Reusing Containers–Buckets and boxes

Posted: March 31, 2011 by txmarina44 in White Trash with a Purpose

These re-uses were too short to stand alone, so I’ve put them together for a special two-fer.

Back when we had 3 indoor cats (and 2 litterboxes), I had to buy litter by the bucket in order to keep up with… the demand. These days, we are down to one house cat, but we still have many of these buckets around the homestead, and we’ve gotten moderately creative at repurposing them. We’ve collected rainwater (after having given them a good scrubbing, of course), carried kindling and small logs into the house for the 1 or 2 times a year we actually light our fireplace. We also keep one to store newspapers, dryer lint, and some of our daughter’s artwork for starting said fires. Don’t worry, she produces more than enough for all the grandparents and the greats–no one is missing out on any real masterpieces. We’ve also stored camping gear (with those we’ve remembered to save the lids), corralled sandbox and water toys from the driveway, and have even turned them upside down for a serviceable sit-upon.

As I’ve mentioned on my home blog (A Grrl and Her Trash), my house is a Mess. That capital m is not a typo. In raising a special needs child, many things get put down to be dealt with “later.” Unfortunately, this “later” tends to occur around 1 AM, when I should have already been asleep for 3 hours if I’m to be awake at 6:30 to get the boy ready for school. So, things pile up.

The quick and easy solution to this starts with the multitude of dried-fruit boxes that have accumulated in the 3 years that my children have been powering down the individual packets. After I cut away the top flaps, they’re ready to use for sorting the piles; this helps me get a handle on the enormity of the task. Right now, I have two full boxes from the last time I purged the coffee table (my main workspace); one has papers to file, the other has objects that need a proper putting-away. I have at least two full of my boy’s school papers, and one has freebie magazines (most of which will get tossed soon).

I also use these when I clean out the litterbox. Lining one of these boxes with a few plastic grocery bags makes for a more stable throwaway container–without the box, I have been afraid that the bags will break en route to the big can. I have several boxes scattered around the house with plastic grocery bags that I use for lining our smaller wastebaskets, and I have one in my trunk for diaper disposal when we’re on the road.

Lately, Ive also been using them to sort the children’s toys. The boxes stack well, so I can sometimes gain back a few square feet of space for the day. And lastly, I have  place for unmatched socks to wait for their mates to get through the laundry cycle. If I wanted to Martha Stewart this project, I’d cover them with wrapping paper, and perhaps even coordinate it with each room’s decor. But, I’m a Trashy Grrl, and would rather use that time to clean my gun 🙂


  1. emphelan says:

    Ammunition storage. good idea! Thanks for all the ideas.

  2. txmarina44 says:

    Good idea emphelan… of course I use my ammo boxes to store perfume samples. I’m on my second case.

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