The Last Thing You Should Do with an Empty Egg Carton

updated Apr 1, 2021
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Someone holding empty egg carton.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

I always feel so resourceful when I repurpose items in the kitchen. Storing homemade dressing in a glass enchilada sauce jar from Trader Joe’s or saving yogurt containers for leftovers allows me to feel like I’m doing my small part to reduce waste and save money. This means that I often end up saving food packages to use as containers for various tasks. My collection consists mostly of glass jars, although I occasionally save lidded plastic produce containers. I also use the empty shell from my Costco spring mix to collect food scraps for our friends’ chickens or to protect food from getting squished in the cooler if we’re taking food on the road.

One container I’ve never thought much about repurposing in the kitchen is the humble egg carton — but that’s going to change. While I do save one here and there for bringing home the delicious eggs we buy from our friends, I never realized what great organizers egg cartons have the potential to be. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Use an Empty Egg Carton to Organize a Junk Drawer

Turns out, egg cartons make for great drawer organizers. Using the cups of egg cartons to corral small junk drawer-type items is the perfect solution for loose things that are otherwise usually pretty impossible to find. Egg cartons are ideal for containing things like batteries, push pins, game pieces that need to be put away, Band-Aids, screws/nuts/bolts, batteries, tiny replacement light bulbs, binder clips, rubber bands, hair ties, condiment packets, and whatever else you find yourself storing in a drawer in the kitchen. 

A quick note about salmonella: It can last on surfaces for up to four hours, so you might want to let your paper egg carton sit out for at least that long before putting it to use in your drawers. If your egg cartons are styrofoam or plastic, you could wash them with soap and water and let them dry before using them as recycled organizers. 

If you want to continue to put future egg cartons to use, once all your drawers are organized, try saving them for cushioning when you pack boxes. The cup portions will protect what you’re shipping from shifting around and breaking. In an era when so many of us are shopping online — and returning things by mail — you might be especially thankful for this egg carton packaging trick. 

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: The Last Thing Thing You Should Do with an Empty Egg Carton