New Uses for Old Things

8 Dec

Thank YOU Real Simple magazine, for sooo much inspiration!

Each month when I would purchase (er… steal my mom’s) Real Simple magazine, I would go right to the “New Uses for Old Things” section.  It’s amazing.  It’s totally a “der, why didn’t I think of that” moment over and over again, and I couldn’t love it more!

Well to my pleasant surprise, one day while perusing Target for much needed household items [a.k.a. cute shirt for an upcoming dinner], I came across an ENTIRE magazine dedicated to the topic.  I just had to have it. ($18.45 and worth every penny)

Using something I already have in my house  – whether to decorate, redecorate, organize, or just make life a little easier – gives me hands down, the MOST satisfaction.

Here are my top 10 New Uses for Old things from Real Simple’s extensive collection (in no particular order).  I think the pictures are pretty self explanatory, but feel free to email me if you need more info than the captions I provided!

Foil-covered doorknob protected against paint Pencil eraser used to secure earring
10. Sloppy painter?  Tin foil to the rescue!
9. Lose an earring back at work?  Not a prob.

Corn on the cob upright in an angel food cake pan Picture frame used as a key hanger
8. Bundt pan to collect those kernels for cookin.
7. Frame and funky hooks for a DIY key rack!

6. Fingers getting a little too close to that nail you’re about to hammer? Try this!
5. Good ole’ newspaper wrapping paper.

Zippered plastic bag used to crush graham crackers
4, Homemade chicken breading w/o the mess.
3. Oh what to do with all those annoying shopping bags… I know – quick pull tissue box holder!

Lighting candle
2. Tough-to-get-to wick?  Use spagetti!
1.  My adorably pregnant friend Aly actually showed me this last one before I saw it in Real Simple!  And for those who aren’t preggers, there is NO SHAME in using this idea for those jeans that just won’t button anymore, but are waaaay too expensive to give away just yet.  I hear ya ladies.

A shout out to pillowcases.  I use both of these ideas and they have done wonders.

Ceiling fan and pillowcase

Ceiling fan duster.  One of the few advantages of being super short, my fiance is stuck with this task 🙂  This keeps all that collected dust from flying into your (or the sucker who’s doing it’s) face.

Good Thing: 3 Organizing Tips for the Linen Closet

Sheet set organizer.  Store the set in the matching pillowcase!  Easy to keep track of the entire set… and well… it looks so pretty.

So Real Simple Magazine isn’t the only one coming up with those “Ah Ha” moments…


Bathroom towel racks for lid holders

Another lid holder “why didn’t I think of that??” idea.

Chrome Lid Rack Organizer

Hello… it’s a file organizer!

Cork table card holders.
One of the advantages of drinking way too much wine.

{Think you can top one of these ideas?  PROVE IT by sending it over!}

Thanks Liz S. for sharing this super easy way to keep track of all those hair elastics!


3 Responses to “New Uses for Old Things”

  1. Liz December 8, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    I love this Jenny!
    The pencil eraser has saved me from losing earrings time and time again!

    My additions:
    Fabric softener (in dryer sheet form) works well as a quick insect repellent by throwing a sheet or two in your pocket, rubbing it on your skin, hair, sleeping bag etc!

    Polident denture cleaner works wonders on cleaning porcelain sinks and toilets. Two tablets, fill with water and let it sit overnight – it will dissolve any stains and water rings!

    Use an old or out of style bracelet with a spring clasp closure to store those pesky hair elastics that otherwise end up everywhere!

    Shoes too tight? Place them in the freezer with a Ziploc bag of water wedged between the area that’s snug and once the water turns to ice it stretches the shoes!

    • jschweon December 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

      A-MA-ZING! Thanks Liz! I had heard of that ziplock freezer bag idea, but had never tried it. Genius! THANKS!! 🙂


  1. Giveaway from Hat Attack! « HFoP - March 12, 2012

    […] nothing I love more than decorating with stuff I already have (see New Uses for Old Things & Upcycling) and this decorating trend has totally stolen my […]

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