I'm beginning to learn that keeping house is very much about problem-solving - Seeing a need and figuring out a solution. Gone are the days where I look for a store-bought solution, and here right now are the ones where I do my best to use what I have. So, in the spirit of thrift and creativity, there's been a little re-purposing going on around here!
My first problem was that welcoming the baby to the table for family meals, albeit wonderful and adorable and fun, is also very messy. At first, I had a little wool cover (that was originally intended to fit over a changing table pad) which I put in her highchair as a cushion. But it quickly became apparent that washing sticky bits from the wool was not the easiest or best solution. So now I have an old washable cotton car seat liner placed over the wool. Baby still gets a nice cushy spot to eat, but I don't spend hours picking at wool (and by that, I mean the un-fun kind of picking at wool).
Another recent need is a place to store my extra laundry powder so I could make big batches at a time and have easy access to it. This old metal milk crate turned out to be a great solution, and it's fun to see such a charming old thing sitting on top of the washer.
Next up is my on-going and ever-growing problem of how to contain kitchen scraps before they're brought out to the animals or compost. I've used bowls, but they're cumbersome without any handles. I've used bags, but they leak and are wasteful. I've used buckets, but they're quite large to sit on the counter, don't have lids, and before you know it, there are little fruit flies in your kitchen (even in winter!). I needed some reasonably-sized containers with lids and handles that could be dumped, rinsed out, and re-used. As luck would have it, my mom had been given this set of canisters as a gift awhile back. She didn't have a used for them, so she gave them to me! With a little labeling and the making of make-shift handles with a drill and some chicken wire, I think they will work out beautifully.
A little re-purposing. A whole lot of satisfaction.