1. Pot scrubbers–those plastic mesh bags you buy onions and apples in? Wad them up or tie them up with fishing line and you’ve got a nonabrasive scratchy plastic pot scrubber (or pan scrubber or casserole dish scrubber).
2. Use a tube from an empty roll of toilet paper as a seed starter–fold down on end, fill with soil and plant your seedlings. When it’s time to move your plant outdoors, you can leave it in the biodegradable cardboard tube, unfold the folded end and plant the entire business directly into the ground.
3. Repurpose old wire hangers as picture or wreath hangers by bending them into the appropriate shapes. You can cut one end of an old wire hanger and use it to organize spools of gift wrap or craft ribbons, too.
4. Old tights or nylons can be used to tie tall plants to stakes in your garden. For convenient clean up, stick a sliver of soap in the toe and tie to an outdoor faucet–great for scrubbing down after doing yard work or for taking along on a camping trip. Old tights or socks stuffed with coffee grounds make an excellent deodorizer for cars, coolers, suitcases or freezers.
5. Never buy Ziplock Takeaways or Rubbermaid storage again. A stash of clean empty food containers (with lids!) make great “to-go” cartons for leftover food, craft supply organizers, office supply organizers or pots for plant swaps. Enviro Girl uses empty yogurt containers to bring gift meals to new moms/homeowners (salads, granola, cookies, any cold dish) alleviating any need to return her dishes. She uses smaller containers (sour cream or cottage cheese) to store her sons’ mouth guards in their gear bags.
6. Empty liter bottles or milk cartons make great “greenhouses” in the garden. Cut off the bottom and settle over young seedlings–leave them until the plants outgrow the space. The plastic will retain heat and protect plants from late-season frosts while keeping the soil moist for growing roots.
7. Lint is incredibly flammable. If you’re not composting it, you can wrap it around a toilet paper roll and use it as a fire starter in your fireplace or fire pit.
8. Those tall bags wrapping your drycleaning? Don’t throw them away! Tie off one end and you’ve got a giant trash bag.