5 Ways to Get Organized Without Breaking the Bank

You need these simple, inexpensive solutions.

Amanda Thomas
4-minute read
Episode #192

When I work with clients who want to get their homes organized, one of the things I often hear is that they don’t want to spend a ton of money. Most people want to make their homes functional, but don’t want to have a large upfront cost. I’ve also had a number of clients who have been burned by the temptation of stocking up on cute, expensive organizing supplies, only to have their systems fall apart a few weeks later. After months (or years) of having stashes of pricey, yet not-quite-functional bins around their home, they have realized that buying expensive organizing supplies is not what will get their homes in order.

So, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite inexpensive organizing supplies. Most of these are under $10 each, and can get your home functioning in no time. They are all good enough to keep your home tidy and looking good, or they can be used for place holders in case you want to upgrade to a more expensive option in the future.

1.) Ikea 365+ Kitchen Storage

My kitchen lives and breathes by the 365+ line at Ikea. You can find a number of great storage options for the kitchen, but my absolute favorites are the clear pantry containers. They come in three different heights, but all the containers are the same dimensions otherwise. This means they can stack on top of each other and the lids are interchangeable. The tall ones are great for cereal and pasta, the medium ones for rice, beans, and other grains, and the short ones are perfect for nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. With a label maker, these containers can make your pantry look pristine in no time flat!

2.) Plastic Shoe Boxes

I am a huge fan of plastic shoe boxes from dollar stores. They aren’t as sturdy as some of the plastic boxes sold at fancier stores, but they do the job for nine out of ten organizing projects. My favorite way to use these boxes is to organize the items that I store under my bathroom sink. These are often bottles or jugs of liquid, and for reasons I have yet to understand, they occasionally leak. Having them stored upright in a plastic container keeps their openings up, as well as provides a contained, easy-to-wash place for them to be stored. Often times I use these boxes without the lids, but if I need to store multiple boxes of small items, I separate the items by category and label the outside of the plastic boxes before stacking them in the cabinet.

3.) Craft Store Baskets

A few years ago I was searching for a basket for my home, and was having no luck at department or décor stores. On a whim, I went in to a craft store and discovered that they have the mother load of baskets. Baskets of all sizes, shapes, and colors were available at great prices. Plus, craft stores are notorious for offering 40% and 50% off coupons on a regular basis. Not only can you likely find a great basket that fits your exact needs, but there’s a good chance you can get it at a great price. I have a number of baskets around my house, including in my bathroom to store rolled towels, in my living room to house folded blankets, and in our workout area to contain small workout tools. Wherever you look in our house, you are likely to find a basket, and it was likely purchased on sale, with a coupon, from a craft store