Monday, April 22, 2013

30 Happy Earth Organizing Ideas

Happy Earth Day IHeart readers!

I hope you all are having a great day and enjoying this fabulous place we call home.  Every year I try to use this day to make at least one change within our home, that brings us a step closer to being more earth friendly.  In the past we have made the switch to green grocery bags, reusable water bottles, green cleaners and now even making some of our own cleaners... We have also challenged the kids to be little patrol officers for electricity, water and recycling.  However, the ways we can still improve are endless, and when it comes to storage and organizing, the biggest way to reduce the storage footprint is to use things you already have, or even up-cycle items that may have one belonged to someone else.  When purging and shedding the waste, which is such a huge part of organizing, look for ways to recycle, donate, sell and offer items for free on Craigslist, vs. throwing items away. 

In honor of the special day, I thought it would be fun to do a roundup of my favorite earth friendly storage and organizing ideas that have caught my eye. 


Let's dive right in shall we?

Food containers are first and foremost my favorite free storage solution.  The packaging for foods does the job for storing the items we eat, so why can't it function for storing all sorts of other items around the home?  So instead of throwing it away or sending it off in the recycling truck, I like to try and recylce it within my own home whenever I can.

We have all seen a recovered soup can a dozen times for office and art supplies, but in my opinion, it never gets old.

{source}

But a new use for soup cans is to combine them together to create a portable picnic caddy!  So darling!

{source}

Sometimes food storage containers are so stinkin' cute, you don't even need to recover them or paint them.  Just add some magnets to the backs and instant organizers on your fridge!

{source}

Eggs seem to be another food staple.  Have you ever taken a closer look at those cartons they come in?  Multiple little pockets just waiting to organize itty bitties.  I really love the idea of converting them into a sewing supply organizer!

{source}

I personally have found that cereal boxes are the perfect solution to messy drawers!

{source}

Food storage rocks because you have to purchase the food anyway, so why not be really greedy and get some great storage out of it too?

But there are many other items out there that are just floating around waiting to be put to use.  Check with your local liquor store, my guess is they have wine crates coming out of their ears.  And wine crates make really awesome storage!

{source}

 Apparently, using them to store magazines is really all the rage!  And rightfully so!

{source}

Berry crates work too!  Check out this darling toy storage, some pretty casters and it's even easily portable!

{source}

Are you addicted to shoes like I am?  Then I am guessing you have a few shoe boxes floating around.  And those boxes are super sturdy, making them victims to being recovered in all sorts of fun and pretty ways!

{source}

{source}

Bigger boxes work great too!  We recovered a few in fabric a few years ago and they are still ranked as one of my most favorite storage items ever.

{source}

Looking to recycle some scrap paper?  There are all sorts of folding tutorials around the blogosphere, and you could have yourself some DIY desk organizers!

{source}

You could also use leftover paper to create pretty tags and labels.  Thin cardboard works great too!

{source}

Anytime you can build something from scratch vs. purchasing something that is mass produced, is always a huge win for endless reasons.  Especially if you can use scrap or reclaimed wood.  Check out Ana White's incredible site for all sorts of incredible DIY storage furniture.

{source}
But maybe you aren't all that handy with a hammer and tape measure {no worries, I would be lost without my hubby in this department}, that doesn't mean you still can't be green about your furniture.  In fact, scouring Craigslist and thrift stores for special items and giving them new life is a great way to reuse treasures that already exist vs. purchasing new.

{source}

At the end of the day, you may be surprised how many items you already have within your own home, or that can be found at garage sales and thrift stores, that make really great organizers.  A little creative thinking, and even muffin tins can look pretty!

{source}

Now it's time for you to share some more ideas with me and the rest of the readers.  Tell me your favorite organizer or storage items that you have DIY'd, re-purposed or given new life?  Maybe a Craigslist find that rocked your world?  How about an item you found in your home that almost made it's way to the curb, but now serves as a happy functional piece? 

Happy Earth Day and....

30 comments:

  1. Great post and wonderful ideas. I am an eco- conscious person and I actually blogged about it the other day. I also find endless creativity in re-purposing things. It's fun to engage kids as well-they are so inventive.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such wonderful ideas! I love the fabric covered boxes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love repurposing all kinds of items into upcycled organizing tools. My current favorite is upcycled cocoa cans http://organized31.blogspot.com/2013/04/repurposed-cocoa-cans.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love all of the creative ways to recycle food containers! We are about to build a laptop desk for our living room with a pallet board top!

    ReplyDelete
  5. All great ideas! I love using what I have and thanks to blogging, I've gotten all the more creative thanks to all the inspiration out there.
    -Morgan of Style Oyster

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh what a great post. Jen, you have such great ideas and projects around your own home, and yet you are still so generous about scouring the internet looking for more cool ideas and photos to share with your readers too! Thank you! So inspiring!
    ~Anita Y. in Southern California

    ReplyDelete
  7. My kids loooooove Nutella and we go through these so fast. Everytime I throw one of these big plastic jars out I can't help thinking I could do something with them.....any ideas? Oh, and love the liquor store idea! Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a fun roundup! I love a great upcycle, and the ones you shared are not only practical, but so so beautiful, too! I'd have to say my favorite upcycling project was reorganizing the area under my bathroom sink using only stuff I had on hand--extra wrapping paper, old envelope boxes, and I even hacked a diaper box to create some extra storage. You really can use the most unexpected things! Thanks for another great post, Jen! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

