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New Uses for Common Household Items

Updated on October 9, 2012

We have officially moved and are settling into our new house. We had only walked through our new house four times before the time we closed on it. There were surprises when we moved in, but none of them were bad. During our unpacking process, I ended up with some extra house hold items that were not being used:

  • Over the door shoe rack
  • Silverware drawer organizer

I didn’t want to waste them and I wasn’t sure I was ready to donate them either.

I set them aside at first and later found two alternate uses for these everyday household items.

New Uses for Silverware Drawer Organizer and Shoe Rack

  • Our shoe rack became a spice rack
  • Our silverware drawer organizer became a battery organizer


New Use for a Shoe Rack: Spice Rack

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Labeling the shoe rack makes it simple to find your spicesOur over the door shoe organizer became a spice rackExtra oatmeal and spice packets fit easily in a shoe pouch
Labeling the shoe rack makes it simple to find your spices
Labeling the shoe rack makes it simple to find your spices | Source
Our over the door shoe organizer became a spice rack
Our over the door shoe organizer became a spice rack | Source
Extra oatmeal and spice packets fit easily in a shoe pouch
Extra oatmeal and spice packets fit easily in a shoe pouch | Source

Over the Door Shoe Rack is a Spice Rack

During the moving process, we purged items that were no longer being used, including shoes. I finally answered the question, “When was the last time I wore these?” and a giant pile of donated shoes resulted. Also, my old house had an average amount of closet space and the new house has a little more. As a result, I have a perfect condition over the counter shoe rack with no use.

In the back of my mind I had seen a shoe rack used as a spice rack. I knew this was how I planned to use it as well.

I always buy the large containers of spices. In addition to a long shelf life, these large containers can also take up much shelf space. Instead of dedicating a shelf to spices, I implemented the over the door spice rack idea.

I found one issue because I did not use a see-through shoe rack.

Which spice was which?

I solved this easily by making small name tags and velcroed them to the front of each shoe space. This way I knew where garlic salt was and didn’t reach for the oregano and I could move the labels later if necessary.

I also realized that I had multiple oatmeal boxes with only a bag or two of oatmeal left. The oatmeal pouches easily fit in one shoe pouch. Spice packets for tacos or Asian stir fry also easily fit in a pouch instead of being lost on a pantry shelf.

I was amazed at the amount of shelf spaces I saved.

Use your Silverware Drawer Organizer to Hold Batteries

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Our silverware drawer organizer neatly arranges my batteries by typeMy batteries are neatly arranged in the silverware drawer organizer
Our silverware drawer organizer neatly arranges my batteries by type
Our silverware drawer organizer neatly arranges my batteries by type | Source
My batteries are neatly arranged in the silverware drawer organizer
My batteries are neatly arranged in the silverware drawer organizer | Source

Silverware Drawer Organizer is a Battery Organizer

Another common household item with no use in my new house was my silverware drawer organizer. The new kitchen had three areas with built in silverware organizers, so mine was not needed. I decided to find another use for this item as well.

In the process of reorganizing one of my three miscellaneous drawers, I realized, we have an absurd amount of batteries. I had found an amazing deal on batteries using a rebate, but was left with about 50 batteries in open boxes. I decided to let my silverware organizer become a battery organizer.

Our new house has a laundry room with cabinets and I found that I was going to have more room for my miscellaneous drawers to be organized. Perhaps they would end up not being so miscellaneous!

The AA and AAA batteries fit perfectly. I was able to find space for the D and the 9 volts as well. The area at the front of the drawer could hold a flashlight and a few odd sized batteries (that I am not even sure what they go to!)

Reuse Household Items

Everyday another box is emptied and the house becomes a bit more organized. I am pleased with the two new uses for my shoe rack and my silverware drawer organizer. I am glad that I set them aside and waited for an alternate use for these common objects to emerge.

Do you have any interesting uses for a shoe rack or silverware drawer organizer? I would love to hear your ideas as well!

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    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 4 years ago from Ohio

      Susan, I love how much room the spice rack saves me. Let me know how it works for you!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great ideas. I especially like your spice rack. I may have to go buy an over the door shoe rack now.

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 4 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, GoodLady. We are settling in but still very busy. I will say that it has already started to feel like home though.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

      This is creative and useful domestic information for everyone! Just really, really interesting recycling items and making them functional in other capacities. Filled with admiration. Welcome to your new home.

      Voting useful and interesting and awesome too.

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 4 years ago from Ohio

      I couldn't remember if the new house had a door with a hinge or a sliding door. I was pleased to find it was a door with a hinge. I was pleased with all the space I saved. Hopefully you could find a good use for you shoe hanger as well, Austinstar!

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      I don't have a pantry door. Well, I do, but that is where I store my vacuum cleaner and laundry stuff. I'll bet the shoe hanger would work there. Great idea!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 4 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for the pin and sharing, chrissy. Honestly, I was kind of thrilled when the batteries fit so well. That drawer is no longer a disaster!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 4 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, amateuasu! I was pleased that I found new uses for these two items because they were still in perfect shape. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 4 years ago from Texas

      Awesome ideas, I especially like the battery organizer. Voted up, awesome and shared on pinterest. Thanks.

    • amaterasu4242 profile image

      amaterasu4242 4 years ago

      Fantastic article,this is good advice.

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 4 years ago from Ohio

      OOh...I like your ideas, too, Debi! Smart to use it for hats and gloves. First aid supplies are perfect for these as well. Great ideas!

    • Debi Gnau profile image

      Debi Gnau 4 years ago from Kettering, Ohio

      We do not have enough closet space in any of our closets. So I use the shoe organizer for many different things. In the coat closet it holds hats and gloves/mittens, in the little ones closet (Maggie and Tommy share a closet) it holds shoes, and tights and in my hall closet it holds first aid items, inhailers and epi-pens to keep them easily accessible.

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 4 years ago from Ohio

      i agree that it just takes a little creativity to make something without a use very useful again. I am pleased that they have a use and are helping me stay a little bit more organized. Thanks for reading, Billy!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love ideas like these; there are so many uses for common items; all it takes is an imagination, which you definitely have. Great job!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 4 years ago from Ohio

      I have found that more space does not necessarily result in being more organized. But, I do try to utilize space as best I can. But, I am notorious for miscellaneous drawers instead of trying to find the real home for them. I would imagine that you have some creative organization tips as well!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Wow, these are fantastic ideas! I'm always looking for ways to stay organized - its a constant battle!

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