Monday, July 23, 2012

My Top Ten Repurposed Household Containers

repurposed containers

I am one of those people who has a really hard time throwing used containers away! I’m not a candidate for the show “Hoarders”…yet. :-)  But I just hate the idea of throwing away perfectly good, perfectly reusable things. Especially when they can be so helpful around the house in other ways. However, there is a problem with my need to re-use/repurpose containers….I can’t stand the labels and printing that come along with said containers. If I can’t get the label or the printing off…I just won’t use it. I know…I’m a headcase sometimes. That is where THIS little trick has been invaluable! Thanks to the two busy brunettes over at 2 Busy Brunettes…I can now repurpose (at least yogurt and sour cream containers) to my hearts content! Since I go through a fair amount of these containers, their genius idea of using nail polish remover to take the printing off has me a little giddy. I’m repurposing all over the place. :-)

yogurt containers

But by far my FAVORITE way to use the yogurt (sour cream) containers is to pack my homemade frozen yogurtin them to give away to friends and family. It’s SO easy to make, and looks so nice presented in this clean, white container. AND it’s a nice change of pace from say giving a plate of cookies.

 

yogurt containers
So that is #1 on my list of my Top Ten Favorite Repurposed Kitchen Containers…..

#1 Yogurt containers

Here are #2 through 10………

#2 Juice bottles

These are my lifeline when it comes to making homemade laundry soap. They are the perfect container. Nice and clean looking and I like the way they look all lined up on my laundry room windowsill. :-) Once again however, I have to be able to get the original label off, or it’s just not going to work for me. (I wonder if there’s some medical term for this dysfunction I suffer from? I’ll have to look that up.) The nail polish remover trick doesn’t work here because there’s an actual VERY STUBBORN label involved….but my other favorite trick is using a big blob of good old peanut butter to remove sticker goo. Believe me when I say I have tried pretty much every method known to woman to get stickers off of stuff…and this the most effective/easiest in my opinion. Also works well on these smaller juice bottles that I use to store my homemade “Shout” stain remover in. I will usually make a double batch of the stuff and use this bottle to store what won’t fit in the spray bottle.

juice cartons

#3 Baby wipes containers

I think we could all come up with a dozen different uses for these versatile little containers! They are great for SO many things! But my favorite use for them is to hold my reusable fabric softener sheets. It nice for keeping them all in one place…and I think it helps keep their “freshness factor”.  Sometimes I’ll just open the little lid within the lid to let some of the “freshness” permeate my laundry room. :-) Oh, and as far as the labels on these suckers are concerned….. fuhgetaboutit! They are FUSED on with some sort of space-age technology! I have had NO luck in getting them off. So the next best thing……mod podge!  My new best friend! :-)  A couple pieces of scrapbook paper slapped on with a little mod podge and you have a perfectly cute container for a myriad of uses.

baby wipes container

#4 Mason jars

Did I mention this list is in no particular order or preference? Because if it WAS….mason jars would be at the VERY TOP! I use these for SOOOOO many things I won’t even begin to bore you with them, but here are a few favs. I keep this wonderful Detox Foot Soak in one of these BIG jars my sister found for me in Wyoming! I personally haven’t found them where I live…but they are so great! I also have one under my kitchen sink that collects food scraps for composting.

mason jars This slightly smaller jar I keep filled with that oh-so-versatile “miracle” substance….baking soda! I just punched a few holes in the top of the lid for those times when I just need a sprinkling of the stuff for scrubbing, etc.

mason jars

The next step down in jar size is perfect as a dispenser for homemade (or store-bought) liquid soap. You can see my super, easy tutorial on how to make your own mason jar dispenser here. If *I* can make one…anyone can. :-)

mason jars

Finally, the smallest sized mason jar (actually there is one size smaller…I just don’t use it much) makes a great container for matches.Especially when you add a piece of sandpaper to the lid for striking! This is such a handy thing. No more frustrating searches through my kitchen drawers trying to find one of those little boxes of matches when it’s time for lighting birthday candles!

     matches jar
 

#5 Parmesan cheese containers

The LIDS of these containers are what earn them a place on my Top Ten list. They are great for anything that you might just need a “dusting” or a “sprinkling” of.  Since all our meals have to be gluten-free here….I use quite a bit of cornstarch. And trying to pour it out of its’ original box always resulted in me being covered in the stuff! This is a MUCH better alternative! It’s also great for confectioner’s sugar, powdered sugar, and my personal favorite….cinnamon sugar! Also a perfect Goldfish crackers, teddy grahams dispenser! :-) 

parmesan cheese container

#6 Salad dressing cups

If you’re like me and you LOVE taking salads for lunch…these little salad dressing cups are ideal for toting the dressing. Even the smallest containers they sell at the store are too big for one serving of salad dressing (think portion control!) :-) But since I like LOTS of toppings on my salad as well…they are perfect for those as well!  Toasted pinenuts, shredded Parmesan, lemon or lime wedges….yummy! I suddenly know what I’m having for lunch today!

