Tip: Repurpose Empty Containers To Store Small Toys, Art Supplies, Or Travel Snacks For Toddlers.

Looking for clever ways to organize your toddler’s toys, art supplies, or travel snacks? Look no further! We’ve got a simple yet effective tip for you: repurpose your empty containers! From plastic juice bottles to baby wipes containers, there are countless possibilities when it comes to repurposing these everyday objects. Not only will this help keep everything organized and easily accessible, but it’s also a great way to reduce waste and get creative with your storage solutions. So grab those empty containers and start transforming them into functional and fun storage options for your little one!

Ways to Repurpose Empty Containers

When it comes to repurposing, empty containers can be incredibly useful. Not only do they provide a cost-effective storage solution, but they also give you the opportunity to exercise your creativity and create personalized organizers for various purposes. In this article, we will explore ten different ways you can repurpose empty containers to store small toys, art supplies, or travel snacks for toddlers.

Cereal Box Organizers

Don’t throw away those empty cereal boxes just yet! They can actually be transformed into versatile organizers for a variety of items. Cut off the top flaps and reinforce the bottom with tape or glue for added stability. You can then use these boxes to store items such as small toys, craft supplies, or even office supplies. To make them even more aesthetically pleasing, consider covering the boxes with colorful patterned paper or contact paper.

Shoebox Storage

Shoeboxes are another fantastic option for repurposing. They offer ample storage space and can easily be customized to match your child’s preferences. You can use shoeboxes to store small toys, art supplies, or even as a mini bookshelf for your child’s favorite books. To make them more visually appealing, consider wrapping them in wrapping paper, decorating them with stickers, or painting them with your child’s favorite colors.

Baby Wipe Container Pencil Case

Empty baby wipe containers can be transformed into practical pencil cases for your little ones. Simply clean out the container thoroughly and remove any remaining residue. Once it’s dry, you can fill it with pencils, markers, crayons, and other art supplies. The lid of the container will keep everything secure, making it easy for your child to take their pencil case on the go.

Mason Jar Craft Supply Storage

Mason jars are not just for canning! They can also be used as stylish and functional storage solutions for art supplies. Place items such as paintbrushes, markers, or colored pencils in different jars to keep them organized and easily accessible. You can even decorate the jars using ribbons, washi tape, or paint to add a personal touch.

Coffee Can Snack Containers

If you have empty coffee cans lying around, don’t throw them away! They can be repurposed as snack containers for when you’re on the go with your toddler. Clean out the coffee cans thoroughly and remove any labels. You can then fill them with small snacks such as crackers, dried fruit, or cereal. The lids will ensure that the snacks stay fresh and can be easily accessed when needed.

Plastic Bottle Crayon Holder

Empty plastic bottles, such as water or soda bottles, can be transformed into convenient crayon holders. Cut off the top portion of the bottle, leaving the bottom section as the holder. Fill the bottom with crayons, making sure to organize them by color. This not only keeps the crayons easily accessible but also provides a fun way for your child to choose their colors.

Tic Tac Box Travel Snack Container

Those small Tic Tac boxes can serve a new purpose as travel snack containers. Wash them thoroughly and remove any labels. Once they are dry, you can fill them with small snacks such as raisins, nuts, or dried berries. These compact and portable containers are perfect for keeping your toddler satisfied while on the go.

Cardboard Tube Art Supply Organizer

Don’t toss out those cardboard tubes from paper towel or toilet paper rolls just yet! They can actually be upcycled into handy art supply organizers. Simply cut the tubes to your desired length and glue them together in a rectangular or square shape. You can then store items such as pencils, markers, or paint brushes in the individual sections. This is a great way to keep your child’s art supplies tidy and easily accessible.

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Plastic Takeout Container Toy Storage

Next time you order takeout, save those plastic containers! They can be repurposed as toy storage containers. Clean them thoroughly and remove any labels and residual food. These containers are perfect for storing small toys, such as building blocks, toy cars, or action figures. The transparent lid allows your child to easily see what’s inside, making it easier for them to find their favorite toys.

Altoids Tin Treasure Box

Empty Altoids tins can be transformed into miniature treasure boxes for your child. Clean the tin thoroughly and remove any residue. You can then decorate the tin using stickers, paint, or colorful washi tape. Once it’s dry, your child can use the tin to store small treasures such as seashells, stones, or small trinkets. These compact treasure boxes are perfect for sparking your child’s imagination and organizing their special keepsakes.

