Creative Ways to Upcycle Common Office Items

by Ryan Miller

By Jamie McAllister

Does your office have a recycling program? What about an upcycling program? Recycling is great for the environment because it helps keep plastics, glass and paper out of landfills, but upcycling is even better because it helps keep money in your pocket. Finding innovative ways to reuse items you already have on hand means you don’t have to spend time and money buying something new. Upcycling also allows you to express your creativity by putting a unique twist on traditional items. Give the dumpster a break, and check out these five creative ways you can upcycle common office items.

1. Filing cabinets. It seems like just about every office has a clunky old filing cabinet. If that cabinet crouching in the corner is ugly but still functional, give it a facelift. Use paint, leftover wallpaper or even decorative tape to add color and excitement to what used to be the office eyesore.

2. Drawers. If a filing cabinet or desk isn’t salvageable, the drawers may still be in great shape. Decorate them and then hang them on the wall to display business memorabilia. Or free up space on your desk by using the wall-mounted drawers as cubbies for office supplies. You can even liven up the office with some plants and use the drawers as containers.

3. An old stool. A wobbly stool is no good for sitting, but it is good for storing umbrellas. Paint and decorate the stool, and then flip it upside down. Instant umbrella holder for the front lobby!

4. Toilet paper rolls. Yes, you could easily recycle those toilet paper rolls, but why not squeeze every last penny from your purchase? Toilet paper rolls can do double duty as holders to keep gadget cords under control. If you like, decorate the toilet rolls, and then slip the wound-up cords into the roll. No more out-of-control cords in the supply closet.

5. Office chairs. That old office chair that looks ready to be wheeled to the dumpster may just need a little TLC. With some fabric, leftover wallpaper or even a discarded sweater, you can reupholster that office chair and give it a new lease on life.

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