salad dressing cups

# 7 Stackable Tackle Box Jars

I love finding new uses for ordinary things you can find in your neighborhood store. I found these in the camping and fishing aisle one day…quite by accident…and I just love them! They are great for storing all kinds of things that you just need a little bit of for your purse or car or for traveling, like ointment, pills or lotion. I only recently discovered these…so I’m sure I will come up with a lot more uses for them! :-)

fish bait containers

#8 Ice cream pail

I find these versatile, plastic buckets virtually impossible to throw away! They are just too useful for too many things! Just SOME of the things I use mine for are for corralling small “kitchen collections”, such as cookies cutters! They’re also wonderful for filling with soapy water to tackle whatever cleaning job needs to be done….like washing the car. My kids thought it was fun if I gave them their own little “bucket” of soapy water and they could wash their BIKES with it. Anything to keep them entertained, right? ;-) But I think my favorite idea for the ice cream pail is one I read about recently that I thought was pretty brilliant…as a vomit box for car! lol. I’m fairly certain we’ve all had THAT lovely experience at some time in our lives. I even read one comment from a woman who said she keeps one under each of her kids beds for those middle of the night vomit sessions when kids never seem to be able to make it to the bathroom! BRILLIANT I tell ya!

ice cream pail

#9 Gum and Mint dispensers

There are so many great uses for this type of container. The gum container opens up all the way OR has a little spout opening as well, making it quite versatile. Great as a crafting organizer or for mixing paint, etc. Use them to store snacks (Cheerios!) for infants and toddlers. Keep all that loose change that resides in the bottom of your purse in one place where you can actually USE it. Also perfect for little girls to store all the little shoes etc for Barbie, Littlest Pet Shop, Polly Pocket etc. The mint container would be a great briefcase or book bag paper clips holder, emergency sewing kit, bead and jewelry supply storage, travel size spice container, etc.  The possibilities are practically endless.

gum mint containers

And last…but certainly not least on my Top Ten list…..

#10 Cans!

No decent Top Ten list about reusable kitchen containers could be without the traditional tin can!Without the tin can we would have a WHOLE lot less pencil holders and a whole lot less Mother’s and Father’s day crafts from kids. :-)

pencil can     pencil can
OK….I TRIED to stop at 10…but I kept thinking of other containers I like to repurpose!   Just think of these as a bonus. :-)

Bonus #1: Pringles and Crystal Light canisters

Pringles cans are perfect for spaghetti and lasagna noodles. One of the first things I try to do when bringing home boxed products from the store is TAKE THEM OUT of the boxes. I find my pantry stays a lot more organized and I save a lot of space if I’m not trying to make every different sized box or bag fit into my pantry. The Crystal Light cans are wonderful for corralling straws and for stacking cupcake liners. (If you’re like me…you have quite a collection!)

pringles can

Bonus #2:  Plastic Milk Jugs

This particular repurposing comes in SO handy! Fill an empty gallon (1/2 gallon would work too) milk, juice, etc. jug with water until it is ALMOST full. You’ll need to allow for some expansion of the water as it freezes. Place the cap on loosely and throw it in the freezer. (OK…you don’t have to THROW it in.) Perfect “ice pack” for camping, picnics, etc. I use mine a lot for trips to Costco. Since the Costco we shop at is over 30 minutes away, it helps to bring a cooler to keep the COLD stuff COLD on the way back up the mountain.

milk carton ice pack

OK….NOW I’m done. For real. :-)



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357 thoughts on “My Top Ten Repurposed Household Containers

  1. Julie

    In our kitchen we reuse empty lotion containers with pumps for a new purpose. We clean a lot with vinegar, but pouring it from a gallon jug is not always conducive. Filling the empty container, allows us to add it to the dishwater dispenser, a couple pumps to the dish water, on a paper towel to wipe down the counter tops or wherever it is needed.

    Reply
    1. Cathy

      You are my newest BBH….so creative……love hearing from you…..Thanks so much
      for great ideas for reuse ideas….I have lots of Lays Potato Chip cans, as I give my dogs one each when they come when I call…..wow…now I know what to do with them…..

