When I was little I used to go with Daddy to the hardware store anytime I had the chance...Not because I liked hardware per se, but because Daddy was famous for buying oddball stuff to use for something other than it's intended purpose.
When I was about 10, I went to the state fair and for less than $1 you could make a "cool" spin art picture...remember those? A little machine held a 5x7 piece of cardstock in place and spun it while you squirted paint onto it. When the spinning was done, you had a psychedelic piece of art. Well I was done for. I had to have one. Had to. Buying such a machine was out of the question because in my family you did not purchase what you could make. So the hunt began. Up to the attic in the garage he went, pulled out some bits and pieces, and voila, an old record player was turned into a spin-art machine.
I like to think I got a (very) little of that gene. I love to look for interesting storage. It's everywhere...this muffin tin makes a fantastic drawer organizer. Empty paint cans make wonderful storage for small toys, yarn bits, craft supplies and kitchen tools. Old wire locker baskets are really hot right now for everthing from towels to books or magazines.
I save all my Polaner All Fruit jars to hold my buttons (I have a lot of buttons). I love the fruit on the tops so I just line them up in my closet, but you can nail the tops to the bottom of a shelf and then just screw the jars in place so they hang under the shelf and don't take up much space.
In fact, jars in general make great storage. They don't have to be fancy or even purchased for that matter. When the farmhands were little boys they were always bringing me little treats...acorn caps, assorted sticks, cool rocks, bug shells (you know those big bugs that shed their shells and leave them hanging on trees?), leaves, three leaf clovers when they couldn't find four leaf clovers, all sorts of things that would not fit in a scrapbook. I got two big jars and began to fill them with the treasures each child brought in. I still have them sitting in my kitchen with the most delightful collection of memories. I love those jars.
Lastly, how fun are these little forks hung up to hold notes, cards etc? I guess they don't really qualify as "storage" but they were just so cute I had to include them... I guess the point of this post is, try looking at ordinary things as unordinary storage. And never ever get rid of a Polaner All Fruit jar.