While living in a small apartment for several years, I yearned for more space. Thankfully we had a decent basement to store our totes and boxes. I shared a standard closet with my husband and he has more clothes than a thrift store. We can’t stand clutter and on a limited budget, we needed to get creative with our home organizing ideas. I will be sharing these ideas with you plus much more.
Glass storage jars
We saved glass jars from dressings, jams, peanut butter and other condiments. Wash them and use the as decorative storage. You can print off labels and either hand write or type them.
Several families back when I was growing used glass baby jars to store and organize small items such as nails, screws, bolts, nuts and washers. I store all sorts of stuff to keep them in one place that will look neat and clean. You can absolutely buy glass jars in bulk in different sizes and colors, with or without lids. I am partial to cobalt myself.
Do you love the warmth of wood?
Another fabulous idea is using cigar boxes if you or your spouse smoke. The boxes are usually cedar and are very attractive. I keep my make-up brushes in one and hair clips in the other. Every time I have looked for a make-up tote, they are never the right size for me and made of plastic which never last as long as they claim. I purposely choose boxed cigars for my husband so I have another organizer.
The slimmer wooden boxes with a lid and latch are useful for much more than just make-up. Photos,concert tickets, love letters, stationary items and travel mementos would be elegant in a finished box. How about lining the boxes with a velvet fabric for a classy jewelry organizer. There is something wonderful about cedar, use them as dividers for dresser drawers and it keeps the moths away as well as giving a clean look to your clothing storage.
Bigger items needs to be organized
Each season, change out the closets in the house and sort or save the clothes. Make a pile of the clothes that you no longer want, fit into or hate. Figure out whether they are in mint condition and can be sold for a few extra bucks. If you prefer to donate that is great too. Clothes that are battered, worn and torn can be thrown out. The clothes and footwear that you want to save, store in a tote. Totes come in a variety of colors and sizes the offer wheels too. I use the clear totes so I can see what’s inside.
Organize your clothes in the way you are comfortable with whether it is by brand, color, occasion or size. I have all of my casual clothes on the left side of my closet and the dressy/work clothes on the right. My shirts are color coded, the pants are hung and all of my shoes, boots and sneakers are in a footwear organizer. They have very nice portable shoe racks that you can completely zip up and place in any bedroom. I have always had my shoes on top and the boots on the bottom. The options will vary depending on the size of your space and needs. Space saving shoe racks are made to be hung on the inside of a closet door, under the bed, at the bottom of your closet and some even look like furniture.
Let’s say you don’t have closets and you are wondering how to deal with all of your clothes. As stated above, keep what you use and is in good condition, donate or sell the rest and this will help organize your apparel. You can get an organizer to fit in the drawers of your dresser that has dividers to hold your under garments and socks. As far as your clothing goes, you can easily fold thinner items such as t-shirts, shorts and yoga pants to store easily in a drawer or shelving unit. Jeans and sweats are more bulky but can still be fit neatly in the drawer. You can also use a book shelf for the pants, I’ve seen some made from wood crates stacked together and painted that would look great along the wall.
Beautiful fabric boxes would serve the purpose for storage and add a stylish touch to the room. In the 17th, 18th and even 19th century houses didn’t have closets, people used steam trunks to store their outfits and footwear. Yes they also didn’t have the need for a large quantity of clothing unless they were rich and could afford the finer things in life. Steamer trunks are still useful today, I have one for my quilts, blankets, sheets and comforters.
The industrial or rustic look
Metal buckets and containers are a great touch to your décor. Your local grocery store may have great stackable metal containers in the deli section. You can also use clean empty food cans or paint buckets for items like pens, markers, crayons, brushes, and other art supplies. If you have a garage, this would be the perfect place for metal storage cabinets to organize the tools. Personally I prefer wood and glass to metal, but that’s me.
Mesh metal box organizers, paper trays, shelves, and wall pocket organizers are also a unique idea for any room and give that rustic and industrial look to your home. If you are crafty, you can easily buy the materials such as chicken wire and make the organizers yourself as apposed to purchasing them. I however am not crafty, at all. I have set up a 3 tier tray system for all my mail, the inbox, the outbox and the shred. What I do is set aside time once a week to go through the mail, pay the bills, shred the influx of offers and mail out cards and correspondence.
