DIY Organizing Hacks for When You’re on a Budget

These 15 regular household items can keep you organized and clutter-free.

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- Posted on Feb 22, 2021

Kids upcycling; Getty Images

It’s true. We can’t predict what’s going to come next—with an almost yearlong pandemic under our belt, the social distancing, self-quarantine and different aspects of grief—but we can still try our best to organize ourselves and our homes for the new year.

It’s completely possible to organize your home in a way that suits you, and your budget, and follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for protecting yourself from Covid-19.

Upcycling and reusing everyday objects has become more popular in the recent years, and for good reason! It’s straight-forward, reduces the amount of waste that goes into landfills and it’s inexpensive! If you have the time, some patience, and a good amount of materials lying around, these next few hacks might help you organize your home without the hassle of buying more stuff.

What you’ll need:
Tin cans: Ever cooked a can of beans and never really knew what to do with the remaining can? Well, after thoroughly washing it out, you can either decorate it to your liking or leave it completely bare and use it as a pencil holder for your children’s workspace.

Tuna Cans: If you’re lucky enough to work from home, you’ve probably already created a makeshift workspace this year. Add an additional touch by using tuna cans to help organize your office supplies inside your assigned work drawer.

Cereal boxes: There are so many things you can do with cereal boxes, it just requires a little creativity. Some of my favorite ways are creating file folders, homework caddies, and multi-purpose holders (which, as the name implies, can hold anything from loose container lids to old magazines).

Shoeboxes: The larger alternative to cereal boxes, shoeboxes can be repurposed for so many things. You can create a rope basket to hold your towels, or other objects, in the bathroom.

Jugs: If you cut the top of a jug, it can be used to organize everything from small toys, paper clips or loose coins; you can also save the top to be used as a scooper. Likewise, if you choose to leave the jug intact, you can use it to store dry foods in your cabinet or food pantry.

Jars: Mason jars were all the rage several years back, and although many environmental advocates now say it’s better to repurpose used food jars instead to adding to the demand of glass, whichever option you have available to you can be used to hold your kitchen utensils.

Baby food jars: Like tuna cans, these can be used to organize smaller objects you don’t want piling up in your junk drawer (it’s okay, we all have one).

Egg cartons: Want a unique way to use old egg cartons that doesn’t involve growing seeds? Well, you can use whichever type of carton to organize small office items on your desk such as pins, paper clips, and erasers. Muffin tins can be used for the same purpose.

Old pill bottle: Instead of throwing old pill bottles out, you can reuse them to hold any loose sewing materials you might have such as needles, pins, threads, etc.

Empty candles jars: Finished a candle and don’t know what to do with the jar? Use it to hold your cotton swabs, cotton balls, self-made scrubs, and anything else that could use a luxurious revamp.

Old tea-cup saucers: Have several jewelry pieces that always manage to get tangled overnight? Old tea-cup saucers could be the perfect solution for that. Place them in the drawer where you usually keep your jewelry, and separate however you’d like. That way, you know exactly where each piece is, without the daily hassle of untangling them.

Spice racks: If you have any old spice racks lying around, you can repurpose them to hold all the nail polish you’ve collected over the years. Also, just as a reminder, nail polish tends to expire after two years, so make sure you’re throwing them out regularly.

Old crib railings or shutters: If happen to have one of these items lying around your home, feel free to use it to organize any incoming mail, paperwork or old magazines you’ve collected.

There you have it! Although many of these items can be used for whatever you decide, hopefully this lists helps you brainstorm cheap and easy ways to organize your home during this pandemic.

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