We have a second little sink that I haven’t seen the bottom of since the first week we moved in.

That’s because it always looks like this:

Filled the the brim (and often overflowing) with our recycling stuff.  It’s been Will’s chore for a long time to take this stuff from the sink to the bin in the garage…but since we don’t drink that many bottled beverages or use that many canned goods or jars – it doesn’t get taken out but maybe twice a week.  So there she blows.  And she does.  She really does.  She blows a big one in the midst of my clean kitchen island.

So I decided that for Mother’s Day I wanted a recycling bin.  Romantic, huh?!  Yup…right up there with a pair of noise cancelling headphones.  Which by the way, Jeremy – I also want those.  I want those like a nerd wants a graphing calculator (with optional periodic chart hardcase – SCORE!)

ANYHOO… we have a trash can that is built into our end cabinet.  And after a little brainstorming, we came up with a plan to squeeze another can into this little pull-out…making it…yes….here comes the post title….a TWOFER.

Excuse the nasty.  Just keeping it real.

So we popped out the existing can and saw that the board supporting the one can was simply slipped into a grove cut into all four sides.

Then we set out to find a matching trash can.  No such luck.  The closest thing we could find was a smaller (not as tall) and slightly more rounded can at the local home improvement store.  The size of the ‘mouth’ was a close enough match – and that was what was most important.

We prepped for our five minute cabinet makeover by just plopping down a drop cloth and getting out the necessary tools.

Jer used his drill with a large drill bit to make holes in the corners.  We wanted the support wood to break up and fall out of the sides…so we figured that attacking the corners first would weaken it for future cuts.

Then Jer used the sawzall.  Honestly, he probably could have used the jigsaw but I think he just really misses the feel of the sawzall in his hands.  I must admit…sometimes I just go down and hold it myself.  Its awesome.

So after the cuts were made – no real plan for the cuts – just do it till the skinnier weak pieces broke and fell outta the groove…

We were able to slide this big piece out and break it into two.

Then we were left with a square hole.

A perfect hole for two :)

It works out pretty nifty, huh?

And now I have a space for trash and recycling.

You can thank me later for this beauty of a shot :)

So I feel better knowing that we have a spot for our recycling and it’s not on the island collecting dust.

Did you have a weird mother’s day request?  Any other folks out there trying to be just a smidge more green by installing a permanent recycling bin?  Or perhaps you just wanna guess how many hands and feet are in the photos above…seriously…it’s more appendages than my average post.  See how generous I am :)



  1. says

    Ohh, yes, I do had one weird wish and there is not one but two reasons why it is very weird:
    1. I am not a mother yet (not even pregnant, only misccaried once, haha I have e strange sence of humour )
    2. I wanted a kitchen robot ( and I got it)
    horreeeyy for mama-to-bo-some-day-it-I-am-lucky!

  2. Jill says

    I requested that my husband help me clear out the garage and get rid of all the “stuff” that’s just in there taking up space – it’s kind of our “out of sight, out of mind” dumping ground in there ;) As soon as a few friends come pick up some old furniture that’s in there they want, there will finally be room for my car again! A strange request yes…but it made me happy!

    Glad you had a good Mother’s Day, and your recycling/trash station is so efficient!

  3. April says

    My request was for my hubby to take a ton of pictures of me and my squirmy little toddler boy so I would have lots to throw away and maybe one or two actual good shots. Unfortunately we had rain all weekend and it did not work out. But it’s still on his list of to-dos whether he knows it or not. Yay for easier recycling!

  4. says

    Good idea Katie! We totally have a recycling problem in our home. I always attempt to neatly stack our recycling by the sink, in the hopes that I will bring it to our bin in the garage right away. Never happens. Then I always have a buildup of bottles, cans and card board littering my kitchen island. I like you’re fix. I’m going to try to see what I can finagle using my cupboards and drawers ;)
    O and belated happy mother’s day!

  5. says

    I actually love this idea. We finally got ourselves a nice metal trash can with a foot pedal, so nice for nasty messes and for keeping out the kidlets. But we have no spot for recycling, and it drives me bonkers! Our cans and such live on the counter until I get around to rinsing them out and sticking them in a bag in the coat closet. Lovely, huh? Maybe in our next place we can rig up something like this…

  6. says

    You need to do more disclaimers! I took this title in my reader to read as your are getting two babies with one go. As in you are having twins. But you are not. I’m glad I read the post before I got all excited for you.

  7. Amy says

    I requested that my husband finish the remodel on my craft room so we can get all of my “junk” out of the entry way. Last night at 9:00 he finished laying the floor, almost there just need to finish the trim and touch up paint and I can move in!!!!

  8. says

    My mother’s day request was for him to do the dishes and clean house for a little while so I could take a nice long bath.

    Love your little recycling station though!

  9. celeste says

    I have wanted a zero-turn mower for at least 6 years now, and I got one for my 56th birthday. It was the best gift ever; I hardly ever wear all the jewelry my husband has given me but I use the lawnmower all the time.

  10. says

    Nice job creating space for your recycling! We also have a separate recycle bin at our house but it ‘s just an extra can that sits in the pantry. I was so happy once we got it, no more cans and bottles sitting all over the counters!

