Here's Something You Never Thought to Do with Binder Clips

They're a versatile tool in all of your household tasks, not just organizing paperwork.

chicken teriyaki noodle bowls recipe print out
Photo: Chris Simpson

Do you have a treasure trove of binder clips on the desk in your home office, in the craft closet, or in your miscellaneous drawer? It's time to put them to good use. But how to use them? As it turns out, this office staple is surprisingly useful for tasks around your house—and it has nothing to do with tidying paperwork.

Binder clips can serve a whole new purpose when you flip them onto their flat side: In a pinch, you have an instant holder. Gold-toned ones are especially display-worthy; these are Momenta the Explorer Journal binder clips ($4 for three, It's a smart solution for propping up to-do lists and photos—not to mention hands-free recipe reading (no screen to refresh, either). Test-drive the technique tonight with one of our recipes, and cook with ease.

How else can you put them to work in the kitchen? Easy: Keep dishwashing gloves dry between loads by adding a hook to the back of your under-sink cabinet door and then hanging them with a binder clip. And the same idea works for scrubbers and sponges, which should always be kept dry and bacteria-free; the binder clip acts as a stand. Keep opened potato chip bags, oatmeal boxes, and packets of seasoning fresh by clipping them closed. If you're cooking sous vide, keep bags of food in place by clipping them to the edge of your water bath container.

It's also a good trick among bakers: The next time you need to line a cake tin with parchment paper, use binder clips to hold the paper in place. (As long as you have the metal kind, they can go right in the oven.) It even works for kitchen waste—clip to the top of your trash can, over the bag, so the bag won't slip down.

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