A simple and green do-it-yourself storage solution

Confession – I am a toiletries junkie.

I’m also forgetful and a little bit messy sometimes. (I’m also a Virgo, which is weird, because I thought that would make me neater.) Being a forgetful and messy toiletries junkie hasn’t being very good for my pocketbook or the state of my room.

I feel a story coming on now.

Just last month I was in the grocery store, and I spotted the toothpaste brand that I like on sale. I thought to myself, “Self, the tube in our bathroom is getting a little skinny and we don’t want to run out. We like having clean teeth and fresh breath.” So I happily added the toothpaste to my grocery basket.

Fast forward a few days later and I’m rummaging through my worldly possessions scattered haphazardly around my room. Guess what I found? Not one, not two, but three tubes of toothpaste! Apparently I had forgotten that I already bought them months ago. And I’ve done this repeat-unnecessary-buying-madness on all my essentials many times – shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap, you name it, I’ve bought it (again and again eventhough I already had it).

Then I realized that my problem stemmed from being too disorganized. If I couldn’t see the things I already owned, of course I’m going to forget that I have them. And I’ll just keep buying more things I don’t need.

So to fix this disorganization conundrum, I schemed to buy one of those large rectangular plastic bins that I could throw in all my extra toiletries. But before I could run out and buy a China-made plastic marvel, a better solution came along.

My sister had dropped off a bunch of packages at my place one day (she needed to store some stuff) and there was one empty box left over. She had meant to take it back with her but changed her mind.

So there it sat.


I thought to myself, this would make a perfectly good storage space.

It’s the right size and all. Plus I would be recycling and being all environmentally-responsible. No adding to the landfills. Why, I could give this sad little cardboard box a second life.

But still, I really wanted something pretty.

That’s when I got the idea to wrap the box, thereby covering it in prettiness. So I pulled out some leftover wrapping paper I had but it had cartoon kittens on it. Uhhh… no. So what did I end up using?

Women’s magazines. I had a bunch that were just gathering dust. Guess what I discovered? Old magazines make very pretty paper thanks to the pages of pretty ads and bright colors.

So I sat on the floor, and took my scissors to the pages. Got some UHU glue and my tape dispenser. I cut and tore. I pasted the paper and taped the edges. The whole thing took me about an hour and I have to admit, was pretty fun to do.

I also cut the two side flaps so it can close and open without fuss. I kept the cardboard flaps and used them as dividers inside the box. Since they came from the box itself, it was a perfect fit.


I hope I’ve given you some ideas of your own. You can wrap a box to hold just about anything – makeup, costume jewellery and hair accessories.

Boxes of any size will do. I might repeat this project with a shoebox next! 🙂

9 Replies to “A simple and green do-it-yourself storage solution”

  1. Using the flaps as dividers was a good idea. The last thing you want is to just throw everything into the box in an untidy mess defeating the purpose of having it in the first place.

  2. A good idea, so no need to buy an expensive place to store items that are still in use or are not used. Now there are practical and do not need to spend money, thank you for the information.

  3. I like this idea too. I’ve got all of these random prescriptions and over the counter medicines from former illnesses that have attacked the space that used to be under my sink. I think I might just have to get my crafting hat on and start decorated. Thanks for the. Don’t mind if I use it…

  4. It works and it’s creative. Much more functional and more attractive than your standard boring cardboard box.

  5. This is a good use of old magazines and newspaper. This could be a temporary solution for my old books that i want to keep.

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