Organization does take time to set up but once it’s complete, it will save you a ton of time because you will be able to find everything you need quickly. I used to be the one who found comfort in chaos but became uncomfortable when I had to spend too much time looking for something that was requested from me.
Pretty Decorative Boxes
My all time favorite are the decorative storage boxes with magnetic lids. They can be found in craft store and home stores. They come in different colors and sizes. I am obsessed with these. I keep holiday cards in one of these. These boxes come in different style, designs, colors, shapes and sizes. Some have the magnetic lid (I prefer them),and others slide off from the top or side. Use it for recipes, teas, Keurig cups, photos, as gift boxes, nail polishes, clippers, nail files, make-up, cosmetic tools, hair stylers, electronics, puzzle pieces, arts, or whatever you prefer. I have a larger one with my runes, tarot, oracle deck and pendulum, and a smaller box for crystals, stones, essential oils and incense. I even use them to store my tablet and charger, it looks nicer than it sitting on a table.
Organizing the home office
If you are like me, having papers and receipts everything drives you crazy. I have two filing boxes that I’ve used for the past ten years and it’s time for an upgrade. Each time I go out, I accumulate more receipts than I know what to do with and they end up in my coat pockets and my purse. You can either shred them, scan to upload and store or file them away in a physical location. I prefer scanning to a file and storing them on a thumb drive myself then shredding them so my personal information is not accessible by others.
You may remember an infomercial many years ago about a receipt scanner the plugs into your computer. They make several models now but the concept is the same. Scan and upload to eliminate the clutter of paper work whether it be receipts, recipes, inventory slips, notes, fliers or advertisements you collect that may interest you but sits on a table collecting dust.
Anybody running a business should take advantage of organizing systems to keep precise records of income and monthly expenses and all taxes paid. It is time-consuming and stressful to be audited and have to bring in totes of proof that you spend so much on operating expenses vs profit made.
The standard printer today usually has a scanner in which you can use. If you don’t have a printer, you can purchase the document scanner almost anywhere, it is small and easy to store away in a desk drawer. Software programs such as quick books will help organize your receipts. I have scanned everything I needed for the purchase of my house, repairs, income etc on a thumb drive so I can shred the paper and have more room.
If you love books, a bookshelf is a necessity. We have so many books in our house that we can make a library for it all. Organize by author and series order to make it neat and efficient. My local library has books out of order and drives my husband nuts. This is easy for people with OCD, in fact they have to have order in their lives to function. If you don’t have the room even with the organizing ideas and options, you can always get e-books that can be read on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. If you have the storage on your device you don’t have to worry about the clutter in your home.
Organizing the heart of the home, the kitchen.
Pull out drawers that are inside the lower cabinets is a fabulous idea. I am a short person and I personally hate getting into the back of a cabinet for a pot and hurting my back. There are dividers, bins, racks, hooks and holders to organize everything from cups to spices. In my family, I grew up with two sets of dinnerware, casual and formal. Unless you have the room and have occasions that require both sets, I recommend choosing one set.
Smaller plates, bowls and glassware will obviously take up less space. Let’s face it, do we really need large plates? I can understand big coffee mugs, I love my coffee too.
I saw this picture above and immediately loved it, even though it’s meant for a kitchen in an RV. It could be used in a tiny home too. I envy the people who can downsize like that but I need more space. We are remodeling our food pantry and enlarging it to allow you to walk-in. For dry goods we use the clear OXO food containers with stay fresh lids so we know what we have and how much. It makes it much easier to create a food shopping list when you know what you need. For the cans we use the bins that allow the cans to roll down to the front using the oldest ones first. There are several websites that offer them, they are easy to use and label. Baskets would be a pretty but not a very efficient way to display canned or jarred foods in the pantry. It will depend on how much space and food you have. You can opt for wire shelves that hand over your door or mount to the wall as well, great way to keep it off the floor and away from the little ones.
I would love to hear your storage ideas. If this helps you organize your home then I have achieved my goal. Ideas may be added, watch out for updates.