How do I organize my home on a budget?
When you live in any size home, you have a need to organize your home. The fact is, we all have “stuff.” And “stuff” can end up slowing down our day and ruffling our feathers in the evening. “Stuff” quickly becomes clutter, and who wants that? Not only does clutter take away from the look of your home, but it also adds to the overwhelm you feel each day. If you have stacks of papers that belong nowhere, crazy and chaotic mornings, or lost backpacks and car keys, check out these easy ideas to organize your home.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say the word “organization”? If you’re like me, you probably think of a bunch of neat and tidy bins or containers all lined up in a perfect row, with matching labels and not a thing out of place.
But while the organization can look like this at times, I’ve learned that going out and buying a bunch of pretty (and sometimes expensive) bins will not automatically make me organized, nor are expensive bins a requirement of the organization. In fact, it is totally possible to get organized without spending a lot of money at all!
Do you want to get organized on a budget? Me too! You’re going to love these cheap organization hacks and organizing tips. Make a difference in all areas of your home; don’t spend a lot while you do it!
This post has so many fantastic ideas for getting organized without spending a lot of money! Must pin! Click through to see her genius tips and tricks! I don’t want to break the bank getting everything organized, so I’ve been gathering relatively inexpensive organizing tips that I know are going to come in handy.
I have admitted many times on the blog that I am cheap thrifty, so I am always looking for ways to save, particularly when it comes to organization. Through the years, I have discovered several ways to keep costs down while still implementing super-efficient organizational systems.
PURGE (& SELL!)
Any time I organize anything, purging is the #1 thing I do, and if our goal is to organize on the cheap, it only makes sense– the less stuff you have, the less it will cost to get it organized! Start with one area of your home (maybe the one that bugs you the most!) and be ruthless. Get rid of anything that is broken or stained. If there are things you don’t use anymore, say good-bye to those too. Only keep the items that you absolutely need and/or love.
Other than getting rid of clutter, another upside of purging is that you will likely find items that may not be useful to you anymore, but that someone else needs. These items can be sold at a yard sale or on Craigslist or Facebook. This step of your organization process is actually making you some money– win!
Rinse, Reuse, Recycle
From mason jars to shoe boxes, to ice cube trays, we all have things lying around the house that can help in our quest for organization, with little to no out of pocket cost. Whether you cover an old shoebox with fabric to store toys or use an ice cube tray in your dresser to store earrings, be creative and consider new uses for old treasures.
MAKE IT PRETTY
Just because we’re using something that is recycled or that we already have doesn’t mean we have to leave it as-is. I often wrap cans and boxes in wrapping paper or scrapbook paper to make them prettier. Paint is another quick and easy option that I always have on hand. Washi tape or decorative duct tape can make recycled items more beautiful as well.
BATHROOM ORGANIZING IDEAS
Keep your bathroom paraphernalia out of sight when not in use. Buy a plastic carry-all with a handle on top, or a pretty basket. Put all of your make-up, deodorant, hair spray, razors, etc. into the container and place under the counter. Bring it out when you need it, then always put it right back underneath.
Shower caddies are essential for keeping the shampoos, conditioner, face scrubs and specialty in-shower treatments from taking over the whole space. Use a shower organizer and just the basics: mild shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
Roll your towels and use them as decor tucked into pretty baskets or piled on a bench. Use wall hooks for hanging towels, robes and clothing. Behind the door is a great way to use wasted space.
Use drawer organizers for make-up, jewellery, ponytail holders, and other loose items. Or make your own. Try our post on a budget make-up storage for ideas.
Use pretty floating shelves to add storage and to organize above the toilet, and add value to the room.
Store kids’ bath toys in a fine-laundry bag. Hang from the faucet ’til fully drained. And a stash of bath towels rolled inside a basket helps, too.
Post a sheet of paper in the bathroom and note bathroom supplies that need replenishing. On grocery day, just grab the sheet and go.
Use small jam jars to hold cotton swabs, balls and other essentials inside your bathroom vanity drawers.
Buy a hotel-style hairdryer that can be installed on the wall to save space, time and energy in a small bathroom.
CLOSET ORGANIZING IDEAS
Place separate colour baskets in your closet for laundry and one for dry cleaning. This will save you time sorting clothes, and you will always know when you have enough colours for a full load.
If you haven’t worn it in a year, donate it. Goodwill and some other charities even take worn-out clothes, as it employs people while they are redirected to recyclers.
Shrink-wrap out of season clothes, blankets and duvets to save space while storing. Sort your clothes by season, and only keep the present season in your closet. Pack out of season clothes away in an under a bed storage container. DIY under bed storage ideas! Plan a closet clean-out once per season. Less mess makes staying organized a lot easier.
