Sunday, March 24, 2013


What an interesting word--repurposing. The online dictionary defines it as: To use or convert for use in another format or product. I prefer to think of it more as taking something useless and making useful.

Take, for instance, an old shoe factory rack that has been part of our household furniture for the past decades. This no small wheeled rack has been languishing without a well defined purpose in the basement as a collection locale for oversized dishes.

On more than one occasion it has been considered for downsizing by earning an inglorious trip to the dump in the bed of my truck--which is sad because it is not only old, but somewhat unique. It is an antique? Probably not. It, for some reason, has been spared. Probably because it is old and unique--just not overly useful.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, as the rack was again being considered for downsizing Chris had the grand idea of repurposing it as a wine rack!  What a great idea. All it would take was to construct some shelves to hold wine bottles. Best of all, the modifications would not require changes to the shoe rack--it would remain in its original configuration, in case it has any intrinsic value.

The design was fairly simple since the rack already had shelves and so, with a little bit of construction and some relatively inexpensive wood and stain, the former rack of limited usefulness was repurposed and now has a definite role within the house.

What a great word--repurposing. Taking something useless and making it useful again!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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