Real Simple’s 102 Uses for Old Things


Real Simple recently published the article “Organizing New Uses for Old Things: Everyday products that help conquer clutter”. They feature 102 ordinary household items and ideas to use them in a new way.

Personally, I like the idea of using a cookie sheet as a memo board. How cute for your kitchen! You could also put your recipe up there with a magnet so it’s visible while you cook yet out of harm’s (spills and splatters) way.

And of course they posted the ever-useful zippered bed-linen bag for art supply storage. I use these all the time! For yarn, craft supplies, paints, office supplies, or a myriad of other things!

They wrote about using binder clips for linen storage. I like to use binder clips to hold shut a bag of granola, cereal, or snacks.

RS suggests using a coat rack as a jewelry holder. I actually did this same thing with a beautiful bird coat hook that I found at Loopy Mango in Soho NYC earlier this year. It keeps all of the chunky or long necklaces that don’t fit in my jewelry box not only handy, but beautifully accessorizing my room.

I love this idea of using earrings as tacks on your memo board. It is true that sometimes you just lose an earring and the one you have left is too pretty to toss. I also love that they posted a card for Purl Soho in the photo of their sample board. They have some beautiful yarn there! I got a great Japanese yarn recently – very nautical. Perhaps it will make an appearance on this blog once I decide what to do with it.

Using file folder stickers to ID cords is a great idea. I generally use masking tape labeled with colored markers.

RS suggests to use paper plates as a separator to protect your china. I have used paper towels in the past, but I like this paper plate idea better – they would last longer!

Using a photo album to store business cards is somewhat similar to my method. I actually have an old binder (on the list: decoupage that binder!) full of sheet protectors with business card-sized slots. There are also a few protectors with photo-sized slots for those stubborn cards that are larger or shaped differently than the average card. They are separated out with dividers: business contacts, friends, local businesses, craft stores (there are a lot in NY to keep track of!) – I make notes on the cards or add a post-it with comments about my experiences, how I know the people/places, what products they have that I like best, etc.

I also like the idea of using a shower caddy to store laundry supplies. This is especially great if you lack shelf storage. (Although, if you use large size laundry detergent bottles, it might be difficult finding a shower caddy to fit one.)

As many great ideas were posted, there were a few that I definitely don’t subscribe to. Examples: using a pasta maker as a paper shredder (way to ruin your blades!), using an altoids tin as a tissue holder (even after you wash it, you will still have that super-strong mint or cinnamon flavor infiltrating your tissues), or storing magazines in a wine rack (sure, if you don’t mind ruining those expensive glossies).

What I’m listening to as I write this post: iTunes shuffle: The Alternate Routes “Love the Way”, Carla Bruni “Quelqu’un M’a Dit”, Van Morrison “And It Stoned Me”, Florence and the Machine “Drumming Song”, Shakira “En Tus Pupilas”, Catherine Wheel “Sparks Are Gonna Fly”, Charles Aznavour “You Are The One For Me (Formidable)”


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