50 New Ways to Use Everyday Items

Trust us: Everything in your home has a genius second (or third!) use.

50 New Ways to Use Everyday Items

Trust us: Everything in your home has a genius second (or third!) use.

If you’re like most people, chances are you have too much stuff in your home. Approximately 10 percent of all American homes rent an additional storage unit to keep all that stuff we think we’re going to need, but never end up using. In fact, even with all that storage space we’re renting, the average American home still packs a staggering 300,000 items.

While going full KonMari isn’t for everyone, there’s a simple way to cut down on the clutter: turn your everyday items into major multitaskers. By discovering creative new ways to use everyday items, you can cut down on the amount of stuff you need at home, streamlining your space in the process. By repurposing some of the thousands of items you already own, you can enjoy fewer unnecessary items in your home and a whole lot more cash in your bank account. And when you’re ready to supercharge your savings, start with the 25 Daily Habits Rich People Swear By!

Nail polish bottles

1
Use Clear Nail Polish to Fix a Run in Your Stockings

From catching them on your fingernails to snagging them under a wooden desk, stockings rarely stay in perfect condition for long. Fortunately, just because your stockings have developed a run doesn’t mean they’re waste-basket-bound, however. Just dab a tiny bit of clear nail polish on either side of the run in your stockings and it will stop it from extending further. This handy visual guide can show you exactly how to do it.

Silverware

2
Clean Out Utensil Trays With a Lint Roller

While a thorough rinse in the dishwasher is sure to get your utensils clean, that doesn’t mean where you’re storing them is always spic-and-span.

When you want to clean out your utensil tray, instead of having to remove the entire thing from the drawer, just put a sticky lint roller into each compartment and you’ll grab all those crumbs in seconds. After reading this study about how dirty used kitchen sponges are, you’ll definitely opt for the lint roller trick every time. And for more great knowledge, here are the 30 Worst Women’s Health Myths That Just Won’t Die. 

Sponge

3
Make Stamps Using a Kitchen Sponge

Want a creative new project to do with your kids but don’t have a ton of cash to spend? Do a fun at-home stamp project with those kitchen sponges collecting dust under your sink. Simply trace shapes onto the sponge with a permanent marker, cut them out with scissors, and use tempera paint to make designs.

Not only are these easier to maneuver than rubber stamps, they’re also more readily reusable, since they’re easily washed. Just make sure you’re always using a new sponge to make your stamps: research suggests that even a thoroughly-cleaned used sponge is still a haven for bacteria. And for more great advice, here are 30 Life Skills Every Man Should Know. 

Mismatched Socks, single socks, 40s

4
Turn an Unmatched Sock Into a Sachet

That glorified sock-eating monster you call a dryer may have left you with dozens of stray socks, but that doesn’t mean your only option is to wear mismatched pairs forever. Instead, just turn those stray socks into sweet-smelling no-sew sachets. Fill those old socks with dried citrus peels, cloves, and dried flowers and simply tie them at the top for a sachet that will keep every drawer smelling bright and fresh. And for more clever hacks, here are the 20 Home Maintenance Tips Everyone Should Know. 

Toilet paper tube

5
Organize Office Supplies With a Cardboard Tube

Instead of adding yet another cardboard tube to your overflowing recycling bin, turn them into adorable desk organizers. Using wrapping paper or washi tape, cover the tube, including one end, leaving the other open.

Voila! A perfect pen holder.

Flowers Best Birthday Gifts For Your Wife

6
Use a Zip Tie to Keep Bouquets Looking Lush

Don’t let a droopy bouquet ruin your otherwise perfectly-set table. Instead of just placing flowers in a vase and crossing your fingers, hold them together with a not-overly-snug zip tie about three inches from the bottom of the bouquet, so that they don’t fan out.

Baking soda

7
Clean Cutting Boards With Baking Soda

Cleaning those well-loved cutting boards is a snap with one tool you probably already have at home. Just sprinkle some baking soda on your cutting boards overnight and rinse off to remove any lingering smells. And if you’re dealing with set-in stains, try this baking soda hack to get them out. And for more ways to improve your home, be sure to avoid the 30 Most Useless Home Appliances Ever Created.

