Saturday, January 7, 2012

Living Better With Less: Reuse What You're About to Throw Out To Organize Your Home

beautiful glass candles:
now as beautiful containers for office supplies or in medicine cabinet:
dry cleaner bags to help handbags keep their shape:
toilet paper rolls to keep utensil tray in place:

Candle Holders as Drawer Organizer and/or To Organize Your Medicine Cabinet
Opt for beautiful glass candles so you can reuse the glass. The smaller ones are perfect for the medicine cabinet for make-up brushes, q-tips, cotton pads, small tubes of whatever. Even in a drawer or on a desk to hold paperclips, push pins, coins, etc.... Once the candle is fully burned, use a butter knife to scrape out as much of the wax as possible. Then use the scrub side of a sponge with soapy water to get the rest of the wax out.

Dry Cleaner Bags to Help Your Bags Keep Their Shape
Your dry cleaner should take back the hangers for reuse, but they won't take the bags so you can use them to pack; click here to find out how; and use them to help care for your handbags. Tie a bag at the end and stuff as many bags as needed inside, then tie it off at the other end (so you only have 1 thing to pull out when you use your bag instead of a flurry of loose bags), and stuff in your handbag to help keep its shape.

Toilet Paper Rolls To Keep Your Drawer Organizer in Place
Toilet paper, paper towel rolls (and/or from a lint roller) keep your drawer organizer in place. Sometimes there's a inch or two left over. Shove the rolls in the back of the drawer to help keep the tray from sliding every time you open the drawer. You may have to fold up and stick one roll inside the other to make it stiff. In the pic above from my kitchen I have several stuffed back there.

Catalogs / Magazines as Boot Shapers
If you don't want to drop $10+ per pair for boot shapers, just roll up one (or a couple) magazines or catalogs that you would have otherwise recycled I hope, and place them in your boots. voilà!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tips --now I am going to go find some mags for my boots! I was stuffing lots of pairs of balled up socks in them. (clean of course, but not the best option )

madilla said...

I reused loads of cheap ikea clear glass candle holders through the years, they are even great to use as vases!

Anonymous said...

I love that you included pretty candle holder/glasses as little containers! I have some beautiful & colorful ones from D&L and others which I use in my medicine cabinet to hold cotton balls and q-tips, instead of buying expensive apothecary jars.

Jenne said...

My mom has often used a toilet paper roll to keep a set of tongs held together in a draw (if you have an older set that doesn't have a close mechanism on it).

laura said...

jenne LOVE that idea! your mom's a genius...

aiisa gulko said...

empty water bottles for my boots!

laura said...

aiisa: a good one!!

Anonymous said...

You might want to fix that typo, as most of your prospective clients pay attention to these kind of things. It's voilà, of course.

Anonymous said...

It looks ingenious, however, as far as using dry cleaner bags and toilet rolls, how do you manage germ-related fears? I mean, I'm a veritable germophobe when it comes to returning a well-worn purse back to the closet, much less using a toilet roll. And where do you store sweaters, shoes and purses etc.? Things that you might wear out again that week, but that you don't want to return to your clean closet or mix with your clean clothes? It's become the focal point of mess in my apt. I'm stumped!

laura said...

i suggest hanging things like sweaters, coats etc after you've worn them to air them out before putting them back in the closet. i personally would never put my handbag on a floor (anywhere), and wipe the bottoms of my shoes with a wet cloth before putting them back in my closet.

everyone's level of clean is different therefore some people wouldn't use the toilet paper (or paper towel, lint roller) so i say do what you're comfortable with.

but the thing is if you're a germaphobe it's a separate issue all together and sounds like the root of the problem as opposed to figure out a better organizational system. keeping things clean is one thing but obsessing about it is not healthy in any way. your immune system doesn't develop and thrive unless it's exposed to germs.

this is something that you should deal with now as it will get worse over time. i do know that exposure therapy can be very helpful with phobias such as yours as it tries to retrain your thoughts to be more rational about dirt, germs, etc.

i hope this helps.