Any handyperson worth their salt excels at finding creative solutions to common household problems. It’s part of being creative… you know, thinking outside the box. Just recently, I was raiding my kitchen for a small container to keep some nuts and bolts in when it dawned on me how many “garage-useful” kitchen items there are.
The good news is that many of the objects that you might draft for garage duty actually do get periodically retired from kitchen use, so — take it from the guys at Fort Dodge Ford — you can find some other uses for them in your garage.
Snap-lock style containers are a no-brainer. They are sometimes bought (think something along the lines of Tupperware containers) or sometimes given to you when you purchase something (e.g. deli meat in containers). As any handyman will earnestly tell you, when you take just about anything apart, it is best to put the nuts, bolts and other parts into a container for safekeeping. This is especially true if you aren’t going to reassemble the item for a while.
If you need to store a lot of something, use some of those huge, two-pound metal or plastic coffee canisters. They have nice big openings and the covers on them are designed for frequent opening and closings. Face it, if you had to buy these containers just for storage, you just might. That’s how well they work.
Old Pots and Pans
Pots and pans that are no longer needed in the kitchen could be great for cleaning small parts. Suppose you are working on a greasy old lawnmower and it’s time to dunk the carburetor in some carb cleaner. For a job like this, you simply can’t beat an old pot. Not only is the metal going to resist any of the effects of the carb cleaner, you have a nice handle by which you can move the pot around the shop.
Ziploc Plastic Bags
Another “can’t live without” item in the garage is a good selection of Ziploc bags. While the smaller ones (“baggies”) are pretty cheap, the larger ones with reusable Ziploc tops can be more expensive. The solution, of course, is to grab the big ones when they are freed up from kitchen duty and put them to work in the garage.
OK, a hair dryer is not a kitchen item but it sure is a very useful one. Hair dryers allow you to concentrate heat on objects so you can strip off paint, loosen adhesive, etc. They are a must have in a garage these days.
Here’s a punch list of other kitchen supplies and possible uses:
- Old kitchen cabinets – for even more garage storage
- Tinfoil — excellent for masking parts for painting
- Steel wool — to clean virtually any surface
- Sponges and old wash cloths — to clean up spills
- Toothpicks — for cleaning in tight areas on small parts
With a little thought, even you can come up with many other items that were originally designed for kitchen use but can do second duty in the garage. The best part is that this sort of thing really represent recycling at its finest — that is, finding encore performances for things that ordinarily would be thrown out.