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80 Things You Should Never Throw Out (and How to Reuse Them)

Wait! Before you toss these items in the trash or recycling bin, check out all of the brilliant ways you can repurpose them around your home.

Family Handyman

Coffee container

Lugging a heavy bag of de-icer out to the sidewalk is no fun, and it’s tough to spread de-icer evenly with a shovel or cup. You get a clump in one spot and none in another, so you’re wasting both time and deicer. Here’s a great solution. Make a "sidewalk salt shaker" from a big plastic coffee container with a handle. Poke 1/4-in. holes in the lid and fill it with sand, cat litter, deicer, or a mix of whatever you want and shake away! —Reader Tony DeMarse. On the other hand, these are the things you need to throw out ASAP.

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Hose reel

To keep holiday lights from getting tangled and make it easy to string them around the yard next year, roll all the strings of lights onto a portable hose reel with wheels and a handle.

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Ice trays

Forget the old coffee can filled with your lifetime collection of screws, washers, and other hardware. Take ten minutes to organize the miscellany in ice cube trays. Nail together a case from scrap plywood and carry it right to the job at hand. Thanks to reader Leo McSherry for this extremely cool tip. If you're doing some fall cleaning, this is what you need to get rid of.

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Foam beverage can holders

How many times have you stubbed your toe on your metal bed frame? Ouch! Here’s a creative way to protect your piggies. Cover the bare metal leg and wheel with a foam beverage can holder. It’ll save your toes and prevent carpet dents and hardwood floor scratches to boot! — Reader Vito Accetta

Use a Pool Noodle Inside a DrawerFamily Handyman

Use a pool noodle inside a drawer

Reader Roy Allison found a solution for keeping his silverware drawer organizer from moving around each time he opened or closed the drawer: a pool noodle! He cut the noodle to size, so that it fits snuggly between the back of the organizer and the back of the drawer.
5-gallon bucket dog feederFamily Handyman

5-Gallon buckets

Five-gallon buckets are super helpful around the house and in the garage. Make a tough, self-filling dog feeder from a couple of five-gallon buckets. With a saber saw, cut the bottom off one bucket to create a serving tray, and cut a food dispensing hole in the food storage bucket (as shown). Cut part of the lip off the bottom of the food storage bucket to flatten it, then use silicone to glue the two pieces together.

NOTE: Don't build this dog feeder unless your pooch can exercise some self-control. —Reader Justin Moujoodi. Here are some organizing tips you'll wish you knew all along.

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Paper tubes

There are several uses for paper tubes like cord storage or making your vacuum reach more places. To make it easier to clean hard to reach spots use a leftover wrapping paper tube as a vacuum cleaner extension. Now you have three extra feet to clean ceiling fans and cobwebbed corners.

Cleaning moldy tile with a toothbrush at bathroomCunaplus_M.Faba/Getty Images


Old toothbrushes are great at cleaning tough to reach spots. Now that discount and dollar stores carry cheap electric toothbrushes, you can add a modern twist to routine cleaning. Rapid vibration will quickly scrub out stubborn dirt, while the long handle can get to hard-to-reach places without all the elbow grease. Here are more things you could be cleaning with a toothbrush.

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Tennis balls

A tennis ball can help open a bottle or become a mallet in a pinch.

milk jug scoop for pet footFamily Handyman

Milk jugs

You don't need to save all your milk jugs but having a few extra around can be a real blessing. These are the foods you're throwing out too soon.

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Originally Published on The Family Handyman