No recycling box is safe

I never thought that the frugal life would come to this. As I write, I am ashamed to say that I’ve just been ‘liberating’ wine bottles from one of my next-door neighbours’ recycling boxes out in the road. I smuggled them into a plastic bag and ran into the house as quickly as I could before anyone could see what their ‘eccentric’ neighbour was up to.

No, I haven’t taken leave of my senses – well, no more than usual. I’m on a mission to de-clutter the house and DJ’s home brew apricot wine has been sitting around in demijohns cluttering up the spare room for ages. He’s got three drinkable demijohns – a fourth has gone all vinegary as air got to it – and he needs about 18 wine bottles to empty them so we can drink it all. I had meant to ask the neighbours. But nobody was about this morning at 9am and I panicked as the glass recycling van came up the road and knew I had to act. In my defence, I have left notes for my neighbours in case it was theirs. Possibly overkill but it’s best to be on the safe side. However, saying that, it’s probably the council I’ve been pilfering from really as the recycling box ultimately belongs to them. There you go – a slightly ridiculous moral dilemma as myself and the council have similar recycling aims! Although I think ours will be more fun. Last year’s apricot wine is a particularly good vintage if I say so myself.

Part of the exercise is also to finish off the house decoration project we started all of four years ago. A lot of it’s been done, but there’s little jobs that haven’t been finished and have started to bug me. The lounge is done but there’s a small gaping hole in the wall behind the telly where the ventilation grill fell off, hidden tastefully by a piece of wood and a tin of paint! House doctor eat your heart out! There’s water marks on the wall of the spare room where the roof leaked but has since been fixed. Our shower has also been leaking occasionally through into the kitchen and we need to fix the leak and now probably get a new kitchen ceiling. And apart from some tiling that needs doing, the other jobs are mainly dressing – finding nice pictures for the walls etc. The problem is that all of this takes time and money, although I’m hoping the shower/kitchen ceiling job can be done on the home insurance.

Luckily we’re very fortunate that DJ is handy and actually enjoys doing DIY – or at least used to before he wallpapered the entire house and laid all the laminate flooring downstairs two years ago and quickly grew tired of it all!

And the de-cluttering is going well. So far I’ve managed to fill about five recycling bags with old papers etc., although if you look in the two spare rooms it’s as though I’ve achieved nothing! And I was pleased with a new mirror I managed to find for the spare room in a charity shop yesterday for £3.95. I’ve also tracked down an old green duvet cover for the spare room which I’m going to wash and dress up with some cheap fluffy cushions from Primark or a charity shop.

Do you have any thrifty DIY or decorating tips? What are good cheap ways of making your home look its glamorous best?

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5 Responses to No recycling box is safe

  1. rik says:

    Don\’t worry about "borrowing" the bottles, you\’ve got a good defence in that re-using is actually the best way of recycling. It\’s a little made point but it uses no energy to re-use something unlike melting it down and recycling it! More people should do it.

  2. Christine says:

    Keep an eye on freecycle for cushions and pictures – both come up around here and it\’s a little outing to go and collect the things.

  3. Nina says:

    I really dont mind you pinching bottles, s long as I can sample the brew when its ready 😉

  4. TheWhiteSeal says:

    Hi there,A while back I started brewing my own wine, I have really started getting into it and now actually sell my wine to friends and family. I wanted to add that extra touch to my wine so I designed my own wine labels and had them printed by a british labels company who did a excellent job. It has made my wine bottle look really great!

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