6 Great Ways to Reuse Empty Jars

New ideas for recycling that will help you get organized.

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Waterproof camping storage
When you’re boating or camping, keeping things like matches and paper money dry can be a challenge. Store items that you don’t want to get wet in clear jars with screw tops that can’t pop off. Even if you’re backpacking, plastic peanut butter jars are light enough not to weigh you down, plus they provide more protection for crushable items than a resealable plastic bag.

Create workshop storage
Don’t let workshop hardware get mixed up. Keep all your nails, screws, nuts, and bolts organized by screwing jar lids to the underside of a wooden or melamine shelf. (Make sure the screw won’t poke through the top of the shelf.) Then put each type of hardware in its own jar, and screw each jar onto its lid. You’ll keep everything off the counters, and by using clear jars, you can find what you need at a glance. Works great for storing seeds in the potting shed too!

Stamp out cookies
Just about any clean, empty wide-mouthed jar is just the right size for cutting cookies out of any rolled dough.

Collect insects
Help the kids observe nature by gently collecting fireflies and other interesting bugs in clear jars. Punch a few small air holes in the lids for ventilation. Don’t make the holes too large, or your bugs will escape! Don’t forget to let the critters go after you’ve admired them.

Make baby-food portions
Take advantage of the fact that baby-food jars are already the perfect size for baby’s portions. Clean them thoroughly before reuse, and fill them with anything from pureed carrots to vanilla pudding. Attach a spoon with a rubber band, and you’ve got a perfect take-along meal when you travel with your little one.

Bring along baby’s treats
Dry cereal can be a nutritious snack for your baby. No need to bring the whole box when you leave the house; pack individual servings in clean, dry baby-food jars. If they get spilled, the mess is minimal.