Free and Crazy-Cheap Home Organization Ideas

These are some great home organization ideas: free ways to organize and dollar store home organization! Organize your whole house! A huge myth in the world of organization is that you have to spend lots of money on baskets, trays, crates, and other organizational paraphernalia. Not true!

I can absolutely appreciate photos of gorgeously organized and decorated spaces but for me, organization is more about function than beauty. No one is ever going to take glamour shots of my bathroom cabinet! As long as I can find what I need, when I need it, I consider the organizing a success. 

I have spent very little on organization products over the years. Most of what I use has been free, thrifted, or bought at the dollar store!

While the following pictures will never be in a magazine, I hope they give you some inspiration of how to get organized even if you don’t have much (or any) money to spend.

Free and Crazy-Cheap Home Organization Ideas

Organize for Free

You can organize with things you already have around the house, including things that usually end up in the trash.

Here’s what I use often:

  • Glass jars: Washed out pickle and sauce jars
  • Spare coffee mugs, tea cups, or bowls
  • Boxes: I use box lids or small boxes with the flaps cut off

Dollar Store Organizers

The dollar store has a bunch or organization products. Dollar Tree is my favorite dollar store because everything is actually a dollar, unlike other fake dollar stores.

Here’s what I pick up at the dollar store:

  • Mini crates
  • Trays of all sizes

Kitchen

I just organized this giant kitchen drawer this week with $3 worth or dollar store trays. I had my eye on a different kind of organizer but it was super expensive. Now that I went with the cheaper alternative, I think it turned out even better than the expensive option would have.

I have some even smaller trays in other kitchen drawers to corral measuring spoons, clothespins, and food coloring.

These are some great home organization ideas: free ways to organize and dollar store organization! Organize your whole house!

Bathroom

I use cleaned out glass pickle jars in our bathroom to hold q-tips and hair clips. Yay, for free organization!

These are some great home organization ideas: free ways to organize and dollar store organization! Organize your whole house!

I have a bunch on mini crates from the dollar store that I mostly use for bathroom stuff. The two in the picture below are for first aid supplies and cold medicine.

You can see that I’ve got a cleaned out glass jar and sour cream container inside the crates to hold small cream tubes and other little things.

The black plastic container to the right holds our essential oils. It’s just a washed out food container that would have ended up in the recycling.

These are some great home organization ideas: free ways to organize and dollar store organization! Organize your whole house!

Office/Craft Supplies

The two picture below show our office and craft supplies. Most of them are stored in boxes or box lids. It doesn’t get much better than free!

I’ve got a glass sauce jar holding rubber bands and a mini dollar store tray for tiny supplies.

These are some great home organization ideas: free ways to organize and dollar store organization! Organize your whole house!

These are some great home organization ideas: free ways to organize and dollar store organization! Organize your whole house!

Spare mugs, tea cups, and bowls are helpful too. If you don’t have any extras, you can always pick up pieces at a thrift store.

I use a mug to hold pens and pencils on my desk.

These are some great home organization ideas: free ways to organize and dollar store organization! Organize your whole house!

Bedroom

Below is a pic of my nightstand drawer. I use a teacup to hold hair ties and chapstick. Another little dollar store tray holds my vitamins and inhaler.

These are some great home organization ideas: free ways to organize and dollar store organization! Organize your whole house!

I hope I have you convinced that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have an organized home. By utilizing what you have and possibly making a trip to the dollar store, you can organize some of the biggest problem areas in your home. 

Related Posts:

7 Home Organization Solutions

How to Create a Year-Round Decluttering Routine

How to Keep Your Paperwork Organized

Decluttering: How to Get Your Spouse On Board

⇒ What cheap or free organizers do you use?

How to Make Decluttering Painless by Reducing Multiples

How to make decluttering easy and painless by reducing multiples | This really works and is so simple! Getting rid of things can be a frustrating and painful process.