      Reply
    1. Pat

      peanut butter works wonders getting glue and gunk from labels, etc. off. Just a dab on a paper towel (yes I still use them) and a rub over the area. Usually just a couple swipes work. Thanks for all your GREAT ideas and the time you have taken to post them.

      Reply
  2. Marcie H

    We reuse our Spaghetti Sauce jars for various things, including homemade spaghetti sauce ;) we also keep one on hand to use as a grease jar so that it can be closed before it gets thrown into the trash. – Love the idea about the milk jugs for Costco trips!!

    Reply
  3. Georgene Harkness

    Jillee, these are great tips and I have immensely enjoyed your blog. (I’m a new reader)

    Please take a look where you have mentioned the following:

    “This slightly smaller jar I keep filled with that oh-so-versatile “miracle” substance….baking powder!”

    But the picture it goes with is labeled as baking SODA! I know how easy it is to miss a small error, and this is indeed small. Hope you don’t mind me pointing it out!

    Reply
    1. Megan

      I was going to point out that discrepancy, too. Especially since baking soda is a lot cheaper than baking powder, so it would make a difference in the pocketbook if not on the carpet. ;)

      Reply
    2. Jillee Post author

      I don’t mind at all! Thank you Georgene. I have messed up on “baking powder” vs. “baking soda” before. I need to be more careful about that! (Or I need to hire you as my proofreader!) :-) Thanks again!

      Reply
      1. Sue

        First time reader, very interesting stuff! Tons of ideas.. Was wondering if you have any ideas for repurposing acrylic tea glasses. They are very colorful but have some lines from being in dishwasher .

        Reply
      1. Rosie B.

        I love the parmesan cheese containers! I have to give my husband a shot every 2 weeks .. after I’m done he bends the needle and drops it into container .. once it fills up he disposes the container. Never thought of keeping one with my sewing machine. Thanks for the tip!

        Reply
      2. Angela

        They aren’t as commonly found anymore in the digital age, but I still seam to have an abundance of old film canisters. I drop my dull sewing needles in these, as they are the perfect size. One canister holds *many* dull needles :0)

        Reply
      1. Tammie D

        I have lots of jars from different decades and brands, the Parm cheese lids don’t fit every mason jar, but do fit several, it depends on how the glass screw bands (don’t know what else to call that part of the jar) at the top of the jar are formed.

        Reply
  4. Jody

    Very good post Jillee. So many good ideas. Have you ever seen the 1 quart size plastic bottles that Maola milk comes in? I just think they have a nice shape and I’m sure they could be repurposed somehow.

    Reply
    1. Julie JOY!

      What a great idea to use salt spouts on Mason jars. I am going to ask my friends to save them for me, since most people don’t go through salt very fast. (Although I am SURE I can find a DIY recipe that uses salt…just so I can empty the container out!)

      Reply
        1. Donata

          Speaking of salt, I find it hard to pour sea salt from the container it comes in, since it is not as thin as regular salt, so I just got the thought to use my coffee creamer container for the sea salt.

          Reply
  5. Sara

    We wash out any glass jars to store homemade soup in the freezer. I can send them in my husbands lunch or its enough for the kids and myself.

    Reply
  6. Kristy Jevens

    Great article. I love the idea of repurposing the parmesan container. I find like to reuse the small flavored coffee creamer containers for sugar. It is nice to just pull out a small container and add a teaspoon or tablespoon to a recipe instead of getting out the large canister.

    Reply
  7. Sharon

    I buy the GIANT can of pizza sauce at Sam’s club b/c it is so cheap! I save smaller jars like jelly jars to fill with pizza sauce once I open the can. Then I put the jars in the freezer and just take one out to defrost when I am making homemade pizza. This is much cheaper than buying pizza sauce at the grocery store and even cheaper than making my own from tomato sauce. Next time I do this I am going to save the giant pizza sauce can, do what I can to make it look pretty, and then use it to hold utensils on my counter.

    Reply
  8. suzi

    I use the empty dish soap container ,i fill it with bleach and keep it at the sink to use ,it is much easier to use ,,,no splashing ,and i always use my ice cream pail when i make my own home made yogurt ,and dont forget those walmart macaroni salad or potato salad clear container, perfect for left over food to stalk in fridge , and the sour cream container good to keep and fill them with cereal for the kids for school lunch and throw them a way after they done ( much cheaper than buying those individual small boxes).