    ~Abby =)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi there. I used spray glue and sturdy fabric and recovered postage boxes. I appliqued our initials on a box each in different fabric, and they have become our keep sake boxes. I love them, they all match (except the intials), are all the same size and fit under our beds. I love them! Eliza, Sydney Australia

    ReplyDelete
  10. All such great ideas! I agree the covered soup cans never get old for me either! Love them everytime!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm using my dad's old tool box as a crafting caddy. It holds all my paintbrushes and other small crafting tools. I just repainted it with some paint left over from other projects.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm currently using cans, eggshells, and toilet paper rolls as seed starters. The eggshells and paper rolls can be planted right into the garden. The cans are just whimsical. I'll be heading to the liquor store for free crates!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love the wine crates. They look great, and have so many potential uses. I already have at least five different uses for them in mind just from perusing this post. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great ideas. I'll have to try some of them.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Who can forget the ever-versatile mason jar? We use one to collect loose change one on our dresser, another for homemade hot cocoa mix, a few as vases for fresh flowers, a few for single servings of salads and parfaits in the fridge, and for buttons and scissors in my sewing area. They are fabulous things, which is great because they pile up around here pretty fast!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Fantastic post, Jen! So many lovely ideas. I have not been great about re-using food containers, but this is great inspiration to get back on the wagon. DIY-ing and repurposing is my favorite way to organize, though. I just DIY-ed an old vintage trunk and re-purposed it into fantastic gift wrap storage. Here's the post if you want to check it out: http://deewilcox.com/2013/04/diy-how-to-build-giftwrap-storage-out-of-a-vintage-trunk/

    ReplyDelete
  17. Excellent round-up for earth day- nicely done.

    I have to add that I really love the toilet paper/paper towel roll cord storage that you introduced to us. I love how well it wrangled bathroom cords- hair dryer, electric razor and flat iron.

    And I second the mason jar storage- I have two narrow shelves I built for my kitchen to accommodate them all. Some custom chalkboard labels and I love how they look. Cocoa, cornstarch, peppercorns, salt, dry beans, barley, chocolate chips, etc never looked so good.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Another idea I love to use is similar to the soup can idea but I think has some extra advantages: Tea tins!! They can be so, so pretty covered in paper just like the soup cans, but they also come in different shapes and sizes and have a pretty tin lid if you need it. Those tall, slender Republic of Tea tins are gorgeous (and the lid always fits so well), as well as Tazo Tea from Starbucks which are large and rectangular. But many other teas come in a great re-usable container.
    ~Anita Y. in southern California

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love your round-up of items Jen.

    I have recycled old shoe boxes and wrapped them with wrapping paper and then used them in cabinets to organize.

    I recently was making over our home office and I was about to get rid of a small 3 shelf cabinet with door that held an overflow of things from the bathroom. Instead of throwing it out, we put it in our laundry room and now it holds are gardening/painting shoes. The great part is that the shoes are hidden now, but the better part was I was able to reuse the piece of furniture. :) Happy Earth Day Jen!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love the thought of reusing egg cartons but do you (or any of your followers) have suggestions for ensuring they are clean and safe to use.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Such great ideas for ways to reuse food containers! I use water bottle lids (from disposable plastic water bottles) to keep pairs of earrings together within my jewelry cabinet (which is narrow, with a hinged mirror-front and has four 3-inch "shelves"). They used to get into a jumbled mess, but now the pairs stay together, and having spaces for a set number of earring pairs caused me to purge the earrings I didn't really "need" anymore. Simple!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Love the egg crate and muffin tin ideas! Really nice post full of FUN and CUTE ideas.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Is not just about organizing, but you really have a good senses of art here :D.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you for featuring my Soup Can Caddy! That little gem got me the cover of GreenCraft Magazine's Spring issue :) Cheers!
    Shelley from Sow and Dipity

    ReplyDelete
  25. THANK YOU!!! I look at all these organising blogs etc and so many people seem to just buy new plastic boxes to store their stuff in and then throw their plastic packaging away. A good tip is to evaluate every single item you put in the rubbish and think a) can I reuse this in any way in my home? b) if I can't use it do I know who else can? - think schools, animal shelters, op shops etc c) if there is no way to reuse it, can I recycle it?

    More posts about how to organise sustainably would be great!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Love this post! I am a huge fan of repurpose organizing! Repurposing items to help organize your home not only helps your pocketbook but also the earth. Wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Jen, I know you have boys but another great use of muffin pans for little girls is pony tail organizer.

    I have two girls ages 1 and 3 and am constantly using different pony tails in the kids hair.

    We have real tiny skinny ones (that the kids cant rip out as easy), we have small ones full of color, special ones with disney princess buttons ontop, barrettes, bows, etc.

    All kinds of glorious beauty.

    We dont have the luxury of having a drawer in our bathroom so this proves to be a pretty storage method, hidden in the kids footstool.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Such great ideas!! I love repurposing items...especially for organizing! Loved your tips for traveling with kids...those bags are basically amazing!!! I'm lucky to have a box of tissues and bottle of Purell in the car. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Who knew recycling could be so pretty?! I love loved this post (love them all)!

    ReplyDelete
  30. You can remove the labels from large yogurt containers with fingernail polish remover. I use the empty clean containers for Christmas cookie giveaways.

    ReplyDelete

IHeart you taking a moment to comment! Although I absolutely appreciate, consider and read each and every comment, I will remove any comment that I believe to be inappropriate, malicious or spam like. This blog is my happy place, let's keep the drama at bay!

Don't see your comment? All comments are moderated and may take a moment to appear.

Thanks again my lovely friends! XO!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...