Put your clothes in categories that work for you. Color, formality, type or office wear are good places to start. This will save you time putting together outfits, and save you money from re-purchasing items you didn’t remember you had, as they were buried in the closet somewhere. Inevitably, you know they will re-appear right after the return-window on your new item has expired.
Use hooks and pegboard on any closet wall space to hang purses, jackets, and accessories. Dedicated tie, belt and scarf holders are closet must-haves.
Clean Up Closet Shelves. Remove everything from your closet shelves, wipe down the shelves and then get rid of anything that isn’t adding value to your life. Avoid stacking clothing on shelves and storing stuff on shelves that can get buried under hanging clothes. Aside from items you store in containers, you should be able to see everything in your closet without moving too much. Boxes and bins are recommended for storing smaller items on your closet shelves.
You’ll never fit sheets back into those reusable vinyl zip pouches they were sold in, but you can stash cloth napkins in them. Use one pouch per set and label the quantity with a Sharpie.
Organize Your Bedrooms
Bedrooms often become dumping grounds for stuff that doesn’t have a home in your house. When you think about it, you don’t really need more than a bed, a nightstand or two, storage for clothes, shoes and perhaps a home for jewellery and make-up.
Follow the tips below to declutter messy bedrooms – we’ll address decluttering closets in another section since they also tend to be clutter hot-spots requiring special attention! Start by Decluttering the Bedroom Drawers.
Take everything out of the drawers and ask yourself the following questions about each item: Does it belong in the bedroom? Have you used it in the last year? Did you answer, “No,” to either of those questions? If so, then put it in your “Get Rid of It” bin or move it to the room where it belongs.
When you are ready to place items back into the drawers, try adding dividers or small containers so you can store like things together.
Bedroom Decluttering Tip: You don’t have to go to the store to buy something. You can use small gift boxes, shoe boxes, cereal boxes or repurpose plastic containers to hold the items in the drawer. Get creative – perhaps you won’t have to send as many things to the landfill at the end of the day!
HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR KITCHEN
Organize your kitchen cabinets into categories. Make sure your cups are near the fridge so you can easily pour that afternoon juice, and your utensil drawer is near the dishwasher, so you don’t have to make ten trips across the kitchen. Pots and pans? Near the stove. Kids plates? On a lower shelf, so they can get to them without calling you from the first bath, you have had in a month. Getting it? Also, keep your drawers organized, including the misc / junk drawer that we all have. There are all kinds of household items that can be repurposed to help keep everything contained and organized.
Keep whatever you use for a pantry immaculate. Nowhere does clutter make more of a mess than with food.
A shower tension bar works well as an under-the-sink organizer – you can hang bottles by their handles. Add cup hooks underneath your cabinets for mugs – taking advantage of the extra space inside. Bamboo skewers packed into a container are perfect for holding knives and other random utensils.
Keep a magnetic notepad on the refrigerator to keep a running list of what you need from the grocery store. When it’s time to go shopping, just grab your list and go. Use 3-ring binders to store your recipes and take-out menus. Add sheet protectors to keep all of your pages clean.
Place a basket on the kitchen counter for mail, your kids’ permission slips, and anything else that may need your attention. You can go through everything in the basket once a week to keep your countertops from getting cluttered. Keep a small basket on a lower shelf, and fill it with snacks so your kids can help themselves.
Organize your junk drawer by placing an egg carton or paper cupcake liners in them to catch and sort all the small items. Organize similar items together using plastic bins. Package mixes of sauces and gravy can go in one, chips and cookies, boxes of rice and pasta in another.
Reduce spoilage of fruits and veggies by “rotating” your crops. Put new ones underneath ones that were already in your crisper.
Use white address labels or a label maker to label your pantry shelves, so you know where something belongs. Keep a lazy Susan in your pantry, and fill it with smaller items that you frequently use, so they are easy to find.
Use a tea or cookie tin to store condiment packets such as hot sauces, soy sauce, ketchup, etc. Use old baby food jars to hold spices. Stash them in a drawer upside down, so this recycling trick looks sleek, not cheap. Use a cardboard six-pack container to carry condiments from the kitchen to deck in BBQ-casual style.
If perishables regularly go to waste in your fridge, start planning weekly dinner menus. Just buy ingredients for those meals, plus lunch basics. Post the menu on your fridge, so you’re on track.
Use a soda-can dispenser in the fridge so you can access your pop easily without tipping. Banish tiny piles of coins and start saving in style. Get a designer piggy bank and keep it by the entranceway, laundry or kitchen—wherever you’d like to dump your change.
Control Your Cords
Have a big jumble of cords? Wrap each cord up and tuck it inside an empty toilet paper roll to keep it tangle-free when it isn’t in use.
Tip: Write what the cord goes to on the outside of the tube.
You may not realize it, but empty toilet paper rolls are one of the most useful things in your home. These cardboard tubes can be used for everything from seed pots to pet toys. And the best part? You have an endless supply! Recycle leftover gift-wrap ribbons by using them to tie up extra electrical and other cords in your utility closet.
