Why Buy New Containers When You Already Have Them?
Most of us have plenty of extra stuff hanging around, and sometimes we may think that stuff is useless. But before you toss it, consider if there’s a way you could repurpose it for a practical use. You may even be able to create some free organizing containers out of it! Use less, save a buck, save the planet.
Here are a few ideas for repurposing stuff that may be lying around unused.
Anyone else have a slight Amazon addiction? I love how easy it is to shop online and have the items I need appear on my doorstep two days later. (So dangerous for those of us who need to curb the impulse-buying habits.) But that also means I end up with a lot of small and medium boxes. I’ve repurposed a lot of them for other uses, which means I’m not spending money on a new bin or tray to organize stuff.
I have one Amazon box on my counter to help contain all the countertop stuff, like my vitamins and other small items I like to keep in one place. (Pictured above) If you don’t want a plain brown box, you can cover them in decorative paper or fabric or break out some festive duct tape in a color or pattern that you love.
Another option for extra boxes is to cut the flaps off or cut sections out to create boundary dividers in your pantry or other shelves. It’s a great way to create a free vertical divider and easily label that section by writing on the cardboard. One of my creative clients even made a magazine rack out of a cereal box!
I also reuse boxes to send gifts to my family who live far away. It's cheap and easy, especially since I reuse gift wrap and gift bags too!
Cups, mugs, or other extra kitchen items
If there’s anything in your house that’s somewhat sentimental for you that you’re not using for its intended purpose, think about other things it can do so it's still used and loved. Maybe there’s a coffee cup that you love because someone special gave it to you, but you have other favorite mugs for actually drinking your coffee. Consider moving that coffee mug to the office as a pen holder, or to the bathroom as a tooth brush holder, or to the landing pad to hold your keys. Don't have a landing pad by the door? Hit me up and I'll make one for you.
Cups can be turned into vases for flowers or containers to hold anything you might imagine. This picture here is of an Edible Arrangements vase that came from a thoughtful gift, and now it holds my chopsticks. Unused ice cube trays are a great way to organize small pieces of jewelry, beads, little office supplies, or anything else that’s tiny.
Wine bottles or other glass vessels
Have extra bottles lying around? The easiest option for many people is to recycle them, but you can also get creative with them. A wine bottle with significant memories can be filled with small white lights and turned into a night light. That doesn’t help with organizing, but it does create a decorative item whose practical function is to make you happy. Set it up in an intentional spot where you'll see it.
You can use big empty juice bottles to collect shower water as you wait for it to heat up, then freeze them. Once you've got a bottle of ice, turn that sucker upside down in your garden to water your plants a little bit throughout the day.
Or use a wide-mouth bottle or mason jar to collect spare change and then take it to the coin machine at your bank and do something fun with the extra cash. I'm using mine to go on a road trip this week! Look out, Santa Fe! I'm coming for ya!
Repurposing is all about creativity! Take a look around your house and think about things you’re not currently using. What craft opportunities do you see? How can you repurpose these things so they have another life in your home? There are so many options out there! What are your favorites? I personally love these bookends.