Coffee Cans

31 Uses for Coffee Cans, Baby Formula Cans, or Other Containers

My husband and I drink a lot of coffee and we always end up with empty coffee containers. We also use formula now with my almost four month old and we end up with empty formula cans. I am not a fan of throwing these away, so I went on to my Frugal Free Gal Facebook Page and asked my fans what they did with empty coffee cans or other containers. I was amazed at the response, so I wanted to share them here. Here are their responses:

(***Warning: Some containers may have sharp edges. I do not recommend using any cans that could be dangerous. Also, do not pour hot grease in plastic containers. Make sure grease has cooled down before adding it to any container.)

  1. My hubby uses coffee cans out in the garage to store nails, screws, etc.  -Delois
  2. To organize the tools in the garage, cut holes in the bottom of the coffee cans to make a week long watering system for your plants, organize crafts (buttons, string, thread) -Trish
  3. Pencil holders, kitchen tools, garage gadgets, make candles in, stored on their side for fabric, yarn or electronics (cords), Legos, small toys, trash collection in the car -Darcy
  4. I use the plastic Folger coffee cans to throw vegetable scraps, onion peels, coffee grounds etc in. Once a day I empty it onto the compost pile in the back yard. We also use them to start seedlings for the garden. -Leeann
  5. Pens, coins, makeup, small gift containers -Lucy
  6. I’m container gardening this year and plan to use my coffee cans for peppers. -Robyn
  7. Teacher appreciation gifts! -Leslee
  8. Lay them on their sides, cover with mac tac, cover with fabric, decoupage and glue together to make a pyramid…ta da… great looking storage! -Vanessa
  9. I have my kids re-use them for crafts as often as I can, but they can only go so far. So far we made road trip bins with the tall cans of formula. (Example: Filled w/a few action figures, matchbox cars, non perishable snacks, a hand held game of some sort, maybe some pictures etc.) Just enough to fit in the can and take on long trips full of stuff that’s still a novelty. I also had them put wrapping paper on some and decorate them and make piggy banks or jewelry boxes for their grandmas, etc. -Chandelle
  10. I finally found a use for the empty Ovaltine containers, my husband brews beer so he keeps different colored caps in each one.  I saw something for using Pringles containers and Oatmeal containers to give cookies or baked items during the holidays. Wrap with scrapbook paper or wrapping paper, use ribbon, etc. We don’t use coffee cans anymore but I hated throwing those out when we did. Those might work good for giving baked goods during the holidays wrapped in scrapbook paper or wrapping paper. -Tasha
  11. My hubby uses them to sort parts in the garage. -Candice
  12. I am covering some with cute paper and using them as utensil holders and putting balloon weights in them to use as centerpieces at a up coming party. Or have the kiddos decorate them and make banks out of them! -Livy
  13. Make mini first aid kits. -Heather
  14. Kids toys. -Danielle
  15. We have used coffee cans to transport dry dog food camping. Any cans you can slap some cute paper on can become a pencil holder. Or noise maker for kids if you have a lid and put some rice in it. -Nik
  16. I get the plastic coffee cans and recycle them. If metal, I use them for grease. -Rita
  17. I use ours for my makeup in the bathroom. -Jennifer
  18. We glue or tape a decorated piece of construction paper, fill them up with goodies (depending on the holiday) and give them out as presents. People love they can re-use it afterwards for office supplies, etc. And they have a keepsake of my children’s handwriting/drawing skills as they progress. -Jennafer
  19. Paint the cans and attach sturdy wire to make a handle, even curl the wire to make it more decorative and use it for valentines or Easter for holding candy. Use them for birthday parties to hold their treasures like a goody bag or for a candy toss–get the kids to decorated it with pieces of cloth, paint etc. The craft possibilities are endless. -Rachelle
  20. We use coffee cans to put used cooking oil in. -Shelli
  21. I put holes in the bottom of the Folgers buckets and use them for planters. If you “rough up” the outside, you can spray paint them and make them look nice. -Jennifer
  22. Paint them and put hair bows/rubber bands. they could also be used to hold the remotes. -Tammy
  23. In my storage dry room I have rows of coffee cans filled with different beans, rice, and noodles. I use them in the garden for my young tomato and pepper plants to keep earwigs and cutworms away–as the tomato or pepper grows, I add more soil. This gives it a stronger root system and nothing is touching the ground to get spoiled. I also save them for camping. -Dianna
  24. I use formula cans as my vase and I make a bouquet of baby stuff for baby showers. They look really cute! -Angie
  25. I use them for old cooking oil. -Kelly
  26. You could donate them to a preschool or save for VBS! -Janet
  27. Spray paint or decorate them with construction paper, wall paper, etc. -Angela
  28. Check with your children’s ministry leader at your church.  They might be able to use them for VBS. -Lesa
  29. My parents use coffee cans for fat oils and freeze it. -Alison
  30. I use the formula tub for chalk outside so it stays dry when it rains. -Margaret
  31. I use formula containers for small toys or to keep toy sets together. -Jennifer

