Colander as Toy Scoop
One of the most popular kitchen tools also happens to double as a clean-up aid. Before draining the tub, use a colander to make scooping up small toys fun and easy.
Candlestick as Bracelet Holder
Bangles bulging out of your jewelry box? Slip them over a candlestick and let them accessorize your dresser.
Glass Jar as Arts and Crafts Organizer
Kids can see inside the glass jars to find what they’re looking for, from crayons to pompoms. Leave off the lids for extra long supplies, like pipe cleaners or colored pencils.
Wristband as Wine Protector
Toting more than one bottle to a party? Slip a wristband over one to prevent banging or breaking.
Hair Elastic as Tights Bundler
Roll up pairs of stockings or leggings and wrap hair ties around them to keep the rolls from unraveling. It will be easier to find a specific pair on mornings when you're, well, tight on time.
Colander as Knitting Assistant
To prevent balls of yarn from tangling, string the end of each through a colander hole.
Glasses Case as Makeup Organizer
With the cameras flashing and all eyes on you, there’s a lot of pressure to look your very best. Stash extra makeup—think lip gloss and concealer—in an empty glasses case and tuck in your purse for quick touch up’s throughout the day.
Cereal Box as Photo Saver
Sending Grandpa a shot of the all-star soccer team but don't want the postal journey to bend it (like Beckham)? Sandwich the picture between the large panels of a flattened box.
Party Hat as Candy Dish
Use extra paper party hats to corral candy on a display table—or fill them with popcorn to hand out to kids.
Tic Tac Box as Spice Holder
Pack small amounts of your favorite spice (red pepper flakes, anyone?) in old Tic Tac boxes, to season food on-the-go.
Glass Vase as Belt Corraller
It's a cinch to keep belts organized and visible: Coil them into spirals and stack them on top of one another in a large clear vase. (Put favorite belts at the top for easy access.)
Gift Tags as File Label
Use leftover, adhesive gift tags to label file folders. Holly leaves = medical records, Santa = bills (obviously—you owe him for the bike, the LEGOS, the dollhouse…).
Hanger as Ribbon Organizer
Turn a tangle of ribbons into a neat presentation. Hang coordinating colors over the prongs of a tie hanger.
Ribbon as Utensil Holder
When utensils are wrapped together, guests can grab what they need in one go—great for a buffet table.
Gift Box as Sugar Holder
More lovely to look at than the branded box from the store, but it still slides easily into the pantry for storage.
Binder Clip as Ribbon Organizer
Clip one end of the spool to keep the ribbon from unfurling in your giftwrap drawer.
Newspaper as Packing Material
Pack delicate items. Wrap frames and figurines with several pieces of newspaper, and then crumple the remaining sections to fill extra space in the box.
Holiday Lights as Night Light
Fill a large Mason jar with a strand or two of battery-powered lights to add whimsy to a walkway or a nightstand.
Dental Floss as Picture Hanger
Hang a lightweight painting. Wrap one end of a strand of floss several times around one of a pair of screws or hooks attached to either side of the back of the frame. Wrap the other end around the remaining screw or hook, leaving some slack. Knot the ends and hang from a nail.
Clothespin as Refrigerator Magnet
Turn your fridge or stove hood into a memo board. Glue a magnet to the back of a pin and use it to hold reminders, invitations, and photos.
Cereal Box as Drawer Organizer
If you're the flaky type, cereal boxes (including the single-serving minis) can corral desk-drawer chaos. Slice off the tops and the bottoms and fill them with loose odds and ends.
Clothespin as Cord Holder
Keep a retractable cord from rewinding too soon. Just clip the cord near the opening to prevent the cord from being sucked back in too quickly.
Soda Bottle as Pasta Measurer
Said good-bye to soda? Fill the mouth of a dry 20-ounce bottle with uncooked spaghetti; the opening holds enough for a hearty single serving.
