By Laura Gee, Internet Marketing Associate

Upcycling is taking something that largely seems like trash or no longer is viable for its original purpose. It is a great way to save money and to turn trash into treasure. Upcycling is recycling’s prettier cousin. Instead of recycling, where you are usually eliminating the original structure of a piece, you are upcycling and making the original item better. There are many, many ways to use the practice of upcycling in the self storage world.

One of my favorite things to upcycle would have to be old luggage. You don’t have to find some glorious trunk that looks like something a rich person during Prohibition would have used to make a great piece of upcycled storage. Instead, you can find any old flea market, yard sale, or thrift shop luggage and make it your own. The old, hard plastic suitcases can easily be painted or you can decoupage things to it. Maps, post cards, pictures, wall paper, or anything else paper related can easily be adheared to suitcase to help match your aesthetic preference. You can stack two or three of these transformed suitcases on their side and turn them into a chic end table that is full of storage. Another great way to upcycle a suitcase or trunk is to turn it into hassock or chair.

Old entertainment centers make for great storage organization. Even the cheap, laminate ones are great for upcycling. With a little bit of paint, some new hardware, and the removal of a door or two and you have a great new piece of furniture. Entertainment centers were built for television organization, but they make great book cases, wine bars, or crafting tables. The open area where the giant tube tv used to go makes for a great workspace.

My last upcylcing tip for self storage is a shoe box. The great part about shoe boxes is that they come in so many different shapes and sizes. Shoe boxes can easily be spray painted, decoupage, or covered with fabric. You don’t have to spend a fortune on those trendy canvas boxes. Putting fabric around a shoe box gives you the same effect and is a whole lot cheaper. Due to their varying sizes, shoe boxes are great storage options for DVDs, pictures, recipes, kids’ toys, books, and anything really! To go about and beyond with your organization, use chalk board spray paint on the end of the shoe box so you can label the box according to its contents no matter how many times you reuse the item.

I could go on for days how to expand your storage capabilities, but for now I’ll leave you with that. Look around your house and see what you can transform into an interesting storage item. Check out thrift stores, garage sales, and online sale sites to find cheap things to transform into something great. With some spray paint, a glue gun, and some old junk you find, you can create just about anything.