a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Quickly Capture Kitchen Clutter . . . In Stuff You Usually Throw Out

I understand the trendy term is "repurposing".

It suits me better to simply call it what it is --- finding practical and handy uses for things you normally discard.  Or, to use another previously trendy term  "thinking outside the box" . . . or tube or jug or dish drainer.

I like visuals so I planned a cute arrangement of what I am about to suggest but, alas, my day was crazy, Dave is not home to take the photo and get it to the blog, and we are in the middle of a strong electrical storm and I should turn off the computer so I am forging ahead---knowing you can easily visualize what I describe.

I know there are many commercial or cute/crafty clutter "capture-ers" available but the following serve their purpose at no cost or effort. You can fancy them up if you are so inclined.

I stuff stuff in the stuff I usually throw away!

Tissue Boxes:  My kitchen drawers are quite small, but three tissue boxes fit perfectly ---- two are placed to fit "long-ways" and the third fits "cross-ways".  Into one goes the empty bread or roll sacks or similar to reuse.  The second holds the quart zip lock bags I wash and reuse and...reuse.  The third contains my collection of bowl covers --- the handy (and retro) multi-sized elastic-edged "shower caps" of the kitchen.

Toilet Paper Tubes: Very handy for corralling appliance cords. Writing the appliance name on the tube saves some thinking. You can cover them with wrapping paper or scrapbook paper if you want pretty.  Imagine extending this concept to empty paper towel or wrapping paper rolls!

Gallon Milk Jug: Simply cut a round hole out of one side of the jug (they always seem to have an indented circle just begging to be your guide) and stuff it full of your plastic grocery bags.  Each jug will hold about 32!!  They will stand in a cupboard or hang from a hook. I keep a few bag-stuffed jugs on hand in case of some kind of emergency. In such a time there will probably be more uses for them than we can imagine right now. Before storing them I simply cover the hole with a piece of heavy paper or plastic and tape it. 

Dish Drainers:  Okay, this one may cost a few cents at a garage sale or thrift store if you don't have one laying around. Over the years I have used several, in a variety of sizes, in several different ways --- all of them perfect for the task at hand.

  • Back in the days before plastic grocery bags, folded brown paper grocery sacks stayed neatly and obediently upright between the spacers.
  • As a handy desk "file."  The spacers neatly hold file folders upright while the file folders neatly hold bills, receipts, correspondence, and whatever else seems to quickly and sometimes mysteriously pile up. I even have a file folder labeled "things to file." (which sometimes bulges!). Envelopes and notepads and more also fit well and the silverware cup is great for pens, pencils, scissors, etc.  If I decide to pay bills at the kitchen table it is handy to pick up and move from the office to the table. 
  • I have used dish drainers to file sewing patterns; hold my file folders of recipes, and even folders on information I am using as I work on my family history/genealogy.  
  • If I had been inclined to share, I am sure our children could have found good use for one in their rooms at their desks!
If you read my blog regularly you may find some of my ideas crazy. I have no problem with that, especially if you also find some of them helpful.  

Fortunately and thankfully, I have always taken "broke" as a challenge not a hardship. I find great satisfaction in making-do or copy-catting something---even if/when I could afford to buy it commercially.  I find even greater satisfaction in being able to share these things with all of you.

Here's to Happy Creative Frugality--Self Reliance--Ingenuity-- or just plain old Cheapskate-ness! Whatever it takes!

Have a great day.

        I am Simply, Gail

No comments: