Clever Storage Solutions: Reusing Sturdy Boxes

Did you know sturdy produce and other boxes make excellent storage options and are available for FREE upon request at some stores?

Milk Crate Boxes

Some companies transport milk to grocery stores in thick cardboard boxes with handles called milk crate boxes. Organizing expert Karen Sprinkle has re-used these square containers that she got for free from the grocery store for clients. They work well in cube toy storage systems.

Egg Boxes

Another option, according to Karen, is egg boxes. These are larger and rectangular, but hefty. She says they are great to use for yard sales because at end you can take the whole thing to a local charity to donate it. 

Apple Boxes reader Christy Parrott wrote me to say she was a Kroger one day and noticed the boxes that the apples came in were a good size. She asked the clerk for a couple and ended up using them in her child’s bedroom. She says they are great because they fit nicely under a bed.

Tomato Boxes

Tomato boxes are perfect for casseroles, according to Christy, because “there is still room for serving spoons and small containers or salad dressings.  And who cares if the food spills – you can toss it and get another!”

Wine Crates

And after you go to the grocery store, head on over to your local wine store.  DIY contributor Julia Arterburn gets wooden wine crates from a friend who owns a liquor store and uses them to store decorative items. 

Diaper Boxes

Diaper boxes are great for storing clothes that no longer fit your child. I used to tuck in the flaps and keep one in my son’s closet so when I found something that was too small I could toss it in.

Banker’s Boxes

Okay, so this one is not free (or reused), but there’s no hunting involved and it’s certainly affordable. Banker’s boxes are available at Office Depot starting at $14 for a six-pack. “These are great because they are sturdy and have a lid,” according to our organizing guru, Karen.

Want to Make Those Affordable Storage Options Beautiful?

Karen suggests spray painting them and then decorating them with wallpaper border, decals or stencils. You can also use spray adhesive and cover the boxes with fabric that matches your décor!

Okay, your turn. Got any ideas for creative storage solutions?

Check out my storage and shelving board on Pinterest.

MAD props to organizing expert Karen Sprinkle of Organize it: Data, Time and Space and mom-of-two Christy Parrot for sharing their cleaver storage ideas! 

3 Responses to Clever Storage Solutions: Reusing Sturdy Boxes

  1. Anne April 21, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    Good storage idea. I would have to add that for those of us concerned about VOCS indoors, decorating them with leftover zero-VOC paint from a wall-painting project, or using some other low-VOC craft paint might be a preferred alternative.

  2. Christy Parrott April 25, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    Great post! I got some good ideas to go along with my produce boxes! Thanks! Christy


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