I love having an organized home but I just get discouraged when I look at the prices of all the cute baskets and caddies in the organizing section of the store. So until I’m making millions, I’m sticking with some cheap organization hacks that aren’t super pretty but work.
Of course my dream would be to have all those cute canvas baskets filling my closet shelves and this beautiful bamboo drawer organizer in all my kitchen drawers. But those cute things all get pricey.
So because I hate playing Russian roulette with the paring knives in the silverware drawer, I’ve become resourceful with what I already have and with a few cheap store purchases.
Read More: Easy Ways to Save Money at Home
Cheap Organization Hacks for Homemakers
I know. There is nothing pretty or cute about cardboard boxes. But you know what? They work. I could be classified as a box hoarder because I’m constantly stashing up boxes that are the perfect length/height/width for that certain corner of a closet or drawer.
Especially sturdy boxes. Sturdy boxes I certainly keep because they well last a long time no
matter what their use in organizing.
If a box is too tall for a drawer, cut down the sides so it fits.
For extra flare, grab a roll of cute contact paper and cover your boxes!
I bought a few a few of these baskets for my kitchen drawers. They were super cheap at Wal Mart. A couple days later I saw some at my thrift store for a few pennies less. Because they needed a good cleaning, I decided it wasn’t worth the two penny savings to bring that nastiness into my home.
Thrift Store Caddies
One thing that I do keep my eye out for at thrift stores is silverware caddies. Usually at the store they are pretty expensive for even plastic ones.
I’ve picked up several of these for my silverware drawer, baking drawer and tool shelf for keeping screwdrivers and other items organized.
Before we even had our house built, I knew I wanted these in my closet. They are super easy to use because there is no need to push really hard to pop the handle into the holder.
I love that they come individually so you can space them as needed. The other selling point for me is that they allow the brooms and mops to hang by the handle so you aren’t flipping dirty floor specimens up into the air. Nor are they sitting on the floor getting bent bristles.
Hanging Basket Racks
To be honest, these baskets don’t hold a lot of weight. But they are perfect for adding another shelf where needed. I love them in my pantry for storing boxes of bags and my rolls of plastic wrap, wax and parchment papers.
They are a great place to store light bulbs, too. Our house has lots of different bulb sizes and this hanging rack helps me keep them organized. Or use them to organize bills and paperwork.
Read More: How to Manage Your Pantry Inventory
See Through Containers (jars/mayo jars/baby food jars)
Any jar or container that is see-through is golden. These storage containers allow you to assess at a quick glance and may not even need labeling.
I use baby food jars for things like beads, buttons and pins. I keep Q-tips and cotton balls in clear jars so I don’t have to mess with the annoying plastic packaging all the time.
Foods that I buy in bulk get stored in glass jars. Things like wheat berries, sugar, flour, cocoa, coconut and rice all look prettier and are easier to access when you transfer them to clear storage jars.
For things like tapioca and rice that have cooking instructions on the packaging, I just cut it out and tape it on the jar. Usually these instructions don’t change if you get a different brand next time.
Sour Cream Containers for Drawers
These containers are great for organizing drawers because you can look down into them and it doesn’t matter if they are see-through. I like these for my bathroom drawers especially because I am taking them out all the time and the risk coming in contact with water.
I love using these containers in the bathroom because they stack nicely. I like keeping bobby pins separate from hair ties without taking up space. So I stack them. I have sour cream containers stacked three or four high with a different accessory in each one.
Cardboard boxes would not hold up as well due to the frequent use and the water.
Also, those handy little mesh baskets from above would lose all my bobby pins, hair clips or Q-tips. So sour cream containers are my solution! They stack nicely, too, if the containers are only partway full.
Tin cans without sharp edges are so versatile. Cut out both ends and slide it over a string of Christmas lights to keep them from getting tangled. Slide the can over an extension cord to keep it wrapped.
Set the can upright and store pencils, screwdrivers, silverware or makeup in it. Get your kids to decorate the can by glueing on paper, buttons or rocks. Once it’s decorated keep it on your desktop or countertop to make your kids proud.
Coffee Table for Closet Shelf
This organizing hack I discovered by accident. At Christmastime with our tree up our living room gets pretty crowded, so I put the coffee table in the coat closet last year. I loved the extra shelf so much, I left it in there!
If you want to use the coffee table to store shoes on, just get one of those shoe trays to place on top (and another one for the floor)!
Really, I don’t miss the coffee table in the living room. Win win!
Let’s face it, our minds aren’t what they used to be! I’m notorious for putting something in a jar or container and telling myself “I’ll remember what it is.” Ha!
More permanent things I’ve used these cute labels for. Sure, I know what’s in those canisters, but when my friend comes to bake, she now doesn’t have to ask what’s in each jar.
Hanging Closet Organizer for Shoes/Hats/Mittens
I love these closet organizers! I’ve picked up all of mine at thrift stores for no more than a dollar.
Wherever you get yours, it will be worth it! They are great for storing winter clothes like hats, mittens and scarves. I like to keep all our shoes in them, too.
Anything that will clutter the top shelf of the closet and I won’t be able to find, I put in these organizers: baby monitor, baby carrier, reflective wear and whatever else.
I know, nothing about these solutions is pretty. But really, it is all behind closed doors and hiding in drawers so you don’t have to see the cheapness or ugliness all the time.
With a few cardboard boxes and baskets you can use these cheap organization hacks to take the frazzle out of your homemaking.