When I asked for suggestions as to what you'd like to see more of one of the requests was more organizing tips. At first I was a little reluctant to share what I do, because it's sort of a hodge-podge. However, with the economy being what it is, I'm hoping more of you are looking for solutions like mine. I don't go out and buy drawer dividers and organizers. I use what I have on hand. I do have a place for everything, everything isn't always in it's place, but it is most of the time.
While you are getting organized it doesn't make sense to go out and buy a bunch of organizing containers until you know what you have and everything has a home. Go the cheap route for a while using what's around your home until you have an idea of exactly what you have and what you need. In some cases, there is a lot to be said about having the right tool for the job, don't try replacing file folders with cardboard boxes. However, until you know how big a file drawer/box/cabinet you need, it is perfectly acceptable to store file folders in a cardboard box. Once you have all your files determined, then go looking for a file box/drawer/cabinet. Need help figuring out what to keep? Check out Managing Paperwork.
Before buying a compartmentalized container for catching clutter in your hot spots, put a basket, bowl, plate, tray or anything else you have on hand there first to start catching clutter. You want a good idea of what you are "catching" first. It doesn't make sense to get a small bowl for keys and change if most of what ends up in your container is mail and paperwork.
Likewise, it's pointless to buy a cd holder that fits 200 cd's if, after decluttering the house, pulling everything together and organizing it, you find you have 300 cd's. And, vice versa, it would pointless to buy the 500 cd holder to find you are only planning on keeping 150 cd's. Actually, forget cd holders altogether, rip your cd's to a computer, and box up the cd's and store them out of the way, under a bed for instance. (Legal disclaimer: you have to keep them if you are keeping the music. If you sell the cd you should delete the music from your hard drive.)
I hope those examples have convinced you to shop around your house for storage first, at least until you have a good idea of what you need to store. Don't forget to ask yourself do I really need it? Why buy something to store something you don't need. Plus you might find you really like your homegrown storage choices.
Photo from Real Simple
Use What You Have Organization Ideas1) Use cream and sugar pieces from a coffee service to house cotton balls and swabs in the bathroom, use a cup to hold make-up brushes
2) Use a flower vase or a canning jar for a pencil holder in an office
3) Use an olive oil cruet as a soap dispenser at the kitchen sink
4) Use baskets, trays, bowls, or platters to corral clutter in your clutter hot spots
5) Cut and cover larger cereal boxes to house magazine collections
6) Remove labels from jars and lids to create containers for buttons, ribbons, pastas, rices, beans, hair clips, coins, or homemade seasoning blends
7) Use an ice cube tray in a junk or desk drawer to hold paper clips, screws, batteries, safety pins, coins, matches, etc.
8) Use an empty candy box liner (the type with an indent for each candy) or an ice cube tray to organize your jewelry
9) Use the bottom of cereal boxes, cracker boxes, pudding boxes, pasta boxes, as shallow drawer dividers just measure the depth of your drawer and cut the bottom of the box an 1/8" shorter. If you don't like the look of the cardboard, you can line the insides of the boxes with drawer liner or scrapbook paper.
10) Cover shoeboxes with pretty paper and use them as photo boxes or to corral items in open viewable areas, like office shelving.
Read the whole series!
Tuesday: My current areas organized this way
Wednesday: Pick a new area to organize - Drawers
Thursday: Laying it all out and putting it away
Friday: Transitioning to permanent organizing solutions
What are your ideas? Leave additional suggestions in the comments.
Also, if you have a particular problem area you'd like me to cover on Wednesday, let me know.