In fact, a study was done that found that the area of your brain that lights up when you get a papercut is the same area that lights up when you get rid of something. This basically means that your brain links the loss of an item with physical pain. Crazy! (source)

Obviously, it makes sense to try to make decluttering as easy and painless as possible.

A super simple (yet very effective) method of decluttering is “reducing multiples”.

The logic is, if you only have one of something, that item will be hard to part with. If you have 20 of something, it’s a little easier to cut back.

Example: Let’s say I only have one pair of silver earring. Even though I don’t often wear them, I still don’t want to get rid of them because they’re my only ones. However, I have five pairs of gold earrings. It would be easier to declutter a pair of gold earrings because I have multiples. (Don’t worry gold earrings, you’re safe. I love and wear you all.)

How to Make Decluttering Painless: Reducing Multiples

We have so many multiples in our homes! If you’re looking for a place to start paring down multiples, here are some possibilities:

  • Coffee Mugs: The #1 offender! How often do you have 30 people over for coffee all at once?
  • Bedding: Two sets of sheets and blankets per bed is probably plenty.
  • Beauty Products
  • Towels
  • Jeans
  • Office Supplies: Never in my life will I go through 100 pens!
  • Jewelry
  • Candles 
  • Tools
  • Undergarments
  • T-shirts
  • Photos: I try to get rid of printed duplicates and delete digital pics that aren’t winners.
  • Craft Supplies
  • Swimsuits
  • A Certain Kind of Toy: Maybe your kids have multiple Barbies, stuffed animals, block sets…
  • Shoes/Boots/Sandals
  • Sweatshirts
  • Decks of Cards
  • Seasonal Decorations: If I can’t put out all of my summer decor at the same time, I figure it’s too much.

I don’t think I’ll ever completely get rid of any of these things (especially the undergarments, amiright? 🙂 ) but it’s not hard to reduce some multiples in each category.

I find I enjoy our home and our stuff much more when I’m left with my favorites.

How to make decluttering easy and painless by reducing multiples | This really works and is so simple!

Let’s face it, even if there are 30 coffee mugs in the cupboard, I still look for my favorite one every morning. All those others are just getting in the way.

If you’re wanting to declutter but are really struggling with it (or have a resistant family member), reducing multiples can be a painless way to start. You’ll still have those things, just not as many.

Related Posts:

How to Create a Year-Round Decluttering Routine

5 Steps to Conquer Your Counter Clutter

Decluttering: How to Get Your Spouse On Board

⇒ What multiples are you stashing? Have you reduced any multiples recently?

5 Daily Habits for an Always-Clean Home

Daily habits for a clean home | Doing these 5 chores each day keeps my house clean and orderly - love it!!! I’m convinced that there’s nothing magic or special about people who always have a clean home. Usually, they just have really good habits.

I am easily overwhelmed if our house gets too messy. Because of this, I work hard at maintaining and improving my daily “homemaking” habits.

I’ve zeroed in on five daily habits that make the biggest difference in keeping our home clean.

The best news of all is that once you get in the habit, these tasks only take approximately 31 to accomplish each day. A few minutes here and there throughout the day is absolutely worth it to me to keep our house from becoming a disaster zone!

5 Daily Habits for an Always-Clean Home

1. Make the Bed

I have slowly become a believer in the habit of making my bed.

I first started because it bothers me getting into bed at night if the blankets are all crooked from the night before. Then, I realized how nice it is to see our room looking neat and tidy throughout the day. Beds are usually the biggest thing a bedroom, so if the blankets are messy, the whole room tends to look messy.

When I read through the book “The Joy of Less” (loved it!), this quote stood out to me and helped me realize the magic of making your bed everyday:

“When the bed is undone, a mess in the rest of the room doesn’t seem out of place; everything just looks a wreck. In contrast, when your bedding is smoothed, tucked, and folded just so, the clutter has no camouflage and is much less likely to accumulate.” Francine Jay (The Joy of Less)

So true! I try to make our bed every day when I get up. It has become a great start to the day.

