Article Summary:Being organized can actually save you money and getting there doesn't need to break the bank.
Prices keep rising, so when you're reducing costs, why not reduce clutter at the same time? There's no need to spend a fortune on high-priced storage solutions - my bet is that you can re purpose much of what you have in your home already.
Quick Tips On Organizing Your Home
1) Use what you have.
Organizing doesn't have to be expensive; just get creative. Before rushing out to buy bins and baskets, look around your home for containers you can use. Here are some ideas:
- Egg cartons or ice cube trays can be used to organize earring sets, cufflinks, or hair accessories.
- Empty plastic baby wipes containers can be used to store crayons and markers, first aid supplies or sewing supplies and stack easily on a shelf.
- Empty baby food jars can be used to keep touch up paint, spare buttons or screws and nails.
- A mug holder can be re purposed into a scarf or baseball hat holder.
- Empty tissue boxes can hold plastic grocery bags or, with the top cut off, packets of gravy and instant soup.
- The large clear plastic container that you can buy pre-washed salad in is perfect for storing special occasion shoes, keeping them visible yet dust-free. They are also useful for storing yarn and other craft supplies by color; the clear boxes let you see your materials at a glance and they look attractive on a shelf.
2) Next to Christmas, August is the busiest month for clothing retailers.
Before you go shopping, eliminate the clothes you don't wear to make room for new additions to your fall wardrobe. Use the one/in one/out rule: for every item you bring home, let go of one. This is a great way to encourage your kids to clear out their drawers and closets before going back-to-school shopping for new clothes. The advantages are: you will spend less because you know what you already have, you can buy clothes that co-ordinate with existing items and you will be able to get dressed faster because there will be fewer decisions to make.
3) Corral coin clutter.
Do you have loose change in every part of your home, from your junk drawer to the kitchen counter? Grab a clear jar and label it "Fun Funds." Now you have a designated place to deposit those coins, both reducing clutter and creating a little nest egg. Once the jar is full, treat yourself to a small indulgence and then begin again. You might even want to create individual "fun fund" jars for each family member to encourage saving while keeping coin clutter at bay.
4) Zip bags are a cost-effective cure-all for clutter.
Plastic bags that zip shut are for more than just keeping sandwiches fresh. Use the large ones to store shoes when traveling so that they don't soil your clothing. Use the small ones to organize the contents of your drawers by storing like with like. Place elastic bands in one bag, cotton swabs in another. Use them for band-aids, cosmetic sponges, and bobby pins. Items remain sorted, clean and dust-free. Bonus: no need to label because you can see the contents clearly.
5) How long have you been putting off your garage sale?
Have you been saving items in the garage or basement for years with the intention of having a garage sale, but never seem to get around to it? Pull out your calendar today and book a definite date to have it in the summer. Blocking the time now increases the likelihood of following through with it later.
Quick Tips On Organizing Your Home Office
Save the trees.
Want to reduce the amount of paper piling up in your office, and save trees and money as well? Pull the paper out of your printer and store it in a file folder across the room. Although this may seem counter-productive, you will actually be saving time in the long run. By making it less convenient to print, you will begin to print more consciously and less often. As a result, you'll have fewer papers to pile, sort through and file later, and you'll spend less money on print cartridges and paper.
Quick Tips On Organizing Your Life
Why buy when you can rent or borrow?
The next time you need something, rather than automatically driving to the store to purchase it, take a moment to consider a less-expensive, clutter-free alternative. Try a rental store, a library, or ask friends/family to borrow the item. That way, you don't have to store it forever. Acquiring and clinging is a habit that can be broken.
Go on a non-shopping spree.
If you can't seem to go to the store without bringing something home, even if you don't need the item, perhaps it's time to take a break from shopping. For the next three months, go on a consumer diet; challenge yourself to buy only the necessities. Not only will you be saving money but excess things won't be accumulating and you may actually find you feel better in your space.
Hellen Buttigieg, CPOŽ, is an award-winning Certified Professional OrganizerŽ, life coach, Gemini - Nominated TV Host and President of We Organize U. For free tips on organizing your home, your office and your life, visit www.WeOrganizeU.com and sign up for her newsletter, emailed to you monthly. To contact Hellen or for information on hiring a We Organize U organizing specialist, call 905-829-2219 or e-mail info@WeOrganizeU.com.