    Reply
  9. Susan Johnson

    Wonderful ideas…I started using the empty flavored coffee creamer containers (sans label..*smile*) for water bottles for my grandsons. We’ve even decorated some of them with the all so versatile duck tape which comes in so many colors and designs now. LOL They are plastic and can go out to the pool.

    Reply
  10. Debbie Mays

    I reuse an empty water bottle by filling with tap water and freeze. Roll your foot on it to soothe tendinitis caused by training for a marathon.

    Reply
  11. cindy friesen

    I like to use baby food containers (the plastic ones with lids that you get the fruit in) to send yougurt or applesauce along to school for my kids. I make my own yogurt and applesauce so I needed a little container with a lid. I find these are the perfect size!

    Reply
  12. Margo

    I use iced tea/drink mix containers to hold pens, pencils and straws. I use smallish plastic containers with lids for frozen dog treats. I too hate to throw reuseable containers, now that I know how to remove the printing I’m sure I’ll find a few more uses.

    Reply
  13. Catherine's not naturally crafty,

    Ok, bonus # umpteenth, the new french fried onions containers are perfectly sized for koolaid packages and the label just comes right off. They are also the perfect size for holding seasoning packages too, you know, the hollandaise package and the mushroom gravy mix that you keep on hand for a meal emergency? I use the smaller mason jar with holes punches in the top for the freezer with baking soda.

    Reply
    1. Jillee Post author

      Catherine! I love you!!! You have just solved one of my PET PEEVES!! I buy lots of those little KoolAid packets because we try to always have KoolAid at the ready for low blood sugars (for No. 2 son) and I have never come up with a good way to store them! woo hoo! I guess I need to plan a dinner using French Fried Onions very soon! :-)
      Thanks! Good stuff!

      Reply
      1. Catherine's not naturally crafty

        And…. now we’ve found another use – to store the pumpkin carving set, no more ziploc bags blown out by the carver thingy. I’ve just got to find some cute label patterns since the pkgs aren’t clear and rummaging in my pantry is one of *my* pet peeves :). Glad you found the idea helpful.

        Reply
  14. Jody

    I love this post and appreciate your tips on removing labels from yogurt and sour cream containers. I’m a mason jar lover too. I found those large half gallon mason jars on Amazon for a good price. Have you tried the plastic lids that you can buy for regular or wide mouth mason jars (at Walmart or Amazon)? I like to use those when I’m storing salad dressings or tomato products in mason jars. Then you don’t have that icky acidic chemical reaction happening with the lid. The 1-cup Ball plastic freezer containers are great reusable storage containers with plastic screw-on lid. My grandkids like filling them with snacks. We reuse water bottles and/or gatorade bottles for water. Fill them part-full and freeze them for cold drinks and for ice packs for grocery shopping. I also fill yogurt containers with water and plunk the big ice cubes into 3 or 5 gallon drink coolers instead of little ice cubes. I use a glass Parmesan cheese shaker for my baking soda cleaner and cinnamon/sugar mixes, but I like the idea of using the Parmesan cheese lid on a jar.

    Thank you again for your great tips!

    Reply
  15. Sandra D.

    I love the large spice containers from Costco and use them to store my bulk yeast in the fridge and other bulk powder items. I also like using mason jars or empty spaghetti sauce jars to hold rice and beans that come in bags and in my pantry you will find two plastic “shoe box” containers that house many small baking item goodies, sprinkles, piping tips, candles, gel dye, food coloring etc.

    Love the ideas shared above!

    Reply
  16. Shelley

    I so look forward to your blog in my e-mail!! You have the best ideas. I buy my milk in plastic bags, by the 1/2 gallon so I don’t have the milk jugs. I have been saving pill bottles, attaching the lid to the rafter in my basement. I put nails, screws, nut and bolts in them. I hot glue one to the bottom outside so I can see what’s in the container. It has cleaned up my toolbox and made things much easier to find.

    Keep up the good work!!

    Reply
    1. Arlene

      My grandpa did this with peanut butter jars on the underside of the shelves above his workbench. The clear plastic lets you see what’s inside easily.

      Reply
  17. Autumn

    Coconut oil works on the labels too!! Rub some on and let it sit for awhile. Sticky YUK comes right off. If it doesn’t then I use a green scotch bright scrubby pad. I HATE labels too!

    On another note…I was at Cracker Barrel for breakfast one morning and was appalled that the syrup comes out in little glass bottles. I asked the waitress if they are reused and she said they just throw them away! I’m not as “crunchy” as I’d like to be in most cases but that just got me! So I carried home 4 little bottles and we use them for taking salad dressing (oil & vinegar type) in our lunches. That’s about the only use I have found for them so far because they are small but they’re cute and I at least did my part that day!

