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The 9 Most Useful Containers To Keep And Reuse

photos showing various ways to upcycle plastic containers

Back when our growing kids were constantly threatening to eat us out of house and home, I focused most of my efforts on the “reuse” aspect of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” when it came to disposable food containers. Lucky for me, that skill has served me well over time!

I’ve discovered all sorts of ways to repurpose different types of containers. As I’ve reflected on the containers I’ve found most useful, I thought, “Why not write a post about them?” So I did!

Below, you’ll find a list of my top 9 containers to repurpose around the house, along with suggestions for ways to use them. (You may also find my tips on removing stickers helpful if you prefer to remove labels from containers before reusing them!)

9 Versatile Containers You Can Reuse Around The House

using a recycled parmesan cheese container to sprinkle cornstarch into a pot on a stove

1. Parmesan Cheese Shakers

While the container itself is useful enough, it’s the lid on the Parmesan cheese container that earns it a place on this list! An old Parmesan cheese shaker is perfect for storing anything you might want to distribute by shaking or sprinkling, such as cornstarch, powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, baking soda, etc.

The other side of the lid usually has a larger opening that can also come in handy. You can use it to dispense kids’ snacks—or your own snacks, for that matter. (Did you know that the lid from a Parmesan cheese shaker can fit onto a regular mouth mason jar? It’s true!)

pulling a reusable fabric softener sheet out of a recycled baby wipes box

2. Baby Wipes Boxes

Baby wipes boxes are an extremely versatile container to have on hand, and I use one to store my reusable fabric softener sheets. The box keeps them nice and tidy and the lid helps seal in the scent so they don’t need to be refreshed quite as often.

The one drawback I’ve found with these containers is that their labels can be downright impossible to remove. So if the label bothers you, I’d recommend covering it up with some scrapbook paper or washi tape rather than trying to remove it.

recycled large yogurt containers holding leftovers of root veggies

3. Large Yogurt Containers

Whether they were originally filled with yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, or something else, plastic tubs are great for repurposing! My favorite way to use them is to gift homemade ice cream to friends and family, but I usually take the time to remove the ink print from the outside of the container first to make it look a bit nicer.

To remove the ink, just pour some rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover onto a cotton ball and wipe the printed areas. You may need to use a few cotton balls to get all the ink off, but pretty soon you’ll have a clean container! Wash it with soapy water and it’ll be ready to use.

dipping a sponge into a recycled ice cream pail full of soapy water

4. Ice Cream Pails

I find it virtually impossible to throw these versatile plastic buckets away! They’re handy for corralling collections of items like seasonal cookie cutters and small toys. You can also fill them with soapy water when tackling cleaning jobs around the house.

But I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that these buckets have proven highly useful as vomit receptacles. When my kids were much younger and much more vomit-prone, I would bring one along on every car ride and I kept one under my kids’ beds for those unpredictable late-night episodes. These pails saved me a lot of unfortunate cleanup during those years!

a mint container holding loose change

5. Gum/Mint Containers

There are so many great uses for gum and mint containers. Gum containers are a bit bigger, so they’re great for storing craft supplies, snacks, or even loose change.

tictac container holding bobby pins

Smaller mint containers are handy for corralling paper clips, emergency sewing supplies, or notoriously easy-to-lose hair accessories like bobby pins! The possibilities are practically endless.

Related: 5 DIY Mini Emergency Kits For Any Disaster (Made With Repurposed Altoid Tins)

repurposed tin can holding colored pencils and covered in washi tape

6. Tin Cans

No decent list of repurposed containers could exclude the good old tin can! You can use them as pencil holders, small vases for flowers, watering cans for your houseplants, or you can make one of those old-school “telephones” by threading a length of string or yarn through the bottom of two cans.

If you intend for your can to be out on a desk or table somewhere, you can upcycle a can by dressing up the outside with paint, fabric, washi tape, or scrapbook paper.

plastic milk jug frozen with water in it

7. Plastic Milk Jugs

Plastic milk jugs always come in handy as a watering can in a pinch, but my favorite way to repurpose them is as a giant ice pack. Just fill a milk jug with water until it is nearly full, but not quite. (The extra space will accommodate the expansion of the water as it freezes.)

