Plastic Storage Containers

Make the Most of What You Have on Hand


Diaper Wipe Containers 

When it comes to free plastic storage containers, these ubiquitous little gems are a mothers’ dream. They’re abundant in any home with small children and extremely versatile. They are the perfect size for all sorts of kid-sized stuff.

When my children were small Chubbs® made a diaper wipe container that looked like a giant Lego® block. They stacked like Legos® too. We used our collection for more than 10 years to store crayons, colored pencils, paint brushes, alphabet magnets, markers, marbles, rubber stamps and ink pads, small toys, and stickers.

Sadly the Chubbs® Lego®-esque containers are no longer in circulation, but there are numerous other options to choose from. While they may not be as fun to look at and play with, they’re just as handy to use as storage containers.

As far as plastic storage containers go, empty diaper wipe containers are particularly versatile.  They work for storing small stuff like crayons, plastic utensils, first aid supplies, recipes and snacks. Most also work well as dispensers (since that's what they were designed to be).  The pop top with slot beneath makes them great for storing plastic grocery bags.  This is particularly useful to keep in your car for collecting trash.  I've also seen them used to dispense yarn.  

These diaper wipe containers are the perfect size for housing card games.  No more battered game boxes.  {Source}

Crystal Light Containers

Crystal Light® (and its generic counterparts) comes in these cool cylindrical canisters with pop on lids.  They're perfect for storing small stuff - everything from buttons to bandages to beads.  Every time I see them I wonder what I might store in them.  They just look like they were destined to be used as plastic storage containers.

These drink mix containers are perfect for storing pens and pencils.  Connect several to create separate slots for different colors like you see here.  {Source}

Here's a cleaver idea!  These little plastic containers make excellent eye glass cases. {Source}

Bulk Food Containers

Bulk food containers also get my mind whirring.  They're so stout and functional with their broad openings, large capacity, and (in some cases) practical handles.  They work great for storing small toys (Lego ® and other blocks, etc.).  They also work well for (surprise!) bulk food storage.  

These handled bulk food containers store large quantities in a compact space.  They also look great all filled up with an array of dry goods.  There is something appealing about the different sizes, shapes and textures.  {Source}

Check out these cool canisters repurposed from Folgers® coffee containers. {Source}


Small Plastic Cartons, Containers, and Lids

Yogurt cartons, ricotta or cottage cheese containers, margarine tubs, caps from aerosol cans, and measuring cups from liquid medicines all make excellent drawer dividers for storing little things like desk supplies, craft items, or cosmetics in drawers.

Dairy containers turned desk organizers - here you see a collection of sour cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and butter tubs being utilized to sort desk supplies in a drawer.


Film Canisters

Most people own digital cameras these days, but many folks still have a stash of those fun little black canisters used to house rolls of film. They make handy little plastic storage containers for all sorts of small stuff.

Film canisters are good for packing a pair of earrings for a trip or for keeping a single dose of medicine or a couple of cough drops in your purse.

If you have a sizeable collection of film canisters consider hot gluing them all together in a semi-rectangular fashion. Insert the configuration into a drawer to organize beads or buttons by color. The same concept would work for sorting washers, nuts, and bolts by size.

Film canisters used to be (and still are to a certain extent) good for collecting quarters to take to the Laundromat, but nowadays it would take a whole canister full to wash a single load!

I like to use one of these canisters to hold a pencil sharpener – the kind without casing to contain the shavings. The sharpener fits perfectly inside and the canister acts as a container for shavings until I find a trash can to dispose of them.

Protect Your Pencils

I also like to reuse plastic travel toothbrush holders to house pencils. When my kids were younger, I’d pack them for use on airplanes or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. The hard plastic protects the pencil point from breaking and keeps the lead from rubbing off on things around it.


More storage container ideas.

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