Eco-friendly storage in the home by reuse and repurposing

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Eco-friendly storage in the home - shoesMost of us, I am sure, are always trying to find ways to live in a bit more environmentally friendly fashion. But looking after the environment does not mean forgetting to look after the pennies as well, though all too many in the lower income bracket, especially, think that in order to go and be “green” they need to have the money to buy all those “green” products. Well, you don't have to and going “green” should save you money and not cost you money.

From buying recycled kitchen paper to re-using products in other areas of the home once they are finished with there are lots of ways to help the environment wherever you can, and increasingly this can also mean more money in your back pocket as well. But do you really have to buy kitchen paper, or kitchen roll, or whatever this stuff may be called? It it is spillage that needs mopping up then some toilet paper will do almost as well if not as well and for many other wiping tasks I suggest we use cloths rather than paper in the first place.

When it comes to creating some environmentally friendly storage in the home, options are everywhere. It doesn’t matter whether you need extra space in the bathroom, or you need a way to organize pan lids in the kitchen, there are lots of clever and unique ways to reuse everyday household items you already have, and items of “waste”, to create fantastic new storage solutions. And this is nothing new; our ancestors did this with all manner of things that otherwise would have become “waste”. Anything that could be used for storing things in one way or shape was reused; shoe-boxes, glass jars, tins of various kinds, wooden crates and boxes, cardboard boxes, etc.


It is somewhat important to create a good impression when someone enters your home, but with muddy shoes, numerous jackets, school bags and more, the entrance hallway is often the hardest area of the house to keep tidy, and I am sure most would agree.

Use this brilliant idea to create some extra storage in your entrance hallway, simply by painting some crates and hanging them up to use as shoe or bag storage.

Or why not use a cardboard wine box as a shoe rack? Keeps mud from carpets and saves the environment at the same time. Wooden fruit crates or the plastic ones that greengrocers tend to have to dispose off and which they gladly let you have also would be great candidates here.


Re-use your old wet wipe containers as somewhere to store plastic supermarket bags. These tubes can hold a surprisingly large amount of bags, and this keeps them dry and in one place, saving space. But as they now tend to cost you at five pence each there may not be so many that you need to store in the first place.

The question of how to store pan lids is a constant source of frustration. But by fixing an old magazine rack to the inside of a cupboard, lids can be securely stored by using space not previously used.

Storage jars: There is no need to go and buy “recycled glass” storage jars. Just use those that you get from produce such as pickles or what-have-you and use those instead, you could decorate them, use a label maker to make labels for them to tell you what they are for or, simply, leave them as they are.


Need a way to organize your arsenal of gardening tools? Nail off-cuts of piping to the inside of your shed or garage to hold rakes, brooms and other gardening tools to keep them in one place and easy to access. Often cut off sections of various kinds of plastic pipes can be found and had for free in the dumpsters at building sites or such. They can be useful for so many things.

Another alternative is to employ pallets for garden tool storage and pictures as to the how-to of this can be found in a variety of places on the Internet

Drawers (no, not the underwear)

Well the drawer for those you can also organize by way of reuse and repurpose but that is as general as for other drawer. Many of have all manner of things rattle – often literally – around our drawers, whether in the kitchen, our desks, or elsewhere, and often trying to find something means going through the entire contents of those drawers.

Dependent on the items that are in the individual drawers there are many solutions using and reusing things that are in the household already or that are destined, if no reuse is found, for the trash can or the recycling bin.

Magazine storage: Cardboard wine boxes (the ones that hold six ordinary wine bottles) can be turned into the same kind of storage files that you pay around $5 each for in the stores with just a craft knife or strong pair of scissors, a ruler and a pencil and a little measuring on a manufactured filing box. Not only can we save money doing that, we can also keep waste out of the landfill.

And the list could go on, and on, and on, but as so much inspiration can be found on the worldwide web elsewhere I will not try and write a book here on this subject though one very well could.

© 2015