Screw the cap on and throw the milk jug in the freezer until it’s frozen solid. The milk jug “ice pack” is great for camping, picnics, and more! I often use one for trips to Costco, since the closest Costco to us is 30 minutes away. So I bring a cooler and my milk jug “ice pack” to keep the cold/frozen foods cold until we get back home.

stackable tackle box jar holding pills and lotion

8. Stackable Tackle Box Jars

I love finding new uses for ordinary things you can find in any grocery store. :-) I found these stackable tackle box jars in the camping and fishing aisle quite by accident, and I just love them! They are great for storing small amounts of things in your purse or car, like ointment, pills, or lotion.

large plastic juice bottle repurposed as a container for homemade laundry detergenet

9. Juice Bottles

Empty juice bottles are my container of choice for storing my homemade liquid laundry detergent. They’re the perfect size, and it’s nice to be able to reuse such a big container instead of just throwing it out. You can learn how to make my homemade liquid laundry detergent here.

What’s your favorite way to reuse containers?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Bright Ideas

  • The big ice cream containers are also great for if you have a garden – bringing ripe vegetables inside. My parents make peanut clusters every year for the holidays. We started sending a batch to one of my brothers family every year because they love them. Now both of my out of the area brothers get a batch shipped from my parents.

  • The senior meals and Meals on Wheels always come with two small containers, plastic, with a plastic lid, holding about 1/3 cup. There are kind of like the ketchup containers at a fast food place, but much sturdier and larger. Absolutely indispensable for storing leftovers. After I slide a tomato I put the remaining tomato in one of these. Saves space in the fridge, no large bowls or tupperware needed.

  • This is a fun, pretty thing to make with large coffee cans. I saved up several of them and in the winter I fill them with coloured water (food colouring) and either freeze them in the freezer or outside. (I’m in Canada; it gets cold!) When the main part is solid, I add a little more water and when it’s almost set, I wedge in a little cup, which I later remove. These coloured blocks of ice look pretty along the walkway to my front door, each with a little candle in it to light the way for our guests.

  • Protein powder containers are perfect for storing ingredients that I usually purchase in larger quantities. Brown sugar, white sugar, chocolate chips, bran, specialty flours, raisins, premixed pancake ingredients….

  • I use the lil Gatorade bottles for summer bc my hubby works outside & it’s alot cheaper to buy the big powdered Gatorade & mix up a gallon of it at home & just refill his bottles every night then they work good in the top of dishwasher when he gets home for quick cleaning. I usually freeze them after filling for the majority of em maybe leave 1-3 in fridge but that way they stay cold all day long & he stays hydrated in the heat. We repurpose lots of containers & I hate to throw em away.

  • I like your ideas, Jillee, thanks! The recycled item I especially like to use is glass pimento jars. I use fabric dyes in small amounts in my airbrush. The small pimento jars are perfect to mix the dyes up in, store them, and I can put a label on them to put my color mix ‘formula’ on so I can duplicate it if I run out. They are better than baby food jars, they reseal easily. Love all your tips and hints, Thanks and Blessings to you.

    • I like your ideas, Jillee, thanks! One recycled item I especially like to use is glass pimento jars. I use fabric dyes in small amounts in my airbrush to paint life-like flowers I create from cold porcelain. The small pimento jars are perfect to mix the dyes up in, store them, and I can put a label on them to put my color mix ‘formula’ on so I can duplicate it if I run out. They are better than baby food jars, they reseal easily. Love all your tips and hints,

      I use old squeeze mustard containers with the small hole to squeeze out, to refill with ketchup. They are perfect for picnics, as they’re small and easy to pack. They are also great to put smaller amounts of salad dressing in. If they end up getting warm, I’m not tossing a full bottle of dressing away.

      Cornstarch tubs are wonderful for packing cookies in and they are food safe. Years ago I found a pattern for turning tubs with plastic lids into ‘snowmen’ or ‘Santa’ punching holes around the top and crocheting the head…Amazing gift containers for family and friends, neighbors. (I use a lot of cornstarch in my flowers, lol, but any plastic topped container, think Pringles, baking powder, cocoa powder) would work also.

      Peanut butter jars are perfect for leftovers in the fridge. You can see what’s inside, so nothing gets forgotten about.

      Old baked bean cans are the right size for making your own Boston Brown Bread…I use a safety cutter to take off the lid, and they can be used many times over.

      If you need a cookie cutter, tuna cans with the bottom cut out also, will work nicely in a pinch. You can also use it to form patties or sausage, to get them all the same size and shape.

