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.