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New Uses for Old Things

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


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New Uses for Old Things

New Uses for Old Things

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Save space (and put a stop to cabinet avalanches) by storing cookie sheets, cutting boards, and pot lids in this desk accessory.

6 Organizing Tricks to Restore Your Sanity

realsimple.com

Cut shoe boxes in half, along the length or width, and fill the resulting compartments with folded underwear, socks, or stacked bras.

6 Organizing Tricks to Restore Your Sanity

realsimple.com

Tired of fumbling at the front door? ID each key with its very own shade of nail polish so that you can grab the right one in a flash.

6 Organizing Tricks to Restore Your Sanity

realsimple.com

To prevent leftover wrapping paper from denting, ripping, or unraveling before the next celebration, slide a cut leg of old tights over the roll.

6 Organizing Tricks to Restore Your Sanity

realsimple.com

Because your household to-do list shouldn't look like it belongs in a conference room. Frame a piece of wallpaper or fabric, then jot notes on the glass with a dry-erase marker. Pretty and practical.

6 Organizing Tricks to Restore Your Sanity

realsimple.com
  • Olga-Maria Smock
    Olga-Maria Smock

    or use your bathroom mirror!

Create an artful arrangement sans floral foam. Simply wrap a clear hair band around the stems, then let the flowers fall naturally. Particularly helpful for filling out wide-mouth vases.

6 Organizing Tricks to Restore Your Sanity

realsimple.com

Make ice cubes last longer at your next cocktail party: Put them in a colander set into a bowl. As they melt, the water will drain through the holes instead of sitting and turning the ice to slush.

When the cork crumbles, salvage a bottle of wine by slowly pouring it through a filter into a pitcher or carafe. That way your $25 Fume Blanc won't go down the drain.

Entertaining New Uses

realsimple.com

Let guests locate their seats in a creative way. Clip a miniature clothespin to the bottom of each paper to create the base for a rustic escort card display.

Use a Tension Rod to Store Cleaning Products

10 Cheap Organizing Hacks for a Clutter-Free Home

realsimple.com

Serve sorbet in a memorable way. After juicing (or eating) grapefruit, orange, lemon, or lime halves, scoop out and freeze the peels. Cut a small slice off the bottom to create a level surface (without creating a hole), then fill with ice cream.

Use a Wine Rack as a Wall Organizer

10 Cheap Organizing Hacks for a Clutter-Free Home

realsimple.com

Make a chic serving tray with an extra frame. Place a double of your favorite photo (so as not to ruin the original in case of condensation) under the glass and set out the drinks.

Mini marshmallows may be too small for s’mores, but they’re a sweet way to catch wayward candle drips before they hit cakes and cupcakes—because it’s not so festive to find wax in your icing.

Entertaining New Uses

realsimple.com

Use a Picture Frame as a Key Organizer

10 Cheap Organizing Hacks for a Clutter-Free Home

realsimple.com

Use Jars as Floating Storage Spaces

10 Cheap Organizing Hacks for a Clutter-Free Home

realsimple.com

If you find yourself with a mismatched collection―or without bubbly―flip thick-walled Champagne flutes upside down to create a beautiful grouping of candle stands for a shelf or a mantel. Use heavy wineglasses for table centerpieces, as the wider mouths will provide more stability to withstand bumping.

Use Magnets as a Medicine Cabinet Organizer

10 Cheap Organizing Hacks for a Clutter-Free Home

realsimple.com

Let a colorful dish towel span the center of your table and you'll get two place mats for the price of an easy wash-and-dry staple and a Paris bistro feel (no passport required).

To cut down on waiting time for hors d’oeuvres, stack a small cake stand on top of a larger one to increase your surface area for canapés or crudités and free up precious table space.

A sheet at the bottom of a gym bag will help keep odor down.

Laundry New Uses for Old Things

realsimple.com

Use a Stepladder as a Bedside Table

10 Cheap Organizing Hacks for a Clutter-Free Home

realsimple.com
  • Jackie McKenzie
    Jackie McKenzie

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Create a candle centerpiece to light up your wedding (or you dinner table) by using cake stands as platforms for votive and pillar candles in assorted sizes.

Give a punch bowl an elegant (and functional) touch with this floating ice sculpture. Simply fill the cake pan with water (or nonalcoholic punch), freeze, and pop out before serving.

When a plain napkin simply won’t do, break out the bangles and dress up a place setting.

Entertaining New Uses

realsimple.com