Silverware Holder as Bathroom Drawer Organizer
Use a utensil tray in your bathroom drawer to keep small items like tweezers, nail clippers, and makeup brushes organized. Submitted by: Margaret2580
Hanging Wash Bag as Cord Storage
Store chargers, power cords, and extra headphones in the clear pouches of a hanging jewelry organizer. You'll be able to find exactly what you're looking for and packing your tech is that much easier. Submitted by: jloper
Magazine Files as Kitchen Storage
Corral boxes of waxed paper, aluminum foil and plastic wrap in a magazine file. Submitted by chels926
Metal Magazine Rack as Towel Holder
Roll pool towels and store them vertically, so your kids can grab one before taking a swim.
Luggage Tag as Decorating Aid
Avoid decorating mistakes. Tuck fabric, wallpaper, and paint swatches inside so you can ensure a perfect match.
Paper Clips as Wrapping Paper Holder
Use paper clips to keep wrapping paper from unraveling.
Cake Stand as Counter Organizer
Curb countertop clutter. Drop keys and bills on the stand instead.
Tie Rack as Mail Organizer
Prioritize bills and mail in a rack positioned flat on a desk or countertop.
Cake Stand as Display Stand
Show off. Display small photos and mementos, which look more important on a platform.
Shoe Box as Holiday Light Storage
Trim off the edges of a shoe box lid and wrap string lights around the flat cardboard. Then slide the whole thing inside the box. This will keep lights untangled and tidy during the off-season.
Accordion Folder as a Glove Compartment Organizer
Store your car insurance, registration, manuals, and maps in a neatly bound holder to avoid an avalanche of papers every time you reach in for your sunglasses. It's the first step to getting your car chaos under control.
Clipboard as Place-Mat Holder
Hang a clipboard on the wall (or inside a cabinet) to clamp down on place mats—and that old “I can’t find them!” excuse from the person setting the table.
Apple Container as Ornament Storage
Store delicate tree decor where the fruit once went to protect items from bumps and bruises. (You can also use wine boxes or egg cartons.)
Baking Sheet as a Memo Board
Rubber Band as Canister Measure
Stretch a rubber band around an opaque container. Each time you scoop out the flour or coffee, move the band down to mark the supply level. No need to lift the lid while making your grocery list—you can see how much is left in a snap.
Zippered Bed-Linen Bag as Art Supply Carrier
Stash supplies for scrapbooking, knitting, or sewing in one of these sturdy, transparent pouches so all of your materials and tools are in one place.
Binder Clip as Linens Organizer
Store sets of napkins clipped together and they’ll always be ready to set the scene at dinnertime. You'll restore order to your linen closet and save minutes searching for elusive matching colors.
Business Card Organizer as Gift Card Holder
Reduce handbag clutter by catalogging the family’s club cards and gift cards according to store name. Your back will thank you for toting a lighter wallet around.
Cassette Case as Cord Organizer
Neatly coil the cords of your small, tangle-prone cables and earbuds and tuck them into the empty plastic holder. If you have several, label each case with a sticker for clear identification. It'll be the end of crossed wires.
Cast-Iron Pan as Recipe Board
Hang a skillet on a kitchen wall and you’ll have a convenient magnetic spot to display recipes, important reminders, and anything else your brain is too, well, fried to remember.
Chip Clips as Clothes Hangers
Hold small coats in place on adult-size hangers. Use clips with rubberized grips to help items stay put. Not only will you have an organized coat closet, but you'll save money by not having to buy special kids' hangers.
Clothespin as Hanger
Use clips to prevent silky sleeveless shirts and dresses from slipping off the hanger. And you can say goodbye to wrinkled sundresses on the closet floor.
Coaster as Drip Catcher
Catch the sticky stuff from bottles and jars in cupboards. No more shelves that require a full wipe-down after every spoonful of honey, slather of jam, or glug of olive oil.
Coat Rack as Jewelry Holder
Store your best-loved (and most frequently worn) necklaces and bracelets within easy reach on a wall-mounted coat rack. Bonus: they'll stay tangle-free when not decorating your neck.
Contact Lens Case as Pill Storage
Easily transport non-prescription pills without all the bottles. Pop it into your handbag and you'll have a headache remedy handy when the man in seat 7A drones on about his herniated disk. Plus you'll keep pills out of contact with everything else in your purse
Wine Corks as Cabinet Silencers
Silence cabinet doors that slam by slicing a cork into thin disks and sticking them onto the inside corners of cabinets to muzzle the closing noise.
