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    Organize on a Budget 940

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    Organize on a Budget 280

    Four Ways to Organize on a Budget

    Organize on a Budget 300Can’t afford to remodel your entire kitchen or closet? If you watch lifestyle television shows, you may get the feeling that getting organized and making over your spaces is out of reach for your budget. Here are a few ways you can organize your life and do it affordably!

    1. Maximize your space first.
    You may think you need to add more cabinetry or buy more furniture, when what you really need is to pare down your belongings and get real about what you are actually using! Once you make decisions and keep only what you really use and love, you will have much less to store. (And of course, please donate what you don’t need to Goodwill®! Find your nearest donation center here.) You also may be able to exist perfectly well with your current storage if you maximize the use of it entirely. You can watch this video on YouTube that I made about how to free up a whole drawer, a whole shelf, or a whole cabinet full of stuff in your kitchen:

    2. Don’t make shopping mistakes.
    When you get motivated to organize your house, don’t make the rookie mistake of rushing over to the discount or specialty stores and filling your cart with organizing bins and gadgets. You will be stuck later with the annoying errand of making those returns, or worse—assimilating those unused organizing products into your house as, ironically, more clutter! Wait until you get into the project first, after you sort out what you are keeping and are making decisions about how to store it. Then you’ll be able to measure shelves, buy the right quantity of items, and even take photos with you to the store to double-check your ideas before buying.

    3. Repurpose containers.
    You don’t need to go to a specialty store or spend a lot of money to have attractive and functional containers. We have a lot of packaging in our homes that comes from grocery and warehouse stores and elsewhere, such as baby wipe containers, check boxes, business card boxes, and egg cartons. There is even a brand of rice that comes in very nice, sturdy, clear rectangular containers that work very well. In my own jewelry drawer I use the insert from a package of frozen mini-quiches to store earrings!

    What to look for in repurposing a container: You want something that is nondescript, doesn’t have a whole lot of colorful words and labels on it, and if it does have labels, they are easy to remove. You don’t want to look at it and see what it used to be- you want to see it for its new purpose. Look for containers that are square or rectangular because they use space more efficiently. Clear containers are usually better so you can see what’s inside. Look for something sturdy and easy to clean that doesn’t have a lot of grooves and crevices in it. I have noticed that sometimes people have a tendency to hoard these containers, but I don’t want you to do that! Set a limit and when you gather any more than that, recycle them.

    4. Shop at Goodwill.
    Before you spend a lot of money at a specialty store, check your favorite Goodwill store for bargains on organizing containers! Bins, gadgets, boxes, dishes, and all kinds of very attractive containers are available for anyone’s budget. Why spend $20 when you can spend $5 on something that works great and helps people in your own community at the same time?
    Enjoy your budget shopping and get organized – no more excuses! Have fun saving money and get results.

    Lorie Marrero
    is a Certified Professional Organizer® and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life and The Home Office Handbook. She is also the creator of ClutterDiet.com, an innovative program allowing anyone to get expert help at an affordable price. Her organizing books and products are sold online and in stores nationwide. Lorie is a spokesperson for Goodwill Industries International, and she is a Contributing Editor for Woman's Day. She has also served as a spokesperson for many other companies, including Staples, Brother, and Microsoft, and she happily lives in Austin TX.
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    • Carolyn
      October 28th, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      I could not live without storage bins. I keep those in my closet and store everything not in use. It is easy to purge them for Goodwill, in the Spring and in the Fall. It is obvious things have become unwanted and useless by then.

      I store things in the closet in Large Bins. I put #s on the bins. Then I make a list of the Bin #s and jot down what’s in them to the side. I tape the list to an inside wall in the closet for easier viewing at times when I want to add to the bins.

    • Jubilee
      December 25th, 2015 at 9:45 am

      Thanks for these great tips! Our home feels more open now, and we like having helped others with our donated items too.

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