Household Hacks: Newspaper

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family breakfast newspaper

Picture this: It's Sunday morning, you and your family are sitting around the breakfast table and you've got your head buried in the folds of the newspaper. Once everyone has a turn reading their favorite parts of the paper, what do you do with it? Do you throw it away? Recycle it? Think about how many times have you pitched an old newspaper in the garbage when there are plenty of alternative uses for it! They save money and are usually pretty eco-friendly; two win-wins! Here are 13 ways to use an old newspaper.

Spills: No paper towel? No worries! Use an old sheet of newspaper to clean up a spill at the dinner table. (via Apartment Therapy)

Packing material: Shred up the newspaper from a couple days ago to use as cheap packing material. It's cheaper and more eco-friendly than buying packing peanuts. You can also wrap fragile seasonal decorations in newspaper to preserve them and keep them from breaking in storage. (via Apartment Therapy)

General cleaning: Use with your favorite glass cleaner the same way you would use a paper towel to wash mirrors or windows. The advantage to newspaper as opposed to paper towels is that it won't leave any lint residue behind on the glass. You might have to wash some ink off your hands, though! You can also use newspaper sprinkled with white vinegar and water for cleaning everything from the windows to the floors in your home! (via Apartment Therapy)

>>Read more: Homemade Green Cleaning Products

House training your pup: Put some newspaper down in your puppy's crate or where he tends to do his business so he makes less of a mess in your house. You can also line the cage of your pet hamster or birds to make for an easy cleanup! (via Apartment Therapy) You could also try setting an open container of Vicks VapoRub where your pup likes to do his business in your house. He won't be able to stand the smell!

Disposable tablecloth: If you're planning a particularly messy meal like crab legs or lobster, why not put down a couple sheets of newspaper as a tablecloth? It will make cleanup a breeze and you won't have to worry about the kids' messy hands on your nice table! (via Apartment Therapy)

Help your shoes keep their form: Do you have a pair of floppy boots? Or do you simply just want your shoes to keep their form? Stick some rolled-up newspaper in them when you're not wearing them! You can also do the same with wet shoes overnight to help dry and deodorize them. (via Apartment Therapy)

newspaper in shoes
(Photo: Photo Credit: Complex)

Use as a dustpan: Missing your dustpan? Just sweep whatever today's mess is onto the newspaper! (via Wise Bread)

Use as compost material: Balance out the veggies in your compost with a few sheets of newspaper for a proper carbon-nitrogen mixture. The paper will decompose naturally! (via Apartment Therapy)

Fridge deodorizer: Stinky fridge? Line a couple shelves with newspaper and the smell will be gone by the morning. You can also lay a sheet in the vegetable drawer to keep your veggies dry! (via Apartment Therapy)

Prevent windshield frosting: Lay a sheet or two of newspaper on your windshield overnight in cold weather to prevent icing or frosting. (via Apartment Therapy)

Get crafty: You can use newspaper for all sorts of crafts, from making wreathes to envelopes to bracelets. You can even make a cute trivet! Click here to see a list of crafts you can make with newspaper.

Weed blocker: Sometimes weeds in the garden just refuse to go away. Place a sheet of newspaper on top of the weeds and spray it with the garden hose to the point of saturation. Then cover it with compost material or mulch to smother the weeds. The paper will naturally decompose and your weeds will be gone! (via Wise Bread)

Ripen fruits: Waiting for fruit to ripen can take ages, but if you wrap your fruit in newspaper, your peaches or oranges will be ripe in no time! (via Wise Bread)

What are some ways you use extra newspaper around the house? Share with us in the comments below.

Want to learn about more alternative uses for household items? Check out the rest of our stories in our Household Hacks series here.