Save leftover materials from past projects
After you finish a home-improvement project, there are always leftover screws, bolts and other small bits of hardware. You can use store-bought organizers or even glass or plastic food containers to organize and store them. It will keep you from making a trip to the hardware store for a minor fix in the future, and you'll save money.
"We all go out and look for that one little screw, and you have to buy a bag of them," says Blashaw. "You can just constantly build your collection."
Larger cuts of wood, especially plywood at least three-quarters of an inch thick or boards more than 3 feet long, especially if they're of a more expensive hardwood, should also be saved for future use, says Blashaw.
Small, thin pieces of wood called shims should be retained to help level out and brace or prop up things in future projects, says Blashaw.