Repurposed Junk


Junk Repurposed to Organize Drawer | Country Design Style |

Have you ever freeze dried clothes?

My grandmother did.

I’m not really sure why…

but I freeze dried our clothes the other night. 

I’m glad I did because it inspired this Repurposed Junk idea!

Repurposed Junk

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I have the wonderful opportunity to join a creative group of blogging junkers.  Each month we pick a category to repurpose junk. This month the category is organization.  Please click at the bottom of the post to gather inspiring junk organization ideas.  It will be our “why didn’t I think of that” moment. 🙂

My short freeze dried clothing story.

I remember trailing grandma, like a puppy, to the freezer to get rolls of frozen shirts to iron.  Then grandma would shake the rolled shirt to open it up, letting ice shavings fall on the porch floor.  She would iron the shirt smooth and crisp. The next day grandpa would wear the shirt out to the fields.  When he returned the shirt would be completely wrinkled, sweat and mud covered.  Grandma would set up the wringer washer on the porch and start the process all over.

My junk drying rack

Wonky drying rack | Country Design Style |

Today I have a washer and dryer inside the house.  At times when the dryer doesn’t get the over stuffed load dry, I grumble and haul out my wonky drying rack.  I set it up on the back porch {in honor of grandma} and let the clothes finish drying.  The other evening I forgot my wonky drying rack and left the clothes out overnight in 17-degree temperature.   I pulled it inside and was inspired by the wonkiness.  It was on its last leg…it’s junk!

Over the weekend I started organizing….along with the rest of the world, right?  I’m reading the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.   In the book the first category to organize is tops.  There’s a whole chapter on folding tops make them stand on end.  I couldn’t accomplish this. 🙁  I folded and, refolded and came to the conclusion my tops are too floppy.

But what if they had something to fold over!!

So I gathered the wonky {I’m liking that word lately} drying rack and took it outside.

Repurposing Junk taking apart drying rack | Country Design Style |

My first thought was to take a mallet to whack it apart.  But I noticed the staples so…

Country Design Style |

the Dremel Saw cut the dowels away.

Country Design Style |

I used the saw to cut off the dowel pins that was barely holding the rack upright.  I measured the inside of the drawer front to back and side to side.  Then cut the wood pieces to fit front to back and round dowels to fit side to side.

Hot Wood Glue | Country Design Style |

I heated up the hot glue gun with “wood” hot glue.  Yes, there’s hot glue for wood too!  More on that in a future post soon.

Drying Rack Repurposed Junk for Drawer | Country Design Style | countrydesignstyle.comI glued two wood pieces along the top edge on each side. I left a gap the size of the dowels between the wood.  Then I insert the dowels at an angle and they slide easily.

Repurposed Junk Drying Rack for Drawer | Country Design Style |

I added seven dowels.  My wish was to get 21 tops in the drawer.  Three on each dowel.

Filling up my repurposed junk drawer with floppy tops

Repurposed Junk to Organize Drawer | Country Design Style |

The drawer filled!  I actually got twenty-five tops inside with ease.  All within view!

Junk Repurposed Drawer Before | Country Design Style |

This was the before drawer with my mess of tops.

Repurposed Junk Drying Rack Pin | Country Design Style |

I have pieces of drying rack leftover and plan to do a couple more drawers.  My socks are really bad. 😕

Junk Repurposed for Organization | Country Design Style |

If I run out of drying rack, it will be easy to use screen trim and wood dowels from the home improvement store.

Anyone know why my grandma froze grandpa shirts?

I miss grandma. <3

Content UpGrade General | Country Design Style |

Now join me while we gather organization ideas using our repurposed junk.


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  1. Thank you so much for this awesome idea! I’m adding built in storage to the knee walls in my room, but I was hung up on trying to find ways to keep every top in view. If they aren’t in view I forget I own them and I get stuck in a rut of using the same visible clothes. I’m very excited to get back to the planning phase with this in mind.😊 As for the frozen clothing, I hadn’t heard of it, but with all the comments it does make sense. I’m guessing they didn’t exactly have a steam option on their iron…. 🤔which probably was just a block of iron that warmed up on the stove. Having it damp all over would definitely help and even the freezing might have helped the un-ironed portion stay damp until the last of the shirt was done. Thanks again😃

    1. Hi Linnita! I do the same. If it’s not in my eyesight I forget about it. I’m that way with paint and craft supplies too! Thank you for stopping by. Hope you come back soon. Jeanette

  2. My mom always wanted to take clothes out of the dryer immediately to hang or fold so they didn’t get wrinkled. If she had a finished load in the washer and wouldn’t be around when they got dry she would take them from the washer and put into a big plastic bag and put in the deep freeze we had in the garage. That way they didn’t get that funky smell sitting in the washer (probably mildew). When she had time to finish the laundry she would take them out of the freezer and load them into the dryer. Voila, no mildew and no wrinkles.

