The Power of Being Resourceful
* Submitted by Jennifer L. Fouts
What does it mean to be resourceful, exactly? It is not the same thing as being stingy or "cheap". When I hear a word like "being resourceful" I take it to mean making good use of resources, being creative, perhaps in a thrifty way, and maintaining a habit of it. If you are anything like me, you are resourceful if you believe "time is money", you do not like to buy unnecessary things, and you figure out clever ways to get what you want or need, perhaps by making something out of ordinary materials.
What influences a more resourceful attitude than others? Many rags to riches celebrities, who may have grown up knowing dire poverty, may have a carryover of being frugal in life even when they encountered fame and fortune. They knew what it was like to live in lack or scarcity in the past, and it might have been a character building trait for them later on. Even with the richest of riches, they learned not to take their material luxuries for granted. My grandparents were children of the Great Depression and I remember how they were always (rightfully so!) disgusted with the more casual and spendthrift ways of my peers. So you see, I learned from the best example. Now that we are not in the greatest of economic times, we can learn a thing or two from them.
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So how can you become more resourceful in your life, without making too many sacrifices on enjoyment or fun? Creativity is key! For example, when I find cardboard boxes lying around, I look at them and decide if they would be useful for storage purposes. I found a few that were sized just right for storing games and movies and so I used colorful duct tape to cover the boxes and make them attractive to use as storage bins. I have also done this with shoe-boxes, as they can hold many things. Also, they look nice when I get through with them, even better than some of the more banal looking storage bins I have found at big box retailers. But it doesn't have to stop with boxes... I have found that many other things can be re-purposed, like wide mouth jars, coffee cans, and empty soda bottles... you'd be surprised at the many uses that could be found for them all.
We live in an era of heightened eco-awareness, in which many more households are sorting trash and creating recycle bins for additional items such as soda bottles, cartons, milk jugs and tin cans. While I highly endorse the practice (and participate in it as well) I strongly suggest you take a look around what ends up in your recycle bin, and see what you could be up-cycling instead. Could that empty tissue box double as a storage container for trinkets, just by Mod Podging the outside? How about decorating an empty coffee can or soup can to be used as a pen caddy? Or multiple soup cans put together to make up one nifty desk caddy for all of your office bric-a-brac? The things you put together can look really GOOD when all is said and done... a little browsing and you are sure to find many online resources on re-purposing and up-cycling.
Once you master this skill, you will find that the saying "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade" to be very true, and many "win-wins" in the form of conservation and creativity. You will have more enjoyment in your life when you realize an empty can, box, or egg carton deserve a second chance at life than just ending up sitting in a recycle bin or dumpster.
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