      I was able to get some food services 2.5 gallon detergent bottles for a commercial dishwasher. I brought them home and filled them with water, I keep them under the stairs and I have plenty of water for flushing the toilet when our power goes out…in rural Maine, it’s several times per year.

      I use leftover winter Window Kit plastic scraps to make shrink wrappings for homemade gifts.

      I save individual juice bottles to store ‘aquafaba’ (the juice from canned chick peas) to freeze for later use. Aquafaba can be used like egg whites in many recipes. We don’t always use the aquafaba as the same time as the chickpeas.

      I use the cups from individual puddings, applesauce, fruit, with some craft materials to make ‘baskets’ for holding flowers for May baskets or small flower arrangements that I sell in my Facebook store. Covers from shampoo, spray paint, laundry soap and more can also be turned into a basket…you’d be amazed. :)

      Laundry soap bottles, buckets, many other containers can be punched about every half inch around the top, and crocheted or sewn on tops added to make a tote for wet swimming wear and sand toys, or to hold your sewing or knitting, etc.

      Tin cans can be stuffed with fiber fill or other materials, covered in cloth and used for pincushions. I have one that looks like a ‘throne’ my mom made back in the early 1960’s. The can cover wasn’t completely cut off, letting you fold it up and giving a sturdy back to the throne…

      Well, that’s enough for now, lol. I am grateful for your hints and tips, Jillee. Thank you for sharing them with all of us. Blessings and health to you and yours. (from a fan that believes in recycling!)

  • One of my favorites is the plastic instant coffee container with the flip-top lid. The largest ones (avail in 8,12 and16oz) have an opening that allows me to use a scoop without having to unscrew the lids. (I have average-sized hands). These are great for storing all kinds of things,.

  • I save ice cream tubs and the containers dishwasher pods come in for storage, but also as vomit buckets. We have one under each bed and one on the main floor. I’m disabled so preventing mess is super important as I run out of energy to clean big messes completely.

  • I use old milk jugs to take homemade iced tea to picnics and other gatherings. I also use them to take filtered water with me on road trips so I can fill my family’s reusable cups and water bottles.

  • I wish I had seen the tip about cleaning the foaming pump dispensers – before. I just replaced one because it was starting to show dirt around the pump. I usually try and keep a spare – if one of our other pumps decides to quit on us. I usually refill them with the liquid dish soap.

    • I sometimes use a tiny squirt of WD-40 in the mechanism of re-purposed pumps and sprayers when they get sticky, and work it a bit. It seems to help them last a bit longer. An old toothbrush is good for cleaning out the exterior gunk.

  • Good ideas for reusing containers. I would be very careful carrying loose pills in purse or car, some states have strict rules if you carry pills without prescription label on it with your name. If you get pulled over, you have no proof of what the pills are.

  • Hi Jillee, thank you for this post, I love reusing containers! Here are some of my ideas:
    *I reuse ice cream pails for bows to keep them from getting smashed.

    *Lead containers for mechanical pencils are perfect for sewing/cross stitch needles.

    *I make fairy dresses and scrapbook with fake flowers and the large cheese ball containers are perfect for storing my loose flowers.

    *I use the stackable pill containers for the gems for the new hobby Diamond Dotz. I tape the number/symbol that matches the pattern onto each one.
    Thanks for your blog!
    Debbie

  • We’ve used empty gum/ mint containers to train our animals not to bark((dogs) and not to bolt out of the house( cats) by filling up the container with coins and then shaking it. Also as an aside the compressed air canisters for computer cleaning also work well to distract cats from unwanted behaviors and all you have to do is pick up the containers or canisters after a while! Love all your tips!

    • I used them for carrying dog treats in, and when I catch them ‘behaving’ reward the good behavior to reinforce it. I glued a jewelry clip on the back of some, I put a jumbo bobby pin on the back of some, to slip over my belt. I love those treat containers. :)

  • I like to use 1or 2 litre pop bottles (or water bottles) for homemade broth. Fill to about an inch from the top, put the cap on and freeze for later use. Any fat goes to the top which I skim off before using (I cut the top off in order access the fat). Easily stores in the freezer without spills.

  • I still the Altoids containers- sometimes. They are so handy . We love the smaller Parmesan ones. Our area has a holiday tradition where we would save a bunch of the gallon milk jugs. Cut off a small portion. Then fill with sand. Put the long burning candles in. We would do this on Christmas Eve. It’s really pretty when all the neighbors would do it too. Our block doesn’t do it as much -because some of the old timers have died . The comment about saving the before storms reminds me of when one of my brothers lived in a Carribean country for a few years. One of those places where if the power would go out – you wouldn’t have running water. That’s the way it is in some of those places.

