Among the ancient Chinese legends, there is one that features Yi Kaizhan, a renowned Mathematician who calculated the amount of bricks needed to build the Jiayu Pass. According to the story, his calculations were so accurate that the completion of the pass only saw an excess of one brick. There are two versions of the story.

The first one says the extra brick was tossed in by Yi when people doubted his calculations, while another says the extra brick was left by a spirit and that if it was removed, then the pass will crumble.

If you are like Yi and leftover supplies are something you would want to see lying around, you would most likely try to minimize the number of extra materials from your project. You would either work closely with contractors or minimize the expected supply count yourself.  It is unlikely, however, for anyone to predict the exact amount needed for a huge project without counting the possibility of sudden design changes or replacement materials. But just because leftovers are inevitable does not mean that they are destined for the trash bin. There are many ways of making use of extra supplies if you know the right ways to deal with them.

The first thing you need to do is to segregate each item by type and condition. For obvious reasons, leftovers that can be used for small replacement jobs such as planks, tiles, and bricks are the best things to keep for later use. But if you feel like these will take up too much space, try selling them online through forums or buy and sell groups. You should also consider donating them to local salvage yards. They might even collect other unattractive materials like damaged supplies.

If you do plan on storing away your excess, make sure you have appropriate storage conditions to ensure that they are free from getting ruined by the elements. Usually, these extras would only serve as emergency home maintenance materials, but you can choose to be creative with  them. It is great for personal ventures or small projects like using the extra wood and brick to make barbecue pits or even pet barriers. You can even look up DIY projects online to inspire you to become practical and undertake new ways of recycling materials.

If you are still unsure of what to do with them, get a second opinion. Your friends or family might know someone who might have better use for them. Even if it feels like a bother, always make an effort in preventing resource waste. It may seem simple and insignificant but you are doing the world a favor by being sustainable in practice.

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