One example is an ice cream bucket. Just a plastic bucket with a lid can have numerous possibilities. We rarely buy ice cream and when we do it is rarely a bucket of it. But the few times we do we save the bucket and use it for another intention.Compost keeper. We keep a bucket in our kitchen to collect any food scraps (minus meat) that we may have through out the day, and dump the whole lot in the compost bin outside nightly. It saves several trips back and forth during the day and the lid keeps odors at bay.
Cleaning bucket. I use an ice cream bucket for my mop water when I am mopping the floor. It is the perfect size and fits nicely behind our laundry room door when not in use. I also fill it up with sudsy water when cleaning out the fridge, washing walls or cabinets, and other cleaning projects.
Toy Organizer. These buckets are the perfect size for storing small toys such as Legos, Playmobil, and odds and ends of toys that have no where else to go. Kids can decorate the buckets with stickers or markers or mom can label them with pretty labels.
For Pets. If you are traveling an ice cream bucket is the perfect way to bring your pet's food with you without worrying about spills. I like to use them for water if I tie the dogs outside in the yard and don't want to bring their house dishes outside.
Playtime. The kids love playing with water outside in the summer but our city water bill has gotten so expensive that I don't like letting them play with the hose and rarely fill up their pool. So I give them little buckets of water to play with. They love dipping toys in it, mixing in sand or dirt, or carrying them around and watering the flowers with them.
I'm sure that you all can add one or two more ideas to that list as well (and you are welcome to in the comment section!) but hopefully the above ideas will start to give you an idea of a new use for an old thing. That is the idea, after all. Remember the mantra that our grandparents used to sing - "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without". I think that is something that we need to reiterate and become familiar with again. More posts in the future will be written around those wise words and I am game for any ideas you may have to go along with that slogan. I know that it is slowing becoming my motto!