Thursday, August 18, 2011

Organizing on a Dime (or maybe a little bit more)

Good morning!  Autumn from Space for Living is joining us today to share her amazing insight on organizing our home while making use of our This Into That theme!  Thanks for hanging out with us today, Autumn and HI to all her Space for Living readers!    

I am thrilled to be partnering up with Jill over at Mission Decorate as a part of her August theme, This Into That...using ordinary things in unconventional ways, all while spending very little money.

One of the many things I love about organizing is how you can change the look and feel of a space with very little money. Don't be lulled into the notion that you need the latest fancy schmancy gadgets to get yourself organized. A few simple household items can quickly turn into fabulous organizing solutions! When you turn This into That you save resources and keep your hard earned money in your pocket. A win-win.

Here are some of my favorite budget-friendly items to help bring order into any space. First up, the dish pan:

There are endless possibilities with a dish pan. Now, it might not the prettiest thing, but the benefits trump its lackluster look. It is cheap, at around $2, and sturdier than any dollar store basket you can find. These things can really take a beating which is why I use them all over my house. It is a perfect book box, because the lip makes it easier to grab and move.

Book boxes are perfect for little hands unable to stack and line up books on a shelf. I also use one for bath toys under the sink and one for holding cleaning supplies is the kitchen.

My favorite use for a dish pan is as baking caddy. When ever the baking mood strikes, this tub is out with all my supplies corralled and ready for baking. No searching for the missing baking soda behind various jars, plus the tub makes for easy clean up too.

Of course, you don't always have to go out and buy containers, (even if they are only $2). Free boxes have been used since prehistoric time to organize, okay maybe not that long ago, but for awhile. Checkbook boxes, shoe boxes and my new favorite, kid-sized shoe boxes, make great drawer dividers for just about anything, including spices.

But don't throw out those lids, which can also help keep things in their place.

When you turn a shoe box on its side, wham-bam you have totally workable shelf (for lighter items only).

Your brain could go into overload with ideas for cardboard boxes alone. For instance, cake boxes can become a desk organizer.

And what about paper towel rolls? Yes, you heard me right, paper towel rolls for organizing! With one empty roll and a little Contact paper or fabric...

This turns into a fantastic and free plastic bag dispenser.

Thanks to my 4 year old and her modeling skills, for showing the plastic bag dispenser in action. To use stuff the bags in the top one-by-one and then pull from the bottom when you need one. Each tube holds around 5-8 bags. Since we try to limit the plastic bag use in household, it is the perfect amount for us.

Speaking of rolls, the toilet paper roll excels at cord corralling. Here is an idea from Pinterest via

So clever! (For even more Pinterest organizing tricks check out some of my favorites here.)
Using what you have on hand is organizing at its best! Although I love to stare at those glossy magazine pictures, and sometimes you do need lovely containers on your desk, it is about finding the balance within your own budget. Next time you feel the urge to buy some lovely, but pricey, containers, look around your home first to uncover your own organizing tricks to turn clutter into order.
What is your favorite "unconventional" organizing tools? Does anyone else have a toilet paper roll collection?

Share your own This into That projects at the This Into That Party on Facebook on Wednesday, August 31st. "Like" the Mission Decorate Facebook page to get updates and to join in on the fun.