Cupcake wrapper

8
Make Mise En Place Easy With a Silicone Cupcake Liner

Mise en place, a culinary term for having all of your ingredients portioned and laid out in front of you before you start cooking, doesn’t require all those cute bowls and ramekins cooking show hosts seem to have an endless supply of. Simply use silicone cupcake liners to portion out your ingredients and rinse them when you’re done.

Glass jar

9
Turn a Mason Jar Into a Soap Dispenser

If you have an extra Mason jar lying around, put it to good use by turning it into a soap dispenser. All you need is a metal canning lid, a drill, some glue, and the dispenser pump off a bottle of soap. My Frugal Adventures has an easy tutorial for anyone who wants to try it for themselves.

Tennis ball

10
Prevent Scuffed Floors With Tennis Balls

Keep your floors looking as new as the day they were installed by putting tennis balls on the bottom of your chair legs. Simply cut a hole in the top of a tennis ball big enough to fit the chair, and feel free to scoot around, knowing you won’t be scuffing your floors in the process. And for more great home improvement advice, here are the 20 Things No Woman Over 40 Should Have in Her Home. 

Ice cube mold

11
Use an Ice Cube Tray For Infused Butter

Want an easy way to start recipes? Save some compound butter or stock in your ice cube trays for future use. Instead of laboriously combining ingredients, all you’ll have to do is pop out a cube into your pan and your recipe will be ready to go in minutes.

Polaroid photos

12
Hang Photos With Clothespins

If you have clothespins lying around, put them to good use by turning them into photo clips. Tack up two ends of a piece of string on your wall, add clothespins to secure photos, and you’ll have a fun and inexpensive piece of art that works in any room.

Paper clip

13
Put on a Bracelet With a Paper Clip

Bracelets are undeniably one of the most difficult pieces of jewelry to put on solo. Luckily, even if you can’t grow an extra hand, you can make closing your jewelry easier with a paper clip. Simply loop the open side of the bracelet’s clasp with your paperclip and hold in place with the thumb and forefinger of the hand you’re putting it on. With your other hand, close the clasp.

dressing well 50s

14
Make Your Shoes Less Slippery With Sandpaper

Slippery new heels can be more than a little treacherous. The good news? All it takes is a little sandpaper to scuff up the bottoms for traction and you’ll be on steadier footing in no time.

Q-Tip

15
Clean A Keyboard With a Cotton Swab

No computer duster? No problem! Simply wipe away dust and dirt with a cotton swab lightly moistened with rubbing alcohol once or twice a week.

Garden beds

16
Keep Pests Out of Your Garden With a Fitted Sheet

There are few things more frustrating than planting a beautiful garden only to have it serve as a smorgasbord for rabbits, deer, and other pests. Luckily, if you have raised beds, you can cover them at night with a fitted sheet to keep those critters from snacking on the fruits of your labor. And for more ways to boost your home’s appearance, here are the 30 Best Stylish Home Upgrades. 

Stacked plates

17
Separate Plates With a Coffee Filter

Just because you’ve moved onto a single-cup machine doesn’t mean you should toss those coffee filters from your old pot. When you’re packing plates to move, basket coffee filters can provide just the buffer you need to prevent your china from chipping.

best tips for dressing well in your 40s

18
Use Chalk to Keep Your Closet Smelling Fresh

If your clothes smell a little musty, freshen up your closet with some chalk. Placing a few pieces of chalk in your closet or hamper can help eliminate and absorb odor. If you’re feeling fancy, adding a few drops of essential oil to your chalk can make things smell even fresher. And when you’re ready to pare down your closet, take inspiration from the 30 Best Tips for Dressing Well in Your 50s!

winter superfoods, Best Foods for Maximizing Your Energy Levels

19
Juice Lemons With Tongs

Juicing lemons by hand can be tedious. Worse yet, doing so may expose any nicks in your skin to an unpleasant citrus sting. Instead of juicing with your hand alone, squeeze lemons between tongs and you’ll get more juice out of each one and save your skin in the process.

Suede shoes

20
Clean Scuffed-Up Suede With an Eraser

Looking for an easy way to keep your suede clean? Look no further than your pencil case. A pencil eraser can help you remove any marks from your suede. Check out One Good Thing to see how it works.

