The Last Thing You Should Do with an Empty Cereal Box Before You Recycle It

updated Mar 24, 2021
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Empty cereal box on counter.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Back when my oldest daughter was in kindergarten, we made adorable Valentines. They were tiny little booklets, with tiny little pencils. I punched holes and attached two small clasps so that the books “locked” closed and held the pencils with a small bit of embroidery thread. We pasted covers that said “You’re just write” onto each book. Those Valentines were so fun. 

The covers were made from cereal box cardboard, but don’t worry! Adorable as they were, making Valentines is not what I’m going to suggest here. (Four additional kids later, we’ve been buying ready-made Valentines with zero regrets.) 

The versatility of cereal box cardboard remains. I’ve seen them used as cutting boards in a pinch on camping trips, they make great cupcake carries, and they’re effective at organizing all the lids to your food storage containers. One more idea: Use your empty cereal boxes to make drawer dividers.

The footprint of a cereal box is perfect for corralling small, light items in kitchen junk drawers, bathroom drawers, or office drawers. Things like markers, batteries, cotton swabs, and extra charging cables are perfect candidates for cereal box organizing. You can keep adding more box bottoms to your drawers as you get more cereal boxes, or you can build a modular system as your needs change.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Turn Empty Cereal Boxes into Drawer Dividers

Grab your cereal box and a ruler, pencil, and X-Acto knife or scissors. Decide which drawer you’ll be using your dividers in and measure what you think will be a good height. (Tip: As you add more boxes, keep this height consistent for a neater look.) Mark this height in several places around the bottom of your box, draw cutting lines, and then use your X-Acto knife or scissors to cut your box down. One box will make two dividers (the top and the bottom) and then you can recycle the leftover cardboard from the middle. If you want, you can even use wrapping paper or washi tape to cover the cardboard. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

After making a few cereal box drawer dividers you’ll want more; getting a new box of Shredded Wheat or Lucky Charms will mean not only breakfast food, but also free organization! 

Credit: Kitchn