Cardboard & Styrofoam

yellowhairNovember 7, 2003

What does everybody use their cardboard and styrofoam for? I use small cardboard boxes for organizing drawers, etc,---also break them down and use it in the garden to kill weeds, and I add some to my compost. Also plan to use some for pictures.

Styrofoam (is this misspelled) chunks I put in the bottom of heavy planters (some people put theirs in a bag first) and for mailings.

What's some other good uses?

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When cleaning and working around the house, I like to keep a piece of cardboard in my back jeans pocket with a pencil. Whereever I am--even if a writing surface is not available, I have my handy cardboard (lighter kind that food packaging is in, or pantyhose inserts). I think of things to do or buy while doing things and this makes it easy to write it down without my schedulebook. Just transfer later.

When stacking things in the big cooler, a piece of styrofoam can allow me to make two "shelves" in the cooler, getting more things in, without piling things on and risk dumping them out.

Big boxes were always for kids to play in before being used in the garden.

Pieces of thick cardboard are used for protecting packages (reinforcing and preventing movement inside).

Good for fire starters.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2003 at 7:42AM
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I keep incoming mail in cardboard boxes, about the size to hold a 3-ring binder. If one chooses boxes that are too narrow, they tend to tip over too easily, when less than full and the mail is leaning against one wall. Not such a problem if sitting beside other similar boxes or at the end of a shelf.

Such boxes keep 3-ring binders from falling over when stored on a long space of bookshelf (or in or on desk).

I store file folders that are not currently in use in such boxes, as well.

Use cardboard boxes to store books not currently in use, ones for sale, etc.

I sometimes cut down the side of a large cardboard box to about the same size but somewhat thicker than a pie box, for more stability, to hold magazines, e.g. financial, that I wish to keep. Overlap bottom and side for gluing. Usually have sloping side to one edge that's somewhat shorter than the magazine, to enable one to remove one magazine without removing the whole box from the shelf. You've seen such boxes at an office supply house, no doubt.

When I buy food in bulk, I like to transfer the items to peanut butter bottles, plastic margarine tubs, etc. It's handy to keep them in cardboard boxes, if they don't find a location on kitchen shelves. Handy to keep such storage units as yet unused in such boxes.

Use cardboard boxes to carry non-perishable food when travelling, picnicing, etc. Milk comes in plastic bags holding about a quart, that one puts into a jug. Using other items to support the jug, wedging it in, saves spillage (and the accompanying profanity). In warm weather, jug carried in cooler.

Such boxes help organize small items when travelling, as well.

Store various parts, supplies that I use for specialized use, e.g. auto body repair, in such boxes. Recently had problem when ready to do such work (it takes place infrequently) as knew that some such items were "here somewhere" - but not in the designated box, so couldn't be found at the time.

Used a sheet of cardboard to mix auto body paste and as supply space when installing it on auto body (but piece of hardboard, aluminum sheet, etc. preferable).

Often store a dozen small yogurt cups (bought on sale) in their tray in fridge.

The guy who had my desk before me had a couple of wooden sticks fastened horizontally to the uprights of a shelf, a short way below the desk top, ready to place a piece of plywood, hardboard, etc. on as a shelf, but there was no shelf installed. I'm using a piece of cardboard as a shelf to hold typing paper that I use for notes, etc. I'm a bit frustrated - wish the space were an inch or so wider, so could store previously used paper (to use the other side as scratch, figuring space) beside it.

Used a substanial sized piece of cardboard to make a tray with about half a dozen slots to hold floppy disks for computer (four per slot). Didn't glue it adequately, I guess, as some of the joints are breaking (after about a year of use).

Same use of cardboard to make boxes with about ten compartments, each holding 3 or 4 floppies, one behind the other. Also made a cover, fitting snugly enough that it took a tug to remove it, so dropping the box wouldn't result in floppies spilling out.

I store pens and pencils in frozen fruit juice containers (or soup cans). They're handy to store raisins, nuts (formerly, before I lost my teeth), candy, other snacks on my desk. Can put product directly into mouth quite easily. If worried about flying vermin, put an individual yogurt tub into the top. Works great.

I use them (or large juice cans) as garbage containers on desk, also.

Interesting things that you all find to use such things for.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   November 9, 2003 at 6:11AM
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mid-tn-mama, really great ideas! I like the idea about taking cardboard to write on while in the garden. I always think of needed items, then usually forget them by the time I get back inside. The cooler one is good, too.

Joyful Guy, your post reminded me of a young guy who trained me at a new job one time (one of my many many employment fiascos---but that's another thread, another forum). This guy had all of these cardboard containers he had made, he used duct tape to hold them together. Letter holders, bill holders, etc. etc. This was an accounting job.

He loved duct tape so much that every year he and his brother at Christmastime had a contest on getting their presents, which were ducttaped, open. Actually, I believe his cardboard/duct tape designs were my introduction into the millions of uses for the grand gray product.

Great ideas!

Another use for cardboard for pets----take a box and cut off the top, make a slope on one side---put a pillow in---instant pet bed.

Jointed dolls, Santas, etc. can also be made with cardboard. Cut out 8 pieces--2 arms, 4 leg parts, body, and circular head. Glue on paper, or cloth, etc. and use yarn, wire, ribbon, etc. to tie the parts together after punching a hole in the ends.

I made some Uncle Sam dolls like this and covered them with plain white paper, then used colored markers for the shirt (body) and legs. Also made a tall hat and glued it on. Makes a cute decoration.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2003 at 12:15AM
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