Free Drawer Organizers
Create free dividers for your drawers and storage bins by cutting up cardboard boxes. Unlike those store-bought dividers, these can be customized to fit your needs and your style. Wrap them to make them any color you’d like.
Another Idea: Use a spare silverware organizer to corral loose items in your drawers.
Use cutlery trays in your drawers, but to save even more time, stash everyday flatware in a countertop caddy. Tackle that kitchen junk drawer problem head-on. Today, purge, edit and keep things in place with a drawer organizer.
DIY Magazine Storage
Are piles of magazines taking over your house? Make your own magazine storage boxes out of cereal boxes and bring them under control once and for all. Use an extra wine rack to hold rolled-up magazines.
Tip: Wrap the box with paper or fabric, so it looks neater on your bookshelf.
Organize Office Supplies
Jars are perfect for organizing most office supplies. Use baby food jars for paper clips, rubber bands, push pins and other small items. Use canning jars for pens, pencils and other large items.
Another Idea: Empty coffee cans work perfectly for larger collections, like the kids’ markers and crayons, or your craft ribbons. Are you piler, not filer? That’s fine, just keep piles of paperwork organized by using folders and write-on clips. Use an old wooden stepladder to hold books. Use ice cube trays to hold clips, erasers and other desk-drawer essentials.
Stop losing lock combinations and computer passwords once and for all. Jot everyone’s codes and combinations down in a notebook and store it in your family’s fireproof lockbox.
Get a heavy-duty paper shredder for peace of mind – and efficient shredding without risk of overheating.
Post a sheet of paper on your bulletin board and note office supplies that need replenishing.
Tame the Grocery Bags
Are plastic grocery bags or brown paper bags taking over your house? Bring them under control by storing them in an empty tissue or baby wipe box. Store reusable shopping bags one inside the other.
Better Yet: Invest in a few canvas tote bags, and forgo the bag clutter altogether. Use plastic bags as liners for small garbage cans, taking out the cat litter or other small trash needs.
Recycled wipes containers make great twine and ribbon storage in the craft room or use them to store your plastic bags like Love, Pomegranate House does.
A hanger as an Outfit Organizer
I was really drawn to an attractive looking outfit organizer the other day, and then I realized I could do the same with a bunch of hangers. Simply put my whole outfit together and hang it up. I can do this for the entire week, and every morning just reaches out and pick out a hanger with an outfit all set.
If I wanted to go further, I’d label my hangers Monday through Sunday as well, but I guess that would be too much even for me.
Edit your hangers. Choose: wire, plastic or wood and unify the hangers in every closet.
Craft Room Organization
Standing sectioned mesh hampers are perfect for yarn and deco mesh storage. Use recycled tin cans or Crystal light containers for craft paint and/or markers. Use clear plastic scrapbook paper holders to make your scrapbook papers visible and easy to access. You can also use binder clips in the closet – just clip to hangers.
Glue wooden candlesticks to the bottom of pie tins (with E-6000) to make the perfect tiered storage for any loose craft supplies. You can get creative and decorate the candlesticks, too. Mount a magnetized knife rack to a wall in your utility closet or basement, to keep your most commonly used screwdrivers and wrenches handy, not buried in the toolbox. An old toothbrush holder becomes a great way to hold scissors and tools.
Put your glitter in salt shakers – it’s the perfect way to store the glitter and use it without dumping out the whole container.
General Organizing Tips
In general, you can organize some things in your house like adding a pegboard and peg hooks to any wall, turning it into an instant storage space. Label your phone (and appliance) cords with washi tape – give each person in your home a different colour, so you know whose is whose. You can sort type by colour as well!
Add bookshelves that go high up on your wall to take advantage of the space. If you have a headboard, take advantage of the space. Cereal boxes- These can be cut down so that they’re just a few inches high, and then they make perfect drawer dividers to hold office supplies! You can easily create simple shelves out of reclaimed wood for storage.
Drape a fish net from the ceiling and use it to store stuffed animals, action figures, dolls, and larger toys so you can get them off the floor. Use a cupcake tin or muffin pan to organize tiny toys and hair accessories that don’t seem to have a home.
Use a binder to store all medical records and information for everyone in your family, including each pet. Use dividers for each family member and include plastic pouches or expandable pockets to contain receipts and tiny record cards.
Make a party kit. Stash napkins, extra glassware and plates, votive candles and holders, extra vases, cocktail picks and other necessities in an old wine crate and pull it out pre-party or pre-holiday entertaining, so you don’t waste valuable cupboard space.
It is totally possible to get organized without spending a lot of money. Yes, it may take more creativity, DIY, and a little bit of extra searching, but that little bit of extra effort can turn into big savings in the long run, and you can still have those organized spaces you’ve been dreaming of!