Monday, March 10, 2014

Trash(can) to Treasure

Have you ever had a total light bulb moment over something so small it almost felt silly? Well, I had that happen just last week. But the change it inspired has really made my daily life a little less frustrating. In our home, the laundry room shares a space with the downstairs bathroom and because of that, they share a trash can. It was a stainless steel step trash can (unfortunately I don't have a picture of that, but it was a standard, pedal-operated trash can). The problem was every time I opened the lid with the pedal, the lid banged against the shower stall. This could happen several times a day if I were doing lots of laundry and emptying the lint trap from the dryer fairly often. Even when I pulled it away from the shower, it would end up being pushed back when I stepped on the pedal. It seems small, but it was really irritating hearing that banging noise.

So one day I was at Target and browsed their trash cans - specifically those with an open top. Well, there weren't many cute ones to choose from and those that were not totally ugly were $20 or more. I did NOT want to spend that on a trash can. So I resigned myself to just dealing with our noisy one.

Fast forward to last week, I took out the can's dark gray plastic insert to wash (it was pretty fuzzy from all that lint). As it was sitting in the sink, the first light bulb went off: why don't I just use the insert as the trash can and lose the stainless steel portion all together? Yes, that would work! I felt so proud that I had saved us some dollars by using what we already had but in a different way. Then, as I looked at the can, I remembered we had a can of white spray paint. Light bulb #2: I can spray paint it white to better match our decor! Then, light bulb #3: I have painters tape! I can tape off a design, then paint it, and I'd have a cute custom trash can. I suddenly had visions of a super cute white trash can with a dark gray chevron design. Then, I came back to reality: I have three month old twins. I barely have time to eat, let alone tape off a chevron design on a trash can. So, I decided to just tape off two wide stripes - one near the top rim, and one near the bottom, then paint. I would still have the two-tone look I was going for, but far more simple.

So on went the tape, and the hubby went to work with the spray paint. This is the end product:
I completely love it, for lots of reasons. I love that we were able to repurpose and reuse an item we already had, we didn't have to spend a dime, it's no longer irritating every time I have to throw something away, there is no loud banging noise that may wake the babies (since they nap in an adjoining room), and it's the perfect size for 4 gallon trash bags so no more fuzzy trash can! It's amazing how changing one little thing can really make such a difference. And I've already found a few more things around the house to introduce to that can of spray paint. :)

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