    Reply
      1. Heather

        I thought those little bottles were adorable when I seen them. Scooped up a few and brought them home as well. I refill with syrup for the kids so they can “make their own” waffles etc. and If you have left over nail polish that you can’t bare to get rid of- mix it with another almost gone color and store in these jars…keep one lid/brush to paint with or if you get super lucky one might fit on the syrup bottle!

        Reply
    1. Arlene

      I have one of those stored with my vases for the dandelions and other little wild flowers my children bring me that get lost in a regular sized vase.

      Reply
    2. Lori

      You can refill those bottles with syrup. Just the right size for pancakes or waffles for little ones. They can pour their own syrup but you avoid a big mess with TOO much coming out at once.

      Reply
    3. martha goolsby

      I save the little syrup bottles and refill with my syrup for the grandchildren.
      They love having their “own” bottle of syrup.
      Love your site.

      Reply
  18. Terri Schultz

    I don’t buy Velvetta much, but when I do, I always save the boxes. They are the perfect size for organizing knives, etc. in my kitchen drawers. They are also great for packing plastic ware for a picnic.

    I’ve used the plastic pail in my car for my hubby who gets very carsick. It rinses out well, and the nice lid reduces the stink in the car.

    Reply
    1. Karina

      @ Terry Schultz – The aroma of coffee grounds is great at covering up the smell of “upchuck” in a confined space. I saw this on a long flight when a child got sick before take off. An attendant tossed fresh coffee (grounds) on the spot and we never could never tell what had happened.

      Reply
    2. Stacey

      As a teacher, I have many different decks of cards/card games to keep track of. I covered a Velveeta box cover and the bottom with bright wrapping paper and used those to help store the cards neatly. :o)

      Reply
  19. Patricia

    Wonderful ideas. I also save plastic mayonnaise jars or appropriate size jars to carry food from my home to friends, family, or church. This allows me to throw the item in the trash and not have to worry about retriveing it to make the trip back.

    Reply
  20. Kim

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE using isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol to remove stickers and sticky residue. It REALLY gets it off. (I also love to use alcohol and a q-tip to clean my keyboard).

    My fiance is always yelling at me to throw stuff away lol. But, like you, I can’t bear to throw something in the trash if I can use it!

    Empty spaghetti sauce jars/pickle jars – I’ll use the larger ones to hold my most frequently used cooking utensils and I use the smaller ones to hold pens and pencils.

    Crystal light containers – use them to hold just about anything. I have one holding left over fish fry mix, one with random packs of those flavored water pouches that go in water bottles (why can’t I think of what they’re called? lol)

    Gallon Milk jugs – I’ve cut them in half, pokes holes in the bottom, and used them to start my tomato plants. Or Cut in an angle, leaving the handle on, use top as a scoop/funnel.

    Squirt bottles – I usually don’t bother with ones that have crazy chemicals in them, like cleaners and such, but I do reuse the febreeze bottles (the newer ones are really sturdy and have pretty darn good sprayers).

    And here’s the link to my tweet: https://twitter.com/BookGossipGirl/status/227399351411023874

    Reply
  21. Dee S

    I have a couple of glass jelly jars that I use for shaking up flour and water before using it for gravy. Also, the lids are perfect for cutting through a slice of bread to make toad in the hole!

    Reply
  22. Dell T

    Empty glass containers from jar candles (nice thick glass, with a beautifully fitted lid) work great to attractively store coffee beans, loose tea, herbs or other goods. When the candle’s been used up, I pour boiling water in, scoop out the remaining wax, then run the both jar and lid through the dishwasher to rid it of the candle scent. It’s now ready to reuse!

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      I tried this and it left a residue in the jar & still smelled some…I worried about using food items in them…I wonder if its the type of candle I use…They do work great for other things tho ribbons, paint brushes, mixing paints, etc.

      Reply
      1. Heather

        I reuse jar candles as well. I place mine in the freezer though, it hardens the wax and makes it easier to break up and remove the wax. I just tap the wax firmly with the end of a butter knife and it shatters apart ;-) then I let it soak for a while with hot soapy water and then run it through on the hottest cycle in the dishwasher….both the jar and the lid go nicely in the top rack.

        Reply
  23. Susan

    I’ve recently become afraid to throw out containers – there may be a use for them! I’m at a loss as to what to do with a bajillion coffee cans, though. There’s only so many places I need a stash of pencils. But I know something will pop up!

