she grows many different fruit trees. And, because she likes to know exactly what she's feeding her family, she's a seasoned from-scratch cook and gluten-free baker.

Katy teaches foraging and environmental education classes, too, including self-sufficient living, modern homesteading, seed saving, and organic vegetable gardening.

Katy helps others learn forgotten skills, including basic survival skills and self-reliance.

She's been published on sites such as MSN, Angi, Home Advisor, Family Handyman, Wealth of Geeks, Readers Digest, and more.

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