Tag Archive | "home organizing"

Reusing Clutter to Declutter, Part 2

Here are more ideas for reusing items for storage and décor.

Plastic Bags

Use tissue boxes as plastic bag dispensers. You may want to save several sizes of tissue boxes for different sizes of bags. In that way, you recycle both the boxes and the bags and keep the bags from becoming clutter.

Some people use plastic bags for crafts. Plastic bags can be braided into rugs. They can also be braided and used like Styrofoam bases for crafts. One way to use plastic bags for wreaths is to braid the plastic bags, then shape them into a circle. Next, hot glue a brown paper bag to the circle to form a wreath base. Use more hot glue to glue pine cones and other Christmas decorations on the wreath base. Soon you will have a beautiful Christmas wreath created from recycled materials. But beware! Store the plastic bags for crafts appropriately, or the bags turn back into clutter.

Rubber Bands

Do you have thick rubber bands lying around the house? If so, you can use them to help keep the straps of spaghetti strap dresses or blouses on their hangers. One source of closet clutter is the blouse or dress that has spaghetti straps and won’t stay on its hanger.  Rubber bands wrapped around the ends of hangers keep straps from falling, and keep you clothes off of the closet floor.

Jewelry Organization

Organizing jewelry can be done using several different recycled objects that you might find around the house. You can hang necklaces from decorative hooks on the wall or from a closet door. Hanging your necklaces from decorative hooks keeps them from becoming tangled, as well. Untangling necklaces takes time that you could spend better elsewhere.

Clips and Clothes pins

Magnetic clips and clothes pins can double as clips and holders for many different household items. Both work well as recipe card holders. Magnetic clips can be attached right on to the hood of your stove for easy reading. Clothes pins can be put at the top of you rolled up potato chip bag and help keep them fresh.


If you found pretty jars while decluttering, you can use them for storage and even sometimes for décor. Glass baby food jars are frequently used to store small items. But don’t keep lots of them around just in case you might need them some day, or they turn into clutter. You can use glass baby food jars to store anything from pins to beads to nails and staples. If you decide to use baby food jars or other jars for candles holders, put a few drops of water at the bottom of the jar. The wax will come out of the jar much easier if you do.

You can use a small collection of glass jars or vases that are a similar color for decoration. Group them together for a designer vase look. This color scheme idea makes even the most unusual items look like a collection.

Small jars are frequently used to organize bathroom clutter. Bobby pins, hair ties, cotton balls and tons of other bathroom or make up items can easily be sorted into small jars. These containers make good organizers for the home office, as well. Rubber bands, paper clips, and staples sort into these easy to store containers and are easily put into drawers.


Small boxes and small plastic containers make excellent storage containers for bathroom items such as ear swabs and cotton balls. One example of the type of containers you can use is berry boxes from the produce department of your grocery store. Depending on what the box was originally used for, you might need to spray it with disinfectant. Grouping similar types of boxes together makes those recycled boxes look more like a fashion statement and less like an accident, as well.


Vases are good storage for many household items. You may have a cupboard full of vases from flowers you have received down through the years. It is always nice to keep a few of these around for flowers from your garden. But after a while, vases too become clutter. You can use vases to hold office supplies such as pens and pencils. Crochet hooks and knitting needles can be stored in vases for a decorative look. And a very large vase may just be what you have been looking for to use as an umbrella holder for your front entry.

Need Shelves? Try This!

An easy way to give yourself some extra shelving is to use crates or smaller shelves inside larger shelves to give you more storage. Remember those plastic milk crates? Stack them and use them as shelves. Put crates or boxes on closet shelves or on the floor of a closet and use them as shelf space. Boxes work for this as well, especially if you need shelves in a closet or place where no one will see the boxes.


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Reusing Clutter to Declutter

Once you start to declutter your house, you will find that you have less stuff around the house that needs to be stored. That’s good? You will also find some items that you need to store. You can run around and by storage units, shelves, and cabinets with drawers. But one of your new principles is not to bring new stuff into the house.