Benefits of Repurposing

Not only is repurposing empty containers a great way to organize and store items, but it also comes with a range of benefits. Let’s explore some of the advantages of repurposing.

Environmentally Friendly Solution

By repurposing empty containers, you are reducing waste and minimizing your environmental impact. Instead of throwing items away, you are giving them a second life, reducing the need for new materials to be produced. This helps conserve natural resources and reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills.


Repurposing containers is an affordable alternative to purchasing new storage solutions. Instead of spending money on expensive organizers, you can repurpose items you already have at home. This not only saves you money but also allows you to exercise your creativity and customize the organizers to suit your needs.

Personalized and Customizable

When you repurpose containers, you have the opportunity to create personalized and customized organizers. You can choose colors, patterns, and decorations that match your child’s preferences and make the organizers more visually appealing. This not only adds a personal touch but also makes organizing more fun for you and your child.

Teaches Responsibility and Resourcefulness

Repurposing containers can be a valuable teaching moment for your child. It teaches them the importance of reducing waste, reusing materials, and being resourceful. By involving them in the process of repurposing, you can help develop their creativity, problem-solving skills, and sense of responsibility towards the environment.

How to Prepare Containers for Repurposing

Before you repurpose empty containers, it’s important to properly prepare them. Follow these steps to ensure your containers are ready for their new purpose.

Clean and Disinfect

Before repurposing any container, it’s crucial to clean and disinfect it thoroughly. This ensures that any dirt, germs, or residues are removed, creating a safe environment for storing toys, art supplies, or snacks. Use warm soapy water to clean the container, paying attention to any crevices or corners. For added disinfection, you can use a mild bleach solution or a disinfectant spray. However, be sure to rinse the container thoroughly to remove any cleaning products before using it.

Remove Labels and Residue

Many containers come with labels that can be difficult to remove. To remove labels and any sticky residue left behind, soak the container in warm soapy water. This will help loosen the adhesive. If the residue persists, you can use rubbing alcohol or a commercial adhesive remover. Gently scrub the residue with a sponge or cloth until it comes off completely. Once the container is label-free and residue-free, it’s ready for repurposing.

Decorative Options

Once your containers are clean and label-free, you can explore different decorative options to make them visually appealing. Consider using paints, markers, ribbons, or stickers to add color and personalize the containers. Additionally, you can use patterned wrapping paper, contact paper, or fabric to cover the containers, giving them a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing look.

Safety Considerations

When repurposing containers, it’s important to consider safety. Ensure that the containers you choose do not have any sharp edges or rough surfaces that could cause injury to your child. If necessary, sand down any rough edges or cover them with tape or fabric. Additionally, make sure that the containers are sturdy and stable, especially if they will be used to store heavy items or if they will be accessible to young children. Safety should always be a top priority when repurposing containers for your toddler.

Container Ideas for Small Toys

Keeping small toys organized can be a challenge, but with repurposed containers, you can create practical and visually appealing storage solutions. Here are five container ideas for small toys.

Shoebox Dividers

Shoeboxes can be repurposed to create dividers for small toys. Cut the shoebox into two or three sections, depending on the size of the toys and the box. You can then place different types of toys in each section, keeping them separated and easily accessible. To make the dividers more durable, reinforce the edges with tape or glue.

Baby Food Jar Organizer

Baby food jars are the perfect size for storing small toys. Clean and remove any labels from the jars, then fill them with items such as small figures, puzzle pieces, or small building blocks. You can organize the jars on a shelf, in a drawer, or on a tray. To add an extra level of organization, consider labeling each jar with its contents.

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Ice Cube Tray Sorter

Ice cube trays can be repurposed as sorters for small toys. Place different types of toys in each compartment of the tray, helping your child easily identify and access their desired toys. This method works particularly well for small items like LEGO pieces, toy cars, or action figures. The ice cube tray can be stored in a drawer, on a shelf, or in a designated toy area.

Tackle Box Art Kit

An empty tackle box can be transformed into an art kit for your child. The compartments of the box can store different art supplies, such as markers, colored pencils, or small paint tubes. The tackle box keeps everything organized and easily accessible, making it perfect for art on the go or at home. Consider labeling each compartment to further organize the supplies.

