Empty Boxes

I store craft parts and things that need to be sorted in those nice heavy boxes with flaps that close tightly, Donna

I made a split level doll house using a cardboard box.  It had three rooms, a door, several windows and a chimney.  The back side was left open so my daughter could play with her dolls inside it.  I let her paint it and she then made furniture using wooden sticks.  Rebecca B.

Whenever I finish a box of laundry detergent, I throw it in the cabinet over my washer. When I have several, I make "sorters" I have used these both standing up as a series of boxes one atop the other or side to side to act as filing boxes or toy boxes (great for the little ones with their legos and plastic toys as they can use them to put their OWN things away).  Usually after I accumulate three or more of the same size, I cut off the lids, tape them tightly together with packing tape (leftover from our move two years ago and still going) and then cover them with wallpaper, Sunday comics, fabric or anything that is handy. The smaller ones are great for sewing patters, the larger for a temporary night stand (with a single large one next to it, lid intact, covered neatly in the same garage sale wallpaper, as a trash can) They are sturdy, especially when you have three or more. I still have a few from over two years ago when I first started making them. If you had good sturdy boxes, you could even spray paint then and use them more decoratively. Sarah L

I use empty cardboard flats to start flower seeds in the garden.  Flats are found in the soda pop section and in the canned pet food section of the grocery store — used for packaging and stacking canned goods. The store is usually glad to let you have them as is saves them from the task of bundling for recycling later. In the past I have used the plastic flats that plants are transported in to the commercial garden nursery. This was okay as a gopher deterrent but they were twice the surface area used as the cardboard thus twice  as likely to have some untransplanted seedlings left behind to permanently attach the plastic to the ground with their roots — for years!  Cardboard, on the other hand, because it is biodegradable, will disintegrate and leave no evidence that you didn’t transplant in a timely manner.

I bring home many medium to larger size boxes from  work, then go to a furniture maker who lets me take the pine wood scraps for our fireplace, bonfires, or camping use. The boxes stand neatly in the back of my van and allow us to fill with the scraps, and make tidy "walls" of boxes in the garage for storage, until needed

My family is so large, in order to keep the cost of Christmas spirit within an individual’s budget, we’ve resorted to drawing names when it comes to buying family Christmas presents. With this person in mind, I  locate a discarded paper box (not tough – I work for a large company and my department uses up 2-3 cartons a day). Paste old Christmas cards to all visible sides, including the lid. Cover it with contact paper. Inside I place all the Christmas presents I’ve purchased for my Christmas person. Everyone loves them. This idea can be applied to any event. In my case, the recipient of these boxes can use them to store Christmas ornaments, etc. Jeanni B

Take a sturdy cardboard box and turn it so the opening is at the top. From each of the two ends cut out a semi circle with the rounded part of the semi circle towards the bottom of the box. Cut the front and back flaps off the box. Now when you turn your box with the bottom side up, you have created a table which you can use to serve meals in bed or on the couch to the sick members of your family. You can decorate the box if you like. Cynthia

When my grandmother died several years ago, we cleaned out her small home and found boxes and boxes…. of boxes and boxes. She was the most frugal human I’ve ever known and I have learned more from her than you can imagine.  She threw NOTHING away. One tip I have learned is the use of empty boxes, as follows… As a veteran "mover", I have learned to use large empty boxes as slide-out drawers in my lower kitchen cabinets to separate and store appliances (food processor, blender, mixer, etc.) and bulk foods (flour, sugar, meal, etc.)  in a dust-free environment. I fold the lids of the boxes down inside the box to strengthen it, then put the appliance or food packages inside. I clearly label the end of the box for quick and easy reference. I try to get boxes deep enough to fit the entire depth of my cabinet, but if I cannot, I place another box behind it as a "stopper". Inside the "stopper" box, I store seldom-used items which I rarely need but cannot seem to part with.  The outside of this box should also be clearly labeled. As a side benefit, when moving day comes, all I have to do is pull the box out of the cabinet, fold the lids "up", tape them and I am ready to go! – Sharon D

I use empty cereal or similar shaped boxes to hold my magazines. Cut 2 to 3 inches diagonally from the bottom, up the front and back of the box on one side. I also use shoe boxes to store my daughters collectible cards, stickers and other miscellaneous items. REDOC

I keep all empty boxes to use again, maybe with some colorful wrapping paper on them, or I have wrapped the top and bottom separately.  Last night I used the solid bottom of a cardboard box for a cake "plate". I traced a dinner plate on the cardboard, cut it out and then covered it with aluminum foil. This was going to a Mission Work Site about 2 hrs. from the church and would not be returned. This idea can also be used to cut rectangular cake "plates". If the cake is too heavy, cut two pieces and tape them together.  Betty G.

I buy the Costco size box of garbage bags. When the box is empty I used it to store all my washed Ziploc bags. It has a diamond shape hole on one end so I just cram them in and pull one out whenever I need  one.  Kayte

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