Categorized | Parenting Tips

Alternate Uses for Otherwise Thrown Away Packaging

If you’re using disposable diapers then you’ve probably sent countless empty wipes containers and diaper boxes to the recycle bin on trash day. Or maybe you’ve just redecorated baby’s room and have some empty plastic zipper bags from the new window treatments and bedding. There are always those teensy tiny diapers and baby clothes that get grown out of at light speed that may be hanging around waiting for a new purpose. Well, wait no further. Here are some ideas on how you can reuse all of these items.

Let’s start with all the packaging that collects from using diapers. If you’re buying them in bulk then you’ve probably collected some empty cardboard boxes. Before you cut and flatten them for recycling, think “outside the box.” When baby begins to crawl, she’s going to love making her way through a tunnel. Simply open the flaps of the box so they are a straight extension of the sides. Using packing tape or other heavy duty tapes, secure them in this upright position. Now, turn the box upside down and cut out holes for baby to crawl in and out of. These boxes can then be decorated and lined up to make an adventurous tunnel for baby to explore. These empty boxes also make great storage boxes for toys. They are both big enough to house several of baby’s favorite toys yet small enough to grab and go in the car as take along entertainment for baby while visiting a friend or relative’s house.

If you’re purchasing diapers by the bag, don’t throw it away empty. Instead line a waste basket with it and use it as a trash bag. At the very least, package up a messy diaper in it before tossing it into the garbage barrel.

It is so convenient to purchase wipes in those wonderful plastic boxes. You may accumulate several of these plastic containers from baby shower gifts or your own purchases. They have so many uses after their main function has ended, that is they are not being used to house baby wipes anymore. Most of these uses won’t show themselves until baby gets a bit older, but when the need appears these containers may seem invaluable. Think crayon box, marker box, pencil box or sticker box. These are also great for keeping marbles, small plastic animals or cars organized. Flash cards fit perfectly in these containers as well. The possibilities are endless.

Other great convenience items are the plastic bags that arrive complete with a zipper that may have once held window curtains or blankets and bedding. The smaller bags, such as packaging for window curtains work great for keeping a quick change of clothes in to keep in the car. They also work great to hold small toys and crayons. The bigger bags are great for blankets and blocks. Yes, I said blocks. It has been my experience that packaging for those larger building blocks doesn’t always hold up well after repeated opening and closing. Having a replacement bag is a great idea.

Now to something that is not packaging, but is something that seems to lose its need very quickly. Those tiny diapers and clothes that baby outgrows within the first month or so will become the focus of play when baby grows into a toddler and preschooler. She will enjoy putting the clothes on her dolls or stuffed animals and the diapers add to the realism of play. It’s especially helpful when she learns about using the potty. Her “babies” will have the diapers on while she trades them in for big girl underwear.

The idea is to rethink before tossing not only the items purchased, but also the packaging that the items arrive in. With a little creative thinking you’ll be able to discover several alternative uses for common items in your home.

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