Egg Carton Storage

Don’t throw away those empty egg cartons! They can be repurposed as storage for small toys. The individual compartments of the egg carton are ideal for holding small items such as toy animals, marbles, or beads. You can even stack multiple egg cartons for additional organization. To make it more visually appealing, consider painting or decorating the egg cartons with your child.

Container Ideas for Art Supplies

Art supplies often tend to be scattered around, making it challenging to find everything you need. Repurposing containers can help keep your child’s art supplies organized. Here are five container ideas for art supplies.

Plastic Container Palette

Empty plastic food containers with lids can be repurposed as paint palettes. Pour different colors of paint into the compartments of the container, securing the lid to keep the paint fresh. This allows your child to easily access and mix their desired colors without the need for specialized palettes. The lid also acts as a convenient cover, preventing the paint from drying out.

Pencil Case Organizer

Use a repurposed pencil case to store markers, pencils, crayons, and other art supplies. The compartments in the pencil case allow for easy sorting and organization of different items. Choose a pencil case with a zipper or secure closing mechanism to keep the supplies securely in place. You can even personalize the pencil case by decorating it with stickers or your child’s name.

Paintbrush Holder

Empty cans or cups can be repurposed as paintbrush holders. Fill the container with water and place it on your child’s art desk or easel. This ensures that your child’s paintbrushes are easily accessible, and the water keeps them clean during painting sessions. To add a touch of creativity, consider decorating the container with colorful washi tape or stickers.

Craft Jar Organizer

Repurpose glass or plastic jars with tight-sealing lids as organizers for small art supplies. Fill each jar with items such as beads, sequins, buttons, or small craft supplies. These jars allow your child to easily see and access their art materials while keeping them neatly stored. Label each jar to identify its contents and create a more organized system.

Magnetic Tin Storage

Metal tins, such as mint tins or Altoids tins, can be repurposed as magnetic storage for your child’s art supplies. Attach adhesive magnets to the backs of small items such as paper clips, erasers, or magnetic letters. Place these items in the tin, and the magnets will keep everything securely in place. The tin can then be stored on a magnetic surface, such as a whiteboard or refrigerator, making it easily accessible.

Container Ideas for Travel Snacks

When traveling with a toddler, keeping snacks organized and easily accessible is crucial. Repurposed containers can help ensure that your little one’s snacks are readily available. Here are five container ideas for travel snacks.

Portable Snack Pack

Invest in a reusable container with multiple compartments to create a portable snack pack. These containers often have individually sealed areas, perfect for storing different snacks such as fruits, crackers, or cheese. The secure lid ensures that the snacks remain fresh and can be easily accessed while on the go. Depending on your child’s preferences, you can choose a container with smaller or larger compartments.

Bento Box Compartmentalizer

Repurpose a bento box or a divided lunch container to hold your child’s travel snacks. The different compartments provide space for a variety of snacks, allowing you to include a balanced selection. You can include fruits, veggies, crackers, or sandwiches, depending on your child’s preferences. The bento box lids usually have secure closures, ensuring that the snacks do not mix and stay fresh.

Ziplock Bag Organizer

If you prefer a lightweight and flexible option, repurpose ziplock bags to organize your child’s travel snacks. Use various sizes of ziplock bags to separate different snacks. Label each bag with its contents for easy identification. This method allows you to maximize space in your bag and ensures that the snacks stay fresh and protected.

Snack Stack Containers

Snack stack containers are a convenient option for keeping travel snacks organized. These containers consist of multiple levels or compartments that can be stacked on top of each other. Each compartment can hold a different snack, making it easy for your child to choose their desired treat. The containers often come with a secure lid that keeps the snacks fresh and prevents spills.

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Pill Organizer Snack Holder

A pill organizer can be repurposed as a snack holder for your child’s travel snacks. These organizers typically have several compartments that can hold different snacks. You can pre-fill each compartment with snacks such as Cheerios, raisins, or pretzel sticks. The clear plastic lids allow your child to easily see what snacks are available and make their selection.

Tips for Organizing with Repurposed Containers

Organizing with repurposed containers is both practical and sustainable. Here are five tips to help you make the most of your repurposed containers.

Label Containers

Labels are a crucial element in organizing. By labeling repurposed containers, you create a clear system that helps you and your child identify what’s inside each container. Use colorful labels or stickers to make the containers more visually appealing and engaging for your child.

