9 Best Ways to Dispose of Journals

There are many ways to dispose of old journals, like reusing the used pages for décor purposes, each with its own pros and cons.

You can either repurpose your diaries or discard them altogether.

Many people assume that tossing away old journals is the most convenient option when it comes to disposing of them. But that’s not entirely true.

You can try different approaches to get the job done, which are easy to follow and don’t require you to throw away your old accounts.

Top Ways to Dispose Journals

From using blank pages to jot down notes or groceries to chucking completely filled journals in a bonfire, there are a host of methods to dispose of childhood diaries.

That said, recycling is perhaps the most productive and responsible way of disposing of journals.

Therefore, if possible, go for recycling before trying anything else.

Recycling a Journal

Recycling may seem tricky to understand, but it’s not.

All you need is to ensure you compartmentalize all the components right and the rest will be taken care of by the recycling facility in your area.

Notebooks come in different shapes, sizes, and designs.

This means you have to treat each differently when getting the recycle-ready.

Tackling Spirals

Journals with a spiral binding need to be dismantled before the paper in them can be recycled. Doing so is fairly simple.

Place your journal on a desk in a way that the binding section ends up off the edge. Put a heavy object on the cover to keep the notebook from moving.

Next, find the tied or crimped ends of the wire holding the entire thing together.

Cut off the knot and pull the wire as hard as you can, as removing it can be a tiny bit assiduous. Once the metal-based spiral is off, you can pull apart the remaining parts.

You’ll probably have a plastic or cardboard cover, keep it away and stack all the papers you retrieve by disassembling your journals.

Use the metal coil to make different utensils, such as a paper clip or ornament hooks. You can also use it to make jewelry, which will be a fun activity to do with kids.

For the rest of the pieces, i.e., paper and bookcases, reach out to the recycling agency in the region and let them take care of the remaining matters.

Dealing with Different Covers

While the binding may be coil-based, spiral in most journals, jackets are varied in different copies.

Some may have leather, some may have canvas or vinyl, while some may even have wooden covers.

However, the good news is that all are recyclable. So when you contact the experts to recycle paper, you can give them all the recovered book jackets as well.

That said, some facilities do not recycle particular materials, such as leather or canvas.

If you encounter such a situation, don’t throw away the items not recycled, and repurpose them.

For instance, you can give the leather or canvas to a small startup factory.

You can also connect with local non-profit schools and institutions and see if they can use any of the materials for different activities.

Institutes often accept different seemingly useless articles for set design in theater plays.

Believe it or not, even the tiniest, apparently most inconsequential thing can fit in perfectly as a prop or add-on to different props.  

Therefore, don’t deem anything useless and dump it in the trash; instead, look for out-of-the-box ways to utilize it.

Having a Bonfire

Sitting around a warm fire toasting s’mores while having hearty conversations with friends is undoubtedly an experience everyone should have.

If you think you want to do it, you can use your old journals to start and then inflame a fire.

That said, it must be noted that burning paper is not the most eco-friendly practice, so you should try to go for other methods.

But sometimes, our past can be traumatic, weighing us down even at present. And it continues to live in journals, which is why firing it up may be necessary.

If you have a rough childhood and used writing to find solace, you might want to eradicate all those penned-down reminders of the bad times.

And for that, making a notebook bonfire may be the right call for you, as doing so will liberate you more than you think.

No matter how childish the idea of burning past accounts may seem, you should give it a shot to free yourself from all the painful events of your early life.

Making Art

You don’t always need clean pages to brush over your strokes of creativity; sometimes, pieces with text and doodles can also be used creatively to make artsy stuff.

Take your old notes haphazardly, paint them to create an abstract design and let them dry.

Once dried, use them as a fancy, colorful sheet to decorate different items in your home, such as baskets, pots, or even dustbins.

You can even paste the colored papers on the feature wall in your room, perhaps the one behind the bed, DIY-ing accent wallpaper all by yourself.

All these ideas may seem a little over-the-top, and you might worry about turning your place into an unsightly den.

ut that won’t happen as long as you don’t mind going an unconventional route for home décor.

That said, if you don’t want to go all out and make wallpaper out of your journals, you can start with small items such as a planter.

Reignite Your Love for Writing

If you have a flair for weaving words beautifully, you might want to use your old diaries to write, provided that there are clean pages left for you to work.

Even if you aren’t particularly fond of writing, you can still try your hand at it just for fun. You can also rekindle your childhood habit of journaling and pick up a pen to record your days.

Doing so may seem like it’s defeating your purpose of ‘disposing,’ but that doesn’t have to be the case.

You can tear the plain pages, tie them together to make a new diary, and throw away the remaining bits of the older ones.

Preserve Special Moments

Journals are a repository of childhood memories, good or bad.

If you have some fond memories you want to keep with you for life, you should take those out from your diaries.

Remove all the pages from your journals that carry unforgettable moments from the past and frame them.

You can also scan your childhood accounts and then get rid of the rest of the notebooks.

Learn Origami

The famous Japanese paper art, aka origami, is an excellent skill that you can learn or just dabble with a bit to practice later with your kids.

If you don’t have children, you can still try your hand at origami with your partner and use it as a bonding activity.

Doing so will give you not only talent but also many tender memories that you will cherish for life.

When you decide to go for it, you can take all your journals and utilize the pages to make impressive art pieces.  

And once your creation is complete, you can paint it however you want to enhance the appearance of your origami art.

Making planters

As odd as it may seem, making planters is a creative and completely doable method to repurpose journals.

If you choose to make them, you can significantly add to your home’s ambiance, making your place homey and warm.

Take a notebook and hollow it out, so much so that you create a small crater. Fill up the space with small rocks and soil before planting seeds or a small plant.

Place your DIY-pot on a windowsill or any other location that receives sufficient sunlight.

But be careful about your choice of plant variety because you cannot look after a journal-based plant like a regular one. Obviously, you cannot douse it in water if it starts to dry out.

Therefore, select a shrub that can survive in minimal to no water so that you don’t have to put too much water in your homemade plant.

Be an Anne Frank Yourself

The famous German diarist Anne frank made a name for herself through her journals.

Had she gotten rid of her drafts, the world would not have gotten the chance to read a literary marvel.

If you think your writing can also tell a story, perhaps you should consider publishing your work.

Even if you don’t do that, you can organize your accounts and show your life story to your kids (when the time comes, of course).

Making Paper Hats

Paper hats are super charming little trinkets of sorts that you can make with your diary papers.

You don’t have to be artistic to do so; as long as you can have a good time trying, it’s worth a shot!

Gather those closest to you and make paper hats, then donate them to underprivileged kids and give the little ones a chance to smile. 

Also read: Can You Throw Away Mail That Isn’t Yours?

Ending Note

A journal is nothing short of a treasure, so be sure to dispose of it with care not to regret your choices later!

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