29 Aug

Staples is one of my favorite stores. I know, writer—office supply store. Who’s surprised? I was looking at all the incarnations of office supplies and it brought to mind the things you can do with them that aren’t related to back-to-school.

Here are some things I came up with.

Plastic cases for three X five cards. Sticking either Post-it notes or three X five cards in them and clip a pen to the top. Stick it in the car or purse and the notes stay clean and unmolested, so you’re always have note-making material. I gave my husband one and he uses it all the time.

Pencil cases—the short skinny kind. You can put all sorts of things in them that aren’t pencils. I have fingernail files and other long manicure items in one. Makeup brushes fit in nicely. Make-up items like mascara, lipstick, chap-stick, or anything in a tube for your purse. They work great for a first aid kit.

Pencil cases—the long skinny kind. These are essential for travel. Great for curling irons, hair brushes, anything long and skinny you don’t want mingling with the rest of the stuff in your suitcase.

Pencil cases—the square kind. Everything. No really. I have sewing stuff in a ton of them. You can label the end and everything is right at hand. They’re great for seeds and plant labels. If you have a hobby that involves small items they’re essential. Makeup when you travel doesn’t get crushed. Those pretty soft carriers are…pretty, but they don’t have hard sides to protect lotions and tubes.

Pencil cases that fit in a three-ring notebook. These are great for putting editing supplies in and sticking them in your purse or backpack. That way you always have the supplies you need to edit while you wait for someone. They can double as a first aid kit or to hold coupons.

Wire locker dividers. The ones shaped like an upside down flat-bottomed, “U”. I have a trash can on top and a recycle/shred can underneath. They’re fairly sturdy, but without the sides of a locker to support them I wouldn’t put anything like a printer on one. (Note: at the kitchen store, they have plate platforms that are sturdy enough for a printer. I have my laptop on one.)

Back in the commercial, area they have display supplies. I have a stand that has two face-outs on it. On the top I have my calendar. It holds it open to the week and I can see it when I sit down. Very handy when I remember to turn the page to the correct week. On the bottom face-out, I have Post-its. I can put a notebook or other reference in it if I need to.

What do you use for a different purpose than it was intended for?


Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Idaho


14 responses to “Repurposing

  1. Stephanie Berget

    August 29, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    You’ve given me some great ideas. Thanks for the tips. I use a parmesan cheese bottle to hold carpet deodorizer I make my self.

    • Peggy Staggs

      August 30, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      Kitchen and cleaning stuff is a whole blog all by its self.

  2. Corina Mallory

    August 29, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    I’m a huge fan of mason jars and I use them to organize everything, all over my house. In the kitchen they store the supplies I buy in bulk: baking soda, pectin, corn starch, rice, walnuts etc. But outside of the kitchen I’ve got little jam jars to sort my sewing supplies: one for bobbins with different colored thread, one for buttons, one to contain the scraps of fabric and thread that otherwise end up everywhere in the midst of a project. I use them as pen and scissor holders on my desk and as vases when the flowers are blooming in my garden. I use a large jar to make sun tea on-the-go. And I’ve always got spares to use in case I get the sudden urge to make brandied peaches or mango jam.

    • Peggy Staggs

      August 30, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      What great ideas. I have to use unbreakable containers. I’m clumsy.

  3. Janis McCurry

    August 29, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    I use pencil cases for makeup brushes and those plastic silverware dividers for my bathroom drawers to separate items.

    • Peggy Staggs

      August 30, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      I love pencil cases. I even sometimes use them for pencils.

  4. MK Hutchins (@mkhutchins)

    August 29, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Fun post! Last year I got a little plastic-mesh bin (I think meant for lockers?). It used to organize my freezer; now it holds bath toys.

    • Peggy Staggs

      August 30, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      This time of year several of the big chains have plastic bins on sale. The logical part of my brain tells me I couldn’t possibly need any more. The creative aka illogical side likes the pretty bright colors and takes several home every time it catches the logic side napping.

  5. Judith Keim

    August 29, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Peggy, I love your ideas! It’s given me the urge to go through my drawers and see what I can do to organize them better! Thanks!

    • Peggy Staggs

      August 30, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      Warning! Organizing can become a obsession.

  6. Jennifer

    August 29, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    You can use empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls to store extra cords. Thanks for the great tips! I love all things related to getting organized.

    • Peggy Staggs

      August 30, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Great idea. I can write on the tube what the cord goes to. No more mystery cords. Yeah!

      • lynn mapp

        September 3, 2013 at 8:34 AM

        Peggy, I’m not nearly as creative as you are. Thank you for the tips!


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