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Q: What do you do with leftover IKEA hardware?

Over at the IKEAhackers Community FB Group, Christina posted an interesting question:

“What do you all do with leftover IKEA hardware? I have so many bits of things even for pieces I no longer own … any suggestions?”

She mentions that she is selling some of the leftover … “but all the little screws, etc. would be hard. Is there someone that you can sell to that resells them?”

Terry then shared a photo of his leftover bin.

leftover IKEA hardware

Christina replies she also has a leftover bin. A few of them!

Raise your hand if you have a bin like that too.

Same here. I have leftover hardware but I do tried to keep them to a minimum. Here’s what I do.

Sort, recycle, repurpose, return

Mostly, I’ll sort and recycle the paper and plastic bits which I doubt I’ll ever need again. Some parts are so oddly shaped it’s not likely you’ll ever use them anywhere else. So, don’t think about it. Just drop them off at the recycling center.

My local IKEA has a recycling and buy-back center which takes paper, plastics, aluminum and metal. (For metal, they need a minimum of 1kg to buy back. So I have a tub to collect old screws, etc.) I also drop off any old bulbs and batteries there for proper disposal.

Others, especially useful things like brackets and dowels, I’d always keep for my other projects. They are in my “one day might need” bin.

And then, there are hex keys. The ubiquitous IKEA hardware.

I don’t have enough to do this hex maze yet. But seriously, #lifegoal.

IKEA hex key maze

Another popular suggestion is to return them to IKEA. They will take them as spare parts and dump them in the “help yourself” bins with all the spare parts you can take for free. (Sadly, these bins aren’t available at my local IKEA.)

IKEA hardware not included in sell-back program

In some countries like Canada and Australia, IKEA has a sell-back program. It lets customers apply to sell their gently-used IKEA products back to the retailer, in exchange for store credit. IKEA will in turn give the product a second-life through resale or donation.

But this program does not extend to parts.

So what do you do with the leftover IKEA bits and bobs?

Share your ideas with us in the comments below.