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Fall is officially upon us and for me, that means getting the house decluttered and organized, especially when it comes to the garage and yard.

The main source of clutter in our garage tends to be the insane amount of scrap wood that is piled up in bins. This was the most organized bin in our garage, and as you can see it’s not organized at all. Every time I reach in for a piece of wood, another one seems to fall out.

Before wood was organized in garage. MountainModernLife.com

How to Easily Organize Scrap Wood

When it comes to working on projects I’ll be the first to admit that when I can’t find what I need I waste time, and in the end..money. We will run to the store for some extra wood when in reality we could re-use a decent amount of wood we have accumulated over the years. The problem is finding the wood we need when we actually need it!

Although we’ve attempted to organize scrap wood a few times before, it doesn’t take long before it’s out of control again. I blame this on not having a decent system in place. When items have a place to go, it’s a lot easier to put them back, and ultimately find them when you need them. As our RV adventure draws closer so do the projects we need to build, and using scrap wood can save us a lot of money down the road. Not to mention I love re-using wood that would otherwise be deemed as trash.

Although the scrap wood is stored in multiple bins, there are so many sizes that I practically empty out the bins each time trying to find what I need. And then I may or may not feel like putting it all back. Bleh.

Eric and I have discussed building shelves or something else to store the wood, but then a ridiculously easy solution dawned on me. If you have a scrap wood dilemma, look no further than the Newell Rubbermaid® Roughneck™ Wheeled Refuse Trash Can!

Getting trash can from store to organize scrap wood in our garage. MountainModernLife.com

I didn’t want to just toss the wood inside, instead, I wanted a simple way to compartmentalize some of the wood types. I didn’t need anything fancy, just something that would get the job done.

To do this we cut 2 pieces of scrap wood to 17 3/4, so they would create a “t” or “x” shape, allowing us to have 4 separate compartments. Side note: As it turned out one piece of scrap wood was already at this measurement, and when we tested it out it seemed to be the perfect size, which is why we cut the second piece of wood that size.

Honestly just shoving the 2 pieces of wood down into the trash can at a criss-cross worked pretty well. It wasn’t super sturdy, but it was sturdy enough and would definitely get the job done. Even so, Eric wanted to go ahead and use the jigsaw to cut out part of the wood so that they would join together in the middle, creating a stronger bond.

Using Jigsaw to cut wood in order to organize scrap wood. MountainModernLife.com

After our little “X” was made we pushed it down into the trash can until it was nice and snug. No screws or glue were needed which means this solution can be as temporary or permanent as we want it 🙂

Afterward, I began the process of organizing the scrap wood into the 32-gallon trash can. I decided that I would want to put the lid back on when I was finished, so I didn’t use super long, or super short wood. I basically used this for all the medium scrap wood, which is what we have the most of. Organize scrap wood, check!


How we organize scrap wood using trash can and "X" shaped brace. MountainModernLife.com

That’s how we organize scrap wood in our garage. Now I can see what we have and can easily reach down and get what I need without emptying the whole thing out, yay! I may even get a second trash can now after seeing how easy it was to put inside and organize. Not to mention the Roughneck trash can is on wheels so I can easily move it around the garage.

I also made a quick label for the top of the wood as a reminder to upcycle the scrap wood for future projects. It just says “Reclaim, Reuse, Reimagine”.

How we organize scrap wood using trash can and "X" shaped brace. MountainModernLife.com

Here is the Before and After:

Two options to organize scrap wood. MountainModernLife.com

Don’t need to organize scrap wood?

If you don’t need to organize scrap wood you can still use this trash can in creative ways, other than just tossing in the trash. Think about items you have in your garage, basement, attic or deck that could use some organizing or even just a place to be stored during certain seasons. I have also seen trash cans used for collecting rainwater, like this awesome one here, or even used as a compost bin.

It could be used to organize sports equipment, garden tools, or even set it up on the deck to hold your patio decor. I think using it for heavy items is great since the size isn’t too intimidating, and the wheels make it easy to transport around your home or yard. Speaking of… before we used it to separate our scrap wood we decided to test it out in some other areas of our yard…

We have lots of trees, which means lots of leaves. We were able to wheel this trash can out in the yard and then move it from one leaf pile to the next for easy cleanup.

Using trash can to clean up yard and organize scrap wood. MountainModernLife.com

If you have huge bags of soil or mulch but no wheel barrel, you can use this to move the heavy bags vs. carrying them. Or even use it for storing these kinds of items.

Using trash can with wheels to haul mulch around yard. MountainModernLife.com

This is also the case when it comes to moving branches or logs. We’ve had this pile of cut wood in our backyard but they are heavy so they’ve just been sitting outside. I’d love to use them for future projects but they need to dry out and be cleaned first. It was nice to have an easy way to transport them without picking up one or two at a time, and the oversized handle certainly helps with this.

Using trash can to clean up yard and organize scrap wood. MountainModernLife.com

I will admit that the wheels on this trash can are small, so although you can absolutely wheel it around on the grass, it’s even easier to transport on pavement or cement.

Using trash can to clean up yard and organize scrap wood. MountainModernLife.com

If your garage is cluttered with random pieces of wood, then you need to check out this simple solution on how to easily organize scrap wood!

What’s so great about the size, weight, and durability of this trash can is its versatility. If you are looking for an affordable storage solution, this trash can offers great value.

How to easily organize scrap wood title image. MountainModernLife.com

Will you use it to organize scrap wood, or do you have a creative way to use it in mind already? If so I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

You can find the Newell Rubbermaid® Roughneck™ Wheeled Refuse Trash Can at Home Depot.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Newell Rubbermaid®. The opinions and text are all mine.