4 Clever Ways to Repurpose a Cardboard Mailing Tube

When it come to shipping large paper objects such as art prints and posters, cardboard mailing tubes offer pretty much the perfect marriage of convenience and protection. Yet it can be hard to feel quite so positive about mailing tubes when faced with a closet full of them. Fortunately, you don't have to resort to throwing away old mailing tubes. Instead, consider these four clever ways to give them new life in your home.

Eliminate crease marks when hanging pants.

Many people find clothes hangers the most convenient way to store their pants. Yet hangers--both the metal and the plastic variety--tend to leave unsightly crease lines along the legs. This problem can be easily eliminated through the use of an old cardboard mailing tube. Simply cut the tube down so that it corresponds to the length of the hanger, make a single slit along its length, and slip it over the hanger. You can then tape it shut if you want. Now your pants hang over the tube, eliminating the occurrence of crease lines.

Help get your fire started with ease.

Those who own homes with fireplaces have access to one of the most wonderful wintertime luxuries: a hot roaring fire. The trouble is getting that fire started can be a real pain in the butt. The good news is that you can accelerate the process with the help of a mailing tube. Just cut the tube down into three or four cylinders, stuff them with a flammable nontoxic material such as dryer lint, and wrap it up with newspaper. Make this ready-to-burn item the first thing you light, and your next fire will be a virtual snap.

Gather your grocery bags.

This is about as basic—and as useful—as it gets. In fact, you don't need to make a single modification to your mailing tube. Simply find a convenient place for it in your kitchen, and use it as a handy receptacle for plastic grocery bags. You'll be astounded at the number of bags a single tube can hold. Better yet, they'll be ready to go and easy to access the next time you need a bag.

Organize your electronics and extension cords.

From power cords, to extension cords, to adaptors, the modern home is filled to the brim with electrical cables. While you may not need most of these on a daily basis, nothing could be more frustrating than not being able to find one when you need it. A repurposed mailing tube is a great way to organize such cords and cables. Just cut it down into foot-long sections, loop a cord through the middle and around the outside several times, then tuck the end underneath the loop. This will do wonders to eliminate the chaos of tangled cord drawers.

To learn more, contact companies where you can buy mailing containers.