  3. Helen Parkin says:

    In the Orkney Islands (way up north of Scotland) everyone had a “pulley” which was a drying rack on the ceiling. My grandma was so proud of hers! Every ironing day it was filled with immaculately ironed “whites” the idea being to air them off when damp ironed. So labour intensive! I see they are back in fashion BIGTIME! Brilliant pins, I read most days.

    1. Helen, thank you so much for visiting. I’ve been looking into a pulley system for drying clothes from these great comments!! I actually getting excited about my laundry room now.

  4. Great idea ! I’m going to try this with my boys t-shirts, that way the can see them all at once rather than rummaging to the bottom of the pile.

  5. It always amazes me what people did way back when and even more so, the mystery as to why. Of course it usually ends up making absolute sense once you find out the why, but I’m always intrigued to learn the why. What else I love is how people came up with solutions without ever having to “google them”, lol.

    My drawers are atrocious and I think your drying rack drawer organization would make it a whole lot easier for me to find one of my nicer shirts, and in an unwrinkled state, no less. What a creative idea for keeping a drawer organized!! Pinning and so glad you are part of our Junk revision group!!

    1. Amy, I was thrilled to see you in the group! I liked the idea of repurposing junk as the theme each month. I’ve talked to my mom and she said grandma would using freeze dry clothes in winter. Also it did make ironing them easier. She would have an ironing day…ugh! I also remember her wringer washer. My aunt and I was to do the laundry while grandma and grandpa went to town. I was playing too close to the electric wringer and it grabbed my hand. My aunt didn’t know what to do so she reversed the wringer. I don’t remember it hurting, but it scared my aunt! Great times!

  6. I love that your idea for organizing the drawer makes them all within eye shot and easy access. Everything I own needs to be in view, or I can never find them. Great repurpose and so happy to have you onboard! ;o)

    1. Lucy, thank you for inviting me to the group! I need to add the junk visionaries image to the post.

  7. Flamingo Fan Annette says:

    My grandmother and an aunt would sprinkle dry clothes with water. The items were then placed in a bag and put in the freezer. When the next day rolled around, clothes were pulled from the freezer. This made the entire article of clothing damp when thawed out. Made ironing an easier job, I suppose.

    Oh yeah, the water was usually in a glass Coke or Pepsi bottle with a cork type gizmo insert that had small holes so to “sprinkle” your clothes with the water.

    1. I have my grandma’s sprinkle bottle sitting in the laundry room. My mom did say the damp clothes was easier to iron.

  8. Traditionally white cotton and linen was put out on hedges to be bleached by the moonlight and the heavy frosts. I have done it with white cotton and linen sheets and it leaves the fabric beautifully soft and white. I imagine it kills of germs as well.

    1. Sarah, Thank you for the information. It even sounds magical to bleach by moonlight! I have some napkins I should try.

  9. What a creative idea! My drawers need some serious organization. I will be keeping my eye out for a drying rack. (And I have never heard of freezing clothing before!! Interesting!)

  10. Jeanette, your use of the clothes hanger to organize your top drawer is awesome!!! This definitely falls into the category of amazing repurposing!!! Nice job!!!

  11. I’ve been meaning to read that book as well, just haven’t gotten around to it yet lol. Your solution for messy drawers is awesome. Now if I could just get my teen daughters to use it! I haven’t a clue as to why one would put laundry in the freezer…..but then I’ve been known to run in the other direction when anyone mentions the word “ironing”…..our dry cleaner loves me:) xokathleen Charm Bracelet Diva {At Home}

    1. Kathleen, I miss dry cleaning days except for the expense. We don’t even have a dry cleaner in our small town. We do have a service the delivers dry cleaning to the valley and bring them back. So far lately we haven’t needed to use them. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Awesome! I love how neat your shirts look now – maybe I need to find a wonky old drying rack 🙂 i used to have a really nice drying rack but I sold it at a garage sale after we remodeled our laundry room to be a laundry and bathroom – I ended up with no good space to set it up. So I sold it and bought an English Clothes Airer that attaches to the ceiling and can be lowered to fill and raised back to the ceiling for drying.
    I know people used to freeze dry stuff a lot but I thought it was just because they put the clothes outside in the winter to dry. Never heard of putting them in the freezer I don’t think! I’d love to now why!

    1. Jill, thank you for the idea of using a drying rack on the ceiling. I was thinking about hanging a rack on the wall but a pulling on the ceiling would be better.

  13. My Mom didn’t freeze shirts but kept the slightly damp ones in the fridge till she could get to them to iron. This kept them from mildewing. Maybe same theory. I love how you made the drawer to house all your tops – ingenious. Cathy

  14. My Mom didn’t freeze shirts but kept the slightly damp ones in the fridge till she could get to them to iron. This kept them from mildewing. Maybe same theory. I love how you made the drawer to house all your tops – ingenious. Cathy

  15. Awww i miss grandma too…but she would be so proud of this space saving geniusness you’ve got going on!!!! I need to rethink my drawer space for sure. Fun project!!

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