Thursday, July 26, 2012

Organizing and Creating Space Cheaply

I never have enough time or money. Who does? And I definitely do not want to spend my time frantically looking for something that is probably right in front of my face. Here's some of my favorite quick tips for making your home more organized (which also saves time) and doing it very inexpensively.

**1** Keep a mason jar with teaspoons next to your stove. You've got instant tasting spoons without having to continually dig in the cutlery tray. The long handles make it easy to dip into a pot for a quick taste. You can use mason jars for a million things: dry pantry goods, buttons, paper clips, it is an endless list.

**3** Use a cedar chest or foot locker as a coffee table. They can be rustic or chic, plus they have great storage possibilities. Or you could keep it empty and just stash your clutter inside when company is unexpectedly dropping by.

**4** Use sturdy leftover boxes wrapped in colorful duct tape or gift wrap as storage on shelves. Classic designs can be used for adult spaces; colorful ones for the kiddos. Diaper, baby wipe and certain shoeboxes are incredibly durable.

**5**Empty  96 pound cheese doodle containers from the warehouse store are perfect for the kids tiny blocks and cars. The wide mouth makes it easy for little hands to reach in and the square shape allows it to fit better on a shelf.

**6**If you are getting rid of old furniture, take the drawers out of a dresser and use them to slide under your bed. Perfect for holding shoes and small weights. Casters on the bottom are optional.

**7** The classic clear shoebag over the closet door is still worth mentioning. You will be amazed at how much space is created when used in bathrooms, clothes closets and pantries.

**8** Repurpose furniture into other uses. A long dresser can become a changing table or tv stand. An old wooded ladder can lean against the wall and hold magazines over the rungs. Everything stays neat and tidy and your home looks deliberately stylish.

**9** If you are a true member of the Digital Age, you may no longer need your half-filled photo albums. Try to repurpose them into coupon holders. The same principle applies to three-ring binders. Just fill with sheet protectors and use for recipes, important documents, kids' art work, old momentos, etc.

**10** Look around the kitchen for 'leftovers.' Do you still have the crock from your broken crockpot? Well, now you have a new flower pot. Just make sure you provide proper drainage. Did you find the faux silver tray you purchased for the office party? Go ahead and put it on your bathroom counter for an elegant place to display your pretty soaps and a candle. A little candy dish with the missing lid?  Now it can hold cotton balls or jewelry.

Over the years, I have repurposed all kinds of things and always out of necessity because I'm not inclined to go shopping for one little bitty thing when I can just as easily use what's available. Plus, like a lot of you, I will look at something and wonder 'What can I do with this?'

By getting your home better organized, not only will you eliminate time that gets wasted hunting for lost things, you're also going to uncover some long lost treasures you forgot you even had. That is what I call Win-Win.

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