Reader Hack: Re-use Boxes

kleenexI used Kleenex lavishly to keep after my kids messes and saved the empty boxes. I cut open the top leaving a half inch all around and then stapled the ends for added strength. I made (or had my older kids make) large labels for the box ends. These fit nicely on most bookcases and have made wonderful free organizers.

I used them for sewing notions, household items such as batteries, tape, glue, string, hair accessories, dog "things", tools, workroom items, such as sandpaper or paintbrushes, also for craft items and kids supplies such as pens, pencils , crayons, etc. the list is endless. With very large labels on the ends and large bold print with a big felt tip pen, they are so easy to read. Taller boxes or two boxes were occasionally needed for large items or collections. Those that were used constantly needed occasional replacement. I could fill a 3 ft by 6 ft tall bookcase with these boxes in each room (almost) everyone knew where to go to find things and cleaning up was easy for kids as well as adults.

When I had a cluttered mess to deal with I would collect boxes with large white labels taped on, and pocket a good felt tip pen and grab a small kiddy chair. Then I would sit in front of the mess, grab the closest item and make a label for that category and file it in the box. This went on till the mess no longer existed. I would invariably need a box or container for rubbish, for items to be returned to another room, and maybe for items to donate.

A key factor in the success is labels almost as big as the box and huge but neat block printing.

Contributed by Linda Thomson

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