If you’re saddled with old office furniture items — or you know someone who is looking to get rid of some — don’t classify them as junk just yet. Instead, get creative and figure out ways to repurpose the old items, giving them new life and interest in the process.
Whether you decide to refresh the item and use it in your home office, or you set out to use the item in a totally different way than intended, the main thing is that you find a new use for an old item and save it from taking up space in a landfill. Here are some ideas to get you inspired.
- Office Cubicle: Repurpose as Single Walls
Although used office cubicles – like the ones from Rosi Office Systems, Inc. in Houston — might not seem like items you could use for another purpose, you can. Simply take one apart to use the walls individually. If your children happen to share a room, you can use a wall or two to make a divider to allow them privacy. Plus, you can buy colorful fabric and cover the divider with it to make it more attractive. Or, if you homeschool your children, you can use a cubicle wall as a huge bulletin board where you can attach posters and learning aids.
- Used Desks: Repurpose as a Dining Table
A good, sturdy dining table can be expensive, but one or two wooden desks can help you save money by repurposing them. The best type of desks for this conversion are ones that don’t have drawers. But if the desk you repurpose does have drawers, consider removing the desk top and adding legs. Then the drawers can be used for some other purpose.
If you don’t like the current finish of the desk you can sand it and refinish it or repaint it. The reason you will likely need two desks is so you can push them together to create more surface space for dining.
- Two-Drawer Filing Cabinets: Repurpose as Nightstands or Planters
If you’re in need of nightstands next to your bed, why not repurpose two small metal filing cabinets? Look for paint that adheres to metal to give the cabinets a look fitting for your bedroom. And if you don’t need nightstands, the filing cabinets can double as planters. You’ll just need to line the drawers with plastic before putting soil in them.
- Office Chairs: Repurpose as Chairs for Your Home
Although you might not want to repurpose old office chairs for the main seating in your home, they could serve as extra seating or as chairs in a guest room. The easiest way to repurpose an old office chair is to re-cover it. Measure the chair to find out how much fabric you’ll need. Visit your local craft store and find an upholstery fabric that you like. Then, staple the fabric to the upholstered areas of the chair. If you have a chair that has decent upholstery on the seat portion, you may just want to upholster the back to give it a more interesting look. You may also want to consider spray painting the base or legs of the chair to give a different, more modern appearance.
- Old Drawers: Repurpose as Shelves
If you find yourself with loose drawers while repurposing an item, you can use them as shelves. If you hang them in the same position they would rest in a piece of furniture, you can use them as floating shelves. You can stagger them on the wall to create more interest. Just imagine what all you could place in these drawer shelves.
Or you could choose make wall art with the drawers, using them as a type of frame. Simply hang them with the bottom of the drawer against the wall. Then place items artfully within the open drawer space. You could even paint the inside of the drawers to add more interest.
- If All Else Fails, Donate Old Office Furniture to Charity
If repurposing furniture just isn’t for you, don’t resort to throwing it away. Instead, consider donating it to charity. If you live in a sizeable town, you likely have a nonprofit organization, such as Goodwill, that will accept your used office furniture. They may even offer to come to your home and pick up the items, so you won’t have to hassle with them. If an organization like Goodwill isn’t an option, perhaps a small business that’s on a tight budget or a volunteer organization in your town could use the items.