Cupcake Carrier as Knickknack Organizer
For the 359 days of the year when you’re not hauling cupcakes, use the cups to store jewelry or craft supplies.
Desk Organizer as Cupboard Divider
Sort cookie sheets, cutting boards, and jelly-roll pans in the kitchen for easy access (and no more cymbal-crashing sounds) in an overstuffed cabinet.
Dustpan as Toy Herder
Scoop up small toys―Lego blocks, jacks, Barbie shoes, plastic soldiers—with your dustpan and brush, so you can reclaim your living room for grown-ups.
Earrings as Pushpins
Face it: That long-lost earring is probably gallivanting with a wayward sock in Ye Olde Land of Misplaced Items. (What a stud!) Let its lonely, abandoned mate rebound as a pretty thumbtack on a bulletin board.
Courtesy of reader Bailey Mulholland of Appleton, Wisconsin
Eyeglasses Case as Manicure Kit
An unused glasses case makes a convenient storage spot for nail files, clippers and other manicure essentials while on the go.
Picture Frame as Key Holder
Framed hooks will keep keys organized―and looking decorative. Eliminate the glass and paint the backing or cover it with fabric or paper. Then attach the key hooks using an extra-strong glue.
Picture Frame as Refrigerator Art
Your icebox images will pop once they’re no longer buried under lists and bills. Give them an edge by gluing magnet strips to the backs of small frames, elevating snapshots and postcards to art.
Picture Frame as an Earring Organizer
Showcase your gold hoops, pearl drops, and chandeliers with this clever caddy. Here's how to make it:
- Step 1: Gather a wooden frame (without the backing and the glass), piano wire, small eyelet hooks (two for each wire), pliers, and a ruler.
- Step 2: Mark where you want each wire to hang. Screw in the eyelet hooks. Using the pliers, pull the wire taut and twist it around the hooks.
- Step 3: Hang your earrings from the wires. Either mount the display on a wall or place it on a dresser.
Garden Hose Holder as Holiday Light Organizer
Coil strings of holiday lights round and round for knot-free hall decking. Your reward: You won’t blow a fuse trying to hang next year’s light show.
Berry Basket as Bathroom Storage
Corral bathroom essentials in an eco-friendly (but still pretty) caddy.
Binder Clip as Cord Holder
Keep a windowblind cord out of reach of little hands (or paws). Just gather the cord up at a safe level and clasp.
Dish Rack as Art Supply Organizer
Organize coloring books in the main basket and corral crayons, pencils, and markers in the silverware holder.
File Folder Labels as Cord Identification
Attach adhesive file-folder labels with the names of the cords' owners (for example, phone, computer, fax, and lamp; or TV, DVD, VCR, and phone) near the plugs. This way, you can quickly ID which cord belongs to which machine—and you won't unplug the wrong one.
Film Canister as Stamp Dispenser
Unspool stamps by cutting a slit in the side of a film canister and threading the end of the roll throught it.
High Chair as Mail Holder
Free up some counter space by using a clip-on high chair as mail catchall. Great solution for rounding up keys and stashing mail and permission slips.
Jar as Knicknack Organizer
Superglue the lid to the underside of a cabinet and gather bits and pieces—thumbtacks, say, or nails—into the jar itself. Then screw the jar into the lid to whisk clutter up, up, and away.
Jewelry Box as Game Piece Storage
Store game pieces, play money, or other priceless rainy-afternoon distractions.
Jewelry Box as Drawer Organizer
Those little boxes are so sturdy and tidy that you hate to throw them out, so don't. Instead, clip them together to create a neat divided storage area for pens and pencils, lipsticks, plastic flatware—whatever it is that clutters your drawer.
Nonskid Rug Pad as Trunk Mat
Prevent produce from bruising on the way home from the store. Give grocery bags traction in the trunk of a car by lining the compartment with a pad.
Nonskid Rug Pad as Drawer Liner
Stop pens and paper clips from rolling to the back of a desk drawer with a layer of liner.
Nonskid Rug Pad as Breakfast Tray Liner
Make glassware stay put on a serving tray, so breakfast in bed doesn't lead to mopping up orange juice in your pajamas.
