I love to find new uses for everyday items my family no longer uses. Not only is it better than adding to the landfill, it saves my family money. Here are five everyday items that I have found 15 new uses for in organizing and keeping my house clean -- all without spending money on costly organizational items, while doing just a little bit to help the environment:
Old cell phone cases
Don't toss old cell phone cases. Repurpose them!
- Use half of a cell phone case as a soap dish in your shower to avoid getting soap scum on the side of your tub. Keep the end with the hole over the edge of the tub and the water will drain right out.
- Same idea as above, but use it to hold your sponge on the ledge of your kitchen sink.
- Pack a complete cell phone case when you travel. It's a great place to throw small items like loose change or the earrings you took out after you got into bed.
A lazy Susan
A lazy Susan is a great way to store a variety of items. Plus you can make your own for just $3. Visit your local dollar store and buy 2 pie plates that are the same size and a bag of marbles. Empty the bag of marbles into one pie plate. Place the other pie plate on top of the marbles and add your storage items.
- Use a lazy Susan in your cabinet to store your spices and make them easy to see.
- Place one under your bathroom sink to hold all your cleaning supplies.
- Keep one in your bathroom closet to hold all your nail polish.
Another everyday item that I find is so useful for much more than hanging a shower curtain.
- Put shower rings around the bottom of a hanger and use each one to keep your scarves organized.
- Finding your daughter's hair ties everywhere? Use a shower ring to keep them in one place.
- Hang shower rings from a tension rod to keep baseball hats organized.
Paper towel and toilet paper tubes
These throwaway tubes can actually be quite handy around the house. Tell your family to start saving them!
- Cut a slit down the side of a toilet paper tube to put it around a roll of wrapping paper to keep the wrapping paper securely in place.
- Use one as a fire starter by stuffing it full of lint from the clothes dryer.
- Push in the bottom of a toilet paper tube to form an enclosed bottom. Fill the tube with planting soil and then plant some seeds. When your plants begin to grow, you can transfer them right in the cardboard tube to your garden. It will disintegrate on its own!
Empty pill bottles
Soak your pill bottle to remove the label first.
- Fill the empty pill bottle with quarters and pennies to take with you when you travel. When you come to a penny machine, each of your kids will be able to get a nice (and cheap!) souvenir.
- Make little emergency kits, and fill them with things like band-aids, alcohol swabs, and even a pair of plastic gloves.
- Keep your earbuds inside a bottle. Since I started using an empty pill bottle to store my earbuds they don't get tangled, and I can find them in my purse much easier!
What are your favorite organizational items repurposed from their original use? Post yours on social media with the hashtag #MKrecycles and we might use your idea in an upcoming story!
Jennifer Schorr is the publisher of Macaroni Kid Reading, Pa.