How to Organize Your Home on a Budget


Bronze Wordsmith
May 17, 2018
A neat and tidy home is a happy home. And from the looks of it, a lot of companies are trying to cash in on our need for organizing by creating awesome storage and organizing products. But those products, as great as they are, can sometimes be expensive. This is doubly true if your home need lots of organizing and storage items. But don’t worry, faithful reader. In this post, I’ll be teaching you how to reuse certain items for home organizing.

But first, I need to tackle a simple truth…

Being Disorganized Costs Money

Lemme say it again: mess and clutter can be costly. For starters, there’s the mental and emotional cost of seeing all your stuff scattered around the house. Being disorganized is stressful, and that stress will eventually take its toll on you. And being disorganized also costs actual money. Because when you’re disorganized, you’re always losing stuff. I used to lose pens all the time and would opt to get new pens instead of hunting for the lost ones. I was shocked to learn that I was spending an inordinate amount of money on pens. Plus, being disorganized with food items can also lead to spoilage. So, being tidy definitely has its financial incentives.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend a whole lot of money trying to be organized. With a little bit of ingenuity and resourcefulness, you can make your home more neat and organized. I learned that I could reuse items that would otherwise go to the trash for organizing – that’s how I learned to organize our house on a budget.

The best way to tackle how to organize my messy house on a budget, is to reuse and repurpose items various items. Here’s my list of items that you can reuse for organizing and storing stuff:

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Fruit Crates

The fruits we buy don’t usually come in fruit crates – we need to specifically ask the shopkeepers if they have any old crates they can give away. They usually do, but some shops might charge you a minimal fee for them. Fruit crates can be used to store everything from vinyl records, books, documents, and if they’re clean enough, even clothes. In addition to their practicality, fruit crates also look lovely. They add a nice, rustic feel to our home.

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Plastic Cups from Coffee Shops

My wife and I are coffee addicts. That means we’ve accumulated tons of plastic cups from our trips to coffee shops. We hate creating unnecessary waste, which is why we use our plastic cups for storing small items. The fact that most of my cups come with my name horribly misspelled adds some much-needed humor and character to the cups!

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Egg Trays

Eggs trays are wonderful for storing small items like paper clips, thumbtacks, small toys, and even jewelry (preferably the non-precious variety). Cardboard egg trays are fine, but you might want to go for the plastic versions. They’re more durable, plus you can wash them if they get egg on them. I am an avid scale model-builder, so I rely heavily on old egg trays for organizing small parts and tools.

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Plastic Bags

Most of the plastic bags we use are biodegradable, so that’s cool. But even so, we still try to maximize whatever plastic bags we have. So I store our plastic bags and keep them ready for future reuse. And speaking of plastic bags…

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Empty Toilet Paper Tubes

I discovered that empty toilet paper tubes can be reused as ribbon or plastic bag organizers. I learned this from my daughter, who is really into arts and crafts. She threads bundles of ribbons through the tubes to organize and categorize them. As for me, I’m not really an arts and crafts type, but toilet paper tubes can be used to organize the non-stop flow of plastic bags into our home. We thread the bags through the tubes – I categorize the bags by size, and group them into their respective tubes.

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Old Mugs

I think the average household has too many mugs. Mugs are cheap, which means we tend to get lots of them during the holiday season from well-meaning friends and relatives. Mugs are like mushrooms – they tend to multiply when you’ve got your back turned. Instead of leaving them unused in the dish cabinet, put them into use as pencil holders, or containers for arts and crafts supplies.

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Our home has a huge number of unexplained baskets. Like mugs, we just seem to end up with new baskets all the time. I guess they come from gift baskets from friends and family, as well as other random origins. And I think it’s safe to assume your own household has tons of baskets, too. Regardless of where they came from, baskets are great for organizing. You can use them to store fruits, vegetables, as well as non-perishable items like toys, arts and craft supplies, as well as clothes.


Wet Wipe Containers

When our first baby was born, it felt like we were going through a fresh container of baby wipes daily. That meant we ended up with a huge number of empty containers before long. Instead of throwing away these used containers, I decided to repurpose them as containers for… just about anything, really. These things are super-useful. What’s awesome is some containers come with resealable closures, making them ideal for storing wet items, or items that need to be kept fresh.

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Plastic Microwaveable Containers

Whenever we eat out, our leftovers are usually placed in plastic containers. I was surprised to learn that these containers were actually microwaveable! This makes them ideal for storing meals and leftovers. We usually cook a week’s worth of meals. We would then store the food in these microwaveable containers. Since we have tons of these containers, I store food in single servings. This makes things super-convenient for us and the kids – all we need to do is pull out a container and pop it into the microwave.

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