Home Organization Tips

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Home Organization Tips - $5,000 Money Saving Mama Challenge

stay in control of clutter
Need home organization tips to keep your house in order? Want to make organizing your home cheap and easy? Check out the tips on this page to learn how you can organize your home on a budget.

For most families, having an organized home is essential to the family's functioning. It makes things a lot easier to find. It can even save you money directly (ever go out and buy something, only to realize later that you already owned one?)

If your home is cluttered, have no fear. There are ways to get it all under control without spending a ton of money on the many organizational systems that are out in the market. Read on to learn how to save money on organizational accessories as well as some home organization tips that you can implement for free.

Home Organization Tips: Don't Buy Into the Hype

When you get into the spring clean/home organizing mindset, it's easy to get lured into the trap of believing that you have to buy organizational tools to help you get and stay organized. Don't get me wrong; there are a lot of fabulous home organization products on the market. However, just because they work, does not mean that you need them. Resist the urge to buy and, instead, utilize what you already have. Perhaps even promise yourself that if you don't have the space for something already, you will get rid of it. If anything, that will force you to get creative in how to organize your home.

Home Organization Tips: Every Thing Has Its Place

Ok, so the biggest rule in getting (and keeping) your house in order is to make sure that everything has its own place and that it is always returned to that space when it is not in use. So something you will need to do is to sit down and make a plan - where will everything go? By considering this, you go a long way towards making it happen. What items will be put into cabinets? What will go into the bedrooms? The bathroom? The living room? What will be stored in the attic? In the basement? Have an idea in your head of what you want your home to look like and think about what has to happen in order for that image to become a reality. Got a plan in mind? Ok, so let's get down to the business of sorting through everything and actually organizing your home.

Home Organization Tips: Recycle, Reduce, Reuse

Now that you have likely stopped singing the catchy little song, let's talk about how the three R's can help you to get your home in order without breaking your budget.

First up is recycling. Recycling is essentially when, instead of throwing away an item after using it, you put it to use for something else. For example, if you buy something that comes in a sturdy box (such as shoes or diapers) instead of tossing the box, see if it can be used as a storage container. Recycled packaging is especially useful for storing documents and children's toys. If you care about the aesthetics, try using some decorative masking tape!

Now on to reducing. Many of us have a tendency to hold on to things that we don't use and don't need simply because they have some sort of sentimental value. We realize they are just taking up space, but we can't bear to get rid of them. Now is the time to stop doing that. Do an inventory of everything you own (this may take some time, but it is well worth it). If you have not used it within the past year - get rid of it. If it is broken or cannot be used - get rid of it. You can throw it away, donate it, or even sell it. The less that you need to store, the easier it is on you.

Finally, on to reuse. This one is pretty similar to reusing, except that it is for things that you wouldn't normally just throw away, but that have served their original purpose and are just sitting around. You could get rid of it, but perhaps there is a way that you could repurpose it. Look around your house and see if there are any items that can serve multiple uses. I know that in my house, we have more ice trays than we need. If you are a big jewelry person, those ice tray compartments could be perfect for storing your earrings. Have more laundry baskets than you do actual dirty laundry? Use them for toy storage. Have glass jars just sitting in your cabinet? Use them for food storage (such as rice, flour, beans, etc.), or arts and crafts materials (pencils, crayons, markers, etc.) And, of course, plastic containers can be used to store a ton of things as well - from arts and crafts supplies and office supplies to beauty products and children's toys. The possibilities are endless - all you have to do is keep your eye open for them. Thinking outside of the box can save you money here and there - and that money all adds up.

Home Organization Tips: Get It Free

Ok, so now you have done an inventory of what you own. You have gotten rid of the things that you needed to get rid of. You have recycled and repurposed things into storage containers. However, you still need some more storage containers to achieve that image in your mind of the clutter-free home? No worries. There are ways to get what you need. First, let's discuss some of the ways that you can get it for free. My first suggestion is retail stores. Stores sell all of the things that you have in your home (for the most part). If they sold it, guess what - they had to store it! Go around to local stores and ask them if they have any storage containers that they are going to throw away. Many stores will let you cart off cardboard boxes with no issue. Some places may even let you have plastic milk crates. Don't be afraid to ask! The worst they can say is no.

Another option is to utilize websites such as Freecycle which are all about re-homing items that people no longer use, but that are in good, usable condition. Websites like Craigslist also offer "free/trade" sections, where you can score free items.

Home Organization Tips: Buy It Used

When it comes to buying used, your options are excellent. Yard sales (both traditional and online), flea markets, thrift stores, and stores such as Dollar Tree (where everything is $1) are great places to go when you are looking for dirt cheap organizational items.

Home Organization Tips: The Bathroom

Between lotions, soaps, mouthwash, hair products, and all of the other things we use on a daily basis, the bathroom countertop can often be one of the most cluttered places in the house. Quick fix? A plastic bin (or two). Put everything that you use on a regular basis in a bin, pull it out when you need it, and put it back under the sink when you are finished. Also be sure to go through every couple of months and get rid of anything that needs to be thrown out. That includes going through your magazine rack and getting rid of all the magazines that have been in there for a while.

Home Organization Tips: Closets

Whether they are in your bedroom, in the hallway, or in the bathroom, closets are often an issue when it comes to organization. Here are some tips for keeping them in order:
  1. Separate clothes by season. If it's not In season, store it in a box (or, better yet, a vacuum sealed bag) somewhere until it is in season.
  2. Hangers are useful for more than just pants, shirts, and coats. You can use them to hang up scarves, ties, and belts. Excess hangers can be donated to a local dry cleaner.
  3. Install hooks and extra shelves to store even more items.

Home Organization Tips: The Kitchen

As in the closet, hooks and shelves that you install can go a long way in keeping your kitchen organized and user-friendly. Also, small baskets can become your best friend. Especially when it comes to organizing your herbs and spices. You can buy packs of small baskets for $1 at Dollar General. No need for expensive spice racks.

Home Organization Tips: The Play Room

Once again, baskets can be your best friend! From toys big and small, baskets can store anything. You can even swap baskets out periodically to make things easier. Split the toys up into 3 baskets and take one basket of things out to be stored elsewhere. After a couple of weeks (or months), go back in and swap things out. It keeps you from having to clean up so much and they get to enjoy rediscovering toys they have not seen in a while.

Home Organization Tips: Paperwork

Do bills, circulars, letters, and other documents end up scattered around the house or piled up on a countertop? Instead of dropping them in a pile, nail an accordion file folder to the wall and drop them in there. Organize them however you want (Bills, Shopping, Kids, Mommy, Hubby, etc.) That way, you can keep track of everything and it's not taking up space on the counter.

Home Organization Tips: Do a Clean Sweep

In the morning and at night, grab a laundry basket, and walk around grabbing and putting away things that are not where they belong. Or you can dedicate a basket to things that you need to put away but don't have time to at the time. Sort of the way libraries have baskets for patrons to put books that need to be re-shelved. Better for it to be put in there to be put back in its proper place than for it to be misplaced and lost for who knows how long.

Money Saving Resources

Use the following resources to help you on your path towards saving money at home.

1. More pages on Stay-a-Stay-at-Home-Mom.com:
2. Rayven Recommends these books on Amazon:

What tips do you have for how to organize your home that you would like to share with the rest of us?

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