    My most versatile container is the plastic cat litter buckets with the “hinge” lid. I use them to store all kinds of things that go together but need frequent transport or just nice stacking. Our camping gear resides in a bunch of them. I have one in the laundry area for rags. I have them under sinks for cleaning supplies. I have one under the kitchen sink for storing grocery bags. One in the garage with all the car wash stuff, hanging on a nail from the rafters. I use them when I’m weeding the garden. They nest nicely when not in use, and stack nicely with the lid on in storage areas. I haven’t yet taken off the printing on the plastic – new chore!

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      I’m not sure what kind of coffee cans you have, plastic or cardboard, but I use my cardboard ones for DIY dry laundry detergent, among the usual stuff. The plastic ones I use for used oil collecting, compost stuff, mixing paint, soaking stuff, (my daughter likes to leave her wet bathing suit in plastic bags…yuck) and clothes pin holder (cut through the handle so it can hang on the line, the lid keeps pins inside when not in use & bugs/water out). Just a few ideas I use, hope it helps.

      Reply
      1. Pat

        I have used the metal ones (be sure to crimp or fold down any sharp spots) for crochet projects (Santa tote for Christmas treats or a specialgift). The newer plastic ones would probaly work just as good. Small ones for scooping “ice melting ‘salt’.”

        Reply
      2. crazywoman/Billie

        I’ve never seen cardboard coffee can (at least yet!). I’ve seen LOTS of metal ones, and plastic one, but not cardboard ones. Interesting. What kind of coffee comes in cardboard? Just curious.

        Reply
    2. Emma

      Susan,
      My metal coffee cans I have used to bake bread like pumpkin bread. they make pretty round slices. I have also given away the cans of bread after wrapping the cans in pretty paper.

      Reply
      1. Meg

        I have been saving my cardboard coffee cans, but didn’t know what to do with them. My friend suggested using them to store/give away Christmas cookies. I will wrap the outside with pretty wrapping paper and they will be the perfect size.

        Reply
  24. Amber

    Love your blog Jillee! I re-use containers ALL the time!
    -Gal Vinegar Containers-diy laundry detergent
    -Cottage Cheese, Yogurt, Sour Cream containers-store diy freezer jam in them
    -Empty Water Bottle containers-refill w/ water and put in fridge. Refill w/ water and store it in freezer to use later for keeping items cold in a cooler.
    -Ice Cream Buckets-use to store markers, crayons, colored pens/pencils, small craft scissors, etc. Throw-up bucket. Use to store bulk items such as pastas, rice, nuts, etc. I also use it to store my bulk coconut oil in (mine comes in a 7pd bottle. I melt down the coconut oil and put it in the ice cream buckets). I also use an ice cream bucket for our diy dry pancake mix.
    -Spray Cleaner Bottles-use these for diy cleaners (I swear the mechanism on these bottles work way better than any spray bottle I could buy).
    -Powdered Laundry Detergent buckets-use for collecting weeds in the garden. Use for putting soap and water in to clean items outside.
    -Large Pickle and Honey containers (glass or plastic)-use for storing bulk items such as corn meal, pasta, rice, nuts, etc.
    -LARGE buckets w/ lids and handles-use to hold my bulk sugar and flours.
    -Foaming hand soap containers-reuse to hold my diy face wash and diy body wash.
    -Mason Jars-to hold bulk parmesan cheese, to hold my diy fabric softener. Use for decorations.
    -Small indiv yogurt containers-use for kiddo “snack packs” we put popcorn, marshmallows, pretzels, chips in them and then kids can refill as needed, and can also carry them around w/ them….if I never see them (the containers….not the kids :)) again it’s not sad.
    -Plastic Grocery bags-I use those for my garbage sacks in my small garbage cans and I also just use them to collect garbage from around my house and then I throw the sack w/the garbage out.
    -Baby wipes containers. Hubs uses them in his work shop to help organize some of his tools.
    -Glass baby food jars: to store diy chap stick and to also use it to fill w/ diy lotion and give out for gifts.
    -Gma used to use dry powdered detergent boxes to hold papers….she would cut off the top and then use the box as a file for holding papers upright…can be magazines and newspapers too!
    -Need idea: my little baby gets pacifiers that come in plastic containers that (that MAM brand) come w/ a closeable lid, but it’s not air tight. I have been saving these containers hoping to find something to do w/ those sometime. Any ideas?

    Reply
    1. Jillee Post author

      Wow Amber! I am in awe! :-) Great ideas! I actually LOL’d at “….if I never see them (the containers….not the kids :)) again it’s not sad.” hahaha! Thanks for the chuckle. ;-)

      Reply
      1. Julie JOY!

