You have probably heard the term upcycle, basically, it means to reuse something in a creative way. I am obsessed with upcycling because it means I get to turn something I would normally toss out, into something useful. It’s good for the environment and your wallet. If you are looking for some easy upcycles for products you may already own, you have come to the right place. Here are 6 extraordinary uses, for seemingly ordinary things.

Wrapping Paper Holder

I know a few people with fancy (and lovely) wrapping paper holders and systems. While wrapping paper can be a nuisance (coming unfurled in storage so that it’s a mess when you actually need it) there is an incredibly easy fix. Take an empty paper towel or toilet paper roll and cut a slit down the middle lengthwise. Then just pop it over the wrapping paper roll. Your wrapping paper will be kept in check, easily, for zero dollars.

Coconut Oil Shoe Shine

The ever-popular coconut oil. It’s so popular because there are seemingly infinite uses for it. One amazing use you may not have heard of is for taking care of mucky shoes, covered in dirt or mud, that will be left bright and shiny. Start by wiping the shoe to remove any large clumps of dirt. Then simply apply a bit of coconut oil to a cloth (use an old cotton cloth or a paper towel, something you won’t reuse) and start massaging it into your shoe. Just buff it in, and then wipe off any excess. Your shoes are going to look shiny and new.

Bulldog Clip Wire Holder

The next time you get an important package of documents from your accountant, you’re probably going to get one of these with it. It’s a little bulldog clip and you can use this as a great way to corral your wires on the back of your desk. You can even line up two or three of them to keep several of your wires in check. Simply clip into the back of your desk, and then remove the metal ‘handles’ by squeezing them together. When these are detached you can wrap them around your wires that you want to hold up, and then reattach them to the main clip. Now your wires are going to be perked up at the back of your desk, easy for you to grab and plug in as needed (instead of sitting on the ground).

Newspaper Leak Catcher

If you still get the newspaper delivered to your home and you’re looking for a creative way to use it up, aside from just pitching it in the recycling box, you can easily use it to prevent a leaky garbage situation. Just crumple up some old newspaper and pop it at the bottom of your garbage bag, before you put it into your garbage can. The newspaper acts like a sponge absorbing odor and liquid, and contains it from leaking out onto the rest of your kitchen.

Great Grape Ice Cubes

If you find yourself with some extra grapes and they’re about to go bad, rinse them up and put them in the freezer. Obviously, frozen grapes make a great snack but they also act as a perfect ice cube to cool white wine, or any cocktails, without watering them down.

Nail Polish Thread Stopper

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you know I am all about the nails. I have a lot of nail polish rolling around the house but there’s a great use for clear nail polish especially if you’re a fan of button-up tops. I have several button-up shirts and I hate when I see a thread coming loose on the buttons. It means we are close to a button popping situation that we all want to avoid. I reach for clear nail polish and paint a little over the thread. It acts like glue, keeps things secure, and means I won’t have a missing button situation.

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. My, I mean, YOUR, book arrived yesterday from Barnes and Noble. At the moment I’m spending my free minutes reading it and just Thinking about cleaning using your PTT method. So not much has gotten done other than enjoying your book. Thank you!! Hope your book tour is going flawlessly. Deb L, Long Island NY

  2. Hi Melissa, I sent you an e-mail a couple of week ago regarding how to clean the new washing machines that suggest you use the “Allfresh” once a month in the washer. They are very expensive to purchase. Do you have any suggestions for an alternative cleaner? Thank you for all your wonderful work to help us keep our homes tidy.


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