Reclaim, convert, recover, reprocess, reclaim, recycle. The list goes on, but those are just some ways to express the term “re-use”. Sustainability seems to be all the rage these days. What are you going to contribute to this growing trend? Well, good news. You don’t have to be a scientist and invent some new form of biofuel. All you need is a desire for some free furniture and a surplus of wooden crates. Wooden crates have their place in society as wonderful protectors of our goods, but what happens after shipping? It’s entirely up to you, but here are five ideas to get you started.

Ideas for Re-Using Wooden Crates

Elevated Shoe Storage

Between the wife, the kids and the dog sniffing around, shoes scattered all over the ground can be a nuisance. You could get one of those fancy shoe racks at the mall, or you could go the ecological route and re-use those wooden crates you have. Just paint them any color you like and hang them on a wall for a decorative and practical solution.

Hip Coffee Table

You know that old, rustic window you have collecting dust in your basement? Or how about that spare hunk of mahogany in the shed? Well, fret no more. Just slap those on a few crates to have your very own hip coffee table. Now just place your Bob Dylan lyric book on top and some coasters and you’ll be too cool.

Rollaway Under Bed Storage

And you thought those skateboards from your youth were wasted. Not anymore. Take those wheels off, put them on some wooden crates for some easy under bed storage. You may need to make some adjustments depending on how high or low your bed sits, but that’s a small price to pay for something that’s free.

Wine Bottle Holder

Start by purchasing six bottles of wine. Drink one. Now cut six, wine bottle shaped holes in the bottom your wood crate. Mount the crate on the wall (holes facing out of course) and place those five (or four) remaining bottles in their respective holes. You know have a place to keep your wine for the night until it’s all gone.

Window Flower Boxes

This one is a classic but never gets old. Just mount your crates below the window, fill in with your choice of dirt and let nature do the rest. Don’t forget to plant something in there, or else you will just have a box full of dirt underneath your window.