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15 Ways to Repurpose Items You Already Have for Organizing

Guest post from Heidi of

Do you want to have a more organized home or workspace but feel limited in your pursuits due to lack of funds to purchase supplies? Below, you will find a list of some of my favorite organizing solutions using common household items as well as some innovative ideas using re-purposed containers you are probably bringing into your home on a regular basis.

Having trouble keeping all those little things together? Muffin pans, egg cartons, or ice cube trays are a perfect solution to utilize in a drawer to help corral even the tiniest necessities.

Joyful Homemaking demonstrates using a muffin tin to organize office supplies.

The Krazy Coupon Lady shows you how to use an egg carton to organize office supplies.

Kiss and Tell Scrapbooking suggests using a muffin tin to organize scrapbook supplies.

I posted about using an ice cube tray to organize earrings.

Family Fun suggests pairing these simple plastic cups (that stay in place with the help of adhesive magnets) with a muffin tin for a creative craft caddy.

Create a craft caddy out of tin cans like this one by Martha Stewart.

It’s easy to decorate cans with paint or scrapbook paper to match any office or studio décor like these featured at Stylelist Home.

Jars are ideal for holding all sorts crafting supplies as shown in this photo by Andrew McCaul on Good Housekeeping.

The Home in Paradise shows how to pretty up a pantry by using sauce jars of the same size and shape to hold dry goods.

Create a streamlined spice collection using baby food jars like Frugal Decor Mom.

Begin thinking ‘outside the box’ for possible uses of other containers, once purchased products are used up.

A cardboard soda holder is a perfect caddy for sunscreens, lotions, sprays or larger medication bottles.

Visit Heart of Wisdom for ideas on how to use coffee canisters to hold toys with pesky small pieces.

How about using a diaper wipe case to hold card games like Jazzie and Tahlia?

I’ve been using one to hold our supply of crayons for years!

Finally, if you feel a little crafty like Autumn at Space for Living, create a handy desktop organizer out of cardboard food boxes! 

How do you use items you already own to organize your home?

Heidi is a Professional Organizer & Family Manager Coach. She is passionate about helping others bring more order and peace to their home, office and life. Learn more by visiting her website,

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  • I love this. I need to do more of this. Thanks for the ideas.

  • Love the baby food jars with spices! We only have two drawers in our kitchen, but if we get a bigger house, I want to turn one into a spice drawer. Brilliant!

  • Stasia says:

    In my classroom, I use Crystal Light containers (plastic and last a long time!) to hold crayons, color pencils and markers. They are individual and last longer than crayon and marker containers!

  • I love these ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    I love baskets and bins and little organized sections of my home (rare sections of order in an otherwise “kid-friendly” home 🙂 )

  • Sharon says:

    Great ideas! I use baby wipe containers for clipped recipes.

  • amy peca says:

    those weekly medicine compartments to hold daily meds–work great for jewelry in your suitcase!!!

  • Jan says:

    Wipes containers make great storage for Barbie shoes! I also use empty tissue boxes for different thIngs already pretty on the outside.

  • Brandy says:

    I love the plastic cup idea! I saved leftover diaper boxes and covered them with decorative contact paper leftover from lining the cabinets. I put them on the changing table we no longer use in my sons closet.we have a rotating toy system, and every other week I switch the toys from the closet to the cnvas bins in the playroom. As the diaper boxes wear down, i plan on replacing them with the same type of canvas bins as are in the playroom. That way, eventually i will just switch the entire bin from closet to shelf.

  • Amy @ Gabriel's Good Tidings says:

    I love these ideas! I save all my applesauce and spaghetti sauce jars to use in my sewing room. Excellent ideas!

  • cheryl says:

    My pre-teen now has quite the collection of earrings and necklaces now. I love the egg carton idea for her earrings! Thanks!

    Any ideas to keep necklaces neatly stored, easy to see, and hopefully untangled? I’d appreciate any help!

    • I bought a pack of those thin, corkboard sheets (they come 4 to a pack). They’re pretty inexpensive. I mounted them on the wall in my bathroom, then used pushpins to be hooks for my necklaces. It worked great! You could also use a regular corkboard if you have one lying around or buy a cheap one (Target usually has good deals).

    • Johana Dugan says:

      I purchased a plastic hardware organizer from the local hardware store that I could hang on the wall. It came w/ little see through drawers w/ removable dividers. Also had various sized drawers which worked great for larger items like bangle bracelettes and watches. The drawers kept all earrings (and their matching set of necklace too) all organized, untangled and easy to find. To accomodate the super long necklaces or easy to tangle gold chains, I attached small adhesive hooks to the sides.

    • yes, pushpins on a cork board would be a super frugal solution. a belt/tie/key hook mounted on a wall or inside a closet door would also work well.

    • Melissa Gundersen says:

      I took some small tree branches from outside, anchored them in that green foam from the flower store (I’m sure you could use any foam), put the whole thing in a basket (tacked down w/ glue) , spray painted it to match my bedroom decore and now I have a necklace holder. I have also used the egg crates, painted, as necklace holders.

  • Cynthia says:

    All great ideas, I have used the muffin cups in my bedroom drawer for jewelry for years. The problem is, a muffin cup is too large for earrings, you end up with multiple pairs in there, and they get messed up. I think the ice cube trays is better, 1 pair per section. When looking of the last organizer, I was thinking you could also use cardboard cereal boxes to make a step organizer for your canned goods. One of those things that makes it easier to see the ones in the back.