Implement a System

Organizing is all about creating a system that works for you and your child. Think about how you want to categorize the items and come up with a logical order. You can organize by type of toy, by color, or by theme, depending on what makes the most sense for your child. Implementing a system ensures that items can be easily found and put away, making cleanup time more efficient.

Stackable and Nestable Containers

When choosing repurposed containers, look for options that are stackable or nestable. This allows you to maximize storage space and keep your child’s belongings neat and organized. Containers that can be nested inside each other when not in use save valuable space and make cleanup easier.

Group Similar Items Together

Grouping similar items together helps create a cohesive and organized look. For example, if you’re organizing art supplies, group pencils together, markers together, and paints together. If you’re organizing small toys, group cars together, dolls together, and building blocks together. This not only makes it easier to find specific items but also creates a visually appealing setup.

Rotate Toys and Snacks

To keep things interesting for your child, consider rotating their toys and snacks. Instead of having all the toys or snacks available at once, store some away and bring them out at a later time. This helps to keep your child engaged and excited about their toys and snacks, while also preventing clutter and overwhelming them with too many options.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Maintaining and keeping your repurposed containers in good condition is essential for their longevity and effectiveness. Here are three tips for maintenance and upkeep.

Regular Cleaning and Inspection

Regularly clean your repurposed containers to ensure that they remain hygienic and safe for use. Depending on the container, this may involve washing with warm soapy water, wiping with disinfectant wipes, or running through the dishwasher. Inspect the containers for any signs of wear, such as cracks or loose parts, and address any necessary repairs promptly.

Reevaluating and Reorganizing

Periodically reevaluate and reorganize your repurposed containers to accommodate any changes in your child’s needs or preferences. As your child grows, their toy preferences may change, or their art supplies may require different storage solutions. By reevaluating and reorganizing, you can ensure that the containers continue to serve their purpose effectively.

Checking for Damage and Wear

Regularly check your repurposed containers for any signs of damage or wear. This is particularly important if the containers are used by young children or are subjected to heavy use. If you notice any cracks, weak spots, or other issues, it may be time to replace the container to ensure the safety and functionality of your organization system.

Creative DIY Container Upcycling Projects

If you’re feeling particularly creative, here are five DIY container upcycling projects that you can try.

Bottle Cap Mini Containers

Collect bottle caps and transform them into mini containers for small items such as buttons, beads, or small pins. Clean the bottle caps thoroughly and glue a small piece of fabric, paper, or felt to the inside. This creates a small compartment inside the bottle cap, perfect for holding tiny objects. These adorable mini containers can be stored in a jar or small box for easy organization.

CD Spindle Crayon Holder

Repurpose an old CD spindle case into a crayon holder. Remove the spindle and clean the case thoroughly. You can then place crayons vertically inside the case, allowing your child to easily access and view the available colors. The spindle case keeps the crayons neatly organized and prevents them from rolling around or getting lost.

Altoids Tin Mini Magnet Board

Turn an empty Altoids tin into a mini magnet board for your child. Clean the tin and remove any remaining residue. Cover the inside of the lid with a magnetic sheet or self-adhesive magnetic roll. This turns the inside of the tin into a magnetic surface where your child can play with magnetic letters, numbers, or small magnetic toys. This portable mini magnet board is perfect for keeping your child entertained while traveling or waiting.

Plastic Bottle Piggy Bank

Transform an empty plastic bottle into a fun and functional piggy bank for your child. Clean the bottle thoroughly and remove any labels or residue. Cut a coin slot into the top of the bottle and decorate it with paint or markers. Your child can then start saving their coins and watch their bank grow. When the bottle is full, simply remove the cap, empty the contents, and start again.

Tuna Can Coin Organizer

Tuna cans can be repurposed as coin organizers or loose change holders. Clean the can thoroughly and remove any sharp edges. Decorate the can using paint, colorful tape, or stickers. Stack multiple tuna cans to create a coin tower, with each can marked for specific denominations. This helps your child learn about different coins and their values, while also keeping loose change organized.


Repurposing empty containers is a practical and sustainable solution for storing small toys, art supplies, and travel snacks for toddlers. Not only does it provide a cost-effective storage option, but it also allows you to exercise your creativity and customize your organization systems. By repurposing containers, you are reducing waste, teaching your child about responsibility and resourcefulness, and creating personalized and organized spaces. So, don’t throw away those empty containers just yet – give them a new purpose and watch how they transform into versatile organizers for your toddler’s needs.