Kitchen renovations are often the most expensive and most involved remodeling projects you’ll take on and this process can produce a massive amount of waste.

Being more environmentally conscious is something we can all become better at and there’s no need to let those cabinets, counters and appliances go to the landfill.  Here are some creative solutions to continue to get great use out of the largest item in your kitchen renovation project and feel even better about the results.

Recycling your kitchen cabinets begins with removing them.  A sledgehammer will undoubtedly cause damage, so for this important step and to keep your cabinets in the best possible shape, have your cabinetry removed by a qualified professional if possible.  Be sure to give your contractors clear instructions that the cabinets are not to be damaged since you’ll be re-using them. 

If you do decide to remove them yourself, pay close attention to how your cabinets were installed.  Removing and preserving them in good condition so they can be repurposed will take extra time, but it’s a worthwhile investment since you’re being environmentally friendly.

Here are some fantastic ways to extend the life of your cabinets and save them from the trash:


Donating your cabinetry is a charitable act, benefits your local community and is environmentally friendly.  Habitat for Humanity or perhaps Goodwill will happily take your donated cabinetry with or without countertops.  

Volunteers may even come to your home, dismantle your kitchen in a clean and professional manner, and even provide you with a tax receipt for the estimated value of your kitchen materials.  A win-win all around.


You’ll find a market for salvaged kitchen items online – a fantastic option to add some extra cash into your remodeling budget. Never make the assumption that no one will want the cabinets you’re replacing.  To someone else, they may be the perfect addition to their renovation or construction project.

Do a little research on websites like Kijiji.  You’ll find a whole section dedicated to renovation items.

Excited buyers will show up with cash and tools ready and willing to relieve you of your unneeded cabinets – so be sure to confirm the plan before they arrive and price your cabinets accordingly.   Are you doing the dismantling or are they?  


Consider the following solutions to find a useful spot for your old cabinets elsewhere in your home.  You’ll boost your storage capacity and save some money when you can avoid purchasing storage bins. Cabinetry is so much more attractive too.

1. Create Extra Storage in Your Basement or Garage by installing your leftover kitchen cabinetry there. Consider painting them or adding trim to make them look built-in or changing the hardware to give them a new look.

2. Increase Bathroom Storage by hanging some of our leftover cabinet uppers in the bathroom or building a vanity for under the mirror or for a sink mounted above the counter.

3. Build a Desk. If you have a nook that could use a facelift, create a built-in workspace with your leftover cabinetry. A fresh coat of paint and the addition of some open shelving might make the perfect work station or homework station for your kids. 

4. Surround the TV with storage. Custom, built-in cabinetry is pricey.  Your kitchen cabinets can get a whole new life storing audiovisual components, games and puzzles in your family or living room. Give them an updated look with a coat of paint if necessary or switch out the hardware.

5. Add bedroom built-ins. Augment your closet storage by cleverly using your cabinets as a place to store your stuff.  Drawers are great for storing shoes, accessories or linens.

6. Laundry Room Love The laundry room or mudroom often acts as a multi-purpose space.  This is the perfect hideaway for extra pantry items or dishes, pet supplies or oversized serving pieces, sewing or crafting supplies.

Repurpose your existing cabinets as laundry room storage for a beautiful, multi-purpose room.

And there you have it… A whole bunch of ways to reuse, recycle and repurpose your retiring kitchen cabinetry – and either improve your own living space, or contribute to the living space of someone else. 

If you’d like help planning your Kitchen Renovation or figuring out how to best repurpose your expiring cabinetry, I’d love to chat.  Contact me to schedule your FREE ‘Create Your Sanctuary’ Consultation and we’ll put together an action plan within your budget.

About The Author

Ann Powell is a Certified Interior Decorator; Hunter Douglas Design Consultant with Decorview Canada.  She’s also the Founder of Home Healing Hues and Everything Home.  Ann is deeply passionate about creating living spaces that are sanctuary, healing spaces for her clients and those recovering from serious illness. She specializes in decorating and decluttering homes as well as staging them for the quickest sale and maximum profit. Contact her to schedule your FREE ‘Everything Home’ Consultation to discuss your design or decluttering project, or chat about your next renovation.

In her spare time, Ann curates an online community. ‘Homes With Heart’ is specifically designed for homeowners and those aspiring to own a home. Members share tips, strategies and solutions in a fun and informative virtual space. If you’d like to join her community, send a private message to