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The Cheapest Furniture Around: Milk Crates

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Looking To Save Money?

Are you on a shoestring budget and looking for furniture? Maybe you just want some storage space to host your mainly unused items in your garage, or perhaps you're looking for some sort of makeshift dresser to keep your clothes in. How about an organization unit for your DVDs, books, or video games? Tables? Chairs? Whatever it is, there's something that you may have been overlooking that could come in handy for you -- milk crates.


Milk Crates: The New Black of the Storage World

Storage and organizer units are probably the most put-to-use idea when it comes to milk crates, and it's no wonder why. You can easily stack these poor man's building blocks on top of one another to create the perfect cubby storage area, useful for practically anything and everything -- use it in your pantry to organize food, keep them in your kids' room to store toys, in the study to house books, in the garage to hold tools, in the living room to showcase your DVDs and video games -- the list goes on and on!

Don't like the "milk crate" look? Well if you're quite the handyman (or woman of course), you can easily build yourself a wooden casing for the milk crate cubby/shelving unit, with the crates acting as slide out "drawers". This can be a nice touch in the bedroom, especially if you're looking for a dresser!

So Versatile You can Sleep on Them

Okay, maybe you don't want to take the title too seriously. Sleeping on the milk crates themselves wont help you with anything, unless you're trying to give yourself a crooked spine, but they can certainly provide the support for a mattress instead of a bedframe! How do I know this? Trust me, I am not above going behind the grocery store and snagging a few left-out crates to lay my mattress on.

Need A Table? Well Guess What

It may take a bit of work, but you can definitely turn milk crates into side tables or even a desk. If you're especially determined, I can't see why you wouldn't be able to fashion yourself a dining room table while you're at it. Just make sure you get some sort of sheet of glass, wood, or plastic to lay across your finished product. I don't think you'd enjoy your silverware slipping through the holes very much.

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Hobo Chairs? More Like Modern Chic

Flip a milk crate over and what do you get? A place to park your butt! Sure, it might sound a bit uncomfortable, but times are tough and you need whatever practical products you can get your hands on that's free. Of course, if you're willing to shed a few bucks, you can turn them into comfortable chairs. If you've got the know-how and you know where to get the materials, you can make cushions for your crate chairs to make them more sit-able. You could even add legs to them to elevate the chair so it's easier to use, although something tells me that might not be a smart idea.

The Ultimate Project - A Milk Crate Couch!


Looks VERY uncomfortable at first, but when you take a look at the second and third photo, it doesn't seem so bad. Surely if you can use the right cushioning it'll be comfortable, but this would still be quite the project, although I'm sure it'd save you a lot of money instead of forking out hundreds of dollars for a couch from a furniture store.

Hey, with all these ideas, you might as well create your own furniture store... out of milk crates, while you're at it.


Gill Harris from South Africa on March 31, 2012:

Tie them together with cable ties for stability. Great ideas. Thanks.

Bloob on March 15, 2012:

Milk crates are still widely in use for the transportation of ANY type of milk not just glass bottles. I work at a supermarket and all our flavoured and white milk (in plastic containers) gets transported to the supermarket in milk crates. Same with cafes/any place that buys lots of milk.

Kay B (author) from Tampa, FL on February 25, 2012:

The same here in the US, yet we've got tons of these. I have no idea what on earth goes in this crates if there really isn't a market for glass milk bottles nowadays.

Gordon D Easingwood from Wakefield, United Kingdom on February 25, 2012:

Some good ideas but limited here in the UK since recyclable glass milk bottles are mostly a thing of the past (meaning milk crates are too).

jayjay40 from Bristol England on June 18, 2010:

great ideas, love the thought of recycling these milk crates. Great unusual topic, well done

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