  • Janelle Collazo says:

    We use baby food jars for spices, too!! I love the idea. We put velcro underneath our top cupboards and on the lids of the baby food jars and stick them up with the velcro so they are hanging down and we can just pull them down when we need them. We also used a label maker to label each spice. It’s REALLY handy and cute, too! Wish I could post a picture for you…

  • Carey says:

    I like using the little wooden crates that Clementines are sold in for organizing. I have them lined up on my laundry room shelves, holding detergent, fabric softener, cleaning towels, all of my free samples, etc. And I think they look cool!

    • danish says:

      I use these for my tupperware organization. One box for bowls and one box for lids. One on each shelf. Makes putting away and taking them out so easy! The cabinet I keep them in is at a weird angle and its much better to pull the box out than wrestling with individual pieces.

  • I posted a while back about organizing using cardboard canisters left over from fried onions, oatmeal, etc. to easily corral snacks and treats to make my pantry nice and neat!!! Free and so easy!!! I love your ideas and can’t wait to use some of them myself!!!

  • Carla says:

    I just loved this post. Thanks so much.

  • Emily says:

    The bright containers that are holding the card games I’m almost confident are not baby wipes cases. Those are storage containers that you can get at IKEA. I hold Q-tips in one, bandaids and other first aid items in another, baby fingernail clippers, brush, etc. in a third…
    They are extremely useful because they have little holes on the top that make them perfect for stacking.

  • I use baby wipes containers to store craft supplies, plastic strawberry containers to keep my pens and pencils tidy in my kitchen drawer, and oatmeal containers for my flour and pancake mix.

  • Pamela says:

    I love love love the desktop storage! So pretty I am going to make my own. Thanks for showing it to us.

  • Kristy says:

    I always want to keep my home organized but have come to a standstill on what else I can do to make more room thanks so much for these ideas everyone I love them all 🙂

  • Laurie says:

    I use plastic strawberry containers and twist tie them to the side of my dish drying rack for small items like pacifiers and sippy cup spouts. I also use tofu containers to organize my drawers. Mesh bags (from onions, cuties or potatoes) and suction cups are great for hanging bath toys to dry. I cover boxes with wrapping paper and use them for everything 🙂

  • Lucky says:

    I love this post!

    I saw a thing on pinterest where the person had cut the top off a gallon milk container and used it for holding legos and other small toys.

  • Amber L. says:

    Someone said they needed help with necklaces. When going on vacation take a foot of press and seal wrap, lay flat, put necklaces on, put another sheet on top, press into “sections” around the necklaces, roll and pack. When you arrive, unroll and nothing is tangled. I use it to cover puzzles in our house too. Kids can uncover and play, then recover without my help so I can keep cooking. I also use a gallon milk jug to hold clothes pins. I trim a tiny slice (1/4 inch) out of the handle so it can be hung on the line while I use it. Simply cut out a U shape from the top portion (leaving the pour spout) which allows you to put the pins in and out without them falling out.

  • Michelle H. says:

    When we movede last year I wound up with an extra silverware organizer – we used it in the junk drawer to help organize longer items like screwdrivers, paint sticks, and flashlights.

    Love the baby food jars for spices!

  • JulieA says:

    LOVE this article!

    I use a coat hanger and shower curtain rings to hang accessories. Clip shower curtain rings onto the hanger, and pull pashminas and scarves through them. Then you can hang it up in your closet. I also use this method for belts.

    I don’t have a linen closet and precious little under-the-sink storage in my bathroom, so I have been using an over-the-door shoe organizer for keeping my extra bathroom supplies and surplus, such as shampoo, q-tips, toothpaste, medicines, etc.

  • AngelaS says:

    Just like JulieA – we use an over the door organizer in the bathroom – but we contain little girls hair accessories – one for each major color, clip on bows easily grab on to the tops of the pockets, and headbands easily straddle two pockets. A few of the pockets are used for hairbrushes & products (detangler, water spritzer, gel)

  • CynD says:

    This is kind of organizing.. ? If not at least usefull. I have a basket in the laundry room that I store these in. I made my nephew several of these for a stocking stuffer and my boys, all of whom are campers. Not quite Boyscout way but handy none the less.
    I use bathroom tissue rolls and stuff them with the lint from the dryer, drizzel some wax from the used Sensty fragrance warmer… Shazam!! I have great fire starters for the fireplace, for camp fires, if you burn wood or trash… there you go a great firestarter for a few minuits of your time. all stuff you would throw out any way.
    I also still use baby wipe containers for several things and my baby is 18… Long time a go one of the baby wipe companies made their wipes in containers that stacked with circles, a bit like lego’s I still have several and still love them.

  • Le An says:

    I use tool tray inserts to organize bracelets and necklaces. I also have a tie rack for necklaces, and a frame with a mat and needlepoint plastic for dangling earrings.
    The tool tray insert is even in my bedsidw table, to separate nail files, pens, note paper, bookmarks, and meds.

  • Lovely ideas! Re-purposing old tins, jars, boxes, etc. sounds much better than just throwing them away. I like to reuse my old stuff till it’s possible and here are some very useful ideas. Thank you for sharing!

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