This is something I used to hate to do, re-use stuff in a new way. I don't know why, but when I was younger I just never saw the need to do this. Hmmm, I wonder how many bucks I could've saved then?
Re-use does not mean washing out and reusing your ziploc bags or butter containers, although that is a useful habit (the butter containers, not the ziploc bags - could be dangerous bacteria since a bag is harder to clean). I use the term reuse to describe taking something and creating it into something new. For instance, I was looking through a pottery barn book at some of their decor ideas, and one thing that they had was 3 purchased open cynlinders (like oatmeal cylinders) that were stacked in an offset fashion between a wall and printer and they were being used to cubby things like scissors, writing utensils, rulers, etc. Well, what about the good 'ol oatmeal container? You can cut it to your desired length, decorate it with leftover wallpaper, wrapping paper or just let the kid color them and add bows, ribbon, jewels, whatever and use them for storage. For girls they're great for brushes, hairbows, doll clothes, etc. Boys may use them for toy soliders, blocks, or matchbox cars. When I get mine done, I'll take a pic and show you what I use mine for, but be creative and take a second look at things that are going to be tossed out, or are just collecting dust on top of a shelf or shoved in the back of a closet somewhere.