Monday, May 9, 2011

Organizing with what you’ve got… Free ideas for organizing!

We’ve all got a house or apartment full of stuff, right? I’m sure that if you put your creative cap on and take a gander through the house you can come up with some pretty good stuff to use to assist you in being more organized. This might be a tall order, but let me take you on a tour of my house and show you what I found.

Yes, that is a box. A cardboard box. It is the easiest thing I could think of in terms of organizing so that’s why it comes first. A box is perfect for storing just about anything, and chances are high that you’ve got one somewhere in your abode already.

Do you have what seems like a million half empty travel size shampoo and conditioners? I do! And I have at least 5 toothbrushes that I received from the dentist over the last couple of years. My idea for organizing these and other travel size toiletries was simply to use a gift bag. I keep this under the sink in my guest bathroom.

Another obvious. This is indeed a bag. And it is a bag of bags. Makeup bags to be exact. I love the idea of using a large bag to store makeup bags. Plain and simple.

I’ve blogged here about recipe organization but this is my new file folder for keeping recipes that need to be filed or stored somewhere. File folders have so many uses I could probably write an entire blog post about them and their many uses.

How about this one – I think I got this mesh container in a 5-piece set with a waste paper basket, a business card holder, a pencil cup and a mail file when I was a freshman in college. I still have all 5 parts of the set. This one happens to hold my pens, pencils, rubber bands, kitchen post-its and Costco coupons. It lives in my pantry. I can’t think of anything better to use here.

This one is really genius. This is a cookie tin that I got from my aunt for Christmas one year. Its job now is to hold miscellaneous granola bars and snacks. I really don’t like keeping the entire box of granola bars with one measly bar in it, so when I get down to one or two bars I transfer them to the cookie tin and recycle the box to better utilize the space. This tin also lives in my pantry.

Let’s move to the bathroom. I have all sorts of organizers in my bathroom and they all came from somewhere else in my house. This shot here is below my sink – I used three votive holders to hold various items – cotton swabs, cotton balls and my makeup brushes; randomly one year my “gift with purchase” from Clinique was the organizer I use to keep my bobby pins, headbands, hair binders and other hair gadgets in. I use a big ole’ basket to keep my hair dryer and assorted curling irons and brushes in, and finally I have another simple plastic basket to hold my lotions, hair goo and clips. These were all things that I had in my house.

Last stop is the bedroom. I’ve got shoe boxes and a cigar box hanging out in the bedroom. Shoe boxes can come in handy for so many things – tools, photos, recipes, kids’ school or art supplies, or even your shoes. The cigar box is more of a memento to me than anything, but clearly it could be the perfect home for some cigars, otherwise photos or small memorabilia.

I hope this inspired you to go fishing in your own home for some creative ideas to keep you organized without spending so much as a penny!

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