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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,


MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 15-Nov-13 11:08:33

Hi everyone,
Thanks for adding your thoughts to this thread. Congratulations to kweggie who has won the prize draw for a £250 Amazon voucher! We'll be in touch shortly.

nanatheyounger Thu 14-Nov-13 22:44:06

Using everyday household detergent/fairy liquid in an innovative way???

For cleaning your shower screens and bathroom tiles, apply undiluted detergent to dry glass and tiles liberally. Leave for 2 hours. Rinse off.

Stunning results. 5 minutes. No scouring or elbow grease. Feedback awaited. You are welcome.

poorbuthappy Thu 14-Nov-13 20:53:04

Just realised another 1 we do,
The orange lids from Nescafé Azera tins can be used as can toppers. We use them on the dog food tins every day.

MothershipG Thu 14-Nov-13 18:16:58

Who has cassette cases anymore???!!! shock

The tennis ball idea wouldn't work for us - dog would be far too interested. wink

We do the standard reusing plastic carrier bags to line the kitchen bin, and old food bags (that don't have holes!) get reused as dog poo picking bags.

We save our loo roll tubes for my Uncle to grow beans in, the dogs also enjoy playing with them.

Reuse jars for homemade jam and gin bottles for sloe gin! Hic!

dozeydoris Thu 14-Nov-13 08:13:51

Cut the bottom (about 5+ cm) off washed plastic squash bottles, use a bread knife but keep hands out of the way, then upturn it on packs of biscuits like digestives, rich tea, it fits quite well and keeps the air out so biscuits stay fresh. When you get to the bottom of the pack the whole lot can sit in the bottle bottom, packet opening downwards.

Fresh, crisp bikkies, easy to use smile

kweggie Thu 14-Nov-13 01:03:12

Save candle stumps(LOL, sounds like a character from Dickens- 'twas the day of Candle Stump's execution...Save him! the crowd cried......but I digress...)

ahem save candle stumps, melt down gently, throw in any herbs such as rosemary, or lavender, then pour over a cardboard egg box filled with pine cones. When they have set they make lovely scented firelighters,break off and use as wanted.

use a pop sock filled with herbs/petals tied loosely under the hot tap for a scented bath

you don't have to throw tights away if you have a hole in them. Snip the holey leg off near the top. Once you have another pair the same, you can wear both together

not recycling but preventing waste-squash the loo roll so that it is oval rather than round before you put it on the holder. It prevents those frenzied toilet paper roll-a-thons that pets and toddlers love so much

rowrowrowtheboat Wed 13-Nov-13 18:07:59

I wash up take away plastic cartons and then freeze home made meal leftovers, meaning I batch cook one week and have easy home made meals from the freezer the next week.

My girls decorate shoe boxes with scraps of wrapping paper etc and then have them as treasure boxes.

I use plastic supposing bags to empty the cat litter tray.

I keep plastic bottles from Christmas smelly gift sets, and when we go away for work or business, decant shower gel and shampoo into these.

Birthday cards are kept for DD's to cut up and stick to make pictures

Snog Tue 12-Nov-13 21:39:13

old cloth nappies make the best dusters in town
take your old pants on holiday and chuck after use
recycle loo roll inners and takeaway coffee outers into mini albums
share your bath

poorbuthappy Tue 12-Nov-13 21:34:54

Theimpossiblegirl - don't side with him!!! The bloody barbecue is the bane if my life (well in summer anyway) he refuses to buy another BBQ and insists on cooking on it even if we have loads of people over.

It looks like something out of war of the worlds. shock

sealight123 Tue 12-Nov-13 21:26:19

What a great video! smile

I will be trying some of these immediately!

My little tips are if you are having problems cleaning built in grime out of your microwave put slices of lemon in a bowl of water and put it in the microwave for a minute or two. This will losing up the grease, so it will just wipes away....and lemons smell lovely smile

Clean out jam jars and use them as little lanterns by popping tealights in them smile

Remove rust from a coin by soaking it in coca dissolves it all off..leaving the coin sparkling

Mine aren't as exciting as others but there you go smile

Theimpossiblegirl Tue 12-Nov-13 14:22:43

Poorbuthappy- great idea, all my mum's friends (old hippies) use them for festivals to contain their fires (they tend to be in the stewards' areas so are allowed).

poorbuthappy Tue 12-Nov-13 13:45:16

Dh's best tip...
using old washing machine drum as a barbeque. He even took it to work and welded legs onto it.

We still have it 7 years on.

YoniRotten Tue 12-Nov-13 11:29:52

MissRee, that is about all it is good for! smile

MissRee Tue 12-Nov-13 10:41:04

Use the free bottle of coke you get with takeaways (we don't drink it) to clean the toilet!

flamingtoaster Mon 11-Nov-13 22:26:58

Great tips in the video - especially like the cables in toilet rolls.