The good news is that, while decluttering, you probably found some items that you can use as storage. Some of these potential storage items can be decorative. Others you might want to use behinds closed doors or drawers. Then once you have used all your potential recycled storage, you can buy more shelves and drawer storage if you really need to.  Use what you already have first, however.

Here, in no particular order, are some ideas for reusing stuff you found while decluttering and can reuse as storage containers.


Shoe boxes are great for storing many items. Several shoe boxes stack very well. But don’t just save shoe boxes in case you need them for storage someday. That is when they become clutter. If you need shoeboxes for storage where people will see them, decorate them with wrapping paper or fabric to make them decorative. Photographs and recipes can be stored in shoeboxes. Just be sure that you label the contents of each box. Small bits and parts of crafts or art supplies can be stored in shoeboxes, as well. Sewing patterns fit well in shoeboxes. And shoeboxes fit nicely on those small shelves above your clothes in the closet.

Old Jewelry

Plastic or metal bangle bracelets or other types of metal or plastic rings make good napkin holders.

Saucers, Small Bowls, Butter Plates

Saucers, small bowls and butter plates can be used as the base for houseplants. These pieces of dishware are decorative and protect your furniture from the water rings that can occur when houseplants are overwatered. Don’t go out and buy saucers for this purpose. Use odds and ends of dishes and bowls that you already have. In this way you will prevent potential clutter from entering your home. Some of the plastic lids from containers work well for this purpose, too.

Saucers and bowls are also decorative ways of storing soap and keys.

Clutter as Furniture

Many different recycled pieces of clutter can become furniture. Here are some ways to make end tables, coffee tables, and nightstands out of potentially discarded items.

Chairs those are mismatched or no longer useful for sitting can become nightstands. If the seat is made of caning with holes, put a tray or book over the hole.  Or nail a piece of wood over that spot and repaint the entire chair. If an old chair is reused as a nightstand, you can put a lamp on the chair seat or hang a bathrobe on the back of the chair as well.

Sturdy boxes can be covered with a pretty piece of cloth or tablecloth and used as nightstands or end tables.

Old suitcases make sturdy coffee tables when stacked. If you don’t like the surfaces of the suitcases, cover them with a decorative piece of cloth, blanket or tablecloth to disguise them.

Laundry Bags

Laundry bags were originally intended to keep underwear protected while being washed.  Laundry bags are great for storing those dirty pieces of laundry and keeping them up off of the floor. Laundry bags can also make sorting clothes easier. But laundry bags work well in the dishwasher, too.

Instead of letting all of those little bits and pieces of dishes fall through the dishwasher racks and get damaged or lost, put them in laundry bags. Put those

caps, lids and baby bottle nipples in a new, clean laundry bag on the top shelf of the dishwasher. Your little items will be safe while washed and you won’t have to stick your head in the dishwasher to search the bottom for those little items.

You can use business card holders to carry coupons of packs of sweetener, tea bags or coffee bags.

Old nail polish can be used to color code your keys for easier identification.

Any container like a glass jar can be used to store thread and stray buttons in the laundry room.

Pegs, nails, tacks, and kitchen cup holders can go in the wall inside of your closet to hold belts, ties, and necklaces.

Put instructions and owner’s manuals in a single drawer or in a binder. This way, you won’t have to hunt for them if one of your appliances breaks down.

Fun Filing

Napkin holders and old phonograph record holders can be used to file important papers in the home office or at work. Bills are a great example of how to reuse a napkin holder or record holder. Just be sure to put the bills due first at the front of the holder for easy payment.

Old drawers that used to hold cassette tapes make excellent small containers or mini file cabinets.

The old wire type phonograph record holder is a good way to sort baking pans, muffin tins, pizza pans, and cutting boards. If you have an extra dish drainer that is usually used for drying hand washed dishes, you can use it to sort dishes, pots and pans as well.

These are only a few of the ways you can turn your clutter into organizational aides.


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