  • I like to use the Parmesan shaker to put instant potatoes in. It doesn’t take a lot of instant potatoes to thicken pots of beans, soups or stews so this container is just right for that to always have some on hand to use for that purpose. I like it better than flour or cornstarch.

  • I empty the cardboard box that my Oxi Clean comes in, open the plastic bag, pour the Oxi into the empty square plastic pail with lid that held my automatic dishwasher pods, than use the scooper to measure out what I need. It’s so much easier to scoop out the cleaner and keeps it dryer and neater.

  • Several years ago I made a trash can for my husband’s bathroom using the large square soap tub from Costco. I covered it with camo fabric using Mod Podge [6 coats]. Now it fits into the new vanity cupboard nicely.

  • There are only 2 of us so when I make a pot of soup, or pot of spaghetti sauce or chili, I freeze the leftovers in the 3# round plastic margarine containers. Just label with some masking tape and place in the freezer.

    • I do this, too. If you find the masking tape curls off after a while, try using freezer tape to make your labels or write on the tub with a Sharpie. The black writing will come right off with a little rubbing alcohol.

  • My opinion for the #1 container to NEVER toss, is the foaming hand soap dispenser. I have one in each bathroom, my kitchen and garage next to the wet wipes and paper towels. I have had 1 for at least 20 years. Just refill with 1/8 cup of your favorite liquid soap. 1/16 if you dont want so much or if you have a water softener, or a 1/4 cup if you like more. Make sure to shake it before you pump it. Watch 96 oz of liquid detergent or favorite hand soap stretch 2-3 years depending on use. Great for those in day care. The children love it! No sloppy gloppy mess. Just be sure to clean the dispenser. I clean mine about 4 times a year. I drop them all in my reused icecream pail with vinegar and lemon.

  • I used your parm cheese container idea! I had one of the smaller containers and I filled it with baking soda and some lemon, tea tree, and lavender EOs and let it sit until I needed it. Sure enough it came in handy when my dog peed on my carpet a few days later, then vomited on a rug. Now I always have scented baking soda ready for cleaning or deodorizing!

  • I make an effort to keep & clean all types of containers that aren’t easily recycled, especially glass jars. One of my favorite plastic containers is the extra large liquid laundry detergent dispenser that has a spigot. I haven’t reused it yet, but it has too much potential to discard! Any suggestions?

    • Maybe you could fill it with water and keep it outside for rinsing off shoes or dog paws. Or take it camping filled with water for washing hands and dishes :-)

  • The quart yogurt container is perfect for dumping coffee grounds from a round or v-shaped coffee filter! Just turn the filter upside down on the container and tap both on the counter! Voila! The grounds are contained with little mess! One quart will hold over a week’s worth of coffee grounds which I then dump into my compost! The plain white container lives on the counter next to the coffee maker and coffee containers.

  • I am impressed by the ingenuity of your readers and the variety of uses they find for plastic containers.
    Better to reuse/recycle than to fill precious and expensive landfill space with thrown-away plastics.
    [The ChemicalSafetyFacts.org has an article explaining the plastic/recycle symbols and suggesting alternate used of recycle plastics.] But giving plastic containers a second-third-fourth life instead of condemning them to the landfill is great.
    Recently I bought a flat of spring plants pre-planted in 8 inch plastic cups with bottom drain holes–one is JUST the height for my kitchen sink so compostables drain into the sink drain instead of the cabinet top and its smaller size makes me empty it BEFORE the drain gnats and fruit flies show up. The other seven I will re-use to make my own transplants from the garden to share.
    Members of a knitting group in my church punch a hole in the side of a plastic coffee container and thread the end of a skein of yarn through the hole. The container keeps yarn clean and untangled, instructions can be folded to fit the container and the lid snaps in place to hold everything in place.

  • -I use big yogurt and cool whip plastic containers in freezer to hold veggie cooking juices and veggie scraps for stock (makes amazingly flavourful stock).
    -I also use 4L ice cream pails to split 10kg bag of flour t0 make more manageable amount. Sugar, rice, oats, anything I buy in huge bags that can benefit from a more manageable sized container.
    -Smaller glass jars make great containers for MYO dips & dressings and then easy to lid & store in fridge.
    -Spagetti sauce jars get reused to can homemade spagetti sauce. Classico jars work with mason jar lids.
    -use plastic juice containers for camping (fill with water & freeze). Will not leak while thawing, can add drink crystals and just shake so less dishes.

