budget talk

Organizing for the Budget Smart Girl

I hope you enjoyed the expert tips on getting organized. The biggest hurdle for me is finding organizing items that fit into my budget so here are some tips and everyday items I’ve found and I hope they give you some ideas too-

The One Stop Organizing Site

This site www.onlineorganizing.com is a great place to start. It has lots of links, articles, templates, etc. So take an hour or so doing some browsing and making notes.

It’s Free

Someone told me about this site a few years ago http://www.cozi.com/  It’s free to register and use and you can create a shopping list and coordinate everyone’s schedule.

They Used to Have Other Uses

The big organizing containers are inexpensive and always seem to be on sale but it’s the smaller and sometimes more useful ones that seem to cost an arm and a leg. So I’ve found some other items that work just as well.

About five years ago when our refrigerator bit the dust, before it was hauled away I realized some of the fixtures like the produce bins would make perfect and yes, free organizers. The dairy container now sits in the pantry and is home to things like gravy mixes. And the produce bins now house hats, mittens and scarves in the closet by the front door.  And the wire racks that once sat in the freezer section are perfect for keeping all my pots and seed trays organized in the potting shed.

Help for the Shoes in the Closet

One of my goals last year was to keep my shoes more organized in the closet. I thought about buying some of the plastic shoe boxes, but then came up with another idea. I’d bought several boxes of Simple Harvest cereal while it was on special. The cereal comes in a study box with a see through window on one side. And if, like me, you have small feet, these boxes make perfect storage ‘bins’ for off season shoes like flip flops.

More Cereals to the Rescue

I’ve also used oatmeal canisters for craft supplies like knitting needles. And for my birthday last year someone gave me some flowers that were arranged in a square glass vase. It now sits on my office desk and houses all my pens and pencils.

Soda Bottles

And in the kitchen attractive soda bottles make ideal containers for things like lentils and split peas.

Mayonnaise Containers

As you know I like to shop the bulk bins. The only drawback is you have to find containers for all these great buys. One solution, those square mayonnaise containers, perfect for things like rice, oatmeal etc. Plus, they’re all the same size which keeps the pantry looking neat and tidy.

So my advice here, plenty of items… and ones you might just throw away, can be turned into organizing bins…if you use a little imagination. Oh, and don’t forget labels on packages. If you don’t have a label making machine, you can cut out words like flour, sugar from packages and bags and stick them on containers.

The Produce Department Can Help Too


I have to admit I’m always looking for ways to use something twice so it doesn’t end up in the landfill. Here’s an idea I got at Christmas when I bought oranges and had two or three of these string bags left over. Perfect for storing tennis, golf balls, dog toys, even bath toys for the kids.

The Closet

For me the closets are some of the hardest areas of the house to get and keep organized. A couple of tips I have are-one, if you can, use all the same type and size hangers. I got rid of all the wire hangers and replaced them with plastic ones. I’ve even color-coded them with certain pieces of clothing. White for blouses, blue for jackets, etc. The closet, without doing that much to it, looks more organized, and the more organized it looks the more incentive I have to keep it that way.

And here’s another trick I found. I often couldn’t remember what needed mending, cleaning etc. That was until I found a bunch of twist ties from the garbage bags. I never use them and they always seem to get thrown into one of the kitchen drawers. Now when something needs attention I tie one of the twist ties around the hanger. It’s also works if you have a piece of clothing you’re not sure about keeping or donating to charity.

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