Winter Project - Reusing Plastic Coffee Containers for Storage Organization
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Winter Project - Reusing Plastic Coffee Containers for Storage Organization

Reusing plastic coffee containers is a frugal means of organizing household storage for smaller items. The winter season is a good time to gather a nice cache of containers from family, friends and neighbors. Gather the kids together for an afternoon or evening to personalize or decorate plastic coffee containers in preparation of a storage project.

The lazy winter months are perfect for organizational projects that will make spring cleaning a more welcome adventure. Empty plastic coffee containers are perfect for so many applications. They are durable, have nonslip handles and easy snap on lids. From attic to garage, every room of the home can benefit from reusing coffee containers for storage organization.

Each coffee manufacturer packages his product in distinct colored plastic for easy brand recognition; Maxwell House blue, Folger's red and decaf green. Generally ground coffee comes in two sizes, an 11.6-13.3 oz and a larger 27.8-33.9 oz. Not all manufacturer's sizes are available in the plastic. However, the round cans are quite handy too.

Locating Empty Coffee Containers

Once you get started, you will find that several containers are needed for the organization and storage project you have in mind. Have your family, neighbors and friends save their empties for you. If it isn't illegal, roam the recycle bins on trash day. Any project will require more containers than you think.

Prepping Coffee Containers For Reuse

Thoroughly wash and dry empty containers. If it will be a while before they will be used, add a tablespoon of baking soda or several new coffee filters to absorb the residual coffee aroma and moisture. If you want to reuse them right away, several runs through the dishwasher will do the trick.

Decide On A Project To Get You Started

  • Closet space is always at a premium. Many items will store nicely in clean plastic coffee containers. A second shelf mounted 7" under the main shelf but behind the hanging rod need only be 6.5" wide to accommodate a sizeable number of the larger recycled coffee containers. These containers are perfect for seasonal item storage as well as the not-so-often used items such as white gloves, cloth handkerchieves or dress shields. 
  • Kitchen projects include counter canisters, cookie cutter and dry food storage. Organize under-the-sink storage for sponges, cleaning cloths and scrubbies. Protect lightbulbs.
  • Seasonal storage of holiday decorations is easily organized. Ribbons, light strings, ornaments neatly labeled and packed away.
  • Arts and crafts items and sewing supplies benefit greatly from container organization.
  • Visit a website like Thrifty Fun for other ideas.
  • Use decorated coffee containers as alternate green gift wrapping.
  • Workshops, garages and garden benches are perfect candidates for organizational container makeovers.
  • Kids adore these containers for storing their treasures.

Coffee Container Decorating For Storage

The Folger's website makes decorating their coffee containers easy. There are seasonal motifs including a blank that you can design yourself or print out to use as a template. The site suggests using peel and stick paper.

Gather the kids to help decorate the coffee containers. Use a template on pretty gift wrap, magazine pages, wallpaper scraps or adhesive shelf liner. The kids can use markers or crayons to draw or label plain templates. Use a thin layer of common white glue to adhere nonstick paper. Let dry completely. An overcoat of indoor/outdoor clear spray enamel in gloss or satin finish is nontoxic when dry according to label directions. Only spray outdoors under adult supervision.

There are several new plastic paints on the market in a wide range of colors and finishes. These paints are designed to chemically bond with the plastic to prevent chipping and flaking over time. Do not use these paints on the interior of the coffee containers that will house food items. Adult supervision is needed for outdoor spray paint application.

It is easiest if labels are added just above the handle or on the lid of the recycled coffee containers. Labelling depends on usage. 2"x1-1/2" peel and stick labels work best. These can be removed and replaced easily.


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Comments (8)

Good ideas! I don't drink coffee, but I got a few containers from my sister last year.

Love this article. Coffee containers can be used for just about anything. Thanks for sharing about the Folgers website. I'll have to check it out for kids craft projects. The ideas may be what we need to keep youngsters busy at church.

Gayle, check out Thrifty Fun site too. They have cute ideas for Easter baskets made from coffee containers that the kides would have a ball making.

Love your ideas although I don't drink coffee. Promoted!

I like this article. My issue is space. We live in a small one bedroom loft cabin so space is definitely something we have to be creative with. I reuse all the containers I can and I keep all the old coffee cans for projects such as these.

Great information on recycling used containers.

Good ideas, I save my large coffee cans for the kids arts and crafts supplies, they did a wonderful job of painting and decorating them...voted

Reusing plastic coffee containers is really fine way of storage small items. I always do it. And when I have found this article I have been very happy that I am on the right way. I like your idea to gather all family, relatives, friends, neighbours to personalize or decorate plastic coffee containers. I'll organize party of plastic coffee containers and view their cooperative work soon)