The time for cleaning
and organizing is upon us as we approach that lovely time of renewal in our homes. You will notice that the stores recognize
this season too, as the time for sales on expensive organizers occurs. They know
that naturally as consumers, we realize that this is the season and we will run
out and buy tons of storage containers, which will
later gather dust in our basement
and our garages. There is a cheaper alternative to organizing than just buying new
items. Challenge your creativity and realize that you can organize your home in
a frugal way, rather than emptying your wallet. Here are a few inexpensive alternatives:
- Look at the
items that are already being stored. Open the containers and rediscover what you
have been storing. Is there a need to store it anymore? Will you actually use the
items in the containers? If you won’t, donate the items to charity and
free up some
space in the organizers you already have. Condensing items into containers and donating
the items that you no longer need will give you new room to use for storage.
- Do you have
photo boxes gathering dust in your home? Weed through the duplicates and unload
the photos that will never make it into photo albums. Share photos with friends
and relatives and repurpose these boxes. Photo storage containers are one of my
favorite storage items because they are inexpensive (at craft store sales they can
run as little as $1.50 each) and they disguise the mess in your home.
make the perfect storage for spices in your kitchen, a great location for storing
your medicine, a place to house your DVD or CD collections, and are a great way
to store sewing kits or craft supplies.
- Mason jars are
an inexpensive way to organize many things in your home and you may already have
some of these lying around in your house. They are a great way to store items that
are gathering dust in your pantry. I love to use these for pastas, rice, cornmeal,
and baking soda. If you make your own mixes (pancake mix, biscuit mix, bread machine
mixes, or pizza mixes) these can be a great place to store these mixes and make
them accessible to you when the dinner hour rolls around and you have nothing ready
to go. Something about those clear jars stirs your memory quicker than items thrown
to the back of the pantry in boxes. They can be found for mere quarters at the thrift
store and lids are can be picked up at your local discount store.
- Think outside
the box. When you run out of an item in your fridge, throw your empty containers
into the dishwasher to be used for storing children’s items. I love the plastic
coffee canisters, butter containers, and yogurt containers for storage. They can
be a great way to store puzzle pieces, Matchbox cars, and tiny Barbie accessories.
I also love to give these containers to our kids for pretend play. The grocery food
sets in stores are often not durable. I instead save these items for our children
to use to do their “grocery shopping”. Boxes from food items and butter tubs are
great items for them to play with. There is no crying if the box gets smashed because
I can always come up with another one.
- If you have
a growing collection of baskets, find a new use for them. They can be used for storing
all sorts of clutter lying around your house in an attractive way. I use baskets
for storing out of season items and small items that can get lost in the day-to-day
shuffle in our basement.
- Shoe boxes are
great for storing items and can be creatively disguised using wallpaper remnants,
gift wrap, or scrap fabric. Use these to store belts, panty hose, ties, or other
small items that can be easily lost in your closet. Decorating these boxes can be
a great craft project to do with your children and your children can also use these
to store items that are lurking in their closets or toy bins.
tubs are my favorite storage solution because they can be purchased for a dollar
at any store and the possibilities are endless. While not as attractive as other
storage containers, they are extremely functional and can be used for so many different
things. We use dishwashing tubs for organizing items in our bathroom closet. Labels
are made for the front and make instant organization for health & beauty items.
We also use these for first aid kits, organizing underneath sinks, library books,
or school books- the possibilities are endless! If you discover you no longer need
one of these containers, they make wonderful gifts for a high school graduate. Fill
these up with plastic cutlery, plastic plates, plastic cups, a sponge, and dishwashing
stick a bow on the front. This makes a functional and fun gift for the
soon-to-be college student.
- Thrift stores
are a goldmine for storage containers. They always have lots of baskets that have
been donated and they can also house creative items that you would not think of
for storage. Try to go in open-minded and you will find a world of ideas.
If all else
fails and you have to run out to get containers, don’t overlook your local dollar
store. You’ll love finding cute storage solutions for much less than in other stores.
Always visit the dollar store first before any other because you will be surprised
to find how many items you can get there without spending the big bucks.