  • Jillie, are you from the south? We have been saving and repurposing plastic containers for years and get teased about it. I like to use the round mint containers for vitamins and pills when we go out to eat. Another great keeper is the square tissue box. It will hold at least 20 folded plastic grocery bags. It’s pretty and takes up very little space.

    Thank you for your daily tips!

    • I have 2 such tissue boxes on the kitchen counter, one for bags for the garbage, although most grocers now want you to bring your own reusable bags, and one box for the plastic veggie bags that come in handy for used coffee grounds, fridge ‘unknowns’, and even picking up dog poop.

  • Crystal Light containers!! Best invention on the planet! These are perfect for motorhomes where space is at a premium. They can be cut down to fit a shorter space (the lid still fits) or you can tape part of another container to one to make it taller. We use them to store small tools, plastic silverware, laundry pods, etc., etc. I use them in my very awkward car console to store keys, pens, and other small items that get lost in that black hole.

    Oh! I love that you mentioned parmesan containers! I use one to mix and store my homemade taco mix. Dump all the spices in, close it up, shake, and it’s ready to go! It’s perfect!

  • I re-use every possible container that I can that comes into my home. Ice Cream pails get used for tons of things. My married kids call them “BOB” meaning Bucket of Barf. They have a bucket handy for any possible situation where a BOB is needed. With 10 grandchildren they get used a lot. The plastic container that hold spindles of blank computer CD’s are handy for an adult version of a BOB. If you leave the CD container intact you can store spools of ribbon out of the dust but still see the contents.
    I re-use every clam shell style berry container that comes into my home. I can prepare garden produce into sandwich baggies. Two of them fit nicely in the standard box. They let you see what is in them. And they let you keep the freezer organized. They stack well. No more baggie boulders to deal with! They are also great to help keep the leftover balls of yarn organized in my yarn stash. It helps to keep skeins of sock yarn together until I can get the socks knit. They also make a get wrapping container when I gift them with the yarn info and laundry instructions. These containers are all well used.

  • When sending cookies to rest stops for the senior center I found clean empty spinach , etc. plastic containers were perfect for packing cookies in and I didn’t worry about getting my containers back.

  • I use most any kind of boxes – cake mixes, cereal boxes, pasta boxes to wrap Christmas presents in for kids and grandkids. They come in all shapes and sizes and everyone gets a laugh and noone has any idea what is in the box

  • I use the top of plastic containers for the bottom of planters. The best products that have a lip on the container (no leakage) is whipped toppings or coffees that have plastic lids.

    • Oh yes! I do that too. I also use the larger lids as a “coaster” in the refrigerator. I use old Tupperware lids from the celery keeper I no longer use for stacking pudding cups and jello cups for my husband’s lunch.

    • I use the lids from pringles chips under metal cans, such as comet or metal spray cleaners so they don’t leave a rust ring on the cupboard floors.

  • I reuse the bags from boxes of cereal to store veggies I’ve prepared to freeze, leftover quick bread, biscuits, cookies, cooked meats to refreeze and more.

  • When the weather center reports that a hurricane is coming and the power will likely go out, we fill the bathtub(s) with water in order to flush the toilet. However, you can also “shower” if you take a gallon container and poke holes in the top where the opening is. Fill with water from the tub, put the lid back on and hold the gallon over your head or body ….. sprinkle yourself with water, set the gallon down on its bottom and lather up. Then, rinse yourself off. I did this when the power was out and had to go to an appointment. It worked and I felt better for being clean.

  • So my hubby uses the crystal light drinks to watch his sugar intake and those plase tic containers are really reusable! I make homemade chicken stock for my dogs food and when it cools I put it in those containers and freeze them. They are also great for small snacks to take in the car for kids. We use them as a piggy bank to save coins and also I have used them to put cotton bals and qtips as well as jewelry when we go camping or in our RV…. so many uses for these!!

