50 Amazing New Uses for 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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