Clever ways to repurpose an everyday item.

By Real Simple
Updated September 07, 2010
James Wojcik

Turkey Baster

“I use one to clear dust from tiny spaces, like between computer keys.”
Kristina Warren
Santa Rosa, California

“To help pry open frozen car doors, I fill a baster with hot water and saturate the area around the door edges until the ice melts.”
Jill Waldrop
Spring, Texas

Telephone Cord

“Use it as a clothesline. The coated cord doesn’t rust and is thick enough to keep pins in place.”
Clara Gray-Bartek
Weimar, Texas

“I wrangle the wires behind our computer and TV with different colored telephone cords so I can easily tell them apart. Black ones are for the TV, white ones for my computer and printer.”
Laura Derosa
Atlanta, Georgia

Pot Holder

“I put barbecue utensils in a mitten-style holder and hang it from a hook on the grill.”
Sarece Mitchell
Schaumburg, Illinois

“We stash handheld computer games and cameras in the pockets of pot holders when traveling.”
Sara Lucia
Agawam, Massachusetts

Water Bottle

“Before a weekend trip, I poke a tiny hole in the cap with a nail. Then I stick it top first into the soil of a potted plant so the water slowly drips out.”
Kim Wylie
Greenville, South Carolina

“I put frozen bottles into an ice chest to keep snacks and sodas cold on outings. When we get home, they go back into the freezer for our next outing.”
Sandi Blakley-Sibona
Fort Scott, Kansas

Um, Thanks for Playing

Give these readers points for creativity.

“I slide my pint of Ben & Jerry’s into a mitten pot holder to keep my hands from freezing when I eat out of the container.”

“A turkey baster is great for making Jell-O shots. It holds the perfect amount of liquid to squirt into a Dixie cup, without the mess.”

“Extra-long phone cords work as double-Dutch jump ropes.”