A more organized home looks better and makes life easier. However, you can easily pay a lot of money for bins, racks, hangers, shelving and other products designed to help you store belongings neatly. Some people spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on major organization projects. Costly solutions may work well for some individuals, but there’s no reason why you can’t organize your home on a small budget.
1. Less Stuff
Start by getting rid of as many things as possible. Donate, discard, shred, resell or recycle things you don’t need. Why spend time and money to organize long-expired food or bank statements from 1982? Organization will cost much less when you have fewer belongings. Thrift shops, libraries and food banks may accept items you want to donate. Consider holding a yard sale as well.
Before you buy anything new, look for creative ways to reuse stuff you already have. You can store things in old shoeboxes and prescription medicine bottles. If you need dividers, try using empty cereal or pasta boxes. You could also repurpose food containers like glass jars and plastic canisters after thoroughly washing them. Avoid using things with sharp edges, such as steel cans.
- Pick smooth, odor-free materials
- Keep well-made reclosable packages
- Use adhesive labels when needed
Stop and think before discarding the packaging materials that come with any product you buy. You can find ways to reuse them, thus saving money and limiting your impact on the environment. Stores often sell bedding, curtains and office supplies in reusable containers. For instance, you could tape or glue several empty envelope boxes together. This creates an organizer with multiple narrow compartments you can use to sort and store small objects.
When you don’t find the right supplies in your home, look for economical items at dollar stores, thrift shops, garage sales and discount department stores. This will probably cost less than visiting an office supply or home improvement retailer. While you’re shopping, look for free cardboard boxes near the front of each store. Certain supermarkets and wholesale clubs give them away.
Many dollar stores offer storage bags, drawer organizers, file folders, envelopes, labels, markers, bins and boxes priced at only $1. They also sell long, narrow plastic baskets and affordable clothes hangers. Dollar photo albums don’t just hold pictures. They can come in handy when you want to organize recipes, coupons, receipts, notes or business cards. If you don’t live near any discount shops, watch for sales at office supply and drug stores.
Home organization really doesn’t have to cost more than a few dollars. Bargain hunting and creative repurposing can make this task quite affordable. It may take a little more effort, but you might also feel better about what you’ve accomplished. If you need to motivate yourself, remember that getting organized can save money in the long run. You’ll really know what you have and don’t have, helping you to avoid buying things you don’t need.