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30 Simple, Cheap and Creative Organizing Hacks

Creative Organizing Made Easy

Although I adore an organized home, I don’t like spending money on fancy storage containers or filing cabinets. I like to use what I have and find ways to organize while sticking to my monthly budget. While I have shared how I use glass jars, organize small items as well as other frugal organizing solutions, here are 30 of my simple yet practical organizing hacks to help you bring order and structure to any place, any time.

1.  Use bags. While I love boxes ( who doesn’t?!), life in an apartment doesn’t really allow me a lot of storage space. Bags, cloth or paper, make organizing and storing items really easy. From toddler toys to kitchen dusters, everything can go into a bag and it doesn’t take any floor space. You can just hang them up on hooks or nails and you’re all set.

2. Use a spare or extra coat rack to hang jewelry or handbags right next to your mirror. You know, those wall racks that have hooks on them. You can use them behind doors, next to a mirror or even, in the kids’ playroom to hang a bunch of stuff.

3. Organize keys according to color. I don’t use nail polish but I have a few bottles in bright colors to paint keys, especially the ones that look alike, such as our closet keys.

4. Use empty toilet paper or aluminum foil rolls to wrap ribbons, thread around them or contain extension cords from slithering all over the place by sliding them inside the roll. Oh, I also use them to slide hairbands on when I grow my hair longer.

5. Egg cartons are my latest favorite for sorting and storing small items, especially my daughter’s craft supplies. 

6. Waste paper baskets or bins are great to store gift wrap rolls or other items, such as cleaning supplies. Either use an inexpensive new one or if you have an old one, scrub it clean, let it dry in the sun and use!

7. Juice and tinned food cans are great for storing pens, pencils and crayons. Just make sure that there aren’t any sharp edges and that the containers are all clean and dry.

8. Organize and display photo collections by creating a collage. Prevent  photos from wilting away in boxes or lying scattered over the house and arrange them artistically to create collages. You can have these framed and create instant wall art, inexpensively.

9. Use a large mesh or cotton laundry bag to stow away footballs, basket balls and other sports gear. My toddler is small but she still enjoys kicking a ball or playing cricket with her dad, so I like stowing these things in a laundry bag and hanging that behind the door.

10.Small spaces benefit from keeping things off the floor. I love finding nooks and crannies where I can hammer a few nails in and hang up a cleaning caddy or other stuff.

11. We buy our milk cartons in bulk. So, we get the lot of 12 cartons in large, long cardboard containers. I stand them up and use them to stow trash can liners, spare cloth shopping bags and even, items that I need to giveaway or donate!

12. Square boxes, the kinds that come with, wallets and other men’s gifts make great shallow drawer organizers or even, message pad and pen holders for the telephone table.

13. Storage trunks are ideal for small apartments (especially if you lack closet space) since they double up as a coffee table or a seat.

14. Cut up long boxes (such as the milk container I talked about earlier) and use them as cubbyholes on a shelf. The back of the cabinet or wall becomes their back while they keep everything neatly sorted.

15. Organize a narrow area such as an entryway by using wall space. Pegboards and wall shelves are great for the entry since you’ll have an easy space to hang up your handbag or jacket as soon as you get in.

16. Go online to eliminate and organize paper clutter. Opt for email statements, payments and account management to cut out the amount of paper that comes into your home.

17. Manage home online as well. I recently shared few of my free productivity tools and a couple of them are online. In other words, I do most of my scheduling and planning online, eliminating the need to carry bulky planners and organizers.

18. If like me, you have a stash of recipes culled from the internet or magazines, store them in empty and prettily covered cereal boxes or file folders. Index them according to cuisine or type of cooking – baking, grilling, pressure cooking and so on. You can also do this for craft ideas, décor inspiration and more.

19. Repurpose old but in good condition cardboard coasters into labels and gift tags. Punch a hole near the edge, thread a ribbon through and you’re all set.

20. I use old cassette tape holders to store earphones and plugins for my husband’s camera. I’m still looking for more ways to reuse these since my daughter’s made short work of the tapes.

