Whenever you buy something online, there’s a good chance it will come in either a jiffy bag or a cardboard box. Jiffy bags are easy enough to dispose of, but cardboard boxes are a different matter. If you’re anything like me, you probably think it would be wasteful to just rip them up and throw them out. So, you’ll flatten the small ones to put in the recycling bin, and hoard the big ones; certain that one day you’ll find a use for them. If your garage or spare room has a few too many cardboard boxes in it, here’s a few creative ideas for what to do with them:
Creative Ways to Reuse a Cardboard Box
- Build a fort: To a small child, a cleverly cut cardboard box can be a fort, a racing car, or a play house! Cut out some doors and windows, lay down an old sheet, and let them paint and decorate their new castle, or just play with it as-is.
- Creative storage: Sticking stuff in cardboard boxes is one form of storage, but why not go a step further? If you have several boxes that are the same size, cut away the open flaps, paint or paper the outsides, and stack them to make simple, stylish shelves.
- Checking for leaks: If you think you have a leak somewhere in your car, unfold a cardboard box and slide it under the vehicle. Leave it for a few hours. When you come back, you should be able to identify where the leak is, and what kind of fluid is leaking. It’s much easier than just finding a puddle of “stuff” on the garage floor.
- Fighting weeds: Cut your boxes into strips, and lay them over areas where weeds grow, to block out the sun. This will starve the weeds of sunlight and prevent them from growing. Overlap the edges of the cardboard to make sure that no sunlight gets through.
- Cake boards: Draw around a biscuit tin to measure the size, but out the cardboard and wrap it with foil for an instant cake board. If you make a lot of cakes, this can save you a lot of money compared to buying cake boards in the store.
- Pet toys: As long as there’s no ink on the boxes, they should make good pet toys. Hamsters, gerbils, and other small pets will love running around mazes of boxes.
- Surface protection: Instead of buying drop cloths, use flattened out boxes to protect surfaces from spilled paint when you’re re-decorating. It’s cheaper, more convenient, and a good way to get rid of all those spare cardboard boxes.
Finally, don’t forget plain old recycling. It only takes a minute or two to flatten a few extra boxes and dispose of them properly. Don’t just stomp on them and put them in your normal waste bin. Cardboard recycling facilities are available almost everywhere, so there’s no need to send your old boxes to landfill.