The Secrets to Organizing on a Budget

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The-Secrets-toWith the dreary days of winter hanging over our heads, lots of people are looking forward to spring and spring cleaning. We accumulate lots of stuff we don’t need over the holidays, especially if there are children involved! However, lots of organization advice seems to be aimed at those who have a huge budget for expensive boxes, totes, and organizational systems. Our tips can help you organize on a budget.

Purge First

It’s easy to look at a cluttered room and envision how you want it to look. Many people make the mistake of going out and buying bins and boxes in anticipation of organizing. Don’t do that! You’ll end up with boxes that don’t fit your items, too many totes, or organizational tools that you just never use.

Instead, purge a room completely before you plan any type of organization. This means going through the room, item by item, and being brutally honest about its place in your life. Every item should go into one of three categories: keep, throw away, or donate. Just use empty laundry baskets for these categories, and transfer items to a garbage bag or large box when the basket gets full.

Once you have purged a room, you’ll hopefully have gotten rid of lots of clutter. Now you can really organize!

Make sure to grab our Spring Cleaning Checklist

Use What You Already Have

Despite what Pinterest or Martha Stewart may tell you, you don’t need fancy matching boxes or organizational systems to get a room in order. Before you buy anything at all, gather everything you can use to organize a room. If it doesn’t match your color scheme, that’s fine. You can easily paint a basket or box to suit a room. Try to find a purpose for all of your organizational items before you spend any money on new ones. An added bonus: using existing items gives them a purpose and gets rid of clutter!

Make sure to Spring Clean your Kid’s Closets

Dollar Store Organizational Tools

After using everything you already have at your disposal, make a list of everything that still needs a home. Group items together and figure out which type of organizational tool fits for each group. For example, if you are organizing a child’s room, a stuffed animal net might be what you choose for unused stuffed animals. If you have lots of cards and letters, you might choose a small, square box to hold them.

Once you’ve made a list of what you need, hit up the Dollar Store/Dollar Tree/99 Cent Store near you. These stores tend to have a huge variety of organizational items, including niche items like bead sorters and colored canvas boxes. Since it’s hard to find simple items like canvas boxes for less than $10 in most stores, the Dollar Store can be a real budget saver.

Are you good at organizing or do you struggle with it? Leave your best tip or struggle in the comments.

And don’t forget to head over to Amazon for low cost (even FREE) Kindle books on organizing your home.

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  1. says

    I’m in the process of purging and organizing right now! I have to add that if you purge regularly (or just vow to buy less/only buy things you absolutely love or need,) then you don’t have to re-organize as often. If you’re a crafter, keeping tabs on what you have so that you don’t buy multiples (unless there’s a great sale on a staple item, like glue) helps. :) I LOVE the dollar store for all the things, but especially organization. The Dollar Tree has clear shoe boxes that are great for storing out-of-season shoes, or for organizing things in the pantry, craft room/zone, and garage. One of the best investments I’ve made, hands down, is a basic label maker. You can always use sticky labels or chalkboard labels, too, but I love the neatness of the printed labels, and the ability to customize the font/size.

  2. says

    I’m so glad to see someone wrote this post! It’s refreshing to think that I am not the only person who thinks it’s a waste to spend money on a bunch of organizing products!

  3. Tina says

    I give extra craft items to the park district or the YMCA. I never buy new craft items except glue and crayons on sale at back to school sales. I recycle a big bag of paper and plastic every day. I donate clothes, dishes and linens to Goodwill or Salvation army and buy very little new. My kids always wore used clothes and so do my grandchildren.

  4. Tina says

    I help people organize a closet, office, or other space if they make a donation to charity. Most people just need to thin out what they have. One closet produced 10 big garbage bags full of clothing that fit no one. Some people save clothes that are mostly rags. How many bathrobes do you need? Most people I know get bigger homes when the kids move out, we went much smaller.

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