So, before you throw away those empty containers, think of a way in which you can reuse or recycle them!

If you’d like to add your own idea, please leave a comment in this post!

Thank you to the fans that contributed ideas for this post.

Shop Wash Aways at Mabel’s Labels!

It’s canning season and Mabel’s Labels has the perfect product for you! Wash Away Labels are dissolvable and perfect for potluck dishes, bottles for daycare, frozen foods, containers of leftovers and of course canning jars! When no longer needed, simply pop in the dishwasher or under running water to rinse off. Organizing your canning jars has never been this easy! Be sure to shop Mabel’s Labels today. Happy Canning!

Mabel’s Labels Household Labels for Organization

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to get organized? Mine was! In fact, I’m in the middle of organizing my office. If so, you’ll be thrilled to find out that Mabel’s Labels has just launched their newly re-designed line of Household Labels! These labels are a must-have to help families get, and stay organized at home. Developed by professional organizers, these labels organize everything from storage bins, food containers and spice jars to craft supplies, electronics cords and trash cans. Be sure to check out all of Mabel’s Labels great new products today! Happy Labeling!

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Why is Manilla necessary? Most people have more than 20 different household accounts, including three to four credit cards, several travel and hotel rewards accounts, multiple magazine and newspaper subscriptions, plus cable, phone, and other assorted utility bills. In order to stay on top of all this, people have to manage daily incoming paper mail, an array of online usernames and passwords, and websites in order to access important account information and take action. Manilla seamlessly retrieves all your account information – current balances, previous payments, upcoming bills due – and stores it for you in one secure place. Most importantly, you need only one password to view, manage and organize it all. Sign up with Manilla today and give it a try!

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Clean Living Room

A Peek into My Messy Living Room (Before and After Photos!)

I don’t do this often but today was just one of those days. My 4 year old daughter was sick so I kept her home from school. My 10 month old daughter was home with me, too. Anytime you have children home with you, you can expect a little bit of chaos. I had every intention of going to the grocery store today to catch up on grocery shopping but that didn’t happen. I was anxious about the thought of bringing both of the girls with me and trying to get everything I needed to buy. We stayed home instead, creating as many messes memories as we possible could.

I took a step back this afternoon and looked at my living room. What a mess! I am amazed at how quickly things get torn up when the kids are at home so I decided to take some pictures.

So, I invite you to take a look at my mess. It happens. But, the good news is that we picked it up in about 5 minutes by throwing all of the toys in their intended baskets and calling it done!


Messy Living Room


Clean Living Room

Create Personalized Labels with Mabel’s Labels

Have you heard about Mabel’s Labels? Several months ago I actually won a set of Mabel’s Labels during a blog giveaway. I personalized them with my daughter’s name. We continue to use our labels for everything that she takes to school, especially on sippy cups, sandwich boxes, and more! I love that we can throw the items in the dishwasher and the labels do not get destroyed! My daughter loves to see her name on her items, too. Consider these labels for all of your back to school needs!


Bedroom Chaos: From Cluttered to Clean (Before and After Photo)

We just arrived back from a very long trip out of state. It was actually a two month trip for hubby’s training. We arrived back home on Saturday and of course all of our suitcases were piled up in the bedroom. It was quite the task to get everything unpacked and back to it’s “uncluttered” state. I thought it would be fun to show you pictures from before and after. Hopefully I can attack the closet next! What’s with the box? That’s a box ready for Goodwill. Be sure to read about my 2012 goal to give vs. consign this year. I haven’t consigned one item this year! It feels so great to give.


