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Spending more time at home means spending more time going through your belongings. Being great at organising also means knowing how to repurpose ordinary household objects into extraordinary essentials with renewed lives. From shoeboxes to baby clothes, here are a few major household objects professional organisers wouldn’t throw out.


Remember the days of buying sneakers for running and a pair of ballet flats for everyday life? We do, too. However, do you remember where any of your shoeboxes are? “When I take on a new client, I tell them not to buy any organising products in advance because most people have enough containers throughout their homes that can be repurposed to hold other things,” professional organiser, Sharon Lowenheim, tells Reader’s Digest.

One item she tells clients not to throw away? Shoeboxes. “Just be sure to label the outside of the box so that you know what’s inside and not think its shoes,” Lowenheim adds.

Plastic containers with missing lids

Like always finding a single sock after doing laundry, you’ve probably found containers with no lids. Instead of tossing the container, repurpose it. “This is especially helpful if you can see through them,” says Lowenheim. “Rectangular or square containers are a better use of space than round ones.”

Important documents

As you’re moving through your home trying to get organised, you might come across important documents. Should they stay or should they go? “Generally speaking, I never advise tossing legal documents, house documents, or tax documents,” organising expert, Shira Gill, tells Reader’s Digest.


Do you have a bunch of old coffee mugs gathering dust in the back of the cabinet? Dust off those mugs and use them as modern decorations. Lowenheim says you can use mugs as a pen holder on a desk. So easy anyone can do it!

Label organiser

If you’re looking to seriously up your organising game, owning a labeller is a must. An often overlooked item in any organised home is a labeller. “Labelling is so important! If someone doesn’t have a labeller, then a roll of masking tape and a marker will do,” says Lowenheim. “Labelling the outside of containers or the edges of shelves is so powerful. It reminds you where things go so that you can easily put them away, and also reminds you where you can find them again.” Looking for other ways to organise your life?

Personal mementos and art

Having a tough time deciding whether to keep old letters of other personalised memorabilia? It’s OK, we understand. “Anything one of a kind such as handwritten notes, old photos, or original art should also be carefully considered before tossing,” adds Gill.

Children’s clothes

“Hanging onto high-quality baby/kid gear and apparel is also a good idea if you plan to have more children in the future,” says Gill.

Items that aren’t actually yours

If you’re trying to clean up after other people, you might want to talk it over with them as opposed to throwing them out those items yourself. “I would never advise throwing out anything that does not belong to you without consent from your partner/spouse/child,” says Gill. “This can save you a lot of drama and hurt feelings later!”

Repurposing old things

It’s OK to be creative with everything in your home. In fact, when organising, it’s encouraged. “Before running out to buy new products, I always encourage ‘shopping your home.’ Bins, baskets, and other vessels can easily transition from space to space depending on your current storage needs,” says Gill. “The pencil case you’re no longer using may be perfect for storing travel toiletries. The tray you no longer need from your office could be a great way to corral mail in your entryway. Even old cosmetic bags can be handy for organising smaller items like tiny toys, cords, or travel toiletries.”