Electrical cables

21
Use Zip Ties to Organize Cables

Want to keep your electronics organized? Zip ties can help you bundle cables, making them easier to identify and reattach if you move things around. And when you’re ready to make your whole house more put together, start with the 40 Items Every Man Over 40 Should Have in His Home.

50 funniest facts

22
Ice Cupcakes With a Freezer Bag

Just because you don’t have a pastry bag lying around doesn’t mean you can’t make perfectly-iced cupcakes. Simply fill a freezer bag with frosting and snip off the tip for a DIY pastry bag that’s just as good as the real deal.

Bars of soap

23
Keep Your Clothes Smelling Clean With Bar Soap

Keeping your clothes smelling freshly-laundered 24/7 is easy with bar soap. Simply place bars of soap in your drawers between items and they’ll retain that sweet, soapy scent.

Paper bag on counter

24
Make a Countertop Compost Bin With a Paper Bag

You don’t need fancy equipment to compost right at home. Just put your composting scraps in a wax-free paper bag and you can transfer the whole thing into an outdoor compost bin when you’re ready. And yes, composting really can make a difference in the long run—in fact, it’s The Single Best Way to Save the Planet, according to environmental experts.

Flat iron

25
Press a Hem With a Hair Straightener

Don’t have time to fix a dropped hem? A hair straightener will do the trick. Place a bit of fabric adhesive tape between the two sides of the hem and press lightly with your straightener on its lowest setting.

Jar lid

26
Use a Spoon to Open a Jar

A superhuman grip isn’t the only thing that will help you open a stuck jar. Press the handle of a metal spoon inside the lip of the jar’s lid, facing you. Apply some pressure, and it will break the seal, allowing you to open it with ease. This video provides an easy visual guide as to how it works.

Roll of tape

27
Remove a Splinter With Duct Tape

Can’t bear the thought of ripping out a splinter with tweezers? Use some duct tape instead. Apply duct tape over the splinter and remove by pulling away from the puncture point.

Soda bottle

28
Turn a Plastic Bottle Into a Sprinkler

Instead of tossing that 2-liter bottle in the recycling bin, turn it into a sprinkler. Secure your garden hose to the mouth of a bottle with duct tape and make small punctures the bottle with a utility knife. Turn on the hose, and voila! A homemade sprinkler that will keep your garden looking lush.

Disposable razor

29
Get Pills Off a Sweater With a Razor

Keep your clothes looking as new as the day you bought them with a razor. Lightly running a dull used razor over your pilled sweaters can remove those fuzzy bits without a ripping the fabric.

Plastic Toys

30
Hang Bath Toys With Curtain Clips

Bath toys—particularly waterlogged ones—can get moldy fast. Luckily, you can keep this from happening by emptying them after bath time and hanging them on your shower rod using curtain clips so that they dry out completely.

Metal Opener

31
A Can Opener as a Package Seal Opener

Frustrating packaging is no match for the mighty can opener. Run a manual can opener along the edge of that hard-to-remove plastic packaging and it will open right up.

Side gigs box service

32
Turn Paper Grocery Bags Into Packing Material

Don’t know what to do with all those paper bags from the grocery store? Turn them into packing material. Simply shred your used grocery bags and you’ll have the perfect packing materials for your fragile items. Fortunately, making your own packing material isn’t the only way to pocket extra cash. When you’re looking to boost your savings, start with the 40 Ways to Save 40 Percent of Your Paycheck!

Dirty bathroom sink

33
Use a Zip Tie to Snake a Drain

You can easily snake your clogged drain with an item you likely have lying around the house: a zip tie. Cut little notches into the zip tie with scissors, stick it down your drain, and you’ll be astounded by the things it pulls out.

50s slang no one uses

34
Ditch Frizz With a Dryer Sheet

The best frizz fighter out there might be in your laundry room. If the humidity has gotten the best of your hair, run a dryer sheet over it for a quick fix. And when you need some inspiration for your next trip to the salon, turn to the 15 Best Men’s Haircuts for Looking Instantly Younger!

Fruit pops

35
Keep Popsicles Neat With a Cupcake Liner

Keeping popsicles from becoming major messes is easy with cupcake liners. Simply cut a hole in the liner’s center and slide it up the ice pop’s stick, with the open side facing upward to catch any messes.

