SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Recycle, Re-Use, Re-Purpose In Your Home | Family Economics

By Trisha

With Earth Day only a month away, we hear it everywhere we go these days—recycle, re-use, re-purpose. There are signs, websites and multitudes of companies that are focused on these three words. This got me thinking about how we could organize our home by doing just that—recycle, re-use and re-purpose.

Here are some of the simple ideas I came up with to get each of us to recycle, re-use and re-purpose in the home:

Drawer dividers: Bank check boxes, shoeboxes and small gift boxes create perfectly-fitting drawer dividers. Also, you can re-use and re-purpose the lids.

Bottle storage: Use an old wine rack to store water bottles and portable coffee mugs or use it as a fun way to store Italian soda flavored syrups.

Baking ingredients: Use your empty pasta sauce jar, pickle jar or other jars for storing your baking ingredients—like baking soda, powdered sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, corn starch, etc.

Cake and cookie decorating storage: Use empty baby wipe or wet towelette tubs to store your cookie and cake decorating sprinkles, gels, tips and food coloring. This will make your supplies easy to access.

Extension cord storage: Don’t toss out your toilet paper or paper towel tubes. These are perfect for neatly storing and organizing your extension cords and other cable cords. You can also use a permanent marker to write on the tube what the cord is or how it is used.

Pencil holders: Finish up a painting project and turn your empty painting can in to a pencil holder. Be sure to clean it out first. Then you can decorate the outside with pretty scrap paper or spray paint in fun colors.

Plastic grocery bags: Use an empty paper towel tube to store your plastic grocery bags in by stuffing them into the center of the tube. You will be amazed at how many you can fit in there!

Hand-me-downs: Use empty diaper boxes to store your kid’s hand-me-downs. Your boxes will all be the same size and are easily stacked for future use. Be sure to label the outside of the box with clothing size and gender.

Egg cartons: These make the perfect organizer for craft and sewing supplies. They also make great small treasure holders for your kids. 

What have you recycled, re-used or re-purposed for home organizing?

3 Comments so far

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On Saturday, April 9, 2011, mom of 3 in Tacoma wrote

I cut an egg carton and use it as a paint tray in the painting easel for my girls. That way I can limit the amount of paint they have at one time and not have to worry about them mixing the paint colors in the jars!

On Thursday, March 17, 2011, Organization in WA wrote

I love shoe boxes....I put them in my kids drawers to organize socks, tights, underwear, toys.... I use them in the kitchen to organize packet items, spices, cake decorating I use them in the office to organize note pads, crayons, little slips of paper, receipts to file

On Thursday, March 17, 2011, momisbestjob in Tacoma wrote

Costco our local "warehouse" store gives you boxes to carry your purchases in..I have been known to pick out the boxes I want according to what cabinet I am organizing....I use the large ones to act like a pull out shelf for my chips and lightweight items that I can then put on a higher shelf.


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