Paper Clip as Phone Book Marker
Find the number for your favorite restaurant faster by clipping its page in the phone book.
Paper Clip Dispenser as Bobby Pin Holder
Corral bobby pins and hair clips in a paper clip holder. The magnetic ring makes them easy to dispense.
Paper Plates as China Protectors
Prevent good china from chipping by layering paper plates between each piece of your formal dinnerware.
Paper Towel Tube as Cord Organizer
Corral unruly comptuer cables by running them through a spare tube.
Pasta Maker as Paper Shredder
Run junk mail and private documents through the device and turn the crank.
Pencil Eraser as Wall Protector
Anchor artwork against the wall. Cut erasers from a pair of pencils and glue them to the bottom corners of a frame for added stability.
Peppermint Tin as Tissue Holder
Fold a packet inside the tin to keep tissues dry and intact in your purse or beach bag.
Photo Album as Business Card File
File frequently used business cards in a brag book (two will fit in each slot) for a purse-ready Rolodex.
Photo Album as Renovation Helper
Stash fabric swatches and paint chips in the album so you can make sure that lamp matches perfectly before you get it home.
Photo Box as Jewelry Organizer
Organize delicate jewelry by placing necklace chains, charms, and small earrings in individual vellum envelopes inside the box.
Photo Tree as Recipe Holder
Orchestrate a multicourse meal by displaying all the recipes you need on a single stand so you never miss a beat (or an ingredient).
Plastic Trays as Boot Holders
Contain rain-boot runoff by placing a tray near the entryway when wet weather descends.
Plastic Wrap as Box Handle
Carry unwieldy packages by twisting several feet of wrap into a sturdy rope, tying it around a box, and knotting the rest into a handle.
Rocks as Coat Rack
Construct an outdoorsy coat rack. Use a polyuerthane-based glue (try Gorilla Glue) to attach rocks to old drawer knobs, then screw the knobs into a plank of wood and mount it on a wall at eye-level in an entryway.
Rocks as Bookends
Keep books straight on a shelf. Add an earthy vibe to your reading collection by subbing in large smooth rocks for bookends.
Shoe Box as File Storage
Give unattractive filing cabinets the boot and store all bills and documents inside shoe boxes covered in decorative paper.
Shoe Organizer as Gift Wrap Storage
Arrange gift wrapping supplies so you can easily locate bows, ribbons, scissors, and tape.
Shoe Organizer as Spice Rack
Organize the spice cabinet by transferring canisters to the pockets and mounting the holder inside the pantry.
Shower Curtain Rings as Scarf Storage
Sort and hang scarves by threading them through rings hung on a closet rod.
Spice Containers as Office Supply Storage
Use these squat, clear-topped jars (sold at kitchen supply stores) to keep all those loose bits cluttering your desk drawer—stamps and Post-It notes, thumbtacks and rubber bands, safety pins and stickers—under control.
Spring as Desktop Organizer
Neatly file bills, mail, and invitations between the coils on your desk.
Step Stool as Shoe Organizer
Rest your soles. Store shoes on the tiers of a stool in the closet.
Suitcase as Linen Storage
Keep off season linens and other decorations in a suitcase when you're not traveling.
Twist Tie as Wire Gatherer
Streamline tangled cords. Shorten a too-long one by looping the center and wrapping with a tie, or secure several cords together.
Velcro as Pet Bowl Securer
Keep Fido’s bowl from migrating away from its designated spot with a few pieces of Velcro on its bottom side.
Velcro as Toy Storage
Inspire housekeeping habits that will stick. Affix the rough sides of a few strips to the wall, and the soft sides to the backs of stuffed animals. The act of putting away toys will gain all-ages appeal.
Velcro as Remote Controller
Help the remote from getting swallowed up in the couch cushions by adding Velcro to the device and on the side of the TV.
Velcro as Cushion Keeper
Stop a seat cushion from tumbling off a chair by adhering strips of Velcro to the bottom of the cushion and the top of the seat.
Velcro as Pen Minder
Place a small piece of Velcro next to a desk calendar and on a pen so you’ll never have to search for one again.
Window Box as Towel Storage
Roll several cloths and stack in the box in a guest bathroom so no one has to poke around in your cabinets hunting for them.