  • My adult children call me a pack rat because I never throw containers away. I keep them all because I see different things I can do with them. Why buy high priced Tupperware when you can buy a vegetable tray and re-purpose it. The same with the Lunchable trays. I use them for snack trays and paint when crafting. Of course, all the glass jars and bottles I use for canning small things, like salsa, or green chilies. The possibilities are endless. (You can reuse they lids from the small jars once or twice). And I do. Then after 2 uses, I use them for mixing all my cleaning products that are Homemade. They make great gifts like bath sales, body butters, and room fresheners. I LOVE RE-PURPOSING.

  • Vinegar jugs are sturdier than a lot of other plastic containers out there (along with the juice jugs mentioned, but we don’t drink juice). I reuse them for storing Jillee’s homemade windshield washer fluid, glass cleaner, etc. Hurricane preparedness includes filling as many as I can with filtered drinking water. Afterwards I use the leftovers for watering plants, since I’m not a fan of leaving drinking water sitting around in plastic containers.

  • Jillee, An old Girl Scout trick for cleaning little or big hands when camping or at the park, back yard birthday parties, etc…
    1 gallon plastic milk container, 1 golf tee, old panty hose, bar of soap. Take a screw driver and punch a hole about an inch above the bottom of the container. Make it only big enough where the golf tee will plug the hole. Take one leg of the panty hose and stick a bar of soap in the foot of the panty hose. This works best with a used bar of soap so it isn’t so heavy. Tie the other end of the panty hose to the gallon container handle. Fill the milk gallon with water and Wa- La . Line up the kids and pull the golf tee out and wet hands, immediately replug the milk container. Now scrub hands with the bar of soap. Pull the golf tee again to rinse. This is wonderful for picnics in the park, camping, etc…..
    I have 2 sisters who were G.S. Leaders back in the 70″ and 80″s.
    Jillee your welcome to pass this on to your readers.

  • I reuse Koolaid containers (the premixed with sugar kind) for storage/collection, like change, buttons, whatever needs a place to collect. You can also reuse as a koolaid container by mixing sugar and a koolaid packet for those who “cant measure it right” (I live with my 76 y/o father whose excuse for not making things himself is he can never get it right VERY frustrating, and my 21 y/o son who can be lazy at home)

  • I reuse squeezable mayo bottles for salad dressing, pancake syrup, and hamburger sauce. I also reuse Costco sized nut and Jelly Belly containers for a wide assortment of items from food to toys.

  • I recently used a round “car cup” gum container for salad dressing container in my office lunch. I was able to tuck it inside my filled salad bowl container, in case it leaked (but it didn’t) and pour the dressing on just before eating so the salad was still crisp. The lid unscrews to easily wash. I liked it so much, I added a second one with croutons the next day!

    • I love those things I use then for so many things…my favorite is to put a dose of meds I need to take with me. The container even doubles as a cup to drink from, as I take those meds.

  • Back in my sailing days, we used to take gallon bleach bottles, cut the bottoms off then make a u-shaped cut up towards the handle, round off the corners and you have a large, sturdy scoop to bail out your boat. Today I use 1/2 gallon scoops for large loose items like bags of pine shavings, etc. To limit the amount of scouring powder that comes pouring out of the 6 holes on top of the standard cleanser container we used to cover all but 2 holes with masking tape. Now I repurpose a tall glass olive jar by drilling 2 holes in the lid and use that for cleanser, better, a plastic container that you don’t have to worry about dropping. But I like the look of the glass container! We refill the 1/2 gallon ( sorry 56oz!) juice bottles with water and keep them in the car for long trips and a dozen in the basement full for those days when the power is lost due to storms and the well pump is off . . .

  • My best hack for a car sick kiddo is actually an OxyClean bucket – you can fit a gallon ziplock in it & fold the top over the bucket for easy cleanup. We live an hour from groceries, so this solution was PERFECT. You contain the nasty from the sick, put in a new clean on (bucket itself is still perfectly clean), ready to go if they get sick again.

  • Jill…do you have a suggestion for re-use for those liquid Coffemate containers? Right now my large ones are holding water for my plants (3). The smaller ones? Any ideas?

    • I use mine for sugar, flour (to dust my counter top when baking), yeast that comes in bags, etc. I love those containers. I put a strip of clear tape on them to write the contents on.

    • I use one as a homemade “sharps” container like they have in hospitals and doctor’s offices. I put broken needles, pins,nails, toothpicks and anything else small and sharp that you could stick yourself on, or someone else, when emptying the trash. I have one in my craft room, the kitchen and the garage.

