There is something really charming about glass bottles. Old-fashioned yet modern, simple and clean. What I love most about glass jars and bottles is that it is so incredibly easy to reuse and repurpose them. Need a container for loose change? Grab a jam jar. Looking for a retro candle holder? Use an empty wine bottle.
All you need to do before reusing them is to wash them in hot, soapy water. Scrub off any stickers or labels. If you’d like, you can stick left over bits of wrapping paper to decorate the lids and voila, you have lovely, glass jars to use any way you’d like.
Here are my favorite ways of reusing these lovely organizing tools to keep the home neat, save money and live green.
- Spice Jars. One of my favorite uses is to store spices and herbs in glass jars. Since I buy frequently used spices and herbs in bulk, glass jars are great for storing them. You can use larger jars, such as the Nutella ones, for bigger quantities and smaller jam bottles for others.
- Flower Vases. Bottles, wine and ketchup, make great single stem holders while jars without the lids can be used to hold bunches of daisies or marigolds. Easy, no-fuss and cheap table decorations!
- Organize Sewing Supplies. Keeping buttons, threads, zippers and other sewing supplies organized is easy with small glass jars. However, before I started doing this, I was using a sewing organizer with separate compartments and that worked just as well. Except that it just got a tad small once our needs for mending grew. So, the organizer now holds ribbons and gift tags for our gift-wrapping.
- Keep Hair Accessories Tidy. I love using jam jars and bottles to store my daughter’s clips, bands and hair ties. I can find what I need instantly and they make her closet shelf look all neat and organized. If you have older kids, though, you may not want to do that since jars can slip and break. Right now, I handle my toddler’s closet and so am using them. As she grows older, I may have to look at other unbreakable organizing options.
- Store Nails, Screws and Pins. Keeping my much-needed nails, pins and screws is easy with tightly-lidded glass jars.
- Cookies, Candy and Snack Containers. I haven’t bought a single cookie, candy or snack container in ages now. All I do is reuse the empty Nutella jars. Since we don’t buy too many candies or cookies anyway, the size is perfect for the small quantities of candy, dried fruits and homemade cookies that I bake for my daughter.
- Pen and Pencil Holders. Jars whose lids have lost their way can easily be used to stash extra pens and pencils. Add attractive labels or pictures (Check out some great deals on labels at Current Labels and Lovable Labels!) and you have lovely desk décor.
- Organize Laundry Supplies. Glass jars are also ideal for storing detergent, stain remover and any other dry laundry item that you buy in bulk. Even, if you make your own green detergent, you can use the bottles for storing it.
- Showcase Collections. Pebbles, leaves, flowers and shells collected during nature walks or time out in the park all go into glass jars. Even in the kitchen, you can create pretty showpieces by layering different colored lentils in a jar. I have orange, yellow and green lentils with a bottom layer of black lentils. Plus, you can keep changing it as and when you want.
- Candle Stands. The best use for empty wine bottles, in my opinion, is to transform them into retro-ish candle holders. I use quite a few during Diwali and Christmas celebrations at home.
I love glass jars and bottles for many reasons. One, they look simple and elegant. Two, they’re super easy to clean and maintain. Three, it is easy to keep track of items that need replenishing, such as, dried herbs, snacks, stain remover and so on. Four, they’re inexpensive since I’ve already bought the jam or Nutella (which my toddler loves and yes, I know it isn’t the healthiest spread ever but till I don’t find a healthier spread, I’m stuck with it :-()
Your turn, now. What’s your favorite way to reuse an empty jar or bottle? Do share!!
Photo Credit: D’Arcy Norman