Organizing Your Life on a Shoestring Budget

organized-closet"I don't know about every one else in the world, but when it comes to all of those fancy storage containers and cutesy little baskets for organizing, I cringe at the thought of the extra expense and the dent it is going to put into my budget.

Who can afford all of that stuff at one time? Gosh, by the time I made my list, if I didn’t pay any bills and eat, I could only afford to buy two-thirds of what was on my list. Help me; give me a clue how to organize within my budget!"

This is what a reader wrote to me last week. I understand completely, it can get expensive if you are going to purchase all of the cute little organizers and storage containers. However, who said you had to? There are so many ways of organizing and staying within your budget that you will wonder why you didn't think of some of these earlier.

First of all, check out your local dollar stores, the only problem here is that with some of the things you will have to purchase them right away because it isn't an in-stock-all-the-time item. They usually have baskets and plastic storage containers in stock all of the time, so leave those for later. This is also a good place to get your notepads, pens, pencils etc.

Usually when I am talking to a client for the first time or I am going to do an in-home evaluation I tell them to NOT purchase anything until we know what we need, how big and if it is something that is going fluctuate as far as what is stored in it. Sometimes it is wiser to use a cardboard box (you can decorate it if you want to with contact paper).

Instead of purchasing an extra storage cabinet, is it possible that you can just add shelving to a closet that isn't being used for anything? Look for all of the hidden storage areas in your home. Once you de-clutter your home, you may find a lot more.

Can you pack away out of season clothes instead of them hanging in your closet and taking up valuable space? This is often times overlooked by people and the storage space on the shelving above the closet rod can be used for this. It will remain handy, but out of the way for your organizing progress.

Disorganization costs you more money in the long run. Do you realize how many things you have misplaced due to disorganization in a years time, just to find out later that you’ve gone out and purchased it again? That extra money could have been spent on organizing solutions for your home rather that duplicate items.

Make use of hanging shoe organizers, they hold a multitude of things that are too small to organize properly. They are not only handy for organizing but they can be stored on the inside of closet doors or in the closet behind clothes; make sure that you take the time to label the little pockets.

Create a system that is easy for your life and situation, it will make it a lot easier for you to maintain.

Look for double duty ways of organizing your life; envelopes work well for keeping in your purse or glove compartment for coupons, hang scissors on your refrigerator or in the inside of a kitchen cabinet for opening packages and keep a calendar next to the phone for appointments.

Organizing doesn’t have to be expensive!

9 thoughts on “Organizing Your Life on a Shoestring Budget

  • July 15 2009 at 11:12 am
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    I think the best point above is not to buy ANYTHING until you have reviewed what you have, so you know what organizing tools you'll actually NEED.

    I've fallen into the trap of "ooh, isn't that a pretty organizing doodad" a few times, and ended up returning the item because it didn't fit what I wanted to store in it!

    The construction rule of "measure twice, cut once" can be applied to organizing, too! "Measure twice, buy less"!!

    Krys's last blog post..4 Months

  • July 15 2009 at 1:46 pm
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    I love the idea of packing out of season clothes over the hanging rods. That area has been bugging me because we don't use nearly as much space as we could up there. Now I just have figure out the logistics of it all…

  • July 18 2009 at 12:05 am
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    I love organizing stuff, especially if I get to use the really wonderfully-designed boxes and organizers. But yeah, they do tend to run you up a huge bill. Your organization tips are definitely a big help! Thanks so much, looking forward to more of your helpful posts :)

  • July 18 2009 at 3:22 pm
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    I was just in a thrift store the other day, and they had 50 or so different kinds of baskets (wicker, etc.) as well as lots of differrent travel/organizational bags for makup and such. There is nothing over $4 in there…. Great place to look for "one-of-a-kind" finds that are very cheap!

  • July 29 2009 at 1:00 pm
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    The organizers may be expensive but they are worth it. My friend, Joe, kept is home very clean but the home did not feel warm and friendly. Finally, one day he decided to buy containers to manage the clutter in his home. The end result was absolutely amazing. His home looked elegant, warm and friendly. So, I think for what you will get out them, they are well worth it.

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  • April 25 2010 at 12:52 am
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    I dont like to use plastic somethings. But your article very good about organizing, thank you

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