Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thrifty Tip Tuesday: Reusing Old Containers

I am by nature a pack rat, and I absolutely hate to throw anything away that could be used again. My husband is even worse! I also love organization, and I love cheapness. To make the best of all these tendencies I like to re-use old plastic, glass and cardboard containers in creative ways around our house. It feels kind of silly to write about this, but I know that by re-using these things and not needing to run out and buy storage containers we've saved a lot of money. They might not be pretty, but they work and they're free!

Yogurt containers are one of my favorites. We loooove yogurt containers in our house. They have so many uses! This spring my husband saved all our yogurt containers for a month and planted his garden seedlings in them. We also use the bigger ones to hold paint and brushes when we paint rooms in our house. But this is their most common use, freezer storage of soup:

Creative ways to reuse plastic containers for organization

Which leads me to another way to use old containers: toy storage! My daughter has about 1,000 tiny parts and things to keep track of. Here I've used an old dishwasher detergent bucket and Costco taco seasoning container to hold her "stuff."

Creative ways to reuse plastic containers for organization

This is my kid's play kitchen. I've used shoe boxes to organize their play food so it isn't spilling out everywhere. Shoe boxes fit this space perfectly and are easy for them to access for play and clean up.

Creative ways to reuse plastic containers for organization

 And I also used an old shoe box to keep our important papers that need shredded in. It's not pretty, but it keeps them from collecting in a stack that can get knocked over:

Creative ways to reuse plastic containers for organization

You can also re-use containers in the kitchen. We use old spaghetti containers for things like sauces, leftover soups, homemade peanut butter, and in this picture I've used one for some of my husband's mouthwatering homemade salsa. We also use old baby food containers all the time. When I'm not re-using them for homemade baby food, I like to throw my daughter's snacks into one instead of a ziploc baggie. They're small and easy to toss in my purse for when we're out and about.

Creative ways to reuse plastic containers for organization

I've found that old baby puff containers make for handy storage of our bulk chocolate chips. All I have to do when I need some is pour a few out at a time!

Creative ways to reuse plastic containers for organization

I hope some of these inspired you too! You don't always need expensive Tupperware for food storage, or fancy bins if you're looking to organize your house. Sometimes you just need something to throw stuff in, and hey, a shoebox can work great!


  1. How do you get the original label off. Some labels are almost a part of the plastic but not quite. I love the Member's Mark (Sam's Club) Dishwasher Pacs container because it's clear. However, I'd like to get the label off.http://www.samsclub.com/sams/is-1-50-off-mm-auto-dish-ult-105/prod18390141.ip


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