Eyeglasses

36
Use Nail Polish to Keep Your Glasses Frames Tight

If you have a glasses screw that always needs tightening, try brushing on some clear nail polish. The nail polish will secure a partially-stripped screw in place until you can take your frames in for professional repairs.

Jeans fly

37
Unstick a Zipper With Wax Paper

Can’t get your zipper up or down? Rub some wax paper on it. The small amount of wax on the paper is just enough to get the zipper unstuck, but unlike rubbing anything oily on your zipper, it won’t stain the surrounding fabric. And when you want to learn more about why your zipper is designed that way in the first place, Here’s Why Most Zippers Have an Outer Ring!

Nail

38
Use a Clothespin to Hold a Nail in Place

Spare your fingers by holding a nail in place with a clothespin. Put the closed clothespin at the base of the nail and hammer away.

Foam Noodle

39
Protect Table Edges With a Pool Noodle

Keep your baby safe from sharp furniture edges with a pool noodle. Simply cut a single slit in the noodle and open it to accommodate the edge of your table. And to make every part of your house safer, start with the 15 Best Ways to Protect Your Home!

Recycled Coffee Filters

40
Infuse Your Food With Flavor With a Coffee Filter

Make your food more flavorful without risking chomping down on a bay leaf with a coffee filter. Simply put your herbs and spices in the center of a coffee filter and tie with string. Drop the bag in your recipe and remove when you’re done cooking.

Blow Dryer

41
Use a Hair Dryer to Remove Stickers

Get the stickers off of products without ruining your nails in the process with a hairdryer. Simply run hot air over the sticker to loosen the adhesive and it will peel off easily.

nail art, what not to wear, women

42
Remove Nail Polish With a Sponge

Put an old kitchen sponge to good use by turning it into a manicure tool. Soak your sponge in nail polish remover, roll it up so that there’s a hole in the center, and stick it in a jar. When you’re ready to remove your old polish, just stick your finger into the middle of the sponge and it will come off easily.

WD40

43
Get Gum Off Your Shoe With WD-40

Stepped in gum? Don’t worry! A little spritz of WD-40 will get it off in no time.

44
Fill Nail Holes With Craft Glue

Just because you don’t have spackle handy doesn’t mean you need to forgo your security deposit. Simply fill the nail holes with white craft glue and smooth the surface with your finger or a putty knife.

Blender in Kitchen

45
Make Alternative Flours in Your Blender

Your blender is so much more than just a smoothie station. If you’re trying to eat healthier, your blender is the perfect tool for creating alternative flours out of things like almonds and oats. Simply put your dry ingredients in and pulse in the blender until they have a dry and crumbly texture.

Empty home

46
Line a Paint Pan With a Plastic Grocery Bag

Instead of buying new paint pans every time your home needs a touch-up, line yours with a plastic bag. When you’re done, instead of making a mess rinsing out the paint in your sink, you can simply remove the bag and toss it.

White bedroom door

47
Keep Doors From Locking With a Rubber Band

Want to keep your kids from locking themselves in their rooms? Attach a rubber band to one side of your door knob, make a twist in the center, and loop the other end around the knob on the other side. Adjust so that the twist in the rubber band is holding the latch bolt in place, and your door won’t lock without your approval again. For more easy ways to repurpose those office supplies, discover the 20 Amazing Uses for Rubber Bands!

Earring Back

48
Replace a Lost Earring Back With a Pencil Eraser

Earring backs are probably the number one most-frequently misplaced jewelry accoutrements. The good news? Using a pencil eraser will keep that earring in place in a pinch.

Plastic Lids

49
Use Jar Lids as Makeshift Furniture Sliders

Don’t risk ruining your beautiful hardwood floors when you’re rearranging a room. Sticking jar lids under the legs of your furniture can help you slide your larger pieces from place to place without leaving unsightly scratches.

Tin foil

50
Deter Pets With Tin Foil

If you have a pet that won’t stop scratching your furniture, aluminum foil provides an effective deterrent. Cats and dogs generally don’t enjoy the feeling of crunchy foil beneath their feet, so cover any furniture you don’t want them on with the stuff to keep it safe. And when you’re ready to welcome a four-legged friend into your life, discover the 15 Amazing Benefits of Adopting a Pet!

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