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How to be Organized without Blowing Your Budget

Updated on January 9, 2018
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Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of 2, and a published sci-fi and horror author.


When a decorator tells you how to be organized, there is often a push toward massive storage units built into closets or walls covered with shelves. Yet you can create stylish storage solutions that fit discretely into your existing décor and use existing items more efficiently to better organize your items.

Stylish Storage Solutions

  • Use triangular storage nets above a child’s bed to hold beloved but rarely held stuffed animals. You will get them up off the floor without having to get rid of them.
  • Place decorative feet on the bottom of a child’s bed to lift it up far enough to place drawers or shelving units under the bed. You can place decorative storage baskets from major retailers. Or re-purpose all of your wicker baskets and craft baskets as storage containers.
  • Turn your hutch into a curio cabinet or family display case. Instead of displaying china you rarely use prominently for visitors to see, stack up the dishes on a bottom shelf instead of letting them sit on display holders. Then place framed family pictures or beloved crafts by your children in the curious cabinet. Your dishes are still readily available, while you gain another display location for beloved items.
  • Use the top of your book cabinets to hold decorative items to free up space on the book shelves.
  • Let your shelving units do double duty. If the top shelf of a plastic or metal shelving unit is damaged, you can discard it while using the remaining shelves as a shorter storage unit. Or remove the top supports while leaving two shelves attached with a single set of supports between them. Plastic and metal shelves together in this manner can hold potted plants or large items while giving you storage on the bottom shelf.

Find new ways to use existing furniture to save money. Mom's drafting table becomes an easel for daughter.
Find new ways to use existing furniture to save money. Mom's drafting table becomes an easel for daughter. | Source

Repurposing Items to Gain Extra Storage

If you want to organize your home, finding ways of using items you already have to store your possessions is one of the cheapest ways to gain extra storage space.

  • Turn coffee table books into decorations by placing them on book stands. Old Bible stands can be used for this purpose. Let the coffee table book and its beautiful cover sit on the book shelf while freeing up space on your coffee table.
  • Do you have a hanging diaper holder, but your baby is all grown up? Re-purpose the diaper holder if it is not too babyish. For example, let it be used to hold washcloths in a bathroom or hold stuffed animals in a child’s room.
  • Reuse flat surfaces and turn them into work spaces. Turn a drafting table from college into a child’s art table.
  • Use filing cabinets as a place to hold a safe or fireproof box containing important personal papers. A safe hidden in a filing cabinet is less likely to be found by thieves than someone searching closets or the floor, while the metal filing cabinet offers greater protection than a fireproof box would alone.
  • Let a filing cabinet serve as a print stand while storing printing supplies like paper and ink. You eliminate mostly useless office further while gaining storage space.
  • You can turn a hanging shoe rack into storage for arts and crafts items, whether they are swatches of cloth, knitting supplies or small tools.
  • Install a shower rod storage caddy in your closet, hanging it from the rod. Take the type of shower caddy that hangs from the shower rod and have many pockets for items like bottles of shampoo and soap, and use it to hold small knit items that are easily lost but need to be kept together like knit socks, mittens and gloves.
  • Save those empty copy paper boxes from work as storage containers. You can use them to hold baby clothes or store children’s artwork. Their small, compact shape makes them easy to stash under a crib until you have your next baby or fit in the top of a closet until you’re ready to hand them down. Or set one down by the changing table and toss in clothes as your child outgrows them. When the box is full, take it to charity.


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