The most recent study by The Fredonia Group published last year estimates the home organization industry is a $8.8 billion dollar industry. That means every time you go through Target, and buy those cute organizing bins in all different colors, you’re contributing to that number (don’t worry, I have too.)
Although color coordinated storage boxes are definitely preferred when you’re redecorating or trying to wrangle your kids’ toys, the truth is that they can be very expensive. Not all of us have hundreds of dollars to spend on the perfect organizing cabinet, so sometimes you have to get a little crafty.
Here are a few simple ways to organize your home for free:
Organize Pens and Nail Polish in Used Grocery Containers
When I lived in the Caribbean for three years, we didn’t have a Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby anywhere on the island. So, when I wanted to organize, I mostly used items from our grocery trips. If you cut off the bottom of cereal boxes, you can use them to organize pens and paperclips in desk drawers.
Once, I spotted actual cans of Doritos instead of bags at the grocery store and I knew they would be great. I bought eight cans (ate all the Doritos of course to free up the cans!) and then I stored nail polish, make up, etc in the cans and put them in a deep drawer I had in my desk.
It sounds silly, but it works and the best part is that it’s totally free. If you don’t want to look at the Doritos label (and who does, right?) put your creative skills to use and cover the outside of the cans and boxes with plain brown (or your favorite color) paper and decorate it to your liking.
Put Mismatched Items to Use
Raise your hand if you have tupperware that doesn’t have a top (don’t lie; you know you do.) Well, empty tupperware containers that don’t have a top make great organizing products too!
Toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls are a great way to organize cords. If you have camera cords, computer cords, and printer cords that are used infrequently, you can fold them up nicely and put them in the toilet paper rolls to keep them from getting tangled. Then, place the rolls in a box or in a drawer.
You can also use glass jars from spaghetti sauce or peanut butter, wash them out when you’re done, and store items in there too. I’m also a fan of keeping small boxes from Amazon and anything else that might be of good use. The nice, white boxes that come with Apple products are some of my favorite boxes because they are high quality. I currently keep my vitamins and a small journal in a white Apple box by my bed (no fancy golden trays needed here!)
I love finding furniture and other gems on the side of the road or in the dumpster. I know in my town (and I’m sure in yours too) there are particular trash days for large items. That would be a great day to browse the streets of your town hunting for perfectly good furniture that no one wants anymore.
Dressers, bookshelves, and even plastic bins are great ways to organize your things, and if they come from the side of the road and are free, all the better.
Use All Your Space
Many people don’t make a great use of their space. They might have a sofa that’s too big for their living room or bookshelves that have a lot of space behind the books that isn’t being used.
I’ve stored large paintings and artwork that I want to keep behind my dresser just waiting for a larger home to enjoy them on the wall again someday.
Ultimately, embracing minimalism and getting rid of stuff is the best way to organize your house for free. When you finally decide to donate old books or clothes, you create space for the items you truly love. Every time I feel like my small house is closing in on me, I just toss a few magazines or get rid of some shoes and instantly feel a lot better.
We’re getting ready to move in just a few months, so I’ve already started the process of decluttering, and I’m looking forward to moving with far less belongings than we had when we came here.
What do you do to organize your house for free or cheap? What items have you repurposed into organizing bins/containers/holders? What could you get rid of in your home right now to free up some cluttered space?