When you decide to buy a new mailbox, chances are you'll just toss the old one away. Don’t get rid of it just yet. You would be surprised at how many ways an old mailbox can be reused. If you have one you have no idea what to do with it, here are a few ideas you can consider.
Use it as a holder for garden tools. Since the mailbox is meant to be outside and withstand every type of weather, it makes a great container for this purpose. You can keep it on the front or back porch without worrying that your tools are going to rust and become damaged. The larger mailboxes with the pull-down front flap are the best to use.
Use the mailbox to store hats, scarves and gloves during the warmer months. (Again, the larger mailboxes with the pull-down front flaps work best.) Mailboxes are sturdy containers that will keep these items clean when you’re not using them, and a mailbox is thin enough that it can fit in small spaces.
Use it as a vase for silk flowers. Remove the pull-down front flap and put the bottom of the mailbox against a wall. You can cover the outside of the mailbox with scrapbook paper or fabric. Make sure that it is standing up sturdily, then put in the flowers. Not only will it look nice, but it makes for an interesting conversation piece.
Repurpose an outdoor mailbox for individual indoor use. If you have a teenager or someone else living in your home who receives mail, you can give him his own mailbox. In addition to his mail, you can put in personal notes and little reminders. It’s best to hang it up in the hallway, where you both have easy access to it. Wall mailboxes are the best to use in this case.
Before you use a mailbox for anything else other than its original purpose, make sure to clean it thoroughly--inside and out--and give it time to dry. Don’t forget to also clean the bottom carefully, especially if you are going to place it against a light-colored wall.
Lauren Romano became a freelance writer in 2007. Her work appears on various websites and in print. Romano specializes in a variety of topics including dating, travel, New York City, decorating and budget living.