        Amber, how about putting little barrettes or pony tail bands in the diaper bag in one of those MAM pacifier containers? Or with hair goodies and an extra pair of earrings in your purse or backpack? Those little things get lost if they’re just floating around in a bigger bag.

        Reply
        1. Ayshela

          bobby pins are perfect in tic tac size containers, and hairbands go *around* it to keep the container from flipping open while keeping the hair bands from getting lost/tangled. Wish I’d known that when my girls were little! heh

          Reply
        2. allegra

          Your MAM if it’s not too big and the top is pretty secure could be given to your child’s teacher to put a loose tooth in for the tooth fairy and then “pipe cleaner” attached to his/hers zipper pull and their book bag for transport home.

          Reply
    2. Pat

      what a bout sand box toys? My daughter used to save the scoops that were in powered baby formula and then the kids used them either in their bath or the sand box.

      Reply
    1. Pat

      Ice cream buckets also make good garden/berry picking containers. or maybe homemade powerded laundry soap. Probably already thought of that huh? =)

      Reply
  25. Timi

    I save the little 2 ounce jars from my pimentos when I make pimento cheese and put my homemade lip balms, neo-ointment and “vaseline” in them…perfect size! Now if I could figure out how to remove the writing from the metal lids. Wonder if nail polish remover would work?

    Reply
      1. Deborah Jennings

        Jillee, Pimento cheese is easy to make. Just grate up some cheddar cheese, or cheese of choice, add pimento, mix well, then add a little mayonnaise. Easy Peasy! And so much better than the store bought!

        Reply
        1. Dj

          My favorite pimiento cheese has grated white cheddar, mayo, pimientos and grated purple onion. The onion gives it a little bit of zip that’s not overpowering. Yummy. BTW, I love your blog and your ideas. Thanks for sharing. I’m a crafter so I’m always hoarding small containers for beads, jewelry findings, rhinestones, etc. Also, the Costco plastic snack containers (chocolate covered whatever, popcorn, nuts, pretzels) all have the same size lid and the opening is the PERFECT size for ribbon spools. I have a container for each color of ribbon stacked neatly in my closet. HUGS!

          Reply
      2. martha goolsby

        A lot of people use cheddar cheese for pimento and cheese, but my Mother always used Velveeta.
        Grate 2 lbs. velveeta
        4 oz. pimento, drained and mashed with a fork
        about 1 c. mayonnaise
        black pepper to taste
        Delicious and keeps 2-3 weeks in refrigerator

        Reply
    1. Tammygrrrl

      Just spray paint over the writing, using a paint that works well on metal. That’s how I plan to re-purpose all my old pickle jars! :)

      Reply
  26. Darlene in North GA

    I use #10 cans (those gallon-sized cans) to store my bulk foods it. You can get plastic lids that fit them. I also use them for “hobo” stoves.
    I recycle the containers that produce come in (the “clam shell” ones) as planting containers. They’re great for shallow rooted plants, smaller plants or starting transplants. Just line them with a coffee filter, add soil and plant your seeds. I also cut 1 and 2 liter bottles (like water/soda bottles) in about half. Place the top half up-side-down, into the bottom part. Add a coffee filter and plant in that. If you add a small strip of cloth running from the bottom of the bottle up through the lid and behind the coffee filter, it allows for “self-watering”.
    Also, soda bottles work well for making your own sodas at home. Easy to do and you know what’s in them.

    Reply
  27. Karina

    Love your blog Jillee! Gallon jugs painted flat black and set out around plants help prevent freezing during cooler months. During the day the black absorbs heat and at night gives it off helping to protect plants.

    I have a small house with limited storage so don’t keep anything un-necessary. I save up and give away containers, etc. on Freecycle.org. Teachers especially appreciate containers and “things” of all sorts.

    I do have one item that I could use a few ueses for; the plastic cannisters from coffee. I don’t like to re-use them for food due to the coffee permiating anything I put in them. I have used them for planting herbs. The’re cute and add color & wimsy to groupings around the yard. Anyone else utilitize these great containers? This one I give away more often than not.

    Reply
    1. Julie JOY!

      I like the big Folgers coffee canisters that have a sculpted/built-in handle. I’ve got powdered Oxyclean in one right now. The handle makes it easy to grab off the shelf, even when the canister is full and heavy. (I’ll be using some of Jillie’s brilliant diy cleaners–optical whiteners!–when that runs out.)

