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New Uses for Old Things

Clever ways to repurpose everyday items from RealSimple.com and around the web.


New Uses for Old Things

  • 470 Pins

If fabric-softener sheets make your clothes smell nice in the dryer, just think about what they could do in your dresser. Slip a few fresh ones between folded clothes

New Uses for Dryer Sheets

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  • Trish W
    Trish W

    I like to use them in suitcases, both when I'm traveling & when the suitcases are stored in the closet.

  • Anna Newman
    Anna Newman

    Yes!

Use Colored Bins Assign a colored bin or basket to each family member to hold items they’ll want to grab as they leave the house (keys, permission slips, mail, umbrellas, gloves, etc.). Color-coded bins also work for sorting recyclables (green for glass, white for paper); instead of letting junk mail pile up, dump it directly into the appropriate bin.

18 Clever Organizing Tricks and Storage Ideas

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Use Votive-Candle Holders Put empty votive-candle holders to work: Fill them with toothpicks and offer along with appetizers. Or put them on a desk or inside your junk drawer, and give small items like paper clips or bobby pins a place to call home.

18 Clever Organizing Tricks and Storage Ideas

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Use Zipper-Sealed Bags Keep sets of napkins and place mats in large sealed plastic bags and label how many are in each bag.

18 Clever Organizing Tricks and Storage Ideas

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  • Emily
    Emily

    Just make sure they are absolutely dry or you will have moldy napkins...

Use a Pegboard Keep sports equipment of all shapes and sizes tidy with an adaptable pegboard. Tim Fooks, a designer for Home Depot, recommends buying a pegboard with 1/4-inch holes, which will hold more weight than other sizes. The holes will also be able to accommodate hooks in the three common sizes: 1/8, 3/16, and 1/4 inch. Be sure to hang only lightweight items on the skinnier hooks, so they won’t pull out of the pegboard, says Fooks.

18 Clever Organizing Tricks and Storage Ideas

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Use Hangers Keep individual sheets of wrapping paper crease-free by clipping them to a pants or skirt hanger. Do the same with gift bags, or loop their handles over the hook of the hanger. (You can also use a shoe organizer: Stash scissors, tape, gift tags, and other decorating supplies inside the compartments.)

18 Clever Organizing Tricks and Storage Ideas

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Use a Coat Rack Hang your best-loved (and most frequently worn) necklaces and bracelets within easy reach on a wall-mounted coat rack. Bonus: They’ll stay tangle-free when not decorating your neck. Or mount corkboard—available in various sizes—on a wall and drape necklaces from straight pins.

18 Clever Organizing Tricks and Storage Ideas

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Use a Tension Rod: To keep pot lids from rattling around and getting lost in kitchen drawers, position a short tension rod to create a divider. Stack pots and pans in the larger section and lean lids against the rod on the smaller side.

18 Clever Organizing Tricks and Storage Ideas

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Use Spice Containers: These squat, clear-topped jars (sold at kitchen supply stores) can keep the loose bits that accumulate on your desktop and in your drawers—stamps, Post-it notes, paper clips, rubber bands, etc., etc., etc.—under control.

18 Clever Organizing Tricks and Storage Ideas

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Use a Paper Towel Holder: Marathon gift wrapping? For easy access to ribbon, slide spools onto a paper towel stand’s post. Stack them from largest to smallest, bottom to top. When done, tape the ribbon ends to their spools to keep them neat.

18 Clever Organizing Tricks and Storage Ideas

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Use a Tissue Box: Dispense plastic grocery bags with ease by stuffing empties into an old tissue box stored under the sink; simply pull out one when you need it. For a slimmer solution, try a cardboard paper-towel tube.

18 Clever Organizing Tricks and Storage Ideas

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Use Shower Curtain Hooks: If space allows, place hooks on a closet bar and hang purses from them to keep your carryalls at eye level. Say good-bye to a mess of accessories on your closet floor.

