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10 Amazing Uses for Carboard Egg Containers You Have Never Thought About

10 Amazing Uses for Carboard Egg Containers You Have Never Thought About

If you buy eggs in cardboard containers, chances are that you end up recycling those cartons every week or so. Though it’s great that the cartons are being recycled instead of ending up in landfills, there are also ways to re-purpose them as handy household items. This is just a short list of 10 things you can do with your empty cartons: I’ve no doubt that your imagination could inspire you to come up with many of your own ideas as well.

1. Seed Starter

Seedlings

    Photo by HDC

    You’ve likely seen this one a thousand times before, but it really is a spectacular way to start seedlings in the spring. Poke a hole at the bottom of each cup so that excess moisture can drain, and then add in the potting/starting soil of your preference. Dampen the soil with water, poke a couple of holes in each section with the tip of a pencil or chopstick, and drop 1 or 2 of seeds into each hole. Sprinkle a bit more soil over them and put them in a sunny spot, ensuring that you keep the soil damp. You’ll soon have wee seedlings popping up, and once they’re about 4 inches tall, you can transfer them into your garden.

    You can either widen the holes at the bottom of the cups for root growth and then plant them directly into the earth outside, or you can use a spoon to gently lift out each seedling and plant them individually.

    2. Bulb Storage

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    flower bud

      Speaking of gardening goodness, if you live in a cooler zone, you may have discovered that many flower bulbs can’t be left in the earth over the winter, as they’ll die. When you dig up the bulbs in the autumn, you can pack them in these cardboard containers and store them in a cool, dry place until springtime. The containers will keep them separated, and the cardboard itself will draw any excess moisture from the plants so they don’t rot. Place a bulb or two into each cup, and when the carton is full, tie it closed with twine.

      Just be sure to label the bulbs carefully by adding tags to the string you’ve used to close the container: writing directly onto the carton isn’t recommended because any dampness will make the ink run.

      3. Fire Starter Pellets

      Firestarter

        Photo by Flitzy Phoebie

        Keep the butt ends of candles that have burned down, and then melt them all together in an old can or pot. Mix together sawdust, wood chips, and shredded paper, fill the egg cups halfway with the mixture, and then pour the melted wax into each egg cup. Once they’ve cooled and solidified, you can break them apart as individual fire-starters for campfires and fireplaces—just light one of the edges and the cup in your hearth, close to the kindling.

        4. Floral Lights

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        floral light

          A string of holiday lights can find a new purpose as a floral light set by adding egg cup flowers to it. Just snip  the corners of each egg cup to separate each section into a “petal”, and paint the blooms in the shade(s) of your choice. Poke a hole at the bottoms of them, and slip them over each bulb.

          5. Worm Food

          Vermicompost

            Photo by amymyou

            Do you vermicompost yet? Keeping a batch of red wiggler worms under your sink to compost your household veggie scraps is a great idea, and they do like to break down paper and cardboard. Tearing up your egg cartons and tossing them to your worm-friends to turn into compost takes care of waste while creating nourishing food for your garden.

            6. Shoe Rack Near the Door

            shoe rack

              This won’t keep your shoes organized, but it can be a big help to keep your floors clean on rainy days or during the wintertime: place the containers flat-side down so the rounded cup bits face upwards. After frolicking around outside, place your wet shoes on the cartons: the cardboard will absorb excess water, and any slush or mud will fall into the crevices between the cups, rather than onto your floor.

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              7. Mise en Place Cups

              place cups

                When you’re cooking or baking, there’s generally an array of ingredients that will get tossed into the masterpiece you’re whisking up. Instead of having a bunch of containers around you that will be opened and tipped into the pot as you work, consider measuring out the ingredients beforehand so they’re all ready by the time you begin.

                Cut the carton cups apart so they’re free-standing, and use them to measure out up to 1/4 cup of dry ingredients, such as herbs, spices, baking powder, etc. Just don’t use them for very runny liquid ingredients, as the cups are absorbent and will throw off your measures. Thicker wet ingredients like cream, yoghurt, etc. are okay.

                8. Craft Supply Sorting

                Crafts

                  Photo by quadrapop

                  This is great for crafty folks of all ages: those tidy little egg cups are perfect for keeping craft materials sorted as you work on a project. Sort your beads into different sections if you’re working on a necklace; keep your stamps and ribbons handy if you’re scrapbooking; make sure your gems don’t roll away if you’re bedazzling the hell out of a denim jacket. Whatever your means of creative expression, a carton can be your best friend.

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                  9. Paint Palette for Kids

                  Palette

                    Photo by Jenn Mau

                    These cardboard cartons are ideal for holding childrens’ tempera paints. Just pour a different colour into each cup, give the kid some brushes and large sheets of paper, and let them express their creative genius. Smocks are probably a good idea, as are drop-cloths. And plastic sheeting on the furniture.

                    As a side note, you can also hang onto the eggshells themselves: they’re also great for starting herb seedlings in, and if they’re a bit mangled and crunchy, you can grind them up and toss them into your garden as a calcium supplement for the soil.

                    10. Jewellery Organizer

                    jewellery container

                      If you find that your jewellery drawer is a complete mess, with necklaces all tangled up together and earrings missing all over the place, just put one of those cartons to good use to organize it all. Once you’ve untangled the chains, coil one inside each cup to keep them separated. Individual pendants can be kept in another cup, and pairs of small holes can be poked in the upper portions of the cup walls to keep your earrings from going AWOL. Make horizontal slices in the tops of the posts that separate the cups and tuck your rings into them to keep them in place as well.

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                      Catherine Winter

                      Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                      • (1) Research
                      • (2) Deciding the topic
                      • (3) Creating the outline
                      • (4) Drafting the content
                      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                      • (6) Revision
                      • (7) etc.

                      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                      2. Change Your Environment

                      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                      6. Get a Buddy

                      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                      Reality check:

                      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                      More About Procrastination

                      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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