Ever since I gave birth to a baby girl, I have been struggling with how to organize hair accessories. When the children were little, I kept their ponytail holders in a small metal tin. It was great for traveling, and since I always did their hair, I was able to keep all the accessories in one place.

The more girls we added to our family, the more hair accessories we acquired. And as those children grew, so did their interest in styling their own hair. Soon, we were finding hair accessories all over the house. Worse, we could never find the right bow, clip, or ponytail holder when we needed it. And so the search for a more successful system began.

First, I tried putting clips and ponytail holders in these repurposed plastic jars. Trouble was, the jars had lids, and no one ever put the lids back on. Without the lids, the accessories spilled, resulting in frequent messes.

Then I thought we could keep all the hair accessories in these pretty wicker baskets. Same problem. Plus, we started keeping combs and brushes in the baskets, too, and they often got tangled in ponytail holders or headbands.

The other problem we discovered with the basket storage was this: girls started tossing anything and everything in the baskets. The baskets became a catchall for any clutter they didn’t want to put away. Not good.

So today, after reading this post on The Happy Housewife, I knew I had my answer: repurposed cardboard tubes. We opted for tubes I had saved from plastic wrap and aluminum foil containers instead of toilet paper tubes. The tubes we chose are slightly smaller in diameter—perfect for ponytail holders—and much, much sturdier than the toilet paper option.

I cut each tube in thirds—one for each girl—and let them attach their own ponytail holders.

Within five minutes, the project was done, resulting in easy, accessible storage for their hair accessories. (I suppose you could decorate the tubes, but I like the simplicity of the white background, and the bright ponytail holders provide decoration enough.)

Next on the list: clips. We solved that problem fairly quickly as well, attaching a thin corkboard on the inside of our medicine cabinet door. Next, we cut some pretty ribbon, attached it with a pushpin, and voila: instant hair clip storage.

Finally, the headbands. For this job, I turned to a clean aluminum can from the recycling bin. We wrapped each headband around the can twice, which lets us see all the headbands at a single glance.

Again, you could cover the can with pretty paper, but I think the headbands provide color enough. Bonus: the larger headbands fit in the can quite nicely.

Why the new system works:

  1. We can see all the hair accessories at a glance, helping us find the one we need quickly.
  2. Unlike the baskets, the cardboard tubes and ribbons can’t become a catchall for any junk kids want to toss. (I suppose if they tried hard enough, they could jam something in the tin-can-turned-headband-container, but let’s hope for the best, right?) 🙂

Cost: Nothing, since I used items we already owned.
Time: 15 minutes, tops.
Problem: Solved.

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