Old toothbrushes are used for many cleaning activities - round windowframes, grout etc.
I use plastic bags as kitchen bin bags.
I use clothespegs to keep packets closed in the freezer, and to keep piles of receipts neat and in order.
Cardboard centres of loo rolls are great for starting off seeds.
I have used a bulldog clip as an emergency trouser fastening when the button came off.

LegoCaltrops Mon 11-Nov-13 21:29:22

I have another tip. Just 'discovered' this.

If your young DC has the charming habit of sitting on your sofa, pulling all the tissues out of a box, & then tearing them to shreds, don't throw them away. After rescuing any undamaged tissues, collect all the remaining strips up into a bag & use them to wipe off your makeup, instead of cotton wool. At least then it's not a total waste... grin

Orange01 Mon 11-Nov-13 21:14:23

I have used old toilet rolls, covered them in Christmas paper to make an advent calendar for my DS. It's great you can put little presents in random dates with chocolate and use tissue paper to block the sides.
I keep all egg cartons toilet rolls and yoghurt pots for our "make and do" box for a rainy day.

AnneEyhtMeyer Mon 11-Nov-13 20:53:02

Brilliant tips!

I already do the ribbon on suitcases one.

I use the mesh bags for washing tablets, tied to the cutlery rack in the dishwasher, to wash small items so they don't end up at the bottom of the dishwasher.

Any junkmail is used as entertainment for DD - she gets pretend post, drawing paper, pictures to glue and forms to pretend to fill in which keeps her occupied for ages.

Old toothbrushes used for cleaning

Talc to get sand off feet at the beach

Old clothes / muslins used as dusters

Any tin / box / jar is re-used for homemade things like mincemeat or jam and for storing art and craft supplies, or used in junk modelling

lottytheladybird Mon 11-Nov-13 20:19:07

Old jars are great for keeping bits and bobs in. I especially love the tiny ones you get with jam in when you go to a hotel. You can keep pins or paper clips in those little ones. They look quite cute, too, I think!

I keep any packaging from the post so that I can re-use it. Those bags that clothes come in are great, as I just turn them inside out and then stick an address label on.

I cut up old Christmas cards and make them into gift tags for the following year.

Purplehonesty Mon 11-Nov-13 20:18:08

I keep used tin foil that's been wrapped around sandwiches or cakes etc for cleaning tarnished silver jewellery or cutlery.
You line a dish with it, put item in, cover with a sprinkle bicarbonate of soda and boiling water and the tarnish just lifts off and sticks to the foil like magic!
Tumble drier fluff lights the fire really well.
I had a set of plastic storage drawers which cracked so I took each drawer out and placed it on a shelf. Use them now for arts and crafts and toys.
Old face cloths are kept in a kitchen drawer and I use one each meal time - first to wipe the kids faces, then high chair, table and straight into washing machine. Saves using half a pack of baby wipes and they are nice and soft.

HorsePetal Mon 11-Nov-13 19:47:10

I apply a layer of varnish to stale Digestive biscuits to make handy coasters.

I don't really

cjbk1 Mon 11-Nov-13 18:25:02

save Jiffy bags for when I break a glass (often) and it can't be recycled put the bits in the Jiffy bag and tape it closed to dispose of safely

shellshell3 Mon 11-Nov-13 17:22:46

I use old towels as cleaning cloths

ilovemybabies123 Mon 11-Nov-13 16:10:23

I use my paper shredding instead of sawdust for my hamster smile

Fillybuster Mon 11-Nov-13 15:29:11

Some great ideas on here <scribbles notes on back of old notepad>

Here's what we do:

- My stack of 24 baby muslins (been through 3 dcs) is now used for polishing, dusting, wiping etc etc.
- Bulldog clips are great for sealing food bags, crisps etc
- Freeze fresh herbs
- Cut up old tshirts and jeans for cleaning cloths
- Fabric offcuts to make doll clothes and bedding
- Freeze leftover party sandwiches in small bags ready for last minute packed lunch emergencies
- Freeze leftover crumble mix and biscuit dough for a quick playdate activity or 2 minute dessert mid-week
- Biscuit tins are stockpiled and used for everything
- Shoe and boot boxes are brilliant for dcs toys, papers, school work etc
- All glass jars and bottles get kept and re-used for chutney, jam, salad dressings and so on
- Always keep the 'middles' of kitchen roll and cardboard egg boxes - great for craft activities, chitting potatoes, keeping small bits separated and so on
- Kebab skewers for checking if cakes are cooked, poking holes in things and clearing the drains

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