Creative Uses for 5 Household Items

We love DIY projects, but they can sometimes be time-consuming and expensive!  This week, we’re keeping it light and easy with tips from Real Simple magazine on new uses for 5 kitchen and bathroom staples.

1.  Binder Clips.  We all have binder clips in our desk for clipping together bills, coupons, cards, etc.  But as we gradually go more and more paperless, these clips pile up unused.  Give them new life with these cool uses:



  • Sponge stand. Keep your sponge upright a few inches away from the sink to dry and air out.
  • Food saver.  Seal bags of frozen vegetables with binder clips for a green (& free!) alternative to Ziploc bags.
  • Garbage-bag stabilizer.  Stop trash bag slippage by securing them to the can with a few clips.

2. Clear Nail Polish.  If you’re like us, you have several partial bottles of polish around the house.  Put them to use before they dry out with these handy tricks:


  • Secure buttons & beads.  A dot of clear polish at the center of a button or bead is an invisible way to reinforce the stitching.
  • Prevent rust stains.  A layer of nail polish will ward off bathroom rust stains caused by shaving cream bottles, drain stoppers, etc.
  • Seal an envelope.  Keep a bottle at your desk and you’ll never have to lick the gluey seal again.
  • Preserve jewelry.  Polish can help costume jewelry keep its color & prevent green stains on your finger!

3. Rubber Bands.  Elastics are for more than just tying loose items together.  Here are some ways to use up your rubber band bag:


  • Open jars with ease.  Wrap a thick rubber band around a tight lid to give yourself a better grip.
  • Bring order to your dishwasher.  Tether stemware and other fragile or loose items to the rack to keep them secure for a better clean.
  • Wrap a gift.  Use colored bands to secure wrapping paper and tissue instead of buying ribbons.

4. Toothpicks.  Whether you use them for your teeth or food prep, chances are there are boxes of toothpicks around your house.  Let them help organize your home with these new uses:


  • Find the end of the roll.  Wrap the end of a roll of tape around a toothpick so it’s easy to find it next time.
  • Glue small objects perfectly.  Tired of globs of glue getting in the way of your DIY projects?  Use a toothpick tip to spread the right amount.
  • Reach small spaces. Use the tip to press the “reset” button on your phone, camera or other electronic device.
5.  Post-Its.  Do so much more than write yourself a note:
  • Label containers.  Cut off the sticky part and use to label travel containers, food jars, and more.
  • Organize your files.  Use sticky notes to easily locate bills, insurance info, and other important papers without placing them all into folders.
  • Clean a keyboard.  The sticky side will catch dust and other dirt between your keyboard or phone keys.
We hope these tips & tricks help you add organization to your home without spending a dime!  For more innovative uses for household items, see Real Simple’s Home articles.

-The Savvy Staff

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