You can tell by the photo that I’m not aiming for perfection. I just take a minute to straighten things up the best I can and then I call it good. (The top blanket is only over part of the bed because that’s my side of the bed and I’m always cold)

Time it Takes: 1 Minute

Daily habits for a clean home | Doing these 5 chores each day keeps my house clean and orderly - love it!!!

2. Do the Dishes Once

Dirty dishes drive me crazy but I hate the chore of washing them. If I let them sit for too long, it becomes an overwhelming task.

This has been the hardest habit for me to develop, but I’m working hard at emptying the sink at least once a day.

I don’t usually take care of the dishes after every single meal like most people recommend. I’ve found that if I do the dishes once a day, it doesn’t take very long and I can stay on top of it. Listening to an audiobook or podcast helps make the chore more enjoyable.

Time it Takes: 15 Minutes

3. Wipe Down the Kitchen Counters

This is a quick task to add in after you do the dished for the day.

I quickly wipe down all of our kitchen counters and the table with a soapy washcloth. Even if it looks clean, it’s usually not. A quick wipe keeps sticky things from becoming invincible.

Time it Takes: 1 Minute

4. Tidy Up

My “dirty” secret of homemaking is that I’m horrible at cleaning. Lucky for me, I’m great at tidying up and decluttering.

It’s crazy, but picked up gives the illusion of clean. A home could be perfectly clean and sanitized but if it’s cluttered, it’s not going to look good.

I tidy up multiple times throughout the day. When I’m leaving a room I’ll glance around to see if there’s something that doesn’t belong. When I’m done working on a certain task I’ll pick up before I move on to something else. Before bed, I make sure that our house is back to it’s usual tidiness.

When I take a few minutes to tidy up multiple times throughout the day, our house never becomes a disaster zone.

Time it Takes: 3 Minutes – 4ish Times Per Day.

Daily habits for a clean home | Doing these 5 chores each day keeps my house clean and orderly - love it!!!

5. Clear Off and Wipe Down Bathroom Counters

Once a day, I try to make sure everything that doesn’t belong on our bathroom counter gets cleared off and I wipe it down (Ok, sometimes I don’t wipe it down. I told you, I’m a horrible cleaner. I’m working on it 🙂 ).

I’ve found that stuff tends to accumulate more stuff. If I’m not vigilant about clearing off surfaces, other people in the house start leaving stuff there too and then it gets out of hand.

This little task often gets done while I’m getting ready in the morning or brushing my teeth at night.

Time it Takes: 2 Minutes

Total Time it Takes to Have an Always-Clean Home: Approximately 31 Minutes Per Day!

Obviously, there are a whole lot more tasks that go into running a home. Weekly chores like laundry, vacuuming, and meal planning have to get done as well.

Since moving into our new house, I’ve been focusing on maintaining these 5 good daily habits that keep our home relatively clean and picked up all the time. It has made a huge difference in my mood and productivity.

I actually feel like I spend less time doing chores now. Instead of big overwhelming chores, keeping up with everything for a few minutes each day is so much better. It does take some effort to get in the habit, but it’s well worth it.

 

Related Posts:

My Biggest Secret to Keeping Our House Clean

The One Thing You’re Forgetting to Do When You Declutter

34 Great Goals to Set to Change Your Life

⇒ What daily habits help maintain your home?

How to Create a Year-Round Decluttering Routine

How to Create a Year-Round Decluttering Routine | Never be overwhelmed by your house again! Keep clutter away with these 3 steps | Super smart system! If you’ve ever successfully decluttered your home, you might have been disappointed that it didn’t stay decluttered forever.

The fact is that we are constantly bringing things into our homes and we rarely take anything out.

Even though I’m very diligent about not bringing in excess stuff, clothes and shoes wear out or don’t fit anymore, we need new tools for a project, we receive gifts, the mail comes, we keep adding paperwork to the filing cabinet… It all adds up. Quickly. 

I find it easier to figure out a maintenance routine for keeping up with clutter. If I just ignore it until it gets bad, I’ve got a huge, overwhelming project on my hands.

