Life Style

Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Household Items

FamilyHandyMan

With a little creativity, many common household items can be transformed into something else that’s entirely different and amazing. Check out 15+ extraordinary ways to reuse old items.

Mattress Spring Flower Wall

This clever DIYer used old mattress springs for a flower wall. The springs are hung on the side of the house near the patio.

Use Soft Socks to Clean Blinds

The next time you need to clean your window blinds, use a sock over your hand. Your hand makes a perfect tool for reaching all of the nooks and crannies on the blinds, and the sock picks up dust wonderfully. When you’re finished, just throw the sock in the washing machine.

Flour Sifter Flower Pot

If you have an old flour sifter you no longer use, try turning into a planter. If you don’t have one, there’s a good chance you’ll find one at a thrift store or garage sale.

Knife Block

Who says practical storage can’t be pretty? This DIY Knife Block, made from old books, is easy to make. Simply pick some unique books in your favorite color scheme and tie them together tightly with twine to create the perfect home for all your kitchen knives. You can even create different color schemes based on the seasons and holidays, making this a versatile hack. Need more counter space to accommodate a knife holder? 

Beat the Dust out of Cushions with a Tennis Racket

Upholstery absorbs lots of dust — and then sends it airborne every time you sit down. Routine vacuuming reduces the problem, but can’t suck out the deep-down dust. So take cushions outside a couple times each year, preferably on a windy day, and spank the dust out of them. An old tennis racket makes a great upholstery beater. 

Scour Off Grime with an Electric Toothbrush

Next time you’re at the discount or dollar store, pick up an electric toothbrush to add a modern twist to routine cleaning. Rapid vibration will quickly scrub out stubborn dirt, while the long handle can get to hard-to-reach places without all the elbow grease.

Milk Jug Scoop

Cut off the top of an empty gallon or half-gallon milk jug with sharp scissors. It helps to draw the cut line with a marker first. Clean up the cut to make sure there are no sharp or rough edges. Replace the jug cap and you have a handy (and pretty much free) scoop for pet food, potting soil, etc. Remove the cap and you can use the scoop as a funnel!

Rubber Band and Paperclip Binder

Store small extension cords neatly with this simple office supply hack: Attach a paperclip to a small rubber band. Then wrap the rubber band around the bundled cord and clasp the paperclip onto the rubber band again. No more tangled extension cords!

Paper Towel Cord Storage

Give empty paper towel rolls new life as cord wranglers. Fold small extension cords neatly before slipping them into their own individual storage sleeve. You can even label the cords by writing on the cardboard.

Paper Towel Roll Bag Storage

There are many uses for plastic grocery bags in the workshop. For instance, you can use them to seal up brushes and rollers during a painting project so you don’t have to wash so much stuff between coats. Here’s a great tip for storing them: Stuff as many plastic grocery bags as possible into an empty paper towel roll. Then toss the roll in a drawer or cabinet. The cardboard tube keeps the bags contained, and it’s easy to pull one out at a time when you need it.

Paper Towel Boot Storage

Insert one or two empty paper towel rolls inside each of your tall boots to help them keep their shape while in storage. When tall boots are back in season, you won’t have to spend time ironing out creases.

Coffee Filters for Dusting

The next time you clean your computer monitor or TV screen, use a coffee filter. The thin, cloth-like paper catches a lot of dust and can cover a large area. You can use a coffee filter for dusting other household accessories, too.

Bathroom Drawer Insert from the Kitchen

A silverware drawer insert works just as well in the bathroom for organizing toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste, razors, clippers, lip balm and more. The various sizes of compartments keep items looking neat and easy to find.

Use a Pool Noodle Inside a Drawer

Reader Roy Allison found a solution for keeping his silverware drawer organizer from moving around each time he opened or closed the drawer: a pool noodle! He cut the noodle to size, so that it fits snugly between the back of the organizer and the back of the drawer.

No-Rattle Ceiling Fan

If the screws that hold the light globe to your ceiling fan tend to work loose and then hum or rattle, slip a wide rubber band around the neck of the globe where the screws grip it. The rubber band prevents the screws from loosening, dampens any noise and protects the globe from overzealous screw tighteners.

New Uses for Old Glove Fingers

Don’t throw out your old work gloves. Cut the fingers off and you’ll find lots of uses for them. Use them to protect the tips of chisels when you need to carry them. They’re also good for softening the grip of pliers and many other applications.

No-Latch (or Hands-Free) Door Trick

Need to go in and out of the same door a bunch of times while carrying stuff? It can be tough to do when the door keeps latching shut. To keep that from happening, take a rubber band and loop it around one doorknob or handle. Then, twist the rubber band once and then loop it around the other knob. The rubber band holds the latch down, preventing the door from latching shut. Now if the door closes, you can push it back open with your body even if your hands are full.

Behind the Door Storage: Closet Glove Rack

If you don’t have radiators, finding a good spot to dry wet hats and mittens can be tough. Tossing them into a plastic bin gets them out of the way, but they never dry and it’s no fun putting on damp mittens in the morning. This simple back-of-the-door glove and cap rack allows wet things to dry and keeps easily misplaced items organized. Just string clothespins on aluminum wire (it won’t rust) and stretch it between screw eyes on the back of a closet door. This also works great out in the garage for drying garden and work gloves.

No-Spill Grocery Bags

It’s a pain to crawl deep into the trunk to get all the groceries that spill out of your bags on the way home from the store. Here’s a simple solution using common household items from reader Vern McMeans: Run a long bungee cord through the bag handles and hook the ends to the sides of the trunk. Keep the bungee cord in the trunk so it’s there when you need it.

Back to top button