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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

  • 486 Pins

Give Easter eggs a year-round use (and save on resealable bags) by filling them with snacks like crackers or Cheerios.

New Uses for Easter Things

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Help hollow-stemmed blooms, like daffodils, delphiniums, and amaryllis, soak up water and stay hydrated longer with this fresh idea: Cut the bottom of each stem at a 45-degree angle, turn the stem upside down, fill it with water, and stuff it with a piece of cotton.

Take your cake stand to new heights by wrapping a plain glass vase with a ribbon in your signature shade.

Contain extra extension cords by wrapping the length of one around your hand then sliding the whole thing inside the tube.

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  • Sue Brown
    Sue Brown

    My mom has been doing this for years :PCo

Scoop guacamole or salsa into a wineglass, then stand it in the center of a bowl of chips for an impromptu chip-and-dip platter.

Salt as Homemade Drain Cleaner: Get a slow-moving drain flowing again and pour a solution of ½ cup of salt for every quart of hot water down the pipe.

Most-Pinned New Uses

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Muffin Tin as Cooling Rack: Increase your baking capacity by using an upside-down pan as an extra cooling rack. The space between the molds lets the cool air flow freely.

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If you don't have extra-long matches, use an uncooked piece of spaghetti to light multiple or hard to reach candles.

Nail Polish as Key Coder: Differentiate your keys by color-coding them with your favorite nail hues. Lay keys flat and apply a thick coat of a different shade to the top of each one.

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Aluminum Foil as Wrinkle Remover: To get wrinkles out of silk, wool, and rayon clothes that can't take direct heat, place a piece of foil on your ironing board, then lay the garment flat over it. With the steam button down, pass the iron three to four inches over the fabric several times. Wet heat radiating from the foil helps smooth out wrinkles.

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  • Christy Berry
    Christy Berry

    Trying thus

Deodorant as Blister Preventer: Make breaking shoes in less of a pain. Rub clear-gel deodorant on spots prone to blistering before you step out in a stiff new pair.

  • Emily C. Johnson
    Emily C. Johnson

    Does this work? That would be awesome! Anyone who knows, please comment.

  • Kerry Tousignant
    Kerry Tousignant

    Hey Emily! While I don't know specifically about this, I do know that using deodorant (or Body Glide, a runner's product) will prevent chafing when applied to the body, so I would imagine that deodorant (clear, of course) would help prevent the chafing that causes blisters to feet.

  • Diana McGill Beck
    Diana McGill Beck

    Emily I have used it while wearing sandles (flat) but not ever with high heels. It did work really well!

Button as Earring Holder: Travel is best done in pairs (think of Lewis and Clark or Thelma and Louise). To keep a set of earrings together on your next overnight jaunt, fasten them to a button so they won’t get lost in your suitcase pocket.

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Flat Iron as Ribbon Smoother: Get the kinks out of wrinkled wrapping ribbons that were tied around your birthday presents for recycled bows without the telltale creases from the previous gift box.

  • RE/MAX Elite
    RE/MAX Elite

    We had to use a straightening iron to get the wrinkles out of the tie/ribbons on our daughters wedding gown.

  • Beatriz Alvarez
    Beatriz Alvarez

    Mari☀ Couldn't help but think of you.

  • Mari☀
    Mari☀

    lol!! Beatriz Alvarez

Avoid rock-hard brown sugar and preserve the moisture by dropping a three inch-long orange peel into the bag.

Most-Pinned New Uses

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Contact Lens Case as Travel Spice Holder: Pack small amounts of salt, pepper, and spices for a camping trip.

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The cold, hard truth: Small ice cubes melt fast, leaving a pitcher of lemonade watery. To make long-lasting jumbo cubes, use a muffin tin. Pop them out by running the back of the tin under hot water for 30 seconds.

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

realsimple.com