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Get Organized With What You Have: Fun and Frugal Organizing Solutions

Organizing with What You Have

Shoeboxing Simple Storage

 Let’s kick off this brand-new series by looking at ways in which we can get organized with what we already have. While I love things in their place and a place for everything, the frugalist in me refuses to succumb to the temptation of storage containers, file folders, wicker baskets and cardboard boxes each time I head to the supermarket or stationery store. So, how does one then create space for what you own and keep them organized? Simple, use what you have.

Shoeboxes Make Great Hold-Alls

I love shoeboxes. They’re made of cardboard, are just the right size to organize papers, photos and other memorabilia. I even have a small kiddie shoebox that came with my toddler’s shoes to hold her keepsakes from her 1st year at school. You can prettify them with some odd bits of paper and ribbon and even put them on your desk to hold your work-related mails, bills and documents.  

Glass Jars to An Organizer’s Rescue

 If you’ve been a regular reader of The Mom Writes, you’ll know about my love for reusing glass jars. You know, the ones that have jam, Nutella and other foodie fare in them? I adore them. Once you’re through with their contents, wash them thoroughly. Soak them in some soapy water and scrub away the labels. Lovely, clear, as-good-as new glass jars all ready for use. You can use them to hold change, makeup brushes, craft supplies, spices or homemade mixes. Here are some more ways to use your glass jars to organize and sort.

 Organize with Paper and Cloth Bags

 Paper bags are another great organizing tool. I mean the more sturdy variety that clothes stores tend to use and not the cheap, flimsy grocery bag-type. I tend to keep them flattened out and stacked on top of each other or hang them on hooks. You can use them to hold magazine tear-outs. Label the bags and all you have to do is slide your tear-out in the respective bag.

 Cloth bags are another great solution for frugal organizers. Use them to sort just about anything. Mine hold soiled kitchen rags, socks  and undergarments in the laundry room while I use two in the kitchen to store my cleaning cloths for the countertop and the dishes. I also use them to sort and store my daughter’s small toys and cloth napkins.

 Reusing Random Cartons and Tins to Get Organized

 We all have a number of cartons. Think toys, clothes, especially shirts, stationery. Store these cartons . If they’re ugly-looking, cover them with pretty paper or even, a collage and use them to organize just about anything. I have a shallow box that my mother-in-law had gotten with a year-end planner. I use it in my desk drawer as an organizer. It holds my Post-Its, scribble pad, pen, stapler and paper clips.

 Empty coffee, cocoa and cheese tins are another fun and frugal organizing solution. Scrub them clean once you’re through with the contents and use them to store change, craft supplies or even, as drawer organizers.

 I love being able to find a use for just about everything (Check out Five Fun Ways to Organize Small Items to see what I mean). Yeah, it may seem weird and cheapskate-ish at times. But it gives me a deep sense of satisfaction to know that when I’m organizing things, be it craft supplies or a kitchen cabinet, I’m doing so without spending a penny.

 How do you organize with what you have? What is your frugal organizing solution? Do share!

 Next up in the series: How to Have an Organized Morning and Evening Routine

Photo Credit: EvelynGiggles


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  1. Great tips Prerna…

    wishing you a happy new year .

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Sangeeta, glad you liked the tips… Stay tuned for more in this series:-)
      Wish you a very Happy New Year too!

  2. Prerna that was very informative.
    Congrats on the Blogjunta Editor’s choice.
    If not for that I would have not known about your blog at all.
    I will follow regularly starting today :)

  3. A very useful blog! Thanks for the tips, anyways :)

  4. popping over on your link in a comment on SmallNotebook. I’ve got a drawer in my kitchen filled with the little plastic trays you get soft fruit/berries in here in the uk. I keep toddler cutlery, measuring spoons, medicine droppers and all those little kitchen bits in there, separated in these trays. drawer organisers are expensive and these are throwaway items, I can’t even put them in the recycling where I live.

    love the look of your blog, in the UK most housing is small, I live in a house and it’s probably no bigger than an apartment by US standards, and we rent so I can’t add the built in storage that would make so much sense here.

  5. I have a question about how to reuse glass jars. I read an article recently where (of course) Martha Stewart reuses them to make snow globes. Since then I’ve been trying to save all our jars because I figured I would repurpose them. I read your post about reusing them and did get some awesome ideas. However, the shape of a couple of the jars I have has me stumped. Imagine an A-1 jar for example. Or a Sobe drink bottle. Where the bottle is a great size but it slims alot at the top. I’m not much for having random bottles of beans sitting around, or use many spices/potpourris (great ideas you had). Any other suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated. I am really trying to recycle, reuse & repurpose.
    P.S. Your blog is well written and has ALOT of fantastic ideas.

  6. Love the ideas in the article. I am getting ready to downsize my office into a space 1/3 the size and am having to get very creative to make it all work.

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