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Reuse – Repurpose – Recycle – Container Edition –

Last week, I told you about my wife`s new craze: DIY cleaning products and foods such as bread, dairy and pickles. She`s getting better and better at it, trying out new recipes or improving the ones she`s already tested. But here`s a major problem: where do you store them? I don`t mean the pantry or the bathroom cabinet… I mean what containers do you use? It takes different types of containers for every product.

For example, when it comes to cleaning, you need different types of bottles for your DIY liquid laundry detergent, for your window cleaner or your all-natural tile scrub. When it comes to homemade foods, it`s pretty clear that bread can`t be in the same container as yogurt or ricotta cheese. So what do you do? Do you buy all these bottles, cans and jars or all shapes and sizes? You could, but it would be a useless investment, when you could simply save, wash and….

Repurpose used containers

Here is a list of my favorite repurpose ideas, not only for your homemade products, but also for different foods you might stockpile:

1. Yogurt and sour cream containers → Homemade dairy products

Yogurt and sour cream containers


All you need is a little nail polish remover to get the printing off and you`re all free to refill them with homemade yogurt, dressings, ricotta or mozzarella. You can add sticky notes as labels or even write their new purpose with nail polish, as it`s more resistant.

2. Juice bottles → Cleaning products

Juice bottles


This Jillee ( really does have some great ideas. This one, for example, is really practical. Juice bottles come in all shapes and sizes, so it`s easy to pick the right container for your cleaners. I suggest using a big one with a handle for your laundry detergent and a smaller one with a plastic lid on for your dish detergent, so you can easily pierce a hole in the lid (it will be much simpler for you to use it while you wash).

3. Coffee cream plastic bottles → Cereal and mini crackers containers

Recycle offee creamer containers


StockpilingMoms made this idea very popular on their website. Here`s Stephanie`s advice:

“I think this is a great way to recycle those coffee creamer containers. I fill them up with Cheerios and Goldfish crackers/pretzels and take them in the car when we go on road trips, sporting events or spending the day running errands around town. They are perfect for Goldfish crackers helps them stay fresh and the crackers won’t get crumbled in the bag which is a huge plus for me”

4.  Household & baby food jars → Spice containers

Spice containers

I found this one on Every mother has probably thrown away hundreds of those tiny baby food jars that look like nothing else could possibly fit in there. But that`s not quite true. You can use them to stock spices. They`re easy to label and they look nice, too. And if you really want to make a DIY project out of it, you can try this out:

 space-saving spice rack


Superglue magnets on the lids and stick them to your fridge door. Put labels on the bottom of the jar and you`ve got the most ingenious, lovely AND space-saving spice rack. And it`s so easy to reach them when you`re cooking.

5. Baby food jar → Matches container

Matches container


Another one from the inventive Jillee: “Finally, the smallest sized mason jar (actually there is one size smaller…I just don’t use it much) makes a great container for matches. Especially when you add a piece of sandpaper to the lid for striking! This is such a handy thing. No more frustrating searches through my kitchen drawers trying to find one of those little boxes of matches when it’s time for lighting birthday candles!”

6. Minty drops containers → Seeds containers

Seeds containers


I saw this on Pinterest and I loved it. All those empty Tic Tac containers finally put to good use. Easy to label, easy to store.

7. Heavy duty plastic jugs → Pet food containers

Pet food containers


If you`ve got pets, you`re going to love this idea. Keeping their food in big, plastic jugs (the kind that also have a handle) will make it so much easier to feed them.

8. Ketchup Bottles → Sauce bottle or pancake squirter

Sauce bottle or pancake squirter


The pancake squirter is my favorite reuse of old ketchup bottles, but using them for sauces and dressings is also a good idea. This way, there`s no more leaking sauce on your plate or bowl. You can pour it neatly, right in the center.

9. Kleenex Boxes → Bag Dispensers

Bag Dispensers


My wife found this on the Internet a while ago and she`s already organized all the empty plastic bags into empty Kleenex boxes. We used to keep them in a kitchen drawer, but at some point, the drawer refused to shut. There were too many bags already, so a reorganization was called for. And this was a great solution. Tightly packed and perfectly organized, easy to use and easy to store. You should definitely try it.


10. Tackle box jars → Pills containers

Pills containers


I`ve never thought of tackle boxes this way in my life! But it makes perfect sense. They`re perfect for storing things you have to carry with you, thanks to their size. I put pills in them and so does my wife. They fit in a purse and even a coat pocket. You can also use them for lotions or whatever else you need just a little bit of.

That`s my Reuse – Repurpose – Recycle top 10. I`d love to see your favorites in the comments section below. There are some great ideas out there and it`d be a pity to let them go to waste.

By Alec Deacon

Other useful resources:

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3 Responses to Reuse – Repurpose – Recycle – Container Edition –

  • i like to use the big yogurt containers for plant pots

  • Big (2-2.5 gallon) kitty litter jugs are handy for storing dry foods like rice and beans, although, like plastic buckets they must be protected from rodents, which can chew through. The handles and size make carrying easy and the large mouths make pouring easy. Just rinse out, and dry thoroughly.

  • I use the creamer bottles for some ice melt in the winter here in Iowa in case I go somewhere and its really slick. Just keep it in my car and shake and go. Better than a broken bone. I personally use the pet safe stuff.


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