So you’re ready to get started on that kitchen remodel. Out with the old, in with the new! But, remodeling can sometimes come with a lot of waste. Many people understand “out with the old” as simply tossing the furniture in the garbage.

But, that doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, here at Puustelli, we believe that finding a way to reuse kitchen cabinets and recycling them into new purposes is the best way to remodel.

Before you get to the step of replacing your cabinets during a remodel, you should first consider if they even need to be replaced.

In this post, we’ll talk about some ways to make your old cabinets look new again. Then, we’ll break down some fun DIY projects that give a new purpose to old cabinets after replacing them.

How to Recycle and Reuse Kitchen Cabinets (Remodeling with Sustainability in Mind) 1

Replacing or Reusing Kitchen Cabinets: How to Choose the Right Option

A common rule of thumb when it comes to cabinets and remodels is it’s wise to get new cabinets if your current cabinets are very old. Many old cabinets were built on-site and may not have backs. If this is the case, it doesn’t make sense to upgrade everything else.

But let’s say you bought a fairly new home, but you don’t like the existing cabinets that are also fairly new. Instead of replacing perfectly functional cabinets, decide what it is you don’t like about them. If it’s the color, that can be easily changed by painting them with non-toxic paints of your desired color. Of course, if your quarrels with the cabinetry go beyond color and the style and materials are not up to par, then replacing is the most likely course of action.

But what to do with your old cabinets post-replacement? Here are some fun and creative ways to get more life out of your old cabinets without simply throwing them away.

replacing kitchen cabinets

DIY Projects to Reuse Kitchen Cabinets

Repurposed Wall Cabinet Shoe Storage Bench

This idea from Pretty Handy Girl is a great example of how old cabinets can be repurposed without waste. This cabinet shoe storage bench is perfect for storing dirty shoes by the doorway or laundry room.

reuse cabinets

DIY Mudroom Bench

This project, with instructions from DIY Network, is very similar to the previous one but is designed for smaller cabinets (consider the ones that will typically be seen above a fridge). DIY Network considers this a reasonably cheap project with a medium skill-level for DIY to complete in a single day. Tools needed include a drill, circular saw, tape measure, a level, and clamps.

DIY Kitchen Cupboard Turned Dartboard Cabinet 

This creative repurposing of kitchen cabinets is courtesy of At the Picket Fence. Instead of shelling out money for a new dartboard cabinet (which can be plenty costly), save some money by crafting one yourself. The best part is, there really isn’t anything you need to do to the cabinet doors other than moving them and placing a dartboard in there. So simple, yet so clever.

reuse kitchen cabinet dartboard

Image from: https://www.atthepicketfence.com/diy-kitchen-cupboard-turned-dartboard/

DIY Craft Room/Office/Bedroom Desk

How to Nest For Less is the inspiration behind this DIY project for repurposing old cabinets. The best part about this project is that it can fit into many different spaces. If you have a designated craft room or office, your old kitchen cabinets will look great after they are turned into a desk. They also look good in bedrooms and offer space for your kids to study. You could even put it in your garage for extra storage space and a work desk for other DIY projects.

reuse cabinets

Homemade Play Kitchen

Perhaps a bit more complicated than the other projects on this list, the homemade play kitchen courtesy of Young House Love is absolutely adorable and is well worth the effort if you have a young aspiring chef in your home!

Laundry Room Storage

One of the easiest ways to reuse kitchen cabinets is to simply move and install them in the laundry room! If it doesn’t quite match the aesthetic of the room, a simple coat of paint will surely do the trick. 

Adding your old cabinets to the laundry room is a great way to use a variety of your old cabinets. Adding a counter to the top of your cabinets can also be a great way of increasing storage, while adding a surface to stack or fold clothes.

Reuse Kitchen Cabinets in Laundry Room

Why Recycling and Reusing Needs to Increase

We waste a lot. Whether it’s food that went unused after being in the fridge for too long or clothes that we wore once before getting rid of them, we need to do a better job of being intentional of what we buy and ensuring that we get good use of it.

When it comes to remodeling your kitchen, you can take this principle by first deciding what needs to be replaced, what can be altered to still work, and what can be repurposed. When we do these things, we can reduce our waste and help keep the planet cleaner.

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