As an organizing expert committed to living green, I’m always looking for uses (and reuses) of common items around the house—not only because it keeps them out of the trash (and landfills) but because it saves you money.
I figure why buy an organizing solution like a box when most of us already has one at home we can simply re-purpose. So I say shop from home or from a good friend’s house to find something you can use before considering buying new.
Use #1: Hair-Accessory Organizer
It started with a hunt for a scrunchie to tame my frizzed-out hair. Quite simple, I couldn’t find one (except for the neon green one, which I never wear). I decided I needed to organize my hair accessories drawer—stat!
I found the ideal tool—the cardboard tube that’s left when the toilet paper is gone. On first glance it might not look like much but just look at all you can do with these useful leftover tubes…
Jazz it up: Because a cardboard tube is a little boring I jazzed it up by rolling it in some leftover gift-wrap. Then I slid my scrunchies on it and popped it in the vanity drawer. The next time I reach for a scrunchie I'll be able to find something other than the fluorescent green one.
I can find a clever use or re-use for just about anything, in fact my rule is use (almost) everything twice. So what else can Jamie do with a TP tube? Well I'm glad you asked! Here are my four other favorite uses:
Use #2: Protect Pantyhose
I must admit I don’t wear pantyhose all that often, but when I do I prefer ones without snags in them. Keep yours snag free by tucking them in TP tubes. You can even label the tubes so at a glance you can tell navy from black.
Use #3: Store Cooking Tongs
That's right, no more having your tongs spring open in the drawer preventing the drawer from opening until you squeeze your hand in to push them down.
Use #4: Tame Wrapping Paper
You know how once you open a roll of gift-wrap it unravels and you end up having to cut off those crinkled edges. No more wasting time fumbling with a rubber band that never works anyway or wasting money throwing out torn paper. Simply cut the tube long ways and cuff it around the roll of wrapping paper.
Use #5: Corral Cords
If you enjoy spending ten or fifteen minutes undoing the knots in an extension cord or holiday lights then this tip isn’t for you. That’s because TP tubes also keep cords and lights from tangling. Just weave the cord back and forth then slip it in the tube. Whenever I remember I write the length of the cord directly on the tube so I can easily differentiate between the 12' and the 15' extension cord.
And now for the fine print: As useful as cardboard tubes from the center of toilet paper rolls are, this is not a license to hoard each and every tube you get! I promise you’ll finish more rolls and get more tubes.
Until next time, have a clutter-free week!
Jamie Novak, The World’s Most Relatable Organizer, is author of "Stop Throwing Money Away: Turn Clutter to Cash, Trash to Treasure--And Save the Planet While You're at It." Please visit her website at JamieNovak.com.