Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Repurposing Containers

Today's Works for Me Wednesday is a themed edition focused on organization tips.

You can read my post here about how much I have grown to love containers for helping me get (and attempt to stay) organized. But I don't want to spend a bunch of money on storage containers so I've gotten better at repurposing containers. Here are some of the things I repurpose:

  • Baby wipes tubs - I buy ground beef and chicken breasts in bulk and then separate them into 1 lb batches that I freeze in freezer bags, but it was a mess digging through my deep freeze to locate the bags when I needed them, and it was never obvious when my supply was running low. To remedy the problem, I cut the lid off a couple empty baby wipe tubs and used one to hold my bags of ground beef and one to hold my chicken breasts. This way they are all together and I can easily see when I need to replenish the supply!
  • Shoe boxes - become drawer dividers, especially for kid clothes that are small
  • Large clear plastic tubs with screw-on lids from buying pretzel sticks in bulk from my warehouse store - become a more attractive way to store cereal and keep it fresher than the boxes they come in.
  • Empty metal coffee cans washed with the labels removed become attractive ways to store and organize everything from receipts to small candles to crayons to nails and screws
  • Plastic sand pails no longer needed for the beach can be cleaned (or bought new in bright colors for a $1 at many places) and are great ways to store little toys like My Little Pony, Small dolls and their shoes, toy cars
  • Empty large tubs of yogurt are great for storing many things. I like using them inside other buckets or baskets to further separate the storage area, like my bin that has small plastic bowls has an empty yogurt tub in it to hold the small lids.
I'd love to hear any repurposing ideas you have!


  1. You have MANY great ideas here!! Thank you for sharing and I will certainly be using some.

  2. I love the shoebox suggestion! Good idea.


  3. Now I want to buy a huge can of pretzels just for reuse! Very good ideas.
    I reuse my kids' cups lots of ways--toothbrush holders, bath toys, measuring cups for detergent & bleach, etc. When they get grimy I toss them since they multiply while I sleep.

  4. Great tips! I love to repurpose containers. I've got a really nice clear box (approximately shoebox size) that had spinach in it, that I'm saving waiting for an idea.


  5. Wow! Great ideas. I've never thought about putting cereal in those containers with a top. Love it!

  6. great ideas- I love reusing containers too. the one for baby wipe tubs is great- I have some stored and now I know what to do with them. I already use big plastic bins in the freezer, but DH is always complaining he has to sort through them, so smaller might be the way to go. thanks!

  7. I love the pretzel tub suggestion. I've always been at a loss of what to do with these containers and usually wind up trashing/recycling them. It's good to have a better solution.

  8. I use the empty baby wipes containers for a couple different things.
    1- as my coupon holder. It sit on the table and I toss coupons in there real quick so they dont get lost in the chaos of my dining room table. I sort them into envelopes inside the container when i have time.
    2- as a crayon box for all of the pieces of crayons my kiddo has broken. plus, he likes to drop them in through the opening at the top.
    thanks for the great tips!

  9. Thanks for the pretzel-jar tip!! I just bought one of those big jars of pretzels and have been wondering what to do with it when empty...and meanwhile, my 4-year-old is beginning to serve himself cereal and is having trouble with the box coming open while he's carrying it because he squeezes too much. Both problems will be solved!

    Click my name for lots of ideas for reusing stuff.

  10. I use the big pretzel jars for storing my pastas.

    I also put sour cream and yogurt containers in the bathtub for the kids to play with.

    You know what kills me - I buy Folgers from Costco and it comes in these fabulous plastic jugs with a handle. And I cannot figure out what to do with them! It is a crime to throw them away!

    I am pondering your baby wipes...I have a freezer full of meat, and it is hard to find what I need.

  11. Love the pretzel jar idea, thanks! I thought I would share, I also use kid shoe boxes in my pantry, to hold packets so they don't slip around and fall of the shelves!


I'd love to hear what you think!