18 Clever Organizing Tricks and Storage Ideas

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  • Nancy Dunn
    Nancy Dunn

    Rachel Marshall for your new purses

Busted your blender’s jar? Until you replace it, try this temporary fix: Many detachable blade assemblies screw right onto a small-mouth Mason jar (or a mayo jar, as shown).

12 New Uses for Mason Jars

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Zippered Plastic Bag as Record Keeper: Keep receipts handy and wrinkle-free. Corral keys, your phone, and loose change before hitting airport security. Store your car’s insurance card and registration in the glove compartment.

New Uses in the Car

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Scratched CD as Safety Reflector: Want drivers to see—not sideswipe—yourmailbox at night? Glue headlight-catching CDs onto its side.

New Uses in the Car

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  • Jeannette Rogers
    Jeannette Rogers

    No, that won't make your mail box look tacky at all!!!

  • Carolyn Ann
    Carolyn Ann

    I paint my mail boxes, so I wouldn't put them on my MB, but I sure might try it out on the post...

Tube Socks as Wiper Protectors: Come on―when was the last time you wore them, anyway? Instead, slip a pair over your windshield wipers on the eve of a storm so you won’t have to deice the blades in the morning.

New Uses in the Car

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  • Wendy:
    Wendy:

    Won't the socks freeze to the car/glass in freezing rain/ sleet/ melted & refrozen snow?

  • Debbe Smith
    Debbe Smith

    Well now that you mention it.......

  • Lindsay Tomaka
    Lindsay Tomaka

    So they can freeze too?

  • Lindsay Tomaka
    Lindsay Tomaka

    All you have to do is lift them up off of the window... And hope the snow doesn't fall to that height. :-)

  • këvlar soul
    këvlar soul

    The socks do freeze. Use a plastic bag and some elastics to keep the shape small and easy to remove. Better yet use rainx decider because it doesn't freeze. Tape a bottle cap over the spray nozzle so it is easy to use after the storm.

Rug Pad as Trunk Liner: Keep shopping bags steady on the drive home by lining your trunk with a non-skid rug pad. That way goods won't tumble every time you take a turn.

New Uses in the Car

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Bath Mat as Car Seat Protector: Protect your car seats from muddy paws by covering them with a bath mat or two before packing Lilly the Lab in the backseat. The rubber bottom will help the mat stay in place. Between trips, stow the mat in the trunk.

New Uses in the Car

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Car Wax as Garden Shear Lubricant: For cleaner cuts with less elbow grease, rub a little paste on the hinge of a pair of garden shears so they don’t get jammed.

New Uses in the Car

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Car wax as sink polish: Polish faucets, sinks, tile, even shower doors with Turtle Wax, which leaves behind a protective barrier against water and soap buildup, so your hard-earned sparkle will last past the next tooth-brushing.

New Uses in the Car

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Baby oil as polish: Forget keeping skin soft, baby oil also polishes chrome. Apply a dab to a cotton cloth and use it to shine everything from faucets to hubcaps. You'll end up with shiny, happy surfaces from a medicine-cabinet staple. (Who actually owns chrome cleaner, anyway?)

New Uses in the Car

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Store your car insurance, registration, manuals, and maps in a neatly bound holder to avoid an avalanche of papers every time you reach in for your sunglasses. It's the first step to getting your car chaos under control.

New Uses in the Car

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Pencil as key lubricant: If a key is sticking in the lock, scribble on its edges with a trusty number two. Graphite in the lead helps the key glide and turn more easily (so it also makes your day go more smoothly).

New Uses in the Car

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Six-pack carton as car caddy: Stash the compartments with granola bars, hand wipes, tissues, and such, then reach for the cardboard savior when your backseat drivers are steering you toward Crazytown (population: one frazzled mom).

New Uses in the Car

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Soften butter: Place cut-up butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on low (power level 3) in 20-second intervals, checking in between.

23 Cooking Uses for Your Microwave

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