Organizing is about making room for what is important in your life and finding the time and space to live out your values. It shouldn’t have to cost you a lot of money, because the focus is on paring down what you own, not adding to the clutter by buying additional containers and devices. So here are some tips for making the most of a tiny budget when you are trying to get organized:
1. Always sort and purge your space first before trying to figure out what products you need. By doing this, you may find that you don’t need as many storage containers as you thought you did, because you own fewer things to store.
2. As you are sorting and purging items, gather up all of the empty containers, bins and baskets that you come across and put them in a pile for later. This way, when you find you need a container to organize small parts, you can shop from what you own instead of going out and buying something new.
3. If you find that you absolutely need to buy new plastic bins, don’t buy the cheapest ones you can find. Cheap plastic bins can crack and warp easily, and often times their lids do not snap on properly. It’s worth the few extra dollars to buy plastic bins that will last for years. I always recommend Rubbermaid bins to my clients, because they seem to endure longer than any other brand’s bins.
4. When organizing drawers, use small jewelry boxes, berry baskets, or candy tins to hold each item separated out by category. I especially love the slim sturdy boxes that smart phones come in for organizing drawers. If you don’t like the look of mismatched containers, spray paint them all to match.
5. In deep cupboards (typically found in kitchens and pantries) people often like to have pull-out shelves installed. But these can be very expensive. Store your food in shallow plastic tubs instead, grouped together by category. When you need to access something, you can simply pull the plastic bin toward you and reach into the back.
6. If you need nice-looking boxes to sit out on open shelves, simply grab a shoe box and cover it in high-quality wrapping paper (available in boutique stationary stores). It’s cheaper to buy nice paper than it is to buy a new container. In fact the desktop organizer in the image above is just a series of boxes covered in fancy paper all nestled together. It’s a super cheap (maybe even free!) way to get a beautiful organizer for your desk.
7. When you need a specific product such as a silverware organizer, check your local thrift shop first. Thrift shops often carry a great selection of used organizing products for very little money. And remember that you can always spruce up what you find with a coat of paint to make it fit your home décor.
What are your favorite tips for getting organized when you are on a budget?