I’m going to share my year-round routine for keeping up with clutter. I hope you’ll be able to adapt certain parts of it to work for you.

My Year-Round Decluttering Routine

I honestly never set out to create a decluttering routine. It has kind of just evolved over the years into what it is. It all makes sense and easily works for us.

The Spring & Fall Big Purges

I like to go through most of the house twice a year.

It usually end up being in the spring and fall and here’s why: In the spring, I pay special attention to clothing and items used in fall and winter (the cold months). If we didn’t wear some of our warm clothes and boots in the last six months (the prime time to wear such things) we probably don’t need them. In the fall, I pay special attention to spring and summer stuff for the same reason.

Spring Categories to Go Through (remember, this is stuff most often used in the fall and winter)

  • Pants, sweatshirts, socks, long sleeves…
  • Coats, mittens, scarfs, hats…
  • Boots and shoes
  • Indoor hobby stuff like games and crafts
  • Fall, winter, and Christmas decorations
  • Blankets
  • Filing cabinet (I like to clear out the old stuff after we do out taxes)7 Home Organization Solutions | Files

Fall Categories to Go Through (stuff most often used in the spring and summer)

  • Shorts, capris, tank tops…
  • Swimsuits
  • Sandals
  • Jewelry and accessories
  • Beach towels and toys
  • Spring and summer decor
  • Yard tools
  • Outside toys, hobby stuff, sporting or camping equipment

I also quickly go through the kitchen, bathroom, and books to see if there are things we don’t need anymore.

It may sound like a huge job but it’s not bad at all. I just look for things that don’t fit, are worn out, or that didn’t get used in the last six months.

The Tub

Throughout the rest of the year, I keep a tub of things to get rid of.

Whenever something doesn’t fit anymore or I notice we don’t need it, I simply put it in the tub. When the tub gets full, I take it someplace to donate (or pick out a few things worth selling).

If I’m not sure about getting rid of something, I’ll place it in the tub and see if I end up wanting it over the next few weeks. If I want or need it, I’ll grab it back out but that honestly hardly ever happens.

The Small Projects

Sometimes a certain area will get out of hand in between the big purges and needs to be dealt with.

If I can’t seem to keep an area of our home picked up, I assume it’s because there’s too much stuff.

I’ll tackle small projects here and there as needed through the year. Right now it’s our office. It’s looking crazy in there, so I’ll spend a few hours decluttering and organizing soon.

Other small areas might be the garage, your storage tubs, the bathroom, or kids’ toys.

Creating a decluttering routine has been so helpful in maintaining order in our home throughout the year.

It’s not too hard to spend a few hours here and there to stay on top of things. It’s when procrastinate that things get completely out of hand it and it turns into a huge, time consuming, and overwhelming project.

⇒ Do you have a decluttering routine?

Related Posts:

5 Steps to Conquer Your Counter Clutter

How to Keep Your Paperwork Organized

Decluttering: How to Get Your Spouse On Board

Fabulous Car Organization & Essentials

Fabulous Car Organization and Essentials | How to organize your car and what to keep in your car...There are two type of people in the world:

  1. People whose car always looks brand new
  2. People whose car always looks like a tornado just went through 

My parents are in the first group. 100%. I have, unfortunately, been in the latter group but I’m working on it.

There is a decent amount of stuff that I need to keep in my car for safety reasons. With some organization, I’ve found that I can keep what I need in our car without it looking like a disaster.

So, I wanted to share the essentials that I keep in our car and the simple ways that we keep it organized.

Car Essentials

Basics:

Jumper Cables

A huge amount of people don’t have jumper cables in their car. I bought some a few years ago and I’m glad I did! We’ve needed them a couple of times and have been with other people who needed them and didn’t have them.

Spare Tire + Tools

Most cars have what you need to change a flat in the trunk but it’s good to check to be sure.

Car Escape Tool

I just bought one of these this year and now I think everyone should have one. It’s a combination window breaker/seat belt cutter.

I sure hope that I never have to use it, but how horrible would it be to need it and not have it?

