Show of hands; how many of you have been (slightly) traumatized by an episode of "Hoarders"? I definitely raised my hand! It's a thin line between holding on to something for future use or sentimental purposes and crazy lady with mountains of useless junk, right? Well, maybe not so much. According to Bob Vila (yes, THAT Bob Vila), there are some items that are ok to hoard.


  • Hey wino, I'm talking to you!

You've seen that super cute wine cork display on Pinterest and have been stockpiling corks ever since, but what are the chances of you actually finishing the project? Probably not very much considering the amount of wine you'd need to drink to come up with that many corks would leave you highly inebriated. However, if you just love the idea of saving them, there are plenty of other uses for them. Cut the cork into slices and put them under furniture for floor protection or donate them to a company that recycles used cork.

  • Saves your package today, destroys the environment tomorrow

Those ridiculous Styrofoam packing peanuts may save that Faberge egg you just ordered, but it will take many, many, MANY lifetimes for them to breakdown. Instead of throwing them away, put them in the bottom of planter pots for better drainage or stuff them in that old bean bag chair you should've tossed 20 years ago to make it like new again.

  • If duct tape can't fix it...

It's broken forever. It's like there's a duct tape fairy that comes to everyone's home every so often because no one remembers buying it, but it's always there! You can use it for just about everything; repairing rips or tears, removing pet hair, even making wallets!

  • Wire, Wire Everywhere

Much like with duct tape, wire clothes hangers seem to just appear out of thin air. If you have too many hangers for your clothes, use the old wire hangers in the garden as a trellis or a drain de-clogger. If you're particularly handy, you might could use it to re-string your favorite hoodie or sweatpants (that you've also been hoarding...)

  • Versatility is your new best friend

We all love options. If there can be 10 ways to use 1 item, you bet we'd jump on that bandwagon! One item that screams "versatility" is a dryer sheet. Those nifty things can be used to dust, stop soap scum, and keep drawers and luggage smelling fresh and not musty. And if you're like me and have a son who can clear a room with his stinky feet, stuff some sheets into their shoes to de-funk that stench.

  • Beauty products ARE useful

Next time your wife or daughter buys nail polish, instead of grunting, say thank you! Not only can the colored polishes help to distinguish which keys belong to which lock, but the clear polish can slow a windshield crack, fix a window screen, stop panty hose from running, or prevent screws from rusting.


Hoarding is a costly (and sometimes deadly) habit, but hoarding the right things has the potential to save! See here for the full list.