21. I’ve found that storing all the plastic lids for the glass containers in one place makes my kitchen cabinet less cluttered. So, I have a large-ish bowl that holds all the plastic lids in one place.

22. I love those small purse-type pencil pouches. For one they’re cheap and two, they’re ideal for keeping your cosmetics organized in your hand bag. {I don’t remember who I got this idea from but it was someone online. So, if you’re that amazing person, “thank you!” and  drop me a line so I can give you due credit!}

23. Use cheese tins, all prettified with some wrapping paper, to hold change on the top of the refrigerator, keep cellphone chargers organized and even, to corral small bottles of spices in the spice rack.

24. Keep earrings organized and together either by using an ice cube tray or those small (really small) resealable plastic baggies. I do both and it makes finding earrings super-easy.

25. Create a spot in the house for all your “morning” stuff –handbags, school bags, lunch boxes, papers or files to carry and so on. Stash everything there in the evening as you wrap up and then, in the morning just pick and go. No “I can’t find the car keys” anymore.

26. Organize your home office desk to be self-sufficient. This may seem like a waste of money but you’ll be thankful when you don’t have to waste time hunting for a tape dispenser or a glue stick that a toddler has “hidden” somewhere.

27. Hang toothbrush holders on the wall next to your desk to store pens, tape and staplers easily while freeing up precious desk space.

28. Keep your desk as free of clutter as possible. If you have a fixed home office area, unlike me, use the walls to hang notepads, photos or bulletin board.

29. If your workspace keeps shifting, like mine, use a couple of shoeboxes to store papers, books, notes and other items. I wrap mine in newspaper for a kitschy touch and then, stack them neatly on the floor.

30. Buy less. The best way to stay organized for cheap. ***smiling***

 If you liked these tips, I do hope you’ll check out my free eBook at the end of this series that’s filled with 100+ tips to help you get organized and productive.

 Meanwhile, do share your favorite frugal and creative organizing solutions. Like I always say, I can’t wait to learn more!

Photo Credit: Shimelle Laine

Next in the Series: How to Cut Clutter with Kids…Permanently!


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  1. Great tips, Prerna. I love #3 and am going to implement #27 right now. I don’t have a toothbrush holder but I do have a little wire shelf that needs a new purpose. I just realized it would be perfect on the wall to keep my pencil holder and a few other things out of the way but still handy. Thanks!

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Crystal, am so glad you liked the tips.. Thank you.. Using what we already have to organize stuff is my favorite and am glad you’ve found a use for something you already owned.. Yay!

  2. Thank you for sharing lots of great ideas! I am especially excited about the aluminum foil rolls to wrap ribbons. Never thought of that and I love it!

    • The Mom Writes says:

      You’re welcome, Wendy.. Am glad you’ll be using an idea or two from this list.. Do check out the eBook when it comes out:-)

  3. Ranjeetha says:

    Hii Prerna,
    Great tips as usual….I was thinking of what to do with my handbags…will put up a hook or two behind my dressing table and hang them there (as in ur tip#2) :)
    I haven’t thought much about cereal boxes – will try tip#14 using them….
    and tip#7 – I can use up my tins now….I have lots of tins form tin food and I usually throw them…
    Thanks again..waiting to get hold of your eBook :)

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Glad you liked the tips, Ranjeetha.. Tins are a great organizing tool.. There are so many ways to use them! The eBook will be out by the 30th,if not sooner:-) Just adding a few finishing touches!

  4. I saw somewhere to use a cassette organizer to organize craft ribbon or fabric! Both were terrific ideas!

  5. I have to use 2 binders and about 5 cookbooks to keep aside for me since I found our my daughter has celiac disease. I have them piled on my dining
    room table close at hand but messy ….any ideas??

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Debra, have you considered stashing them inside a largish box, the kind you use for storing office papers and stuff.. That way, they’ll be easy to access but not pile up on your dining table. Hope this helps!

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