    I’m only a Mom to our little kitten so I just asked her to not sneeze on me for just that one day…and surprisingly she obeyed! :) Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

  11. Stacy says

    No weird Mother’s Day requests here. I wanted 2 books and Barnes and Nobles had neither. I love that store, but it does suck sometimes. So instead of sitting around on my butt learning something, I cleaned the house, did water changes on the fish tanks, ect. I’ll find the books I’m looking for when I stop looking for them as that’s how things roll in this house.

    Happy Belated Mother’s Day and yay for the recycling problem.

  12. says

    I asked for a cow bell last year….we were in Bavaria and I loved to hear the bells on the cows at the foot of the mountains.

    And I love the twofer!

  13. says

    We have recycling bins in our garage… unfortunately they’re filled to the brim because we haven’t taken a trip across town to empty them! I always liked pull out trash/recycling bins, that way you aren’t always looking at an ugly can in the corner! Question: Without a securely attached lid, does it ever make your kitchen smell funky? That’s probably a weird question, but I’ve always wanted to know!

  14. shelby says

    Hi Katie, I’ve been a lurker for a while but can’t resist sharing my recycling can process. We have a two-fer too and I put a bag in both. There’s always just a little messiness from cans or bottles that could leak and by putting a trash bag into the recycling can, I just grab it and take it out to the bigger bin in the garage. Then, I can either re-use the bag again for recycling, throw the whole bag in the larger bin (assuming it’s recyclable plastic) or re-use the bag for my next round of trash. Keeps me from having to rinse out the recycling can….

    Happy mother’s day!

  15. says

    Im loving the bin idea! over here in the UK there is a DIY store who do the same type of drawer, but there are 3 different sized bins, Black, Blue and Green (black general waste, blue recycling, green food waste for composting!)


  16. Erica says

    You’ve mentioned that Will has chores on the blog before. I was wondering if you could list some of the chores you’ve had him doing at different ages. I think it’s such a great idea to start little ones on that kind of thing early – they get some responsibility and to be part of the family ‘machine.’ Plus I think it can be made into a fun game or activity.

    My little one is far from being able to do chores (he’s 7 weeks old, haha, we’re still working on naps!), but I was just curious!

    • says

      Well, the laundry and the recycling have been the most consistent. He also has to help take the recycling bin out to the street on trash day and bring it back when I grab the empty trash can. He also helps me put the clean dishes away…and the best thing ever was when we started making him throw his dirty diaper away after changes :)
      xo – kb

  17. Kelly says

    I asked for a car polisher for Christmas (that thing you hold and it vibrates and spins and you put pads and car polish on it – just for all of those lovely ladies that don’t know what I’m talking about!!). So FINALLY for Mother’s Day, we clayed and polished my car. It is now soooooo beautiful!! I told my husband I felt like I was driving to pick up the president today!!

  18. says

    We switched out our single trashcan for a double, too. It’s so much easier to have recycling and trash in the same spot. I use the brown paper grocery bags to line the recycling bin, they fit perfectly and you can just lift it out when it’s time to move the recyling to the big bins in the garage.

    My strange mothers day request was to tear down the wall in our garage. Ha!


  19. says

    i counted 24 hands and feet in this post. because once you mentioned it, i couldnt not go back and see how many there were… did i get it right?

  20. says

    I just installed a cheap-o in the cabinet garbage can last week that we’ve had sitting around FOREVER. I’ve been told I have to live with it for a week until I make a final decision as to whether or not we spring for a better built one with two compartments…a girl can dream…a girl can dream…


  21. Amanda says

    I asked for (and got) a 20 gauge shotgun for Mother’s Day a few years back. Despite the fact I clean up well, I’m still a redneck. Besides, my daughter will date someday, and the only thing scarier to a boyfriend than a dad cleaning his guns is a mom cleaning hers!

  22. says

    I have greatly appreciated this post–it was refreshing after looking through my reg blog roll and reading way too many sappy/cry-inducing posts from yesterday. Nothing like practicality + a sense of humor!

  23. says

    My parents have always had a pull out cabinet for trash and recycled items. It is SO nice! It’s always so convenient when people are over but out of the way so you’re never dealing with the ugliness of said items. Some day I’ll have it planned into my dream kitchen too!

  24. CampDallas says

    Last year, I had a 5-week old baby when Mother’s Day rolled around, and all I wanted was an uninterrupted shower. True story.

  25. says

    Last year we started a tradition to build something. While my husband is capable, diy is not really his thing. Last year we built a gate for our deck and this year we built “the bower power pinterest challenge mirror”. It should be hung tomorrow night and I’ll share pictures… i love it!

  26. says

    We installed a twofer in one of our cabinets . . . wish we could have done it the thrifty way like you did, but we were starting with a regular ole cabinet. We got the hardware and bins from Rev-A-Shelf and they work awesome . . . SUCH a huge upgrade and no can hanging out in the air.

  27. says

    I got a retractable clothesline for mother’s day. I’ve been wanting it for a while and we finally got on the ball and bought one and put it up. I even got to use it the same day!

  28. says

    Great idea! I wish we had the space to store a pull-out trash can. Our large freestanding one gets too full and too nasty, and takes up precious space in our small kitchen. I asked for a Mom Cave for my Mother’s Day gift… much to my surprise, my husband painted and emptied an otherwise little used room in our house for my gift. Love it!

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