Almost Free Storage Containers


All around us are free storage containers just waiting to be utilized. Almost everything you buy comes in a container of some sort. For little or no money these containers can be customized to fit your style and needs.  Often things can be personalized using supplies already on hand.

Manufacturers spend millions of dollars researching the perfect container for their product. Some are designed to be disposable (in which case they should be recycled whenever possible). Many, however, are designed to be sturdy and attractive – two great qualities in a storage container. Add to that the fact that reusing a container is free, and you can’t go wrong!

Repurposing containers saves money and the environment at the same time. The more ways we can find to put our containers to good use, the better!

Below is a list of readily available items that can easily be repurposed as storage containers. It is in no way a complete list. It is only meant to get you thinking about the possibilities. May it inspire you to reuse some of your ‘disposable’ containers in new and ingenious ways!


Shoeboxes as Free Storage Containers

Storage boxes can be purchased in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles to suit any taste, but why pay money for them when you can make them yourself from a plain old shoe box?

Simply paint or cover an empty shoe box (and lid) in fabric, maps, or pretty paper, and you’ve got a functional, decorative storage box custom made to match your décor. Add a metal label slot on one end for a finished, sophisticated look.

Here are several examples of shoe boxes recovered and repurposed as stylish, functional storage boxes.

I love this example of shoe boxes covered in maps. {source}

Here is a pretty example of a fabric covered shoe box. {source}

Transform that recovered shoe box into a charging station with grommets and an power strip. {source}

Another fun and functional way to repurpose a shoe box - turn it into a ribbon dispenser.  {source}


Other Cardboard Storage Containers

Many cardboard containers make great organizers. Some examples include cereal boxes, egg cartons, check boxes, and mini jewelry boxes (the kind that necklaces, rings, or earrings come in).

Oatmeal or other cardboard canisters can also make excellent free storage containers. They can be decorated in a method similar to that described above for covering shoe boxes, and they can be used to store just about anything from toys to tools.

Check out these great ideas for repurposing cardboard containers.

Cut cereal boxes in the shape of magazine holders and cover in fabric, wallpaper, gift wrap, or other decorative paper.  {source}

This unique desktop organizer is made from cereal boxes and empty toilet paper tubes. {source}

These pretty drawer organizers were made using (once again) cereal boxes. {source}

Stack three cereal boxes and cover them in colorful paper to create a vibrant paper sorter like this. {source}

Here's another example of a cardboard box and empty toilet paper tubes combining to create abundant storage for pens and pencils. {source}


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