Cheap Ways to Organize

Spring is coming!

This is what I tell myself every day when I look out the window and see the cold winter rain. We’ve been spoiled lately, as even though it’s January it’s been around 52 degrees during the day and fairly sunny. We do appreciate the nice weather, but because it’s still too chilly to get out and ride our bikes, we find ourselves organizing.

At the first sign of spring (in this case, sunshine), we find ourselves excited to de-clutter and organize our home. There are things to sell, papers to shred, and rooms to clear out.

In previous years, I’ve gone out and spent some serious cash on bins, cabinets, labels, and other methods of organizing. But no more! Save money on organizing with a few thrifty methods:

Save Those Jars to Save Money

Over the course of a year, most households end up recycling many glass jars. You get jars with some condiments, pasta sauces, and snacks. Sometimes, people will gift things in jars.

Save the jars after you finish using what came inside them. Wash them out, soak them in water to peel off any labels, and re-purpose them!

I have a small can of chalkboard paint so that I can paint over the company logos on the lids and write what the jar contains/is supposed to contain.

cheap organization

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You can store dry foods (raisins, nuts, rice, cereal) in these jars, crafting supplies, nails or hardware, and even beauty toiletries (ie cotton balls, q-tips).

Thrifting Shoe Boxes

You may be surprised as to just how helpful a plain and simple shoe box can be when it comes to organizing.

Instead of bulky plastic bins, I save shoe boxes, put a label on the front as to what it contains, and store it in closets where they fit well. Inside I keep photos, important documentation, crafting supplies, and other things we need to keep but don’t want to leave out in the open.

To make them look less like shoe boxes, use some crafting paper to “wrap” the box and lid. they will look like nice crafting boxes.

Clear Out Existing Junk

Organizing isn’t very effective if you hang on to things you no longer need. Try clearing out existing things that you no longer need. For instance, if you have a bunch of documents you need to file but your filing cabinet is full, look through your files to see whether you can recycle any of the documents already in there. You don’t need pay stubs from 2001.

Scan and upload documents onto an external hard drive if you feel that they are important to have but don’t need them in paper form.

This works well for photos in photo albums, too.

There’s nary a more organized feeling than when you rid yourself of stuff you no longer need.


Organizing doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does it have to be complicated. You can find some cheap organization ideas by finding ways you can de-clutter and thrift things that you would otherwise recycle.

34 thoughts on “Cheap Ways to Organize

  1. My wife and I just cleaned out our closet on Friday. Even though it never feels like we have that much “stuff”, we filled 2 big black garbage bags full of just clothes from the 2 of us. Feels good to purge / donate…

  2. My wife and I are getting an early start to spring organizing. We recently were married and have some gifts we have to go through. It seems as though we have this pile of junk that migrates from the office to the guest bedroom and vice versa all of the time. We sat down this weekend and decided it is time to do some serious organizing.

  3. I love saving jars and reusing them and Mr. LH is always organizing, so he makes sure we aren’t saving anything we don’t need and everything has a place. Now I just wish it would rain so it actually felt like winter here! πŸ˜‰

  4. This has been an ongoing project for us. So much crap to get rid of (much of it baby stuff we no longer need). We’ve been constantly posting on Craigslist and taking stuff to donate, as well as trips to the dump. But there’s always more!

  5. Clearing out that old junk is the way to go. There’s a lot of times I think I’m going to give something to Goodwill or donate it, but it just sits around cluttering up the place. Once I haul it out to the trash and just get it out of here, I feel a million times better about it already.

  6. First off, that’s good weather for this time of year, coming from where I am. Here, it’s going to be about minus 10 degrees (farenheit) tonight, so spring seems like an eternity from now!

    Anyway, I totally look for low-cost storage options like this. With jars in particular, many of these are really good quality and can be washed and reused multiple times. Why throw away, or why go straight to recycling when you could save.

  7. My wife has organized things in jars and shoe boxes forever. It’s your last tip that is the most difficult: getting rid of stuff. We park one car in our two-car garage, but I haven’t been able to get to my workbench in years. I am hoping to have a big garage sale this spring to clear out the rest of the junk.

  8. “…clear out existing junk.” That’s what I’ll be doing this spring. I simply can’t stand to hold onto things that I no longer use. Seems like that’s what ends up happening though over the course of the year as you get caught up in life’s activities and have little time to organize or clean.

  9. We just moved this weekend and I took extra time to go through everything and organize it while I was putting it away. I also put out three boxes full of stuff for a garage sale or to donate somewhere. I didn’t want to clutter my house with stuff I don’t really want!

  10. Every spring and each fall my wife and I go through our house and have a garage sale (sometimes we just sell the stuff on craigslist) and get rid of a ton of stuff we don’t need anymore. It helps us generate some cash…and keeps our home neat, and clutter free. I love the feeling of a well organized house!

  11. I love collection money in jars or mugs- we actually have a stein we got from a festival last summer on top of the fridge for all of our spare change. Shoeboxes and even cardboard boxes come in handy. As long as it’s organized, it doesn’t have to look like a home depot commercial!

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