Ways to Use Milk Crates

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1 Day

This post was transcribed by a member of the Hometalk editorial team from the original HometalkTV episode.

Today we're gonna talk about using milk crates for a variety of DIYs. You can see more of my crazy creations here

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I love is using milk crates. There are just so many handy used inside and out.  

One of my favorite ways to use them is in any trunk space because they slide in and out easily.  

I can place two crates in here. We've gotten rid of plastic bags so I simply pull these out, bring them into the grocery store, fill them up with groceries and place them back inside. I've also been known to put my son's baseball gear in here, or our dance gear in here, or any sports activities, or maybe we're going for a picnic for the day.  

You just place whatever you want in them and they don't fly all over the place and they stay put very nicely in the trunk of a car.  

I also love to use milk crates for hanging file folders. They slide in really easily. 

What's great about this is once you've filled this up, you can add the next level on top. They lock into place and you can keep going. This is a great way to file your taxes away. You can put them in a crawl space or somewhere and they store nicely on top of each other, especially if you don't have a filing cabinet.  

These crates are meant to be stacked so we are going to use them like a bookcase. Just find the grooves and they click right into place.  

Now we're going to have a little fun with decorating; there are so many possibilities with this. You could use this in your office, in your kitchen, in your playroom, in a kid's room, or anywhere you want. You just need to put in the items you want. Maybe you want some books for a bookshelf. That might be one possibility.  

Maybe you want to just have a nice little decorative space and you're just going toput some of your pretty supplies on it. 


One of the things you might want to do is put a shelf up on top because maybe you want to use it to set other things on. You can get these really easy trays and you just place them on top. Then you have a nice hard surface up there.  

I got two of them so I can place them on either side. You can slide them together if you want, or you can measure them to get more of a surface area that covers the whole thing by cutting a piece of wood. You can also go to the hardware store and they can cut it for you there to size. You just need to come in with the measurements and then you can stain it and make it any way you want.  

The other great thing about this is you could put a lamp up here. If you have a lamp or an item that fits inside the cube with these holes back here, you can slide the cord behind so that it's hidden and not in front dangling where you can see those cords.  

Another thing about these shelves that can be useful, especially if you're going to put them in a bathroom, is that you can use them vertically. 

Maybe you don't want everything to be seen so you can take little baskets and put them inside so they fit nicely and hide the items that you're using.  

You can do these in a couple of different directions. If you'd rather do them in a vertical direction you can turn them up and then look for a taller basket that's going to fit inside. You can make these in either direction and you can put baskets inside to hide what you want and create some drawer space as well.  

Now we're going to utilize the smaller milk crates as well. Let's talk about some uses for these. Like before, these can be used vertically or horizontally, depending upon what your needs are.  

Let's start with kids' lockers. The bottom of the locker is often underutilized, the top has a shelf, and then it's just this big gap. So you can use these smaller crates to help you in small spaces like that.  

If you have a linen closet, it's the same thing. You have to just decide which way you want it vertically or horizontally. Next, you want to stack them so they fit. So we're going to put them in this way, but they could, like I said, go the other way, nice and solid, they're meant to lock into place. Now you can add as many of these as you want. 

You can add things to them like your pens, maybe your post-it notes, your charging cords or personal items. Maybe you want to add some snacks, some colored pencils or supplies like that.  

Another little fun trick is often we always need scissors. They fit perfectly into one of the holes.  

This is our guest bathroom and there is not a lot of storage in the guest bathroom. We needed to get creative with some ideas for storage space. One thing we decided to do is use one of these little crates and we stuck a nail into the wall and hung the crate like this. You could use temporary three M command hooks or different things like that to hold it if you're not allowed to put anything in your walls.  

Once the nail was in, I placed the crate on it and filled it with hand towels and some washcloths. Now I have some storage in this bathroom.  

Another way to use these is to place them on top of the back of the toilet. I can place toilet paper in there, maybe some air freshener, different things that might be needed. 

What I like this for is easy cleaning. I can lift it up, clean the top and place it back. Then it's also not placing the toilet paper on a wet, clean surface where it's going to now stick or warp the paper and that kind of thing.  

Next, we're taking our large crates outside for a seating and or table hack. The first thing we're going to do is place it upside down on the ground.  

I've got these cushions that tie and you simply set them on top. The great thing is you can make as many of these as you want on a budget.  

Now, let's say you have an apartment and the apartment has limited space and you have other things you need to put on it. You can put these up by day for your get-together and then stack them and place the cushions inside the crate like this for storage.  

Next, maybe you need a quick side table or just a little table coffee table of sorts. Whether you're inside or out, you'll simply place the crate upside down and place a piece of wood on top. Now, for us, this is actually one of our cutting boards, so super easy. You could also go to Home Depot or Lowe's again and get something cut to size. If you think this is too low, no problem; simply stack two crates and then add your piece of wood and you have a table that's a little bit higher. 

Another option, and one of my personal favorites, is to actually put your crate right side up and then place your board on top. Now you have storage, so you can put blankets or different things for indoors or out inside the crate and then place your tabletop on. Now, you could easily use this to sit on as well, if you prefer.  

There are so many things that you can do with milk crates that I hope this inspires you to try some milk crate hacks of your own.

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  • Crazyliblady Crazyliblady on Aug 30, 2022

    I love crates. I used them a lot in college and graduate school in my dorm. I loved them then because they are so versatile, as you can put stuff them in them and stack them upright or on their sides. I use them now for collecting my recyclables and collecting laundry and hauling laundry.

  • Cherry Cherry on Aug 30, 2022

    What is the size of the crate used for book cases?????

    Love your ideas!!!!!!🍒

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