      Reply
    2. martha goolsby

      Wash the coffee cans well. Leave the lid off for a few days and the smell will be gone. If you can still smell it, rinse with clorox and repeat.

      Reply
  28. K. Nelson

    Love all of these great ideas! Mine is not exactly
    a container, but repurposing for sure.
    Can’t keep track of your corn holders?
    Collect some wine corks and put one on each end.
    You know have one set in one cork.. Easy to find and no more poked fingers!

    Reply
  29. Christine

    LOVING all the ideas on how to use these containers.

    I have been using 2L soda bottles to store my homemade fabric softner for a while now.

    Can’t wait to try out some of these wonderful ideas.

    And to throw in a sweepstakes to boot? Love it!

    Reply
  30. Linda

    We freeze water in the milk gallon jugs and put in the horse’s water during summer to keep the water fresher longer. I keep labels on some jars & cans and keep spare change in them and put in cabinet no one (in family)knows I do this and I know where I can find some extra money when I need it. Ovaltine jars are perfect for this. I have not figured out why my family thinks any change is fair game. They would not think of taking from my purse. When I get too many small containers around (has to be food grade containers), I give to my parrots to chew up, cheaper than store bought toys for them to destroy. I make most of their toys from household products. I get untreated wood from karate studioes that is left from breaking up and they have no use for the smaller pieces. If you are are not familiar to the parrot world, their main goal in life is to destroy, certain breeds, In the wild they make toothpicks and eat all day. Funny I read baking soda even though it said powder LOL. Great post, take care

    Reply
  31. Laura

    I love reusing containers when I take meals to someone because then they don’t have to worry about bringing me back my dishes and they can just throw them away when they’re done so it’s less clean up.

    Reply
  32. Mary

    Baby Wipes Containers: Use as an indestructable tissue box for the car! Just cut the zig zag opening a bit bigger and put some large box kleenex in them. It can be stepped on, kicked, and the box won’t break and the tissues won’t get dirty.

    As a bonus for us Mom’s who have kids that get car sick, remove the tissues, and let the kid barf away in the wipes box. Close lid and dispose of (or wash) asap! I’ve done this more times than I can count :(

    Reply
  33. Davi Parker

    I am blown away by the milk jug ice pack! We live 2 1/2 hours from our Costco, and I always BUY ice. NEVER AGAIN! You have just saved me a TON!

    Reply
  34. EmilyM

    I use Mason jars to hold my homemade “Comet” (1 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup Borax). Top with a parmesan cheese lid and it works perfectly for sprinkling! I’m not sure why, but I’ve found that the lids from the off-brands of parmesan cheese screw onto the mason jars a little easier than those from the name brand parmesan cheese.

    Reply
  35. LaurieM

    Thank you for sharing that nail polish remover can take the labels off the yogurt containers! If this post had nothing else in it, that would be so totally worth it! I also love the milk jug ice pack idea!

    Reply
    1. allegra

      Speaking of nail polish…save your nail polish bottle with ball bearings in it & after its been washed out replace with a little left over wall paint, shake and touch up your marred walls or chipped paint! Now you don’t have to wait for hubby/BF/handyman to do it for you & save $.

      Reply
  36. LegoJediMom

    Costco has these delicious peanut butter pretzels that come in a large, tall, square, clear plastic container with a screw on lid (and handle!). After removing the label with peanut butter (thanks for that one Jillee!) they are perfect for storing dry goods in the pantry. We are using them for spaghetti, lasagna, rice, macaroni, flour, sugar and cereal so far. They sit flush to each other on the shelves so they look tidy and are better quality than a lot of the ones you can buy at various stores. My family of 5 all love the pretzels so eventually we will have the whole pantry done. Now if only I could find the exact container at half the height…

    Reply
  37. Catherine Hoffman

    I use the 1/2 gallon milk jugs for ice in the ice chest, coffee creamer containers for homemade toilet bowl cleaner, spaghetti sauce jars for make ahead salads for lunches, another use for coffee creamer containers is my homemae lotion, I just have to label clearly LOL

    Reply
  38. Krystal

    I love to re-use the glass jars from marshmallow cream! They have a nice big base so they don’t tip easily and with the clear glass, you can see exactly what is inside. I store small things in them (chia seeds, coconut oil – from my larger container, dried apple slices, etc.).

    I also like to reuse my lids from instant tea jars. (I make powdered hot chai mix for Christmas gifts and I buy the unsweetened instant tea.) The lids fit right on a mason jar! They don’t have a very tight seal, but they are great for topping a jar when you don’t need a tight seal, since they aren’t two-piece lids!

    Reply

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