HGTV's Jenn Todryk On Why You Should Think Twice Before Trashing Kitchen Cabinets

If you're in the middle of a renovation and looking to change your kitchen cabinets, don't be in a hurry to trash your old ones. While they might not fit into your design plan anymore, they can be in a good enough condition to salvage, reuse, or recycle. For example, you can paint or refinish them to suit the new style of the kitchen. Conversely, you can sell them online to increase your kitchen remodel budget or donate them to a homeowner in need. Finding ways to avoid waste was how "No Demo Reno" host Jenn Todryk was able to bring in some cash from her clients' old cabinets.

The design expert took quality photos of the cabinets, had them uninstalled carefully, and then posted an ad for them online. "Just because it's not good for this client doesn't mean someone else won't want them. They're worth something," she said (via Realtor). After selling them for $1,300, she put that money back into the renovation.

Thinking twice before trashing kitchen cabinets and other old items during your renovation can be a great way to save money, help the environment, and showcase your creativity. In fact, you are sure to find other features in your home that are better off upcycled or sold than left to rot in a landfill.

The environmental impact

If your kitchen cabinets are still in good condition, trashing them would be costly for you and the environment. When you throw away kitchen cabinets, they end up in landfills, contributing to environmental pollution because certain components of the cabinets, like plastic pieces or synthetic finishes, can take a long time to decompose. On the other hand, keeping them intact gives you something to sell or donate and reduces the need for new cabinets to be manufactured. Then they can be upcycled and used for your kitchen island or become vital storage options for other spaces in the house, such as the garage.

If you don't want to sell or keep them, consider donating them to charitable organizations or local community centers where they can reach those who need them. Kitchen cabinets often contain recyclable materials. Check with local recycling centers to see if they accept cabinets or their parts for recycling. Responsible choices like these help reduce waste and minimize your impact on the environment.

Don't be in a rush to trash your décor

Todryk's show "No Demo Reno" is all about finding ways to renovate without the wreckage that often renders home accessories and features unusable. From painting to adding or subtracting critical features of a home, renovating without demolishing is an excellent technique to save money and effort. This technique may also save you from having to fork out the cash for a prolonged stay in a hotel while your property is upgraded.

Some other things that can be reused or upcycled instead of discarded are doors, windows, floor planks, bathtubs, sinks, and furniture. Old doors and windows can become a new table or headboard, while wooden floor planks can be repurposed into shelves or picture frames. Even materials like bricks, stones, and leftover construction scraps can be repurposed to become countertops, benches, and more. With some reshaping, carving, refinishing, or repainting, items you don't like or want to use anymore can be made into decorative or functional pieces unique to your home.