31 Smart, Low-Cost Organizing Ideas
1. Tackle the junk drawer. The Everything organizer (shown, $10, containerstore.com) features two stacking levels (one shown) and 23 compartments.
2. The Twisthanger ($8, containerstore.com) hooks to your closet rod and features six clips to keep belts, scarves, and other accessories tidy.
3. Turn a wooden plate rack into a sewing organizer by sliding yarn onto the pegs.
Reuse and Repurpose
4. Tie colorful ribbons from gifts you’ve received around sheet sets so individual pieces don’t stray. That way, you’ll never have to waste time hunting for matching pillowcases again.
5. Repurpose shoe boxes and bank-check boxes (both lids and bottoms) as drawer dividers.
6. Put instruction manuals in a three-ring binder and you’ll never rifle through drawers again.
7. Avoid a chaotic jumble of wire, wood, and plastic hangers by choosing just one type and brand of hanger for the closet.
8. See which shoes you want in an instant―and retrieve them by pulling down the handy window―with stackable Linen Drop-Front shoe boxes ($15 each, containerstore.com).
9. Hang a three-tiered wire kitchen basket from the ceiling of a closet for extra storage in empty corners. It’s a great spot for socks.
Clean Up Closets
10. Hang fabric-covered collapsing shelves from a closet rod to arrange your children’s outfits for each day of the week.
11. Shrink-wrap sweaters in a Space Bag ($10, amazon.com) for off-season storage. You’ll save space while protecting clothes from moths.
12. Attach delicate silver nails to a closet wall and drape necklaces from them―pretty and practical.
Stow Stuff Away
13. Acid-free, archival Havana boxes ($35 to $39 each, kolo.com) store and protect snapshots and feature windows that allow you to label what’s inside.
14. Joy Mangano Cascading Hooks ($8 for 20, hsn.com) slide over hangers, allowing you to hang multiple garments (and put together entire outfits) with ease.
15. Designate one shelf in a utility or linen closet for party essentials, such as candles, place cards, napkins, vases, and the like.
16. Slip-on Solid Shelf Dividers ($7 for two, containerstore.com) keep stacks of shirts and sweaters tidy and can be repositioned.
17. Hang a steel Commercial Grade Extra Closet Rod by Richards Homewares ($17.50, organize.com) from an existing closet rod and double your space, then arrange clothes by use or season.
18. The Battery Rack organizer ($20, containerstore.com) holds everything from AAAs to nine-volts and comes with a tester, so you’ll know which ones are fading fast. Tuck it in a kitchen drawer or mount it to a wall.
Make Things Tidy
19. Use a decorative wooden ladder to hang magazines and even clothes.
20. Attach a piece of corkboard to the inside of your linen-closet or laundry-room door and use straight pins to affix extra buttons and packets of thread.
21. Organize your DVDs by slipping them into DiscSox boxes with plastic sleeves ($19 for 25, mmdesign.com) so you can flip through them by genre or artist.
Hang and Stash
22. Depending on its shape and size, a wine rack might store magazines and newspapers.
23. Send Music Shifter your CDs and the company will convert them to digital music for easy transfer to your iPod or computer ($1 to $1.69 per CD, musicshifter.com).
24. Use a wooden peg rack to hang brushes or a blow-dryer in a bathroom.
De-Clutter the Bathroom
25. Group medicines by category (headache, allergy, upset stomach) and place them in zippered plastic bags or small bins.
26. Repurpose a standard desktop organizer to hold bathroom essentials, such as makeup, cotton swabs, brushes, and combs.
27. On a tiled bathroom wall, hang a mesh lingerie bag from suction-cup hooks to store bath toys.
28. Toothbrushes stand straight up, instead of flopping around, in the whimsical Grassy Organizer ($10, amazon.com), which looks like rubberized wheatgrass.
29. Did you recently repaint? Slip those paint chips inside your wallet, just in case you find a great upholstered chair and want to see if it will go with your room.
30. Store square-shaped games like books, with a side facing you, so you don’t have to upend a stack to get at just one.
31. Take an extra travel pill box with you on your next vacation. It’s great for stashing earrings and rings.