It really baffles me how my little family of three people can go through so many rolls of toilet paper and paper towels. If you are anything like us, you have tons of those little cardboard tubes just sitting in your garbage can. But think twice before throwing them out next time — those little rolls are just as useful as the paper that comes on them.

1. Travel Storage

When traveling, I like to keep my suitcase as neat as possible. Rather than paying for little garment bags, I stuff my pantyhose, underwear and socks into paper towel and toilet paper tubes. The guy at the airport security might think I’m a weirdo, but I bet his suitcase isn’t as organized as mine!

2. Pants Protector

There’s nothing worse than pulling a pair of pants out of the back of your closet and finding a huge crease in them from the hanger. To prevent this, cut a paper towel tube lengthwise and position it on the base of your hanger. Tape the slit closed and hang your pants over the roll. The larger curve keeps your pants crease free.

3. Grocery Bag Storage

When I used to open the cupboard below my sink, grocery bags popped out like one of those trick cans with fake snakes in them. To prevent this, poke a hole into each side of one end of a paper towel tube, and loop string through it to create a handle. Hang the tube from your cupboard door and stuff it with grocery bags every time you come home from the store.

4. Cord Holder

I like to wind up extension cords, electronic adapters and Christmas lights and stuff them into toilet paper tubes. This is not only a convenient way to store them, it keeps the cords tangle free. You can even write on the outside of each toilet paper tube with a permanent marker to remind yourself what each cord is for.

5. Craft Box Organizer

To keep my kid’s craft box organized, I put her pencils, markers, crayons and other craft supplies inside upright toilet paper and paper towel tubes. You can tape up one end if you want, but I just position them in the box with the open side up so my daughter can easily grab what she needs.

6. Rubber Band Holder

I like to slip all of my hair elastics over a toilet paper tube. This makes it easy to find a rubber band and keeps my bathroom drawers and vanity tidy.

7. Boot Tree

You can use cardboard tubes to keep your boots and shoes from flopping over and creasing when you’re not wearing them. Just trim a roll to the appropriate length and insert it into your shoe or boot. The cardboard helps the boot retain its shape and prevents any cracks or creases.

7 Uses for Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Tubes