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How to Repurpose Cardboard Tubes for Home Storage

Row of cardboard cylinders on a white wooden table.

When you use up a roll of toilet paper or paper towels, you probably toss the leftover cardboard tube into the trash or (hopefully) recycling bin without a thought. But what if we told you that you can keep them and use them for more practical purposes?

More specifically, they can be used for quite a few different storage and organizational purposes around your home.

If you don’t mind rolling up your personal and important documents, they make for an excellent place to stash these kinds of papers. Simply roll up your papers as tightly as possible and insert them into the tube. It’ll prevent your documents from creases and provides them a layer of protection against water, dust, etc.

ECOWAN LIVING Recycling Bins for Home

If you do plan to toss your cardboard tubes, make sure you recycle them in bins like these.

If you’re someone who likes to knit or wants to learn how, a cardboard tube also makes a great organizational device for your knitting needles. (You’ll want longer cardboard tubes for this, like those from a roll of parchment paper or aluminum foil.) Cover one end of the tube with clear tape, pinch the other end closed, and seal the pinched end with more tape, then stick your needles through the tape on the non-pinched end.

Cardboard tubes also make great storage places for fabric scraps and loose bits of string, rather than leaving them loose in a kitchen drawer. You can even use them as cord and cable organizers by rolling up each individual cable and place it inside its own tube; this will not only prevent cords from tangling inside a bin or drawer but make it easier to find the cord you’re looking for at any given moment.

So next time you finish a roll of paper towels, think if there’s something else you could use the tube for before you toss it out.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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