So today we ran out of coffee and I got to looking at the cool metal can and thinking, “Hey, I bet I could do some great organizing with this!” While there are tons of uses outside of the house (lawn care, camping) I am focusing on household organization. I started researching and brainstorming ideas for what I can do with all the metal coffee cans that we end up with and here is what I have come up with:
1. School and Office Organizer – Use hot glue to attach several cans together and fill with office supplies (pens, pencils, clips, staples, crayons, markers, etc.). You can leave the cans as exposed metal or get funky with stickers, decorative papers, fabrics, or paints. If you really want to get creative, get a MDF circle that is larger than you cans from your local hardware store. Cover it with a thin layer of foam and a decorative fabric. Add ribbons in a diagonal criss-cross and secure at intersections with glue. Attach your cans to the board. You now have a tac/idea board in addition to supply storage. I have been wanting to try this out for our school supplies for a while. When I collect enough coffee cans to make it, I will share a picture!
2. In the Laundry Room – keep 3 coffee cans in the laundry room. Cut a slit in the top of one plastic lid and place any loose change (or bills!) you find in pockets or the laundry in th can (then buy yourself something cool when you collect a decent amount). Use a second a place to collect everything else people leave in their pockets. Go through that tin regularly and get rid of trash and return items that shouldn’t be trash to their owners, with the warning that if they land in the tin a second time they will be trash. For the third coffee can, turn that into a small trash can. You can even line it with a plastic grocery bag. Place lint, used dryer sheets, and any other trash that makes its way to the laundry room in that can. Don’t forget to add that trash to the chore list!
3. Small Objects – Use the smaller coffee cans to collect small household objects such as nails, screws, small tools, napkin rings, loose change…the possibilities are endless!
4. Pantry - Use these cans as canisters in the pantry. Make sure to label each can so that you know it is flour not sugar! You can get really creative and decorate with paint, papers, or stickers – even in a way that helps identify the contents. Put all you plastic grocery bags in one and cut a slit in the top. Presto! A plastic bag dispenser!
5. Bank – cut a slit in the plastic top and let the kids decorate and use them as banks. Set up one as a savings bank, one as a giving bank, and one as a spending bank. Also, stop spending your change and put that in a coffee can. At the end of the year, you will have a nice chunk of change. We save all our change and have taken vacations or paid for new items with the money. It is a great reward!
6. Bathroom & Linens – use the larger coffee can to store linen sets. You can keep sheet sets for each bed in one. Decorate and secure several together to display washcloths and hand towels or guest towels. Use smaller cans as toothbrush holders and to corral all the products in the bathroom. Again, decorate to match the room’s decor and you have an inexpensive and unique way to keep all the soaps, lotions, cotton-swabs, make-up etc. contained.
7. Craft supplies – use these to store all your craft supplies. Again, decorate to make it a craft too! Glue them together in a pyramid or circle. Or place one large can in the center and glue smaller ones around it to make a complete mobile craft center.