My stockpile is full of office supplies thanks to all of those amazing back-to-school sales each year. I have more than enough pencils and paperclips to last my daughter through graduate school and beyond—and she's not even in kindergarten yet. Because of this, I decided to think outside of the box (and office) to put some of those office supplies to work.

Binder Clips:

1. Chip Clip

I hate those store-bought chip clips. They are either too awkward to use, or the springs break after just a few uses. Rather than waste my money, I use binder clips. Binder clips keep my bags of  rolled up snacks tightly closed—and they are super sturdy so I don't have to worry about them breaking.

2. Sponge Stand

It sounds weird, but you can use binder clips to keep your sponges from getting all smelly and waterlogged. After using the sponge, just wring it out and clip a large binder clip onto the bottom of it. Stand it up on the wire arms of the binder clip and allow it to air dry.

3. DIY Wallet

If you don't want to bring your wallet out on your morning run just pinch one of the wire arms of a binder clip to release it from its hinge. Hook your house key on and refasten the wire arm to the clip. Clamp the binder clip to the waistband of your pants along with a couple of dollars for your morning coffee and donut—come on, you can justify the calories because you jogged!





1. Tube Roller

Use a pencil to squeeze the last drops out of almost any product in a tube. Just lay your pencil across the bottom of the tube and press down as you roll the tube up and around the pencil. Keep rolling until you get all of the product out. I've used this technique on toothpaste, decorative icing, ointments and creams.

2. Earring Rescue

Ever lose the back of your earring when you are at work or at a restaurant? When you are in a pinch, just snap off part of the eraser on your pencil and use it like an earring back. This also works on tack pins.

3. Scuff Remover

Use a pencil to get rid of scuff marks on almost any surface, including your tile floors and shoes. Just turn your pencil over and use the rubber eraser to scrub away any blemishes.

Paper Clips

1. Zipper Replacement

No matter how expensive and well-constructed my toddler's coats are, the zipper is usually the first thing to go. Rather than spending $20 or more getting the zipper pull replaced (because frankly, I know my daughter will outgrow the coat in just a few months, anyway), I just hooked a fancy paper clip that matched the color of her coat onto the zipper pull. The paper clip worked just as well as a zipper—and was big enough for my daughter to pull up and down on her own.

2. Door Key

Do you have a bathroom door that has one of those locks with a small hole in the doorknob? If you somehow manage to lock yourself out of the bathroom—or have young kids that lock themselves in—you can use a paper clip as a key! Just stretch out the paper clip until it’s straight, and stick one end into the hole in the doorknob. You might have to jiggle it a bit, but this should release the lock so you can get inside the room again.

3. Emergency Hem

Don't freak out if you're in the middle of an important meeting at work and the hem of your pants suddenly comes undone. Just paper clip the loose hem back in place until you get home.

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9 Ways to Use Office Supplies Outside of the Office