How can I reuse or recycle suitcases?

suitcaseHi! Sorry about the lack of posts over the last few days – we’re in Madrid at a technical conference/holiday — I had hoped to update from the airport on Wednesday and from here yesterday but the internet didn’t allow it. Naughty internet.

Most people here rave about the Prado and the tapas but because I’m a recycling nerd, I’ve been spotting the numerous recycling bins around the place, and raving to my travel buddies about how the glass drinks bottles seem to be collected regularly from bars by the supplier for direct cleaning/reuse rather than the more labour intensive generic glass recycling. !Excelente!

So anyway, suitcases. When I was packing our bags on Tuesday night, I found one of our wheelie suitcase is now 50% less wheelie – one of the wheels must have broken off on a previous trip/during our house move. If we can find another wheel around the right size, we’ll probably try to fix it because otherwise the suitcase is perfectly fine but what else can we do with it now it’s a bit annoying for travelling?

I’ve seen pretty, old clam-shell suitcases uses to make pet beds and we’re actually looking out for an old trunk/hat box to use as a wood basket near our new woodburning stove – but the one that’s broken is of the generic modern type, which might look retro and interesting in fifty years time but now if we use it for anything on display, it’ll just look like we’ve not unpacked from a trip. The cats are magnetically drawn to half-packed suitcases though so I doubt they’d complain.

Other suggestions?

I guess a related question is what do you do with suitcases when you’re not travelling? Do you and your friends/family reduce the amount needed by sharing? Are there any places that rent out suitcases to stop everyone having to buy and store their own? Do you use them for other storage around the home? Or do they sit empty in a far-away cupboard?

(Normal service should resume from Tuesday. :) )

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14 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle suitcases?”

  1. Cipollina says:

    One could make a slip-over cover of some sort for the cat bed – make it so it sort of becomes like a skirt on the outside, maybe, and then put a matching cushion inside. Done the right way and using the right fabric it doesn’t need to look frilly.

    A skirt could camouflage a suitcase used as a wood bin, too. It could be fastened with velcro for easy removal when it’s dirty, maybe. Fabric could be glued or velcroed to the inside rim a bit down, to cover the ugly plastic when there’s little wood in the bin.

  2. una idea says:

    I use some old and borken suitcases to store stuff in my basement : cables and electrics devices I dont use anymore.

    maybe one day I should get rid of it all !

  3. Bobbie says:

    If you have some of the smaller cases you could use it to store specific use stuff. Like I keep my hair cutting supplies in one of the smallest cases. The next size up holds my collage craft stuff, I like this as it is all together and no searching for all the supplies…plus keeps the mess out of the way. Just open the lid and voila! you are back in the crafting business. I want to put other craft supplies in their own case too, like my crochet stuff and my art stuff.

  4. Laurie says:

    I use our more dilapidated suitcases for storing winter clothes in the basement (coats, hats, scarves, heavy sweaters) and of course summer clothes this time of year.

  5. We use ours to store winter/summer clothes, depending on the season

  6. ed says:

    cut the hinge on the case, drill some holes and plant it up. good for salad crops.

  7. caroline says:

    I have about five under the bed with all sorts in them. Christmas decorations, old letters and photos, clothes we only wear on holiday (e.g. snorkels, ski suits)

  8. anna says:

    My cats love suitcases. So especially those cabin size cases make awesome kitty beds (just add a soft enough pillow), but I guess they wouldn’t mind a bigger one either.

  9. Alison says:

    I was given a suitcase yesterday with lots of family photos in it so it’s ideal for that but my cats loved it for some reason. They both sat in the lid! You could Freegle it on your local group as well.

  10. Perfect for storing unrecycled scratch cards!!

  11. Kathy says:

    I would break down the suitcase and turn it into a shelf that hangs on the wall. Most people would actually think that is pretty trendy.

  12. kitschkitty says:

    I use them to store out of season clothes, and I have an old cardboard suitcase that is the perfect size to use as an under bed storage box (and saves on spending money on a plastic box) which I keep all my bubble wrap and envelopes in ready for re-use.

    They are great for storage, or freecycle them, after all in the old days suitcases didn’t come with wheels!

  13. mommacat says:

    There are many areas of the country where you are encouraged to have
    a emergency preparedness plan I.C.E.. It is recommened that you pack
    a small suitcase for each member of the family and be ready to evacuate
    your home on a moment’s notice. Think; Forrest Fire, Earthquake, Flood,
    Tornado, Hurricane. There are websites that discuss this in detail. You
    can check with The Red Cross, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, F.E.M.A. and others….. Search; Disaster Preparedness or
    Civil Defense. After you prepare your little “Survival Kit”, hope like H*ll
    you never have to use it. But as they say; “It’s better to have it, and not need it, than to need it and not have it!

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