      I also use one to put sparkling decorator’s sugar in. Much easier to sprinkle it on baked goods than to spoon it out of the bag it comes in. I have one with instant tea in it for a quick glass of ice tea.

  • Those round pill containers that stack are great for filling with spices to take on vacation or camping! I also keep some empty cleaned gallon water or milk containers handy in case of an emergency that can be filled up with clean water at a moment’s notice in case of an emergency.

  • I love reusing altoids containers (the regular and the mini). I put my knitting stitch markers in the regular size. I make my own homemade lip gloss and put it in the mini. Perfect.

  • My face toner bottle does not have a lid with a little syuirter hole, so too much come sout. I saved a face cream jar with a pump top. I put my toner in the jar. Now, I can pump out as much as i need.

  • Hi Jillee! I’ve been reading your posts for quite a while now and really enjoying them! I have been R & R & R ever since we lived in Idaho back in 1978. I’ve found so many containers to reuse. How about this one…You know the rectangle container that Nesquik comes in? It’s exactly the right size for 8 hot dogs. I drilled holes in another one and it’s perfect to store mushrooms in the fridge. Any small container that will make it thru the dishwasher, I’ve drilled tiny holes in and it’s great for more fragile veggies. I’ve been reusing some containers ( like the baby wipes one) that I got when our daughter was little 41 years ago! Keep up the good work and the best to you and yours. Lee

  • These are great ideas, I love reusing, when applicable. Love the grated shaker top idea…..Going to use it with a glass container. I take cute small jars, clean and reuse for spices, and other items…..I do not like plastic, regardless,I prefer glass, or metal for most storage. I reuse a milk jug for a travel vomit container. I cut off the top, an area big enough to use, and keep the handle…..very useful….and also I keep my coffee grinds in this, and put in garden when full….

  • Great tips Jillee. I re-use yogurt containers by filling them with water and freezing them, then adding as many or as few as needed for various sized coolers. An added bonus is that you can fill the containers with drinking water so you’ll also have water on hand!

  • I save the plastic lids off the small ice cream containers….I keep one on my nightstand to cover the glass of water I keep on my nightstand (I love my cats, but prefer not to share my drinking water!). I use the lids as drink coasters (perfect for outdoors!) and use when I want a handful or two of nuts or snack to munch on..but it really doesn’t rate dirting up a bowl. The small lids fit nicely in the top rack of the dishwasher…

  • I use the larger plastic coffee containers to hold salt for icy sidewalks. One brand even has indentations on the side to make the “cans” easier to hold and shake out the salt or dip into with a smaller scoop and disperse the salt that way.

  • My grandmother always had plants growing in large tin cans….she would cover them in in foil to make them prettier but I think there are many more options now to jazz them up….easy to nail holes in the bottom for drainage.

  • Great ideas. We use the Parmesan containers for stuff like baking soda and salt. They are very easy to measure with the flip top lids. I actually have reused a mint container like you’ve shown for one of your face powder hacks and also the tic tack container for Bobby pins. I also if they are in good condition will save my Altoid tins. They are great for organizing straight pins, paper clips etc. My uses them sometimes for birthdays and the holidays if she’s giving a little money for part of a gift.

  • Milk jugs are great for starting seeds in the spring. Cut the top 1/3 partly off so you can either cover the seeds for more humidity or heat, or open for more sun and air. I have a friend, in Michigan, that puts hers outside in April!

  • I use pill bottles to keep loose change. I have 1 or Canadian change and 1 for US coins. I also re-use cat litter containers to keep dry cat food; as a wash bucket; leftover topsoil etc…

  • Save the zippered bags your new comforters come in. Perfect for storage for blankets/ change of season clothing, the uses are endless. The bags are strong, clear (to see what’s inside) and the handles make them easy to carry!!!!

    • I agree, they are so useful. All sorts of things come in a variety of sizes of zippered plastic bags. I sort my quilting fabric and projects in them…they stay clean and dust free. As a bonus most of them have a pocket on the front where the label or product info was inserted. Often they are blank on the backside so I can turn it around and write what project is in the bag. Or I insert the quilt pattern in the pocket so it’s easy to identify.

  • I purchased the 8-pack of creamer from Costco. (These plastic containers hold about 11 ounces of creamer.). The plastic label cuts off easily, so you can decorate it or leave it blank. The top has a flip top, or you can just unscrew it. I think it’s a great size for powdered items, snacks, or even non-food items.

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