You Know You’re a Mom When…


…you empty the contents of your purse/diaper bag and find this…

Yep. That’s all out of ONE bag. I like to call it the bottomless pit.

What does this mean? It means I am a mom and from the looks of it, I’m a pretty good mom I guess. I may be a little disorganized but at least I have toys to keep my girls entertained, food and drink if they are hungry, tissues for runny noses, germ X wipes to keep germs away, and even a change of clothes in case my 4 month old has an accident when we are out and about. Oh, and some of that stuff is mine! Half of the time I can’t even find it though because I’m digging around all of the kid stuff to find mine.

Did you know that I have a cute little “non-mom purse?” It’s the small purse I own when I go to the store without the girls. It has just enough room for my wallet, phone, keys–and my chapstick 😉 The bag pictured above is the purse/diaper bag combo. I wanted something stylish to keep everything in without it looking “too” mommy-ish.

If your purse looks like this, you are normal. Don’t be embarrassed. It happens to the best of us. At least I know that when I go out and about I will be prepared!

Happy soon to be Mother’s Day to all of the awesome moms out there!

Does your purse/diaper bag look like this?

Organize Your Online Life with Clipix

I am not sure about you, but I do so much online. I tend to jump from one thing to another often when I am on the web. One second I can be checking email. The next minute I see an article I want to read so I quickly read it. Then I jump on Facebook and see a fun link to a recipe that one of my friends shared. I start reading through the recipe and then think about something I needed to order online, so I jump over to an online store and start browsing around. The list goes on and on. I am everywhere on the internet! Sometimes during the day I have about 5-10 windows open! Half of what I read gets lost and I never know where exactly to go to find it again. 

I recently came across clipix, a free and useful tool that helps to organize your “online life.” If you are like me, you stumble upon several great things a day, including recipes, gift ideas, interesting articles, activities, organizing tips, money saving ideas, and more. Clipix allows you to save and organize all of these things that you want to save and come back to. You can also share these favorites with people you wish to have access to your “clipboard.” 

How does Clipix work?

You drag a bookmark called the “Clip” button to your bookmarks bar. Then you click it anytime you see something that you want to come back to. All items that you clip are stored in customized clipboards on clipix that you have control over. You can make clipboards for anything–including what was mentioned above, gift ideas, articles, and more. 

I tried it out myself and went through and added things I have been searching for recently. You can see that I have a category called: Gifts for the Family and Books I’d Like to Read. 


It was super easy to clip the things I was interested in into the clipboards! I am even searching for places to stay during an upcoming vacation and clipped it under “Vacation Ideas.” I could get used to Clipix!

I recommend signing up for Clipix! It’s fun and FREE! I am already enjoying how easy it is to use, so now when I find something online that I love and want to come back to, I clip it to my boards and get back to it when I can! It is no longer lost in the mix of everything on the web!  

What would you add to your clipboards? 

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Mission Complete: Rearranging and De-cluttering Daughter’s Room (Photos!)

This week I did something that needed to be done. I took just about EVERYTHING out of my three year old daughter’s room, rearranged the furniture, and then went through every toy she had before it went back into the room. Some toys I boxed up for her little sister to play with when she gets old enough, several toys were taken to Goodwill, and other toys were stored in her closet. It felt so great to transform her room to a “big girl room” and I even added a few touches. I replaced her lamp with one that matched the colors, added the clock and Tangled poster (all from Walmart). I tried out some pink curtains, but they weren’t long enough so I am returning those. I haven’t decided if I am going to add curtains or not. Maybe just a valance? I like the natural light coming in! She loves her room. I love it too now. It feels so open and inviting when I walk in as opposed to the way it was before.


Art Supplies

Over the Door Shoe Organizers

Over the Door Shoe Organizers

I do not like clutter. I do not like how clutter makes me feel. I do not like odds and ends laying around the house. I like for everything to have a place in my home. For the last few months, clutter has been collecting around my house. After I had children, it got worse! Toys, art supplies, you name it– it was collecting so fast that something had to be done.

I am limited on closet and drawer space in my home so I needed to get creative on ways to make more space in my home for all of the items that “needed a home.” Slowly, I have added over the door shoe organizers on the insides of just about every closet door in my home. I believe in the “out of sight, out of mind.” You don’t ever see any of my clutter until you open up the door. I like to “hide” things for my own peace of mind!

I currently own 10 over the door shoe organizers in my home. These over the door shoe organizers are about $10 a piece and can be found at your local Target, Walmart, Lowe’s, etc. I prefer the clear plastic organizers, but have a variety that you will see below. See why I love my over the door shoe organizers and how it helps me to stay a bit more organized!

Buy Now!
Over the door shoe organizers at Amazon
Over the door shoe organizers at Walmart

My Over the Door Shoe Organizers

Over the door shoe organizers are perfect for art supplies (paint, paint brushes, markers, pens, tape, glitter, googly eyes, stamps, etc). With kids, the art supplies tend to collect fast. Instead of shoving it all in a drawer or having it take up room, use the over the door shoe organizers to organize your art supplies. My daughter is old enough now that she can reach the bottom pockets. I keep crayons, marker, dry-erase markers and more at the bottom so that she can use them when she needs them without my help. I keep the paint supplies at the top to avoid any paint disasters!

over the door shoe organizers

Over the door shoe organizers are perfect for the pantry. We like to place our snacks and items like granola bars in the pockets at the bottom. This gives us more space in our pantry.  We don’t have a medicine cabinet so we keep medicine in the top pockets, out of reach from children.

over the door shoe organizers

Over the door shoe organizers are perfect for my Scentsy business supplies and would be perfect for your small business supplies if you have one. I keep my brochures, thank you cards, and other important business supplies in the pockets.

Over the door shoe organizers are great for odds and ends (tools, remotes, batteries, flashlights, small items that I don’t know what to do with, etc.) I do not like junk drawers. I can’t ever find anything in them when I need it, so this serves as a place for all of the little items that need a home. The set of tools you see is actually my set of tools (my husband keeps his in the garage) so these tools are always handy for me when I need them.

Over the door shoe organizers are perfect in the baby’s room. I stored these items below before my baby was born. I keep small blankets, diaper rash cream, socks, small toys, hats, diapers, wipes and more inside the pockets.

Over the door shoe organizers are perfect in the laundry closet. This may be a bit strange to you, but I am limited on space to fold laundry so I use the top of the washer and dryer for folding. This organizer is next to me when folding so I fold up our socks, the children’s socks, undergarments, wash cloths, and throw them in there until I am ready to put them away–yes, sometimes I’m lazy. It also holds the Shout, etc. This gives me more room and space to fold the larger items without the smaller ones being in the way!

Over the door shoe organizers are perfect, well, for shoes! Instead of having my shoes lay all over the floor, this helps them stay organized and helped free up space in my closet to store other items.

Over the door shoe organizers are perfect in kids rooms. I keep one in my daughter’s closet for her shoes.

Over the door shoe organizers are perfect for storing small toys for small toys, dress up shoes, hats, sunglasses, figurines, McDonald’s toys in the kids rooms.

As you can see, I love my over the door shoes organizers. I feel that by having these, I have freed up a lot of space in my home, and I can also find things so much easier when I can see them instead of everything being thrown into a drawer or closet. You can even put these in your garage if you’d like for tools, etc. There are so many ways to use over the door shoe organizers!

How do you use over the door shoe organizers? 

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Why is Manilla necessary? Most people have more than 20 different household accounts, including three to four credit cards, several travel and hotel rewards accounts, multiple magazine and newspaper subscriptions, plus cable, phone, and other assorted utility bills. In order to stay on top of all this, people have to manage daily incoming paper mail, an array of online usernames and passwords, and websites in order to access important account information and take action. Manilla seamlessly retrieves all your account information – current balances, previous payments, upcoming bills due – and stores it for you in one secure place. Most importantly, you need only one password to view, manage and organize it all.

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Over the Door

Why I Love My Over The Door Shoe Organizers Part 2 (New Photos!)

Some of you may have read my article on “Why I Love My Over the Door Shoe Organizers and How I Use Them in my Home.

UPDATE: I am NOW a proud owner of THREE more over the door shoe organizers! This time, I purchased the clear ones and I am in love with them. I love how much space I save by placing smaller items in these. My pantry has more space now (along with my medicine shelf which now is totally empty and ready for baby bottles at the end of the year!) I still love my mesh over the door shoe hangers, but I have decided to switch a few out with the totally clear ones so that I can see through them better. I placed a clear one in place of the one in my daughter’s room for her small toys, a clear one in the pantry, and soon, I will replace the mesh one in the art closet with a clear one. All mesh ones will continue to be placed on doors around my house and used for other things. I moved the one from my daughter’s room into the new nursery for small baby items like her knit hats, little socks, shoes, hand warmers, diaper rash cream and more!

Hopefully before the end of the month or so I will give you a new tour of my over the door shoe organizers. I plan to put one in the garage too for items like batteries, tools, and other small objects. I do prefer the clear plastic over the mesh/canvas hangers. You can find them for around $10 at Lowe’s, Walmart, or Target if not cheaper! They create lots of extra space in your home for little odds and ends!

I keep all of the medicines at the top so that they are out of reach of children. Snacks are all towards the bottom.

Note: My friend at Mommy Likes Deals is the one that inspired me on the idea of using over the door shoe organizers in the pantry.

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Organizer 1

Why I LOVE Over the Door Shoe Organizers: How I Use Them in My Home

I am a clutter phobe. I do not like things thrown around here and there and everywhere. I like to have everything in a specific place, so that I know exactly where to find it. I am also not a fan of little toys and knick knacks that have “no real home” in my home. These are things that my daughter likes to play with: bouncy balls, McDonald’s toys, sunglasses, play phones, Disney figurines, and more. These also include art supplies and items that you may find in a junk drawer. Every now and then, I admit to not keeping everything in its place–but give me some time one day to set aside just for organizing and you can be sure I will try my best to tackle the “junk” and make sure that the majority of these items have a home.

I also try my best to give my home more “storage” than it has right now. We are limited on space in some areas so I do my best to maximize that space and find “hidden ways” to create more space for items.

Recently, I purchased a few over the door hanging shoe organizers for my home. You can find them in different styles. I prefer the ones that are clear or mesh–so that you can see through each pocket. I also have a canvas one. The prices are decent, depending on which style you get (and where you get them). I purchased mine at Target and Walmart.

I own four of them currently but have even considered purchasing more for just about every door in our house! I say that because they are just simply wonderful: you can do so many things with them including organizing spices and medicine. I would like to hang one in my garage also on the side door to place stray tools, gardening gloves, seed packets and other odds and ends.

See how I use over the door shoe organizers in my own home!

Three of these over the door shoe organizers are in my daughter’s room. I bet you can guess why! There are toys galore in her room and it is frustrating to find a place for all of the small ones. I could throw them all in a bin somewhere, but that takes up more space and she doesn’t like to dig around for them.

One of the organizers is for small toys. I try to keep the items low so that my daughter can reach them. She uses her step stool to reach items that are higher. You can see on the other door that I have a metal hanger for bags and other hanging items.

The second organizer is for shoes. This organizer is on the other side of the door from the organizer with the small toys! So, I have two over the door shoe organizers on one door!

The third organizer is on the other closet door (on the inside also) for hats, gloves, and other odds and ends. This one is mostly empty right now with a few items at the bottom. I am pretty sure it won’t take long to find items to place in there! You can also see that I have another hanging organizer in her closet to the right for her clothes for school for each day of the week (LOVE that organizer also!):

Before I take you out of my daughter’s room and to the art closet, I’d like to show you other ways in which to save space. I have two storage bins that roll out from under her bed that include her dress up clothes, feather boas, aprons, hats, play shoes, jewelry, etc. This is just one other way of trying to find “extra storage” for all of the toys that she currently owns! I also made her two ribbon hangers for her wall for her hair bows.

Back to the shoe organizers! I also have a shoe organizer in our art/storage closet near our living room. I LOVE this one–it gives me more room in the closet for other items while the art supplies are hanging on the door (paints, glitter, markers, glue, tape, and more). I place the items that I don’t want my daughter to reach towards the top.

Again, I currently own four over the door shoe organizers and I wouldn’t be surprised if I head out and purchase more for other rooms in my house. If you are considering finding ways to keep small items in your home organized a little easier, this is a GREAT way to do it.

Do you currently use over the door shoe organizers? Tell us about how you use them in your home!