Everyone loves a good springtime purge — cleaning out the closet and clearing the mind in one fell swoop. But getting organized doesn’t have to mean spending money on more stuff. Here are a few of our favorite storage solutions that repurpose, reuse, and upcycle common household items you probably already have in your home.

Milk Crate Storage Ottoman

So apparently milk crate furniture is a thing (seriously, there are entire blogs devoted to this topic), so while we can’t take credit for this idea, we can say that we love it. You know that plastic milk crate gathering cobwebs in the garage? Dust it off, because it’s about to become a super cute storage ottoman with a padded top. All you need are a few coils of sisal rope, a staple gun, a glue gun, a piece of scrap wood, a bit of foam cushion, and some fabric. By winding and gluing the rope around the outside of the milk crate you can completely disguise the plastic skeleton of your milk crate. Add a removable cushioned top upholstered with the fabric of your choice (think about using an old pillowcase you love, or even a t-shirt) and you’ve got a totally cute, one-of-a-kind and practical storage ottoman.

Tin Can Desk Organizer

Tin cans are having their own mason jar-like renaissance. Carefully clean 5 or 6 empty tin cans inside and out (try for an assortment of heights and widths to make for visual appeal), making sure to remove every last bit of label. Glue the cans down to a wood board and then get out the spray paint (we like shiny gold but do whatever feels right) and give the cans and the wood board an even coat. Voila!  Now you have a new-to-you, beautiful and inexpensive desktop organizer.

Garment Bag Wrapping Paper Storage

Tired of trying to figure out where to store your tall rolls of wrapping paper? We have 2 words for you: garment bags! A hanging, zippered garment bag is just the thing for neatly storing long rolls of wrapping paper. Just hang it up in the closet for perfect vertical wrapping paper storage. And extra points for using a clear plastic garment bag that lets you easily see exactly what you’re storing.

Toilet Paper Roll Cord Organizers

Little is worse than opening a drawer full of tangled cords. So put your empty toilet paper rolls to work for you — they make excellent storage containers for extra extension cords. Just coil cords neatly around your hand and then slide them inside the toilet paper roll for instantly neater desk drawer storage. Need an art activity for the kids? Have them paint or decorate the cardboard rolls before you use them.

Tissue Box Plastic Bag Dispenser

Tired of feeling around under the sink for a plastic bag? Next time you have an empty tissue box, hang on to it. It’ll make an excellent dispenser — just pack it to the brim with plastic bags. 

Spring is the perfect time to get organized. It’s also a good time to make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy has you covered.

DIY hacks | Home and garden


about Rebecca

Rebecca is a freelance copywriter and editor living in the SF Bay Area with her husband and two kids. She enjoys productively channeling her anxiety into safety-minded articles for home and garden, running with her robot trainer, and advocating on behalf of the Oxford comma.