Fabulous Car Organization and Essentials | How to organize your car and what to keep in your car...

Paper Towels and/or Tissues

Having something to wipe up a mess with or blow your nose with comes in handy all the time.

Hand Sanitizer

Austin is a bit of a germaphobe, so we keep hand sanitizer in our car. I use it all the time too, though!

It’s nice to have, especially when you stop at a grimey gas station or want to clean your hands before you eat in the car.

Trash Bucket

The trash bucket is the secret to keeping your car clean! We just use a gallon ice cream bucket that’s been washed out, so it was free.

We try to be diligent about putting trash in the bucket and emptying it regularly. You can also use a cereal container that’s easy to pop the lid open on (like this).

Other Basics:

  • Sunglasses
  • Phone charger
  • Insurance and registration
  • Reusable shopping bags
  • Rope… Just in case.
  • Flashlight

Winter:

If you live somewhere that gets snow in the winter, there are some extra items to add.

Warm Stuff

I have a hat and gloves for each of us in the car, plus a blanket.

We are usually pretty good about wearing weather appropriate shoes but if I’m going somewhere in dress shoes, I’ll throw my boots in the car just in case something happens and I have to get out and change a tire.

Kitty Litter

We keep a container of kitty litter in our car in the winter. You can pour it under your tires to help get traction if your tires are slipping and you’re stuck in the snow.

Dog:

If you have a dog, don’t forget about supplies that they might need too.

Water Bowl

We usually bring water bottles when we go somewhere. It’s nice to have a small bowl in the car so that we can easily give Mozzie a drink too.

Tie Out

Mozzie’s nose often gets the best of him and he doesn’t always come when called, so we keep a tie out cable and stake in the car.

When we go to the river or if he wants to be outside at my in-law’s house, we can set him up so that he can hang out.

Since we only ever use this when we’re not at home, it’s easiest to just keep it in the car.

Other Dog Stuff:

  • Dog waste bags
  • Spare leash
  • Baggie of kibbles

It’s helpful and important to keep certain things in your vehicle. But your car doesn’t have to become a disaster zone if you employ some helpful organization.

Car Organization

We have a tiny car (Honda Fit), so I try to organize all of these things so that they take up as little room as possible.

For the items that are more “emergency items”, I have a bucket with a lid to keep everything in. It’s actually a portable file container but it’s the right size and I already had it sitting around. I used to keep it all in a crate, but then the crate would tip over and everything would fall out so a container with a lid is best.

It’s helpful and important to keep certain things in your vehicle. But your car doesn’t have to become a disaster zone if you employ some helpful organization.

It’s helpful and important to keep certain things in your vehicle. But your car doesn’t have to become a disaster zone if you employ some helpful organization.

We keep anything we use regularly within reach of the front seat.

Our trash bucket and a roll of paper towels are behind the front seats. The hand sanitizer is in the door. Sunglasses and the phone charger are kept in the glove box.

It’s helpful and important to keep certain things in your vehicle. But your car doesn’t have to become a disaster zone if you employ some helpful organization.

It’s helpful and important to keep certain things in your vehicle. But your car doesn’t have to become a disaster zone if you employ some helpful organization.

It’s helpful and important to keep certain things in your vehicle. But your car doesn’t have to become a disaster zone if you employ some helpful organization.

There are a lot of other things that we could keep in our car. The only things that stay in our car year round are emergency supplies and the few things that we use constantly.

When we go somewhere for a day-trip, I pack a tote bag of extras and bring it back in the house when we get back. Snacks, water bottle, and suntan lotion would all come in handy but don’t survive well in the extreme temperature our car is exposed to throughout the year.

It’s helpful and important to keep certain things in your vehicle. But your car doesn’t have to become a disaster zone if you employ some helpful organization.

Related Posts:

How to Find Time to Declutter

7 Home Organization Solutions

4 Reasons Why You Can’t Stay Organized

⇒ What do you keep in your car? How do you have it organized? Do you have a car trash can?