I love to find ways to repurpose things that I might usually throw out since they can save me money and a few can even turn into an after school or rainy day activity for the kiddies, which means free time for yours truly.  Here are a few ways to use a few of these ‘leftovers’ to organize jewelry, your children’s artwork, bathroom and with spring cleaning in the air, get a jump on your closet and waistline as well!


1.    Cork It: Champagne and wine corks accumulate fairly quickly in my abode so rather then chuck them I put them to good use by sticking post earrings with their backs and decorative pins on them. BTW if you lose an earring back just snip off a thin piece of red eraser from the tip of a pencil…works like a charm!  Also a terrific way to organize your spring garden herbs…thanks my Pinterest Pal Kristy!

2.    Straw Pull: Leftover straws from your child’s birthday party? Use them to organize your chain jewelry. Cut them to a length long enough to thread the chain, close the clasp and voilà, you’ll never have to detangle a chain again!

3.    Cart ‘em: Use clean egg cartons to store rings and other small jewelry items.


4.    You Tube: In every child there is a little Picasso or Rembrandt waiting to come out. If your child is a prolific artist who insists that you save early works for a (much) later retrospective, you can save and organize their art by rolling and placing inside a paper towel or leftover gift-wrapping tube. Get your kids busy by having them decorate the outside of the tubes with their names, dates and stickers.

5.    Pizza Pizza: Another great way to store your kid’s art or special book reports is to ask for extra pizza boxes the next time you serve some up vs cook din din.  To learn more about the importance of art in your child’s development go to


6.    Bucket List: Grab that extra wine bucket collecting dust and transform it into an bathroom organizing juggernaut by sticking double sided Velcro on the outside.  Next apply little pieces of Velcro to your makeup and makeup brushes, shavers, tweezers, hair spray, combs, tooth brushes and adhere them to the side of the bucket. Drop all your hair styling tools inside the bucket and turn your overstuffed bathroom drawer or vanity from bad to fab!

Bag It: Spring cleaning is just around the corner and no better place to begin then in our closets. Use those old shopping bags (which BTW I collect like Carrie Bradshaw/Sex In the City collected Manola Blahniks!) and label them- DONATE, DISCARD AND DROP-FIVE. Line them up in your closet and go through it and choose clothes to DISCARD, DONATE (there are some great charities and thrift shops out there always looking for donations including Dress for Success which provides clothes to under-privileged women to get them back into the workforce) and DROP FIVE, my fave to meet my Spring resolution! To learn more about Dress for Success, visit

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Rachael Ray