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Tell More Than your top tips for reusing everyday items around the house - £250 voucher prize draw NOW CLOSED

(157 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Nov-13 11:44:10

More Than would like to find out Mumsnetters' top tips for using everyday items in imaginative and unconventional ways around the home to make life that little bit easier.

Here's what More Than have to say, "Life can be full of little frustrations. At MORE TH>N we want to help, and that's why we love collecting and sharing all sorts of tips and tricks that make life that little bit easier. We like to think of them as 'helping hands', those clever ideas you never knew you needed to know. We're always on the look-out for more great hints to share, so if you've got a top tip, let us know."

For inspiration, watch the video clip below and then share your top tips on this thread.

What do you think of the suggestions given in the video? Which, if any, would you try out? Do you already use some of these ideas around the house already? Have you got any to add? Maybe you use a rubber band around paint pots to scrape excess paint onto from your paint brush? Or, do you use magnets to make sure your bag of crisps stay sealed? Whatever it is, we'd love to hear about it.

Everyone who adds their thoughts to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £250 Amazon voucher.

Thanks and good luck,


ArtisanLentilWeaver Tue 05-Nov-13 15:07:59

-wool carpet offcuts cut to size for wellie insoles.

-arms of old jumpers made into legwarmers (stich the top with thin knicker elastic).

- old over the knee socks filled with newspaper and used as draught stoppers.

- Arms of old baby jumpers made into fingerless gloves.

<feels the cold>

AnnaConda Tue 05-Nov-13 15:32:14

I completely filled a box with toilet rolls all standing up for dh's electrical cables, computer and camera leads etc - he has tens of them, it's mad!

He winds them up neatly and pushes them into the rolls so everything is tangle-free and easy to spot.

BornToFolk Tue 05-Nov-13 15:58:43

I cut up old margarine tubs to make plant markers. Yoghurt pots are good for planting seeds in, especially big tubs with clear plastic tops.

I store bars of soap in my wardrobe. Makes my clothes smell nice!

jellyfl00d Tue 05-Nov-13 16:10:55

I use large water/ pop bottles as mini greenhouses for seedlings by cutting the bottoms off, putting them over plant onto soil and putting bamboo stick through top to hold it down into soil.
Same water/pop bottles I use as wasp traps in summer by cutting off top1/3 and inverting it into the rest of bottle with something sweet inside. There's nothing like getting one over on the wasps!

Mignonette Tue 05-Nov-13 16:41:51

I line clothing drawers with the scented perfume pages from magazines like Vogue.

I have bags of frozen breadcrumbs because i grate leftover stale bread rather than throw it away.

Toilet roll middles make great seedling and cutting pots.

Old mini play figures make good kids coat hooks if you attach them to the wall and use their arms as the hooks. Skateboard decks make cool shelves when they are no longer suitable for skating.

Babycarmen Tue 05-Nov-13 16:41:53

We use old baby food bowls to put paint in, and re use glass jars for storing lots of fiddly bits like buttons/paperclips/pins that the kids can't get. We also re use plastic take away tubs or desert tubs for freezing batch cooks. I also use an old toothbrush for cleaning the shower head and grout! smile

mrscumberbatch Tue 05-Nov-13 17:28:02

We use old toothbrushes for cleaning just about any awkward space.
I use an old sewing caddy as a jewellery box and I have another one for makeup. I found them at a vintage market and they do the job perfectly and don't look naff in my house.

We use halved pool noodles as draught excluders as there's enough space between the door and the floor to get one under. Pool noodles also great for the ends of the glass dining table when Dd was learning to walk.

AuntyEntropy Tue 05-Nov-13 17:47:18

I like those tips, and will use the cassette thing asap.

I use the last of the DCs' baby bottles to measure out small quantities of liquid for cooking, and a plastic cup that a Pannacotta came in is just the right size for measuring out oats and milk for porridge for two people.

I save the little brown paper bags that DH sometimes gets his lunchtime sandwich in to line the compost caddy.

And DH uses a large tile left over from redoing the bathroom as a flat smooth surface for cardboard modelling.

Turnipvontrapp Tue 05-Nov-13 17:50:24

Like the potato masher for tuna idea!

We reuse Chrissy cards for gift tags, store things in shoe boxes, refill water bottles for packed lunches.

Save cardboard things for all the castles and stuff we have to make for school.

LittleBallOfFur Tue 05-Nov-13 18:21:11

I use cardboard loo rolls to keep opened rolls of wrapping paper from unravelling.

wokeupwithasmile Tue 05-Nov-13 18:44:49

I use old dental floss as a cheese or cake cutter, the slices are so sharp and perfect! Obviously it is old floss, not used one!

Always do the ribbon on suitcases thing.

DD1 and I use bits of old ribbon as bookmarks. She thinks it looks cute and I do it just because I am forever losing 'real' bookmarks. How? Where do they go?

Dp uses old toothbrushes for cleaning around the taps etc.

I use the lids of small gift boxes to make different 'sections' in drawers - eg one drawer has a medium sized one with handcream etc in, a smaller one with nail varnishes and then several tiny ones for rings, bracelets etc.

AuntyEntropy Wed 06-Nov-13 08:46:05

Oh and one more - I use an off cut from when the carpets were fitted upstairs as an exercise mat on the wooden living room floor.

juanfanjo Wed 06-Nov-13 09:47:36

I can't see the video link on the mn-app.

I use the lids from take away tubs as paint pallets for the children. You can squirt the paint out into blobs and they can mix and stir and dab it easily ... then you can either rinse it under the tap or just chuck it ...sorry recycle it

Those plastic coated metal wires you get holding toys into their boxes- once you have untangled them you can use them for loads of things such as tying up plants in the garden, emergency child lock on cupboards, keeping cables all looped up neatly etc etc.

I LOVE the Elmer milk cartons! And the milk paint pot!

ThePearShapedToad Wed 06-Nov-13 10:20:23

My favourite reusing tip is to pour left over wine into ice cube trays, to then use in casseroles or stews at a later point

Also works very well with left over herbs- chop finely and mix into butter, then freeze into a sausage shape- instant herbed butter for steaks and potatoes whenever you need it

Spirael Wed 06-Nov-13 12:42:44

Some nice ideas here! I have a ribbon tied to my laptop case for work, as otherwise when I'm travelling with colleagues we get to the back of the car and are faced with three identical black laptop bags and no idea which one belongs to who.

I recycle supermarket plastic bags as bin liners around the house, rather than buy specific bags. They fit just as well!

I save jars and plastic lidded pots from food. Wash them out and either use them for storing things like pens/paintbrushes/etc, or reuse them for food. Either making your own pickled onions or similar, or for transporting lunch to work on a day you don't want to carry a box home with you - as you can then just drop the jar/tub into the recycling at work when you're done!

I also store duvet covers, sheets and spare pillow cases inside one of the pillow cases in the set. Much easier just to grab a stuffed pillow case from the cupboard and know everything is inside than hunt for all the separate components!

ThreeBecameFour Wed 06-Nov-13 12:56:58

We use washing tab boxes, detergent boxes etc for storing small toys and they work brilliantly for sorting lego! They are plastic and have a lid so perfect containers.

MadMonkeys Wed 06-Nov-13 13:03:46

I use cocktail sticks to clean my engagement ring, the tricky bit in the middle of the breadmaker blade where bits of dough get stuck etc.

Mushroom trays etc are great for growing cress on the window ledge.

My daughter (13m) uses the inside of toilets rolls as bracelets, her shoes as gloves and tea towels as floor cleaning cloths...

IncaAztec Wed 06-Nov-13 13:10:52

My tip is to reuse the empty bag from around your loaf of bread to wrap sandwiches in it for lunchtime. Keeps things dry in a leaky lunchbox adn is really easy to do.

Theimpossiblegirl Wed 06-Nov-13 17:20:20

My favourite reusing tip is to pour left over wine into ice cube trays, to then use in casseroles or stews at a later point.

What is this left over wine of which you speak?

BlackberrySeason Wed 06-Nov-13 19:13:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Wed 06-Nov-13 19:14:49

We use a rubber band across a tin of paint to remove excess paint from the brush.

I re-use fruit pots as paint pots for DD1

Bread bags, vegetable bags and used sandwich bags etc are re-used as nappy bags and also taped to the wall underneath where a hole is being drilled to catch the dust.

We use loo roll innards to keep the wrapping paper tidy too.

Hopezibah Wed 06-Nov-13 20:39:33

I loved that video - so many great ideas. We do the suitcase one already but hadn't thought of the others.

It did remind me of a few tips though. I use a white nail polish to cover any chips in my white kitchen units (nothing else quite does the job). Loo rolls make excellent plant pots for starting off things like runner beans and broad beans (put lots of loo rolls upright in an ice cream tub and fill with soil) - then the plant roots remain undisturbed as you can just plant each loo roll out in the garden.

old knickers (clean ones!) used instead of buying dusters.

Scrunched up newspaper is great for polishing mirrors.

I heard the inside of banana peel is great as a shoe polish (haven't dared try that one yet though).

That foam pipe insulation tube stuff is great safety edging on sharp table edges, fireplace edges etc to prevent little ones banging their heads.

And glass jars can be reused in so many ways - candle holders, make your own jam and give as gifts, fill with melted wax and make your own candles (this looks stunning done with an old pretty teacup too), portable salads for picnics, jellys and desserts etc.

choccyp1g Wed 06-Nov-13 20:58:57

I use plastic mushroom trays to divide up the kitchen drawers.

Peanut butter lids to put used teabags/teastrainers on.

The plastic boxes from washing liquid blobs are ideal for loads of (non-food) storage, e.g. used batteries waiting to go to the tip.

GetKnitted Wed 06-Nov-13 21:02:29

we use painted jars to store